Rick Warren Reaches Out to MPAC

Pastor Rick Warren, the “new age fundamentalist” preacher picked by Barack Obama to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, gave a speech last night to the new age radical Islamic front group MPAC: Pastor Rick Warren addresses Muslim group, emphasizes need to find common ground.

MPAC’s “moderation” is questionable, to say the least. A few hours after the 9/11 attacks, MPAC co-founder Salam Al-Marayati infamously told a Los Angeles talk radio audience: “If we’re going to look at suspects, we should look at the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.”

Fresh from being tapped to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, Orange County Pastor Rick Warren spoke Saturday night to about 800 members of the Muslim Public Affairs Council at its convention in Long Beach.

Warren’s theme was about people getting along, forgetting their differences and focusing on areas of agreement. The audience cheered him, and many people rose to their feet. Among the first to stand was singer Melissa Etheridge, a lesbian, who performed for the audience.

Recognizing the potential for controversy, Warren said near the beginning of his speech: “Let me just get this over very quickly. I love Muslims. And for the media’s purpose, I happen to love gays and straights.”

He said people ask him what he prays for when it comes to Obama. “I pray for the president the same things I pray for myself: integrity, humility and compassion,” he said.

A council spokeswoman acknowledged that some members objected to the choice of the evangelical pastor as the keynote speaker. “We’re always looking to work with unlikely partners, and I think he’s a new kind of evangelical,” said spokeswoman Edina Lekovic. “We have a lot in common.”

Warren, like many Muslims, opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.

Although the article doesn’t mention it, Warren has another thing in common with fundamentalist Muslims: a belief in young earth creationism.

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