[Rick] Warren knows that he must park his conscience at the door of his golden cage, or his empire will melt away under the intolerable weight of the gossip of the Church Ladies. Warren got a whiff of this when he was foolish enough to go on Larry King Live in the spring of 2009, and mention that maybe he wasn’t as firmly against gay marriage as he was said to have been in the wake of the battle over gay marriage in California last year. As the Washington Times reported on April 11, 2009, “I was extremely troubled,” said Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. “Absolutely baffling,” huffed Wendy Wright, president of the far-right Concerned Women of America organization. Warren learned, if he didn’t already know, that the only thing evangelicals will never forgive is any letting up on hating the “other.”
That’s what my friend Richard Cizik, former vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals, learned. He was being interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air in 2009 and mentioned that maybe he wasn’t against gay civil unions. He didn’t even mention gay marriage. He was fired within days. Rich told me that he was never even asked by the board what he’d meant by his remarks and was never given a chance to respond.
Cizik had almost been forced out several years before when James Dobson, of Focus on the Family fame, wrote to the NAE board demanding Cizik’s dismissal for saying that he thought global warming was real. Cizik got away with that apostasy against the Republican Party, which had long since come to be a stand-in for the “true church” for power-hungry evangelical/fundamentalist leaders such as Dobson. But when Cizik didn’t hate gays enough, game over!
It is worth reading the whole post here. I would love to hear what you think… both about the “hating the other” idea, as well as Schaeffer’s fuller critique of modern American Evangelicalism.
Looking forward to your comments…