Rick Warren Bails on Religious Forum Citing Political Rancor as the Reason

Four years ago Saddleback held a forum with the two major candidates that was praised as fresh new alternative to the joint press conferences that debates have turned into. This year they had another planned but they pulled the plug. Warren said,

“We created the civil forums to promote civility and personal respect between people with major differences,” Warren said. “The forums are meant to be a place where people of goodwill can seriously disagree on significant issues without being disagreeable or resorting to personal attack and name-calling. But that is not the climate of today’s campaign. I’ve never seen more irresponsible personal attacks, mean-spirited slander, and flat-out dishonest attack ads, and I don’t expect that tone to change before the election…It would be hypocritical to pretend civility for one evening only to have the name-calling return the next day,”

What do you think?

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • http://dennisbarr.blogspot.com Den

    Rick Warren has delivered a definitive and concise description of the American political landscape. The campaigns so far this year suck hard. It’s hard to imagine how they could be much worse. I am not denying that they might get that way, though. Creative individuals will find ways to top themselves for the next election.

  • scott stone

    I agree with Warren completely. These two “men” have both been pathetic.
    Den, I had to laugh at your comment,”Creative individuals will find ways to top themselves for the next election”. Very funny and true.
    CU has got to got but at the same time look at what the candidates themselves are doing. Would it really be any better if CU was overturned?
    Not to get out on a tangent but what the heck. I’m fortunate to spend stretches of time in Europe every year. During an election year such as this, along with all the incivility in our country as a whole, the daily violence, lack of concern for our fellow human beings. it really makes me want to pack it in and move. Love this country but man are there some serious issues that don’t seem to get any better.

    • Tim Suttle

      yeah, when there’s no way to escape the hypocrisy, then the church should probably steer clear. Still, I applaud RW for trying to do something relevant & stretching the conversation in the church to include politics.

    • Tim Suttle

      first, I’m jealous. Second, I love that in the UK, the ruling party actually rules – they have tons more control & don’t have to worry as much about the opposition party. This is part of why I think the U.S. government needs a stronger executive branch. I think we should give them the line-item veto. I’m also for the rejection of the 60 vote filibuster rule. It’s absolutely unconstitutional.

  • http://time.gov M McL

    Again, a religious writer avoids the topic of Mormons being inclusive of Islam and LDS’ instructions to its flock not to ‘take sides’ in the Israeli/non-Israeli conflict. But Mitt, a LDS is advocating for a Jewish state? Backing a bombing of Iran on behalf of a Jewish state? A flase-Zion? Hold Mitt accountable for something for Pete’s sake. But its all, ‘basic faith’ and the (domestic) human struggle and avoiding camera shots of the Cat bulldozers invading homesteads when in CBS’ Jewish Ulster. Too bad because the topic needs ink considering FOX NEWS has stamped Mitt, good-as-Evangelical. It makes Salt Lake look like errand boys for Tel Aviv. Now Rick Warren stays out of the kitchen because he can’t stand the heat? Testosterone challenged decision to remain on the sidelines and allow Mitt to remain Evangelical to the point of backing Israel’s threats against Iran, I’d say.

  • Scott Stone

    Completely with you regarding line item veto and filibuster rule. I have to disagree a bit about strengthening the executive branch. Think of Bush Cheney with more power. Not a pretty picture.
    My love for Europe has to do more with the culture. There is a far greater sense of community from what I see. It’s funny how all these conservatives talk about the US as a “Christian nation” and how secular Europe is. These are the same people who are so disengaged and detached from their neighbors. I’ve experienced a far more Christ like community their than here.
    Never been to the UK. Dying to go. It would be nice to experience the mother tongue and not have to be constantly boning up on my Fluenz DVD’s.

  • http://towardfatherhood.com J Oliver

    Wow. I’m so impressed that he cut directly to and through what could have been a very well-reviewed sham. He would have earned loads of praise for his efforts, but instead he chose to call his own bluff. Is there anything more admirable in a public figure?

    j oliver


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