Rick Warren calls for Christian-Muslim
Sarah Karush -
Associated Press Writer - 7/6/2009 7:35:00 AM
After Rick Warren’s shocking turn about on
Gay Marriage, concerning Prop 8 in California,
calls for a Christian-Muslim Partnership to solve global Problems. We still
wait for the next shoe to dropwith this preacher and his ministry.
WASHINGTON, DC – Defying
some of his fellow conservative Christian critics, one of the most prominent
religious leaders in the country told several thousand American Muslims on
Saturday that "the two largest faiths on the planet" must work
together to combat stereotypes and solve global problems.
"Some problems are so big you
have to team tackle them," evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren
addressed the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
Warren said Muslims and Christians should be partners in
working to end what he calls "the five global giants" of war,
poverty, corruption, disease, and illiteracy.
Warren, founder of Saddleback
in Orange County, California, is the author of The Purpose Driven Life, which
has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. His willingness to show support
for U.S. Muslims is a huge gain for the community, which has endured intense
scrutiny since 9/11.
Baptist, Warren has a record of upsetting fellow Christian conservatives by
calling old-guard evangelical activists too partisan and narrowly focused. Ahead of his
speech Saturday, bloggers who follow Warren
had already denounced his appearance at the convention as cozying up to
the controversy during his 20-minute speech.
"It's easier to be an extremist of any kind because then
you only have one group of people mad at you," he said. "But if you
actually try to build relationships — like invite an evangelical pastor to your
gathering — you'll get criticized for it. So will I."
In his speech, Warren
also urged Muslims and Christians to speak out against stereotyping of any
group and to respect each other even while disagreeing. Addressing Muslims who
"have been in America
for many generations now," he urged them to help "the newcomers learn
what it means to be American."
Based in Plainfield,
Indiana, ISNA is an umbrella
organization for Muslim groups across the country. The annual convention, now
in its 46th year, regularly draws more than 30,000 people for lectures, prayer,
Many in the crowd were drawn to the session by prominent Muslim
scholars such as Sheik Hamza Yusuf of the Zaytuna Institute in Berkeley, California.
Ann Zahra, 42, said she had never heard of Warren before Saturday but agreed with much
of his speech. "The basics are the same," said Zahra, of McLean, Va.
"No religion teaches cruelty or disrespect or hatred."