Thursday, November 16, 2006


From yesterday's news:

California mega-church pastor Rick Warren, author of the best-selling "Purpose-Driven Life," reportedly told a Syrian-controlled news agency the U.S. should have been holding dialogues with Damascus; Syrian Muslims and Christians co-exist peacefully; and the Syrian leadership is responsible for the nation's tolerance and stability.

Today, Warren denies this claim: In an e-mail to WND Editor Joseph Farah, who blasted Warren today in his daily column, Warren writes: "Joseph, why didn't you contact me first and discover the fact I said nothing of the sort? The trip was a favor to my next-door neighbor, had nothing to do with policy, and was done with the State Department's knowledge."

In fact, Saddleback Church declined repeated requests to respond to WND's questions yesterday.

Warren added that the State Department had warned him "to expect exactly what Syria did – a PT blast. I don't pretend to be a diplomat. I'm a pastor who just gets invited places."

However, in a video posted on YouTube but removed today, titled "Building Bridges," Warren is shown walking down a Damascus street commenting on political and social life in Syria, saying Christians and Muslims get along with each other.

"It's a moderate country, and the official government role and postion is to not allow any extremism of any kind," Warren says.

The comments attributed to Warren contradict documentation by the International Counter Terrorism organization and U.S. State Department of Syria's extensive use of terrorism for its political goals.

These stories remind me of the "journalists" who went to Mother Russia under the benign rule of Uncle Joe Stalin. There, the streets were paved with gold, and milk and honey flowed through the countrysides. Or so they would've had their fellow citizens believe. Their lauding of Stalin's Russia and communist "successes" obscured the vicious and demonic purgings, forced mass starvations, confiscation of private properties, executions without trial (or after a kangaroo court ruling), and unmerited imprisonment in gulags. It seems that Warren--regardless the purity of his motivations--is perfectly willing to play the role of a good useful idiot for the Syrian government. The idea that Syria is a moderate country, by any stretch of the word, reveals that Mr. Warren either is perpetrating a deliberate deceit, or he's utterly clueless about current Middle Eastern realities. Is Syria moderate in its desire for Israel's destruction? Is it moderate in its hardcore support of terrorism? His dismissive attitude notwithstanding, Warren's comments do nothing for the plight of Christians in Syria, nor do they represent Truth in even its rudest form.

No comments: