Rick Warren and Same-Sex Marriage
As many already know, President-elect Obama has selected Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life" and evangelical pastor of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, to give the invocation at the Presidential Inauguration next month.
Rick Warren has compared abortion to the Holocaust, teaches that women must be under male authority including forbidding female employees of his church from supervising men. equates homosexuality to pedophilia and incest, and is a creationist believing that evolution did not occur. At one point, the Saddleback Church's web site stated: "someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at [sic] a member at Saddleback." http://www.americablog.com/2008/12/rick-warren-pulls-anti-gay-language.html
On the question of same sex marriage, Rich Warren has said:
"The issue to me is... I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage." http://politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/7900/
There have been a variety of definitions of marriage over the last 5,000 years depending on religion, time, and community. There are instances in the Bible of "one guy having multiple wives" in marriage. The definition of marriage for which Rick Warren claims 5,000 years of precedence and for which he claims universality is but one of many definitions for that institution in that time. In fact, the implication of the universality of the christian experience, that the christian experience should be definitive in a legal sense in this country, denies the wide variety of religions, experiences, and communities that live in this nation, which is built on a foundation of the separation of church and state. In the United States, people who commit to building a life together should be supported and celebrated in our society, regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnic background, or religion.
We support the President-elect in working to bridge the divides of the culture wars and unify a country tired of a political discussion that too often hides underlying political interests and struggles behind a cultural facade. This particular choice, however, puts a representative of the most backward, inhuman, exclusionary, and retrograde thinking front and center in an event at which the President-elect would not be the keynote speaker except for the inclusive and humanistic efforts of many millions of people. Rick Warren actively works to organize thousands and actively educate many more to condemn that which they don't understand, and to stand against the most basic understandings of the humanistic trends in this country out of which any effective solutions to this nation's social and economic challenges will arise. The ideas that Rick Warren champions are odious to those who believe in diversity of human experience, that science is a valid methodology for discovery and for expanding human understanding, and who struggle for progress in meeting social challenges.
The Indiana District of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA)
-- stands against those aspects of Rick Warren's teachings which equate sin with sexual orientation, assert divine revelation over rational evaluation, or attack the humanistic and inclusive joining together of all people to advance the needs of working families in this country
-- fully supports the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, to join in marriage with the partner of their choosing, with full access to all services that marriage implies and legally mandates, all protections under the law that marriage offers, and the social recognition and support that a public declaration of love and commitment demands.
-- rejects attempts to create artificial barriers between communities by distinguishing between those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. All people have the right to partner with the person of their choosing, to marry, and to have all the services and protections available to anyone married accorded to them.
-- supports according equality under the law to same sex partners in the areas of child custody, adoption, and providing foster care.
-- supports the right of all people to have their health needs met regardless of sexual orientation or ability to pay, including the health needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered. The general health needs of all women must also be protected and expanded, including access to abortion services, contraception, and any other health-related service without regard to age, sexual orientation, or ability to pay.
-- protests the selection of Rick Warren to offer the invocation at the presidential inauguration, while celebrating the selection of Reverent Lowery to provide the benediction.
We unequivocally support the struggle in the State of Indiana and nationally to make same-sex marriage legal, without any limitations or prejudice under the law.
What We Stand For
The Communist Party of Indiana CPUSA struggles for socialism: to better the lives of Indiana's working families, to protect and extend labor's ability to organize, for the needs of women, children, immigrants (documented and undocumented), the disabled, LGBT, and all people who strive for affordable quality health care, housing, and education. We stand against racism in all its forms. We stand for jobs for all. We stand for peace. We support all who struggle world wide for the dignity and self-determination of the majority of their nation's people and against imperialism, occupation, and exploitation for private profit.