Rick Warren Compares Gay Marriage to Incest, Pedophilia

UPDATE: Aug. 16, 2010: The video I posted here in 2008 has been removed by YouTube, and the video from BeliefNet does not work. I found a clip from GoodAsYou.org that features Warren’s “money quote” and am posting it to replace the original.

You don’t have to dig too deep to find bigoted statements by Rick Warren, the homophobe who is Obama’s new BFF. Just last week in a video interview, Warren compared gay marriage to incest and pedophilia:

RICK WARREN: But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

STEVEN WALDMAN: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?


The favored form of marriage in the Middle East 5,000 years ago was polygamy. Abraham, the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was a polygamist, as were Jacob and the kings David and Soloman. Until the early 19th century, marriage was predominantly a business arrangement between male heads of households.

There’s more to Warren’s statement that was not included in the video:

… Most people, you know … I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes, no church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church. Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of “A Purpose-Driven Life” helping people who got AIDS through gay relationships. So they can’t accuse me of homophobia. I just don’t believe in the re-definition of marriage.

Of course, marriage was redefined in the 1967, when the Supreme Court overturned laws against inter-racial marriage in Loving v. Virginia. Doubtless, Pastor Rick is glad marriage was redefined that way. But changing it to accommodate gay rights goes too far.


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  • Ethel
    December 19, 2008 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

    The world will not be a safe place until this type of Christian drops off their flat world. Be gone. You are an embarrassment to everyone, especially to Jesus.

  • Obamasupporter
    December 19, 2008 - 10:16 pm | Permalink

    All you guys are giving Rick Warren a bad rap. He was saying that he was opposed to marriage under various situation such as a marriage between brothern and sister, a marriage between a grown man and a child, and a marriage between gay people. That does not mean that gay people are bad people. Although I don’t believe in Gay Marriage, I believe strongly in civil and equal rights for gays. The english definition of Marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Whether a person is atheist or religious that doesn’t change the definition of marriage. As for prolife people. When life begins can be a controversial topic. For example evangelicals believe life begins at conception. Scientist believes life begins when the fetus is viable which means the fetus is able to live outside the womb. I am prochoice because women always run the risk of having unwanted pregnancies. As we all know unwanted pregnancies can happen as a result of rape, incest, assault etc. That is why I believe that the choice to have an abortion should be left up to a woman, her family, the father of the child and their pastor. Each case to have an abortion or not should be on an individual basis. I believe that the focus should be educating people on preventing pregnancies by teaching abstinance and the use of Birth controll and if they choose to have sex do it in a resposible matter. This common sense education would reduce abortions significantly because women would be more informed and they will be able to prevent pregnancy more effectively.

  • December 21, 2008 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m shocked at Obama’s selection of the homophobic bigot Rick Warren to give the Invocation at his inauguration. He might just as well have selected Rev. Louis Sheldon. Surely there must be some pastors who are not homophobic.
    He could have invited Waren to attend for political reasons and then, like the proverbial “crazy aunt in the attic,” kept him under wraps.
    I’m surprised at Obama’s lack of sensitivity in the matter. But then, it’s anything for possible future votes even selling one’s soul to the devil.
    The important thing is not so much whether Warren is anti-gay marriage or abortion (many people are) but referring to homosexuality as the equivalent of incest and pedophilia, which is outrageous bigotry.
    I hope there are demonstrations during the ceremonies, particularlly during the Invocation.

  • December 21, 2008 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing inherently immoral about incest between consenting adults, polygamy (which is legal and accepted in many places) or a 20 year old (an adult) marrying a 17 year old (a child).
    These things violate the norm, just like gay marriage does.

    In the interest of keeping this comment short, you may read the rest of it here: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=97022263&blogID=458114621&Mytoken=51A765CA-6244-4F34-B092A51A41CD309F239904881
    or here

  • Elaine
    December 22, 2008 - 1:40 am | Permalink

    Why is it necessary to invoke a deity at all during the inaugural? Once upon a time we had a secular government….now we have a “progressive” president-elect who needs to appease a mega-snake-oil salesman and his mega-million$, and plans to not only continue the Bu$h Office of Fakir$ and $wami$, but wants to expand it.

