Rick Warren, Saddleback Pastor: Obama Has ‘Infringed’ Upon Religious Liberties

Obama had a quieter approach this year than four years ago in terms of overt religious outreach

Obama is “absolutely” unfriendly to religion and his administration’s policies have “intentionally infringed upon religious liberties,” Warren said in an interview Wednesday. The evangelical pastor, whose 20,000-member church in suburban Los Angeles is one of the largest in the nation, was on tour in New York City to promote to the 10th anniversary edition of his popular book, “The Purpose Driven Life.”

 

 

Saddleback Church founder and author Rick Warren, who once praised President Barack Obama’s “courage” for inviting the conservative pastor to give the invocation at his inauguration and hailed his “commitment to model civility,” has drastically changed his tone on the man who helped make him a familiar name to many Americans.

Obama is “absolutely” unfriendly to religion and his administration’s policies have “intentionally infringed upon religious liberties,” Warren said in an interview Wednesday. The evangelical pastor, whose 20,000-member church in suburban Los Angeles is one of the largest in the nation, was on tour in New York City to promote to the 10th anniversary edition of his popular book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” He spoke in a wide-ranging conversation that touched upon his stance against same-sex marriage, his disappointment with the presidential campaigns, and the role of faith in an increasingly secular society.

Warren, who famously hosted Obama and former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain at the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency four years ago, said he was close to hosting a similar event this year that the Republican Party and the White House were interested in joining. The candidates never said publicly that they would attend. Warren canceled it, he said, because Obama and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney were “talking stupid little issues” and “spending their time attacking each other” instead of presenting “a big vision.”

“President Obama didn’t have a lot to report on because it’s been not a good four years, and Romney, I don’t know what he was thinking, he could have presented a big vision. I never got it,” Warren said.

He said he had re-published his book, which is written as a guide for readers about the purpose God has given them for their lives, in part to give solace to young Americans who can’t find jobs and are seeking spiritual answers.

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