Past Rick Warren reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage during an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, insisting that God and the Bible “is very clear that sex is for a man and a woman in marriage only”:
TAPPER: Do you think there will come a time when Saddleback Church needs to adjust its position on same-sex marriage in the same way the churches have throughout the years adjusted their position, for instance, on divorce.
R. WARREN: Well, if the Bible is the word of God, then I don’t have the right to change it. Policies come and go over the years. And so if I’m unpopular for certain beliefs, well, then I’m unpopular for certain beliefs. And to me, the Bible is very clear that sex is for a man and a woman in marriage only. [...]
TAPPER: I’m wondering if you think the church, in order to continue to thrive, might have to adjust its policy on same-sex marriage?
R. WARREN: Actually, history shows that when the church accommodates culture, it weakens it. This is why there is a very weak church in Europe today. It’s almost non-existent in many areas.
Warren’s anti-gay views became a topic of national conversation after President Obama chose him to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. His beliefs run deep. In 2005, Warren told Fortune magazine that “he would counsel gays and lesbians to adopt a heterosexual lifestyle” and later explained that gay people are immature. “We all have biological predispositions,” Warren explained during an interview with TODAY in December of 2008. “You say because I have natural impulses to the same sex, I shouldn’t have to reign them in. Well I disagree. I think that’s part of maturity, I think that’s part of delayed gratification, I think that’s part of character.” In 2008, the website for Warren’s Saddleback Church also explicitly said that “someone unwilling to repent for their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted as a member at Saddleback.” The language has since been changed.
The pastor had initially refusing to condemn condemn Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill — which would make certain homosexual acts punishable by death — insisting that it wasn’t his “personal calling” to “comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.” When he finally did issue a statement distancing himself from the measure, Warren reiterated his belief that being gay is a sin.