George Stephanopoulos: Happy Easter and Happy Passover. For those of you tuning in this morning expecting to hear from Pastor Rick Warren, we were too, but the pastor’s representatives canceled moments before the scheduled interview