[Editor’s note: In a message to the blog, Warren stated (1) that this commentary misstates his record of speaking out about Christians’ responsibility for loving their homosexual neighbors as themselves and (2) that the All Africa Purpose Driven Church Congress is now scheduled for late 2016. I am seeking further information on both those subjects and, after receiving it, will revise this commentary.]
Starting tomorrow [but see above], Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Southern California has a unique opportunity to save many thousands of Africans’ lives by speaking out against Christians’ hatred and fear of LGBTI people.
That aversion underlies the anti-homosexuality laws and the stigma that enable HIV to spread by restricting sexual minorities’ access to health care and Aids prevention information.
Many of Warren’s evangelical supporters will be at his All Africa Purpose Driven Church Congress from Aug. 6 to 10 [but see above] in Kigali, Rwanda. Pastors and church leaders from all 54 African nations have been invited. They include some of the strongest supporters of the anti-homosexuality laws currently on the books in 34 African countries that hinder the fight against Aids.
For years, Pastor Warren has fought hard against the Aids epidemic, but so far has not challenged his homophobic supporters to love their LGBTI neighbors enough to make sure they can see a doctor without worrying they will be shunned, arrested, or attacked.
This week is his opportunity to do so.
- Rick Warren in Rwanda Announces Plans to Host All 54 African Nations at Purpose Driven Church Congress. (August 2014, Christian Post)
- Rewriting the anti-gay history of Rick Warren in Uganda
- Rick Warren opposes Uganda anti-gay bill — again
- More heat on Rick Warren about Uganda anti-gay bill (December 2012, 76crimes.com)
- African-American pastors’ Africa tour seeks end to anti-gay bias (April 2015, 76crimes.com)