Dear Rick Warren,
It seems for some odd reason you're back in the spotlight. I can only assume your agent has sent you out to troll for another invitation to the presidential inauguration, although accusing him of assaulting religious liberty is a strange tactic. Personally, I think you're as phony as any other multi-millionaire preacher, and am hoping President Obama's evolution included erasing your number from his Blackberry. But I admit, Jesus Christ kinda biased me when he said very wealthy people like you were damned to Hell (Matthew 19:24, look it up).
But for whatever reason, you're back, and denying you're a homophobe. ("I have many, many gay friends," how original.) Hey, in a world where Donald Trump is not a racist, I guess anything's possible. And you're making appearances on Sean Hannity's Fox News program and Piers Morgan's CNN show comparing my relationships to violence and poison, which I have to say, I found just a little bit offensive.
But there was that one time I had a modicum of respect for you.
It was the time that you actually used your powers for unmitigated good. Back in 2009, we were very worried that the Ugandan Parliament was going to pass this bill that committed genocide against LGBT people, and created a McCarthyesque witch hunt for everyone associated with them: family, teachers, landlords. You actually spoke out in opposition. Now some, like Time magazine and Huffington Post's religious reporter, said it was under "pressure." They said it was PR damage control because everyone noticed you'd been very buddy-buddy with some of the bill's chief proponents, like Ugandan Paster Martin Ssempa.
Which reminds me, have you welcomed your genocidal friend Pastor Ssempa back as an honored guest to Saddleback Church—again—recently?
But whatever your motive, you did reach out to Ugandan ministers who you have a great deal of clout with and said:
"First, the potential law is unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals, requiring the death penalty in some cases. If I am reading the proposed bill correctly, this law would also imprison anyone convicted of homosexual practice."They say the word of God is unchanging. Well, guess what? So is the anti-homosexuality bill.
The State Department and human rights activists in Uganda say the death penalty is still there (contrary to some press reports) and so's the big ugly circle of "responsiblity" that could put many people in jail just for not ratting out LGBT people to the police.
Also, it's going to wreak terror on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs, obviously, as who wants to try to get treatment when it's like raising your hand for the death penalty or life in prison? Who wouldn't take their chances going untreated? And who's going to minister outreach to the LGBT community when just knowing a gay person is a potential prison offense?
It seems your friends in Uganda may need a reminder why this bill's a bad idea and state-sponsored genocide is a bad thing.
So, now you're back, and the bill is back, but you don't really seem to care about this "un-Christian" bill anymore.
Now, I've noticed that you recently made time to go on TV and warn America about the great danger same-sex marriage presents and how President Obama is assaulting religious liberty. But not a peep out of you on Uganda.
So you might take a moment to reiterate to your friends in Uganda that killing gay people is bad and maybe it's like the worst "Christmas gift" to the Ugandan people ever.
The State Department is working furiously behind the scenes trying to head off this human rights abomination. Maybe you could pitch in again?
Because a lot of people are wondering where the religious leaders are this time around. Did that commandment against killing people change since 2009?
• SIGN THE PETITION: Please join with Daily Kos and CREDO Action in telling Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to veto the "Kill the Gays" bill.
One problem we face in bringing that pressure this time around is that prominent right-wing Americans like Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, and Bryan Fischer, head of the American Family Association, are openly praising the Kill the Gays bill. We need to make sure their voices are downed out by a massive denunciation from the rest of America, so that President Museveni knows what is at stake if he caves and signs this murderous legislation.
Above, Rachel Maddow explains how Rick Warren fits into all this in eight easy minutes in 2009. Same bill, same fight.