    Where is Mike Gravel when we need him?

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  • James Taylor
    December 31, 2008 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    Look, I get what President-elect Obama is doing in bringing all sides to the table. I admire him for that. That’s why I voted for him. That’s why I have faith in him that he will further support the recognition of my civil rights as a Gay American.

    Yes, we CAN disagree. As a moderate liberal, I don’t care that Rev. Warren is against California’s Proposition 8- good for him! He’s entitled, as all American’s are, to proclaim his political views. Let him give the invocation; I’ll pray with him.

    HOWEVER, when Rev. Warren makes public statements that equate homosexuality with criminal acts such as pedophilia and incest, that’s nothing less than bigoted propaganda. Mr. Warren’s selection for such a visible and prominent role in the inauguration is insulting and hurtful to me.

    Sadly, I fear it will be perceived by many Americans as a sanctionable sign to further insult and hurt Gay Americans through hate crimes- the true criminal act here that takes Gay Americans lives every year.

  • Texas_Christian
    January 1, 2009 - 11:00 pm | Permalink

    You folks who casually toss out the phrase “Jesus would be ashamed” regarding Rick Warren’s comments don’t really understand Jesus’ teachings. I encourage you to pick up the Bible and study it before casting about pseudo-paraphrases and tenets of “sheilaisms”. Jesus unfailingly stuck to Scripture; he addressed immoral behaviors and people’s sinful nature, but he LOVED the individuals. Rick Warren has stated that he loves homosexuals–it’s the behavior he speaks out against.

    To foster a constructive exchange of opinions and ideas, it’s best if we can all speak from a position of knowledge and not uninformed opinion.

  • January 2, 2009 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    I have read the Bible, Texas, and Jesus would be ashamed of the hatred and spiritual destructiveness that emanates from his church on this issue. And please know that Christians may be fooling themselves with that tired “love the sinner, hate the sin” nonsense, but no one else is buying it. What anti-gay Christians project to the world sounds like hate, looks like hate and I can tell you for sure it feels like hatred on the receiving end.

    We can debate what Jesus might feel all day, but what he said is crystal clear: “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Based on that scripture, it appears that anti-gay Christians are just as hellbound as anyone else.

    What is telling here is how Christians like Warren use the Bible selectively to persecute gays. For example, they don’t advocate constitutional amendments to ban adulterers from marrying, despite the fact that adultery is a real threat to marriage, that it breaks up families and leads to single-family homes, poverty and other social ills. Nor do they support passing laws to make it legal to fire or evict adulterers simply because of their status as sinners. It is perfectly okay with Christians if adulterers teach school. Adulterers can even be preachers. All this despite the fact that adultery is forbidden in the Ten Commandments, whereas homosexuality is not, and Jesus never mentioned it.

    When Christians work to restrict the civil rights of adulterers and fornicators with the same zeal (and level of funding) they’re putting toward depriving gays of the right to the happiness that comes from marriage, we’ll believe they are truly motivated by righteousness. Until then, we’ll continue to believe Christians like Warren are using scriptures as a fig leaf to cover their own personal prejudices or inner demons.

    Anti-gay Christians have the right to their bigotry, but they are not entitled to write their selective reading of the Bible into law, as they and the Republican Party have done in 30 states, so far. These theocratic laws violate the separation of church and state, and are anti-democratic and absolutely un-American.

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  • El
    January 7, 2009 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Right on, Jon! I’m not sure how cruelty and discrimination are signs that we love a group of people but only detest their behavior. I detest people using the Bible to justify their hatred, and make no mistake, discrimination is a form of hatred. I find it a form of blasphemy to use God as an excuse to insult, to exclude, and to hurt.

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  • February 7, 2009 - 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of where we stand on the subject of homosexual marriages, it should be obvious to all who know him that Rick Warren has demonstrated the goal of “hating the sin but loving the sinner,” through his books, his teaching, and his giving.

    Perhaps the Apostle Paul should be labeled “homophobic” as well because he wrote to the following to the church at Corinth:

    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6:9-11)”

    It is possible to disagree about the inherent rightness of a behavior without condemning those who participate in it. Who can dare to judge the heart of a person to performs an action –whether we agree with it or not? We do not know how that person feels about his behavior-even when we know what he SAYS he feels about it; and we can’t know how he came to take that position.

    God alone has the right to judge the heart of mankind–but every one of us has the responsbility of making a judicial decision about our own response to it.

    Those who do not want to be judged should not judge others who may happen to disagree with them. To call Rick Warren a homophobic because of his statement is inconsistent.

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  • March 19, 2009 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    hello pastor the bible says you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.john 8v32.
    Move on with the word of which is the power of GOD and the prescription of life all to the glory of GOD:
    If men could reject and betray Jesus how much more , the servants of GOD.In leviticus 18v22 it is written you shall not lie with a male as with a woman,it is an abomination.one can read the whole of leviticus for a better understanding.
    homosexuality is a sin wether those involved like it or not the truth must be preached.
    When we look on men then we loose focus and fall.men and women of god shall never fall we are victorious in the powerful name of jesus,
    may the lord empower and strenghthen you and other servants of God who stand on his word with truth.
    As for the the president of the united states BARRACK OBAMA i think its high time people stop criticising and join in building that great nation to the glory of God.
    Am not an American but ,am part of the presidetial prayer team,praying for a peaceful and successful America .
    Ones there is peace in the USA ,we are sure for peace in the world at large.
    I pray that the word of God will touch each an every one,on this planet to serve him in t in spirit and in truth in the most powerful name of jesus i pray amen.
    by his grace am a prophetess of god, pastor, and one of the overseer of :
    (would love to pray for pastor Ricks family and GOD will show himself strong,GOD reveal to redeem)
    The bible says the rigtheous shall live by faith.Tel:0034650747201

  • Keep it Honest
    May 3, 2009 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

    To Obama moment:

    in regards to your comment of using the “Bible selectivley” is you, with your quote of “Judge not lest ye be judged.” I know that is is so hard for people that are gay to understand that God designed a Man and a Woman for marriage, this is not “hate” it is God’s word.

    Actually, I consider that Gay people are very hateful when one tends to disagree with their point of view in the matter of Gay Marriage, they go absolutly balistic, Example Paris Hilton vs. Ms. California. I do not consider that she was innapropriate or that her comments where offensive, she gave her point of view in the matter. On the other hand, Paris Hilton, went on a venomous rampage against the poor girl calling her every name in the book, when she gave her opinion.

    Who is the the “hateful, intolerant Bigot, I ask?

    It is a shame that this “man” represents the Gay Community. He is distastful, an ignorant making a living out of gossip, now that is true hate speech.

  • May 5, 2009 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Keep – It was Perez Hilton, not Paris Hilton, but, to your point, if God designed marriage only for one man and one woman, why was polygamy a common practice among early biblical figures, including especially Abraham, the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam?

    The fact is, God has nothing to do with the gay marriage issue. Gays want the civil right to marry. That is a right protected by the government, not the church. Here’s proof: When people want a divorce they go to court, not to church.

  • Jay M Loftin
    August 11, 2009 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

    The Homosexuality Community must understand that the Christian Church will never corporately approve of homosexuality. They will never give their stamp of approval. They will never give a big “Holy OK”. It’s not going to happen. And that is their right. It is not the homsexuals God given right to have the Christians approval. Respect, living in peace, working through differences,…that’s a given. But approving is NOT going to happen. You living your life as you see fit, that’s your right. Now move on.

    • August 12, 2009 - 10:18 am | Permalink

      Jay: Your bigotry is duly noted, and since you seem to think you’re speaking for the entire right-wing extremist Christian “heterosexuality community,” we’ll stipulate that you are.

      What your side must understand is that you have hypocritically selected out gays as sinners who it’s okay for so-called Christians to hate, while you ignore those whose sins are treated much more harshly in the Bible, particularly adulterers and fornicators. To Christian extremists, it’s simply okay for these hellbound sinners to teach in schools, hold high elective office — like senator from Nevada and Louisiana and governor of South Carolina — and even preach the gospel, because they are straight.

      As I have said ad nauseum, when Christianists start advocating restricting the civil rights of straight people who cheat on their spouses and couples who have sex outside wedlock with the same ferocity that they do gay people — when they raise millions of dollars to change state constitutions to prevent adulterers and fornicators from marrying or remarrying and to make it legal to fire and evict them for no reason other than their status as sinners — we’ll begin to believe that their animosity is legitimately based on Scripture, rather than on their own personal prejudice and, in too many cases, self-hatred.

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  • fiddlesticks
    January 26, 2010 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

    “…Pastor, why don’t you rail against people who eat lobster or who wear clothing of mixed fiber, or who cheat on their wives like you rail against same-sex couples..”

    Do people who bash the Bible even read it or try to comprehend it? I’m not even a Christian but many of the arguments people use against it are weak. Do they teach what context is in school anymore?

    And is it so hard to understand someone can disapprove of more than one thing? If they were going to bulldoze over a children’s park and build a Wal-Mart, does that mean you cannot protest it since you are not also protesting everything else you do not personally like?

    Personally, I don’t get why they just don’t change all marriages to civil union, and then if you want to get married in a religious manner you can go to a church.

    I also find it funny though how many people who claim to be “tolerant” would be actively against, say, marriage between a brother and sister, even though there is no logically consistent reason to ban marriage/sex between incestuous couples…unless you’d also want to ban non-related people with “bad genes” from marrying/having sex, and women over 40 since they have a higher chance of producing children with problems.

    Hurray for hypocrisy.

  • jose
    July 15, 2010 - 3:08 pm | Permalink

    How can you say homosexuality is ok, and then turn around and say incest is not ok?
    do enlighten people not say “What you do in the privacy of your own bed room is no ones business.”
    To think this way and not apply it to all makes you bigoted and a hypocrite.

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  • Darene Grantlen
    July 5, 2012 - 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Although Homosexuals do not enjoy Christianity as New Creatues in Christ Jesus our Lord. They should have civil rights within the confines of their relationships which would enable them to enjoy whatever is accumulated in their relationships.

    Marriage is a Covenant entered in by a man and a woman which is prescribed by God. A Covenant is not used as a conveinence for those that do not want to except Christ as Lord and Savior of their life.

    Question: “What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?”

    Answer: The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the church. These are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and have received eternal life. In the New Testament, Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her Bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24). At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2).

    At that time, all believers will inhabit the heavenly city known as New Jerusalem, also called “the holy city” in Revelation 21:2 and 10. The New Jerusalem is not the church, but it takes on the church’s characteristics. In his vision of the end of the age, the Apostle John sees the city coming down from heaven adorned “as a bride,” meaning that the inhabitants of the city, the redeemed of the Lord, will be holy and pure, wearing white garments of holiness and righteousness. Some have misinterpreted verse 9 to mean the holy city is the bride of Christ, but that cannot be because Christ died for His people, not for a city. The city is called the bride because it encompasses all who are the bride, just as all the students of a school are sometimes called “the school.”

    As believers in Jesus Christ, we who are the bride of Christ wait with great anticipation for the day when we will be united with our Bridegroom. Until then, we remain faithful to Him and say with all the redeemed of the Lord, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).

    • July 6, 2012 - 3:53 am | Permalink

      Darene Grantlen – Your facts are incorrect. Marriage is a civil right protected by the government. Many weddings take place in churches where they can have additional religious significance, but others take place in city halls, public parks and private homes where they may or may not include religious blessing.

      The proof of this is simple. When couples divorce, they don’t go to church to undo their marriage, they go to court.

      But most importantly, the United States is not a theocracy like Iran. What you’re suggesting here — that American civil law pertaining to marriage should be based on the Christian Bible, especially Revelation — is thoroughly un-American.

      Finally, I would like to be there when Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, Rick Warren and other professional gay haters are told that they are “brides of Christ.” Someone should sell tickets to that event.

  • Ripplemagne
    August 18, 2012 - 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Why do you cut out the bit before he clarifies what he meant when he said “Oh, I do”? Because you know he stated that the comparison is that none of them are traditional marriages and that that’s what he takes exception with.

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