Pop star Melissa Etheridge wrote a column in the Huffington Post defending pastor Rick Warren. Warren complimented her music and then she swooned - giving him a pass on his anti-gay rhetoric. The cunning preacher flattered her, she thought, but really flattened her - and the poor crooner had no idea what hit her.
In reading her well intentioned piece, I was most troubled that Melissa had not heard of Rick Warren before this dust up. He had only been on the cover of every major US news magazine. A forest worth of news stories have been written. He has been featured on every major TV show. His book has sold 20 million copies. Warren hosted a high-profile presidential debate in his church. This is not exactly a mystery man.
In her own way, she seems as out of touch as George W. Bush. Someone really ought to buy her a subscription to The New York Times for Christmas. Such ignorance from a public figure supposedly tuned into the issues of the day is rather shocking, and a bit depressing. It might explain why she came across as so naive and got rolled, simply because Warren likes to hum, "Come To My Window."
I know Melissa means well, and I respect her. I applaud her for coming out and sharing her story. Her courage has saved lives and has brought our movement increased visibility. For this we owe her our gratitude. Plus, I enjoy her music too - and she puts on an amazing concert.
Still, I'd feel a bit better if she were more informed about the most famous author/preacher of the 21st century before she opined on the matter. The rest of us bother to do research before we open our mouths to represent the community. I expect the same level of commitment from pop stars who fancy themselves activists.
Etheridge and her girlfriend (Because of people like Warren she will not legally be able to call her wife)are doing the bidding of Warren for him. They haven't read the statements from this man, yet they defend him from a couple of minutes pf pleasantries. So now I am presented with evangelicals on the net yelling me down because I should be more like an uninformed Melissa.
Warren's own words: http://www.beliefnet.com/News/2008/12/Rick-Warren-Transcript.aspx?p=7
"3. If anyone, whether unfaithful spouses, or unmarried couples, or homosexuals or anyone else think they are smarter than God and chooses to disobey God’s sexual instructions, it is not the US government’s role to take away their choice. But neither is it the government’s role to classify just any “loving” relationship as a marriage. A committed boyfriend-girlfriend relationship is not a marriage. Two lovers living together is a not a marriage. Incest is not marriage. A domestic partnership or even a civil union is still not marriage."
"[Clarification from Pastor Warren 12/15: I favor anyone being able to make anyone else the beneficiary of their health or life insurance coverage. If I am willing to pay for it, I should be able to put a friend, partner, relative, or stranger on my coverage. No one should be turned away from seeing a friend in the hospital. But visiting rights are a non-issue in California! Since 1999, California has had a domestic partnership law that grants gay couples visiting rights and all the other rights. Prop 8 had no –zero -effect on those rights.]
The issue to me, I’m not opposed to that as much as 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.
Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?
Oh , I do. For 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion – this is not a Christian issue. Buddhist, Muslims, Jews – historically, marriage is a man and a woman. And the reason I supported Proposition 8, is really a free speech issue. Because first the court overrode the will of the people, but second there were all kinds of threats that if that did not pass then any pastor could be considered doing hate speech if he shared his views that he didn’t think homosexuality was the most natural way for relationships, and that would be hate speech. We should have freedom of speech, ok? And you should be able to have freedom of speech to make your position and I should be able to have freedom of speech to make my position, and can’t we do this in a civil way.
Most people know I have many gay friends. I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes."
posted by Tom, at
12/23/2008 1:42 PM
She and her girlfriend have lost their goddamn minds. They are hurting all of us with their empty-headed acceptance of the enemy.
posted by CJ, at
12/23/2008 2:57 PM
Tom, if Warren thinks that the will of the people were ignored in the matter of marriage equality in California, then he must also believe that all of the rights won by African Americans, a woman's right to choose, should be revisited and overturned because they were not put to the popular vote but were enacted by activist judges. Warren is a bold-faced liar and a fraud. Not all cults state that marriage is between one man and one woman. Islam permits polygamy and it is even permitted in the old testament. Why isn't he bashing that? He needs to understand that gay citizens aren't asking for any special rights or privileges, just the same rights as everybody else, nor are they asking religious cults to marry them, cults that should mind their own business and stay out of politics where they have no place. We pay taxes, therefore we should receive identical rights to everybody else without exception. Further, civil marriage has absolutely NOTHING to do with religious marriage and civil marriage has no mention or reference in the bible and is a totally different matter. Divorce lawyers never mention religion or god when dissolving socalled christian marriages either. Its a civil issue. A right given by the government. This is not about redefining marriage, its about expanding civil marriage. Society doesn't contract rights, it expands them to include everyone
posted by Robert, NYC., at
12/23/2008 4:53 PM
I'm not at all surprised by Melissa's ignorance and cow-towing to rev. warren. Here's why...
I had the opportunity to witness La Etheridge in action at a gathering at The Abbey back in the summer of 2007. Hilary Clinton was guest of honor, and Melissa was one of two or three gay 'panelists' who asked questions of Ms. Clinton.
You'd have thought Melissa was a kid in a candy shop, all wide-eyed and in awe of Hilary. When Melissa asked Hilary's stance on gay marriage and Hilary started expounding rhetoric and basically dodging the question, instead of holding her to the task of actually committing to an answer one way or another, Melissa simply imploded and got all girly and smiley, and allowed Hilary to squirm out of actually giving a bona fide "I'm for it" or "I'm against it" answer.
It was pathetic. Here we all were--a gaggle of gays with Hilary's ear, and Ms. Etheridge chokes on getting a satisfactory answer from Hilary about her stance on gay marriage, all because Ms. Etheridge was so star-struck. It was disgusting to watch.
posted by Chevyla323, at
12/23/2008 5:22 PM
If anyone saw her on The View we all now know Melissa Etheridge is not that articulate. Yes, bless her for being in the public spotlight, but shame on you for not being well informed on the issues.
posted by History, at
12/23/2008 7:24 PM
i don't think she is all that great. I did not care too much for her interviewing the presidential candidates either. Come on. She is a female rock musician. She is one voice and parroting for Warren is a disgrace. No pass. NEXT!!!!!!
posted by mail, at
12/24/2008 12:24 AM
I am disgusted by both Melissa and her girlfriend. What a couple of twits! Do these women know ANYTHING? Are they aware that Rick Warren considers them to be the equivalent of paedophiles and bestialists?
Even I'm smart enough to realise that the guy would probably be civil to me in public, too. But I'd never trust the son-of-a-bitch further than I could kick him.
As I mentioned on my blog, Rick Warren is a hateful, homophobic Talibangelist who would love nothing more than to take away as many rights from us as he possibly can. And here are Melissa and girlfriend all a-twitter over him. I must say I have lost whatever respect I had for Melissa Etheridge. Ellen would be a far better spokesperson for us--of George Takei. My point is, there are far better spokespersons for us than a couple of bird-brained idiots who can't see the forest for the trees!
posted by Merlyn, at
12/24/2008 9:30 AM
Let this be a lesson to our community - just because someone has "visibility" doesn't mean they are appropriate spokespeople for our community.
I would rather pay attention to folks like Wayne or Mike Rogers who not only know what they are talking about but go into a situation with a vision of what ideas they want to get across.
posted by BlackTsunami, at
12/24/2008 12:34 PM
Warren of course said that "homosexuality is proof that evolution doesn't exist".
Well, I've got news for him....to quote a friend of mine...."Rick Warren is proof that devolution DOES exist".
Melissa needs to do her homework on LGBT issues....clearly she has no idea how to respond to questions in an articulate manner. She means well but she should keep her mouth shut.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
12/26/2008 2:19 PM
I understand that she may not have clearly understood the Warren issues, but the values she did respond with... building brindges,being respectful and trying to understand "others" points of views, were well spoken! Peace out...
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