Rick Warren and his Saddleback Church first came into my awareness during the 2008 Presidential campaign when Barack Obama and John McCain participated in a "faith forum" debate hosted by Warren and his church. And, of course, more recently Warren gave the invocation at the inauguration, to the dismay of many of us who think that selection of a virulently homophobic preacher is not a way to demonstrate inclusiveness. Dan Savage, in his own inimitable way, has decided on a sexual practice for "saddleback" to refer to, in santorum fashion. But here I mean the church.
JewsonFirst has posted a Saddleback Church Q&A sheet from the church's website. The original is no longer on the website. It got a lot of publicity for saying that they don't accept "unrepentant homosexuals" into their church membership, which counters the kinder, gentler image that Warren has been trying for lately, where he doesn't oppose same-sex marriage because of any negative feelings about gay people, but just for linguistic reasons. You talk to your average Prop 8 proponent who is trying to sound inclusive and tolerant and they go on and on about protecting the "traditional definition" of marriage, as if they are just like people who decry misplaced apostrophes or the misuse of the word "hopefully." They are hateful homophobes who would like to be thought of as harmless pedants, at least if that works to get stupid, impressionable people to vote for discrimination in the mistaken belief that they're voting for language purity. And apparently it does. BID.
The section on the purported evils of homosexuality in the Saddleback Q&A presented no surprises to me, since I'm not a stupid impressionable person and do know what to expect from the Christian Right. But I did find the whole document really interesting and illuminating. There's Q&A about dinosaurs (Yes, they existed and people lived with them, since all the animals were created on the same day. Those pictures you've seen of dinosaurs without people around - remember, some artist just painted them. They are not true like the bible); about divorce (you can divorce your spouse if s/he commits adultery or abandons you or is physically abusive); about Jews (more and more Jews will accept Jesus as their personal savior although the numbers have been disappointing so far).
So lots of different topics. But more space and more persuasive argument is given to one topic than all others and that topic is: money. In particular giving money to Saddleback Church. Yes, you must tithe. Yes that's 10% of gross, not net. Yes, it must all go to Saddleback Church not other churches that might be more in need of funds than a huge megachurch with an enormous endowment (but you can give to poorer churches once you've fulfilled your 10% percent if you'd like to give more). Yes, you must do your best to convince your non-believing spouse that you must give 10% of the family's gross income.
I found it a pretty amazing scam with an overlay of piety. But presumably Saddleback Church is as large and as rich as it is - and can contribute large amounts to take away basic civil rights from gay and lesbian Californians - because there are a lot of people who fall for scams with overlay of piety. Which gets us back to stupid, impressionable people.