Purpose-Driven Partisanship

Remember just a few years ago, when "Purpose-Driven Life" author Rick Warren was considered such a bipartisan figure that candidate Obama visited his Saddleback Church, and then invited him to deliver an invocation at the inauguration? Even at the time, a lot of knowledgeable people on the left protested that Warren was actually a deeply conservative person, even if he wore Hawaiian shirts and led the hip and casual megachurch movement that presented itself as inclusive. Well listen to Warren now. In an appearance on ABC's This Week yesterday, he was asked to respond to President Obama saying "I believe in God's command to love thy neighbor as thyself":

Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There's over 2,000 versus in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there's a fundamental question on the meaning of "fairness." Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.

The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You -- you rob them of dignity. The primary purpose of government is to keep the peace, protect the citizens, provide opportunity. And when we start getting into all kinds of other things, I think we -- we invite greater control. And I'm fundamentally about freedom.

Wow. Is there any way he could sound more like a Republican politician? You've got the socialist straw man (as though Democrats want everyone to make the same amount of money, an absurd charge Rick Santorum has thrown), the attack on our horribly meager welfare state, the contrast between government and freedom—it's the whole package. I wouldn't be surprised if Warren shows up in a speaking slot at the GOP convention this summer.

The average TAP reader may not know much about Warren, but his little book of vapid dime-store theology has reportedly sold over 30 million copies. Sigh.

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