Rick Warren, evangelical pastor and author of the mega bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life," was on Larry King's show last night. Prior to the presidential election, he cannily avoided officially endorsing a candidate, but repeatedly used James Dobson-speak to clearly communicate his support for the Bush/Cheney ultra-right worldview. (He famously told Bill Moyers during a PBS panel confab that voters care more about "personal moral issues" than merely "social issues.")
Since Nov 2, politically sensitive and closet-moderate evangelical pastors have subtly shifted a bit to the left of their pre-election deification of all things espoused by Dobson, Jerry Falwell and ilk. Witness a few comments last night by savvy chameleon Warren....
"There is a big difference between the religious right and evangelicals."
"The message of the evangelical is grace, not judgment."
"Evangelicals believe in only three things. 1. The Bible is the Word of God. 2. Jesus Christ is the son of God. He was crucified and died for our sins. He rose from the grave, and ascended to heaven to with His Father. 3. Our job is to spread the Good News. That's it. Nothing more."
"There's a lot of good in other religions. A lot to be learned from them. The only difference is belief in Jesus Christ." (Imagine the frustration of Christian apologetics professors at that glib statement.)
George Bush has not-so-subtly moved to the left from his pre-election hard-right stances. (See my post of Nov 17.) Rick Warren, stated admirer of politically-neutral Billy Graham and business world guru Peter Drucker as seminal figures in his ministry, has likewise been newly converted to the ranks of evangelical moderates.
Or perhaps they were always evangelical moderates. They just closeted it at election time. Perhaps all that arrogant, Pharasitic blather about only far-right voters having "values" was just so much.....clever election-year babble crafted to garner votes.
One can only hope. And pray.