Pastor Rick Warren seems confused about this whole ‘Christianity’ thing

Here’s the man of God himself, “Pastor Rick,” aka “America’s Pastor” (God help us!) answering Jake Tapper’s question about whether he agrees with President Obama about helping our neighbors, according to the Bible:

“Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There’s over 2,000 versus in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there’s a fundamental question on the meaning of “fairness.” Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation. The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You — you rob them of dignity.” — Pastor Rick Warren, yesterday, on ABC ‘This Week’

Kevin Drum comments,

You know, there’s nothing really wrong with a Republican politician saying this. Or a Democratic politician, for that matter. My first preference for helping the poor is indeed to make sure they have decent jobs. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet met anyone who has an especially great plan for making the economy boom on such a sustained basis that jobs are available for everyone.

But I’m a blogger, not a minister. And while I might not be an expert on the Bible, I’ve read enough to know that Jesus sure didn’t seem to think that helping the poor robbed them of dignity. Can someone help me out here? What part of the gospels do you think Warren is referring to?

Digby says,

I just love it when people who pay no taxes make this case. Especially when all they have to do is crook their fingers and millions of tax free dollars flow in to them — no questions asked:

It’s been a heck of a year for mega-pastor/bestselling author/power broker Rick Warren of the enormous Saddleback Church. It started out with Warren’s invocation at the historic inauguration of one President Barack Obama – and it concludes with Warren asking his flock to cough up nearly $1 million in just two days to keep the church out of the red.

[...] Nobody knows what [the money] was used for, of course. But I guess we know it didn’t go to “subsidizing” the poor and robbing them of their dignity, so there’s that.

Blue Texas adds,

Since Warren is against “subsidizing people” — I say we start taxing his ministry like any other business. Also, I don’t ever remember the part in the Bible where Jesus fretted about “dependency” when he instructed his followers to give everything they had to the poor, do you? Why would a supposed follower of Jesus say such a thing?

And Hunter wonders,

It’s puzzling how an Obama reference to loving thy neighbor and, rather more specifically, not asking poorer Americans to shoulder the burden of our suddenly-scary deficits “alone” morphs so quickly into tsking about fairness and wealth redistribution and, in the end, “freedom of religion.” What the hell does “freedom of religion” have to do with poor people “shouldering the burden alone” unless your religious viewpoint is that they should, yes, shoulder the damn burden alone? How do you get from one part of that discussion to the other?

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