Obama's Reception At Saddleback Good News
The standing ovation given Obama was longer and louder than that received by either (pastor Rick) Warren or (Sen. Sam) Brownback. The message clearly resonated.If everyone followed Christian morals, there wouldnt' be an AIDS crisis, but Christians need to acknowledge that there are many Christians who don't follow Christian morals when it comes to their sexual choices. The battle against AIDS certainly has a moral component to it, but just as certainly, to fight it successfully you have to deal with those among the infected and at risk that don't share evangelical Christian morals.
In the years that I was a member of Saddleback, I heard Warren speak on abortion and abstinence and there's no doubt where his heart lies. But his heart is also with the people of Africa, thanks to his wife Kay's commitment to AIDS; hence the invitation. And Barack said the right stuff:
"We are all sick because of AIDS," Obama said. "We are all being challenged by this crisis. It is a challenge not only of our willingness to respond, but of our ability to look past artificial divisions and debates that have shaped our response all too often." ...ABC -- abstinence, being faithful, condoms. Obama said he believes in all three, putting him on the right side. Meanwhile, some evangelicals continued to attack Warren for letting a pro-abortion speaker into the church. They are as far off as the AIDS activists who want to refuse abstinence a place at the table.
"I don't think we can deny that there is a moral and spiritual component to prevention," Obama said. During recent travels through Africa, he said, "again and again I heard stories of men and women contracting HIV because sex was no longer part of a sacred covenant, but a mechanical physical act."
"Having said that, I also believe that we cannot ignore that abstinence and fidelity may too often be the ideal and not the reality. If condoms and potentially microbicides can prevent millions of deaths, they should be made more widely available."
Kudos to Warren for moving the dialog forward.
Related Tags: AIDS, Obama, Warren, Saddleback, Abstinence, Abortion