Archive for December, 2008

Dump Rick Warren Update from Equality Network

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008


Biden, Etheridge Talk Rick Warren as Calls to Dump Him Continue …There are groups, like Californians Against Hate, who call for Obama to dump Warren, and have started a Facebook group and website, DumpRickWarren.com, urging the President-Elect to disinvite the anti-gay pastor from the inaugural …Equality Network – http://www.equalitynetwork.org/

Op Ed On Rick Warren by Katha Pollitt

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Rick Warren is an insulting choice

Preacher Rick Warren’s views are simply too extreme for Obama’s supporters.
By Katha Pollitt December 22, 2008

To understand how angry and disappointed many Democrats are that Barack Obama has invited evangelical preacher Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inaugural, imagine if a President-elect John McCain had offered this unique honor to the Rev. Al Sharpton — or the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. I know, it’s hard to picture: John McCain would never do that in a million years. Republicans respect their base even when, as in McCain’s case, it doesn’t really return the favor.

Only Democrats, it seems, reward their most loyal supporters — feminists, gays, liberals, opponents of the war, members of the reality-based community — by elbowing them aside to embrace their opponents instead.

Most Americans who’ve heard of Warren know him as the teddy-bearish, Hawaiian-shirted head of the Saddleback megachurch in Orange County and the author of “The Purpose Driven Life.” Perhaps they also know he’s the rare right-wing Christian pastor who sometimes talks about poverty and global warming and HIV. His concern for those issues has given him a reputation as a moderate and has made him the darling of Democratic Party think tanks, ever hoping to break the Republican lock on the white evangelical vote.But on the signal issues of the religious right he is, as he himself has said, as orthodox as James Dobson.

And as inflammatory. Warren doesn’t just oppose gay marriage, he’s compared it to incest and pedophilia. He doesn’t just want to ban abortion, he’s compared women who terminate pregnancies to Nazis and the pro-choice position to Holocaust denial. (Hmmm … If a fertilized egg is as precious as a born Jewish human being, does that mean a born Jewish human being is only as valuable as a fertilized egg?)

Speaking of Jews, Warren has publicly stated his belief that they will burn in hell, presumably along with everyone else who hasn’t accepted his particular brand of Christianity (i.e., the vast majority of people in the world). And forget about evolution — the existence of homosexuals, he’s argued, disproves Darwin. And while we may not know how old the Earth is, the Saddleback website assures us that dinosaurs and humans coexisted.

Warren claims that his views are mainstream, pointing out that in 30 states, the majority of voters have banned gay marriage. Popular doesn’t mean right, of course, but regardless of what Americans think about gay marriage, on other so-called social issues, he’s way out in far-right field.

Take abortion. Most Americans, whatever their personal feelings, are pro-choice. On election day, anti-choice initiatives went down to defeat in all three states where they were on the ballot. Most Americans do not think the one-third of American women who terminate a pregnancy are running a concentration camp in their wombs, and would have no trouble choosing between saving a Jew from a gas chamber and a fertilized egg from a fire at the clinic.

Or take marriage. At his Saddleback Church, wifely submission is official doctrine: The church website tells women to defer to their husband’s “leadership” even when he’s wrong on important issues, such as finances. Never mind if she’s an accountant and he flunked long division, or if she wants to beef up the kids’ college fund and he wants to buy shares in the Brooklyn Bridge. The godly answer is supposed to be “yes, dear.” Is elevating this male chauvinist how President-elect Obama thanks women, who gave him more than half his votes?

Or take foreign policy. In electing Obama, Americans overwhelmingly rejected President Bush’s Wild West approach to foreign policy. Apparently Warren didn’t get that memo either. Unlike many evangelical preachers, he issued a statement against torture, but despite his access to Bush, he told Beliefnet.com that he never raised the subject of torture with him. (“I just didn’t have the opportunity,” he said — although he apparently found plenty of time to lecture Obama about abortion.)

On “Hannity & Colmes,” he agreed that the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, should be killed because “the Bible says God puts government on Earth to punish evildoers.” Really? The Bible says the United States should murder the leaders of other sovereign states? How many other heads of state does Warren want to do away with? If Ahmadinejad, who is, after all, a more-or-less democratically elected leader, had shared his inauguration with an imam who had called on national television for the assassination of President Bush, Americans would be calling for the nuking of Tehran.

In a news conference Thursday, Obama defended the choice of Warren: “It is important for the country to come together even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues.” That’s all very well, but excuse me if I don’t feel all warm and fuzzy. Obama won thanks to the strenuous efforts of people who’ve spent the last eight years appalled by the Bush administration’s wars and violations of human rights, its attacks on gays and women, its denigration of science, its general pandering to bigotry and ignorance in the name of God.

I’m all for building bridges, but honoring Warren, who insults Obama’s base as perverts and murderers, is definitely a bridge too far.

NEWS UPDATE

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008


Californians Against Hate joined a chorus of LGBT leaders in asking President-elect Obama to “Dump Rick Warren” from conducting the invocation at his Inauguration. We have set up a web site www.dumprickwarren.com which has been very busy. And check out our facebook group headed up by Organizer Shane Miller: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=40350873862

Please visit these sites and forward the links to all your friends. Time is short, and although Rick Warren is the best at stating our case against his appearance in Washington, DC on January 20th, we don’t have much time to get him off the platform. He really stuck his big foot in his mouth last week on Dateline with Ann Curry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS1_aNqFrEI Doubt we’ll be seeing much more of Rick Warren on TV during the next month.

Reverend Warren is simply the wrong choice for such a prominent role in the Swearing-in. He is a crude, mean-spirited man. Just last week he compared being gay to incest, pedophilia and in an odd reference to his new Mormon allies on the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, polygamy. Not the guy fair minded Americans want to see leading the country in prayer at this historic Inauguration.

To view the letter that we sent to President-elect Obama, go to either our web site or our facebook group. And if you want to weigh in on this important campaign, we have links on facebook to email the President-elect and the members of Congress who are organizing the Swearing-in. Thank you for your help on this!

Fred Karger to Appear on FOX Business Network
Tuesday, December 23rd

The subject is Boycotting businesses that contributed to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, and Stuart Varney will interview the Californians Against Hate Founder tomorrow at 1:40 pm (EST) 10:40 am (PST).

We have called for 3 boycotts beginning on July 18th in San Diego against Doug Manchester’s Hotels http://www.boycottmanchesterhotels.com This was because of owner Doug Manchester’s $125,000 contribution to Yes on 8. Manchester owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Grand del Mar hotels, both in San Diego. The Hyatt’s Director of Marketing recently stated that the boycott has cost the hotel $2.4 million in lost bookings.

Our 2nd boycott against Bolthouse Farms was called in early September because of founder William Bolthouse’s $100,000 contribution to Yes on 8. The boycott was settled 3 weeks later when the company agreed to drastically change its corporate policies for its gay and lesbian employees, and gave $110,000 to several LGBT organizations.

Our 3rd boycott was called just a month ago against Terry Caster and his A-1 Self Storage Company http://boycotta-1selfstorage.com A-1 has 30 locations all over California. Terry Caster gave $693,000 to Yes on Prop 8 – the 2nd highest individual California contributor. He gave $400,000 of that just 5 days before the election. If you haven’t listened to Terry Caster explain that he is not homophobic, call this number 619-287-2740 and you will not believe your ears. It will give you some interesting insight into the mind of this major donor who gave nearly $700,000 to take away marriage, equal rights and happiness from so many.

HUFFINGTON POST

Our “Dump Rick Warren” campaign got a big boost today with the publishing of the letter to President-elect Obama on its main political page. It has gotten a huge response. Here’s the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-karger/dump-rick-warren—letter_b_152601.html Check it out and leave a comment. Last month alone Huffington Post had 8 million visitors! Thank you Arianna Huffington for all you do!

USA TODAY

It’s online, in newsstands and in front of every hotel room in the USA — a really interesting story by reporter Bill Welch on the Prop 8 boycotts and the response of those being targeted. Funny that neither Doug Manchester nor Terry Caster returned USA Today’s phone calls. They used to love to talk to the media. Here’s the link to the story: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-12-21-blacklist_N.htm

MORMON MONEY WATCH

We began our Mormon Money Watch back in early August when we discovered the millions of dollars pouring in to the Yes on 8 campaign to the tune of $511,000 per day at its peak. Mind boggling numbers that rivaled Barack Obama’s national fund-raising. Nearly all of this money was from Mormon families, and helped bring the Mormon Church’s fund-raising total to nearly $25 million = between 70 to 75% of all the Yes on 8 money raised.

The really big individual Mormon money started to come in late in the campaign. They reported $2 million from just 7 Mormon donors during the last week alone. And just when you think that there was no more Mormon money left (the election was 7 weeks ago) another big chunk was just was reported. The President of the Mormon owned BYU Hawaii University, Steven Wheelwright ($44,900.00) and his wife Margaret ($43,900.00) gave a total of $88,800 to Yes on 8 on December 3, 2008. Maybe this is to help the Mormon Church with the costs associated with the California Fair Political Practices Commission investigation of the Mormon Church’s lack of reporting their non-monetary contributions. A complaint was filed by Californians Against Hate that resulted in this unprecedented investigation by the State of California into the alleged reporting violations by the Salt Lake based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Future of Californians Against Hate

We have been meeting with many people to determine if there is a place for our organization in our continuing battle for LGBT equal rights. We have met with some of the leadership of the LGBT movement and talked to many of our supporters and friends. The consensus was that we played an important role in bringing attention to the major contributors to Yes on 8. We had several demonstrations throughout the summer and fall, called 3 boycotts and published our Dishonor Roll of the nearly 1,200 $5,000 and over contributors to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign.

We are now looking at the major organizations who contributed over $2 million to Yes on 8. They are James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association (AFA) and Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage (NOM). These 3 mega out of state organizations were critical to the success of Prop 8. We now want to closely examine their operations and leadership.

Our volunteer research team, made up of some very talented men and women, has begun a close examination of all 3. We do need your help if we are going to continue to expose the leaders who are determined to stop our fight for equality. These 3 organizations helped pass the 30 same-sex marriage bans in all 30 states that they went in to. Now we are beginning to fight back, and they are not too happy about it.

Please help us. Your financial support is needed now. Visit our web site http://californiansagainsthate.com and at the very top of the page, just click on the bright red DONATE button. It’s a fast and easy way to help us take on these giants who are determined to make sure that their discrimination against gays and lesbians and many other American is the law of the land.

We need to mobilize, organize and fund-raise and eventually go back to all 30 states and overturn these mean-spirited laws that have taken away same-sex marriage and equality for an entire class of people.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS & 2009

As another holiday season is upon us and a brand new year approaches, we at Californians Against Hate want to wish you and your family a very happy holiday and all good things in what we are sure will be an exciting and historic 2009.