By Dave Andrusko
If you are a Christian–an Evangelical Christian in particular—the name Rick Warren is instantly familiar. I have used a number of the Rev. Warren’s books in my Adult Sunday school class, and I can’t begin to tell you how much we benefited.
The big news is that he announced June 6th that the search for his replacement as lead pastor at Saddleback, his mega-church in Southern California, has begun.
“When the new lead pastor is in place, Warren will transition to the role of founding pastor,” according to Christianity Today.
Warren is a strong, thoughtful pro-lifer. In that capacity, you may remember the August 16, 2008, “Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency” at which presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain spoke. Obama was, to be blunt, ineffective, inarticulate, and evasive on a number of issues, none more so than abortion.
At the time, Obama’s “Charisma-Meter” was fully charged by an adoring media. But only in the insular world of the “mainstream media” could a halting, sputtering speaking style become hallmarks of “authenticity” and “nuance” and “complexity.”
Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson observed in a column that appeared in the Washington Post at the time that “Obama is one of those rare political figures who seems to grow smaller the closer we approach him.” But no one, least of all yours truly, underestimated Obama’s appeal. To borrow from a commercial, his “charisma can be seen from outer space.”
All this and more was on display that Saturday night, particularly in Obama’s response to Warren’s cleverly constructed question (because it was simple)—“At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”
Obama doused his plate of hemming and hawing with what presumably was supposed to be taken as either irony, humility, or both.
“Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.”
As we talked about in the weeks that followed, although Obama’s army of media defenders tried every which way to deflect criticism, the truth was blindingly obvious. Obama’s flippant answer was a real clunker. To borrow a sports metaphor, on the issue of the utmost moral importance, Obama punted out of bounds.
By contrast, Sen. McCain’s answer to the same question—“At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?”—was unabashed, direct, and straightforward: “At the moment of conception.”
One other very important point, which illustrates how far the Democrat party has sunk. “One thing that I’m absolutely convinced of is that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue,” Obama told Warren. “And so I think that anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue is not paying attention.”
False profundity/modesty, to be sure, but at least the pretense that Obama grasped the gravity of 40 million abortions (it was actually closer to 50 million abortions at the time). Compare that to what comes forth from the Biden-Harris team and congressional Democrats where abortion has become the equivalent of a secular sacrament.
No apologies needed for abortion on demand, paid for by the public, and too bad if you are an abortion survivor because Democrats don’t believe you deserve treatment equal to what any other baby born at the age would receive. Indeed, what is needed, according to Democrats, is the absolute assurance that the number of unborn babies annihilated will increase. They have a plethora of legislative proposals to make that a reality, none more radical, more against the grain than eliminating the life-saving Hyde Amendment.
We’ve come a long way in 12 and ½ years. It’s up to us to reverse the downward trajectory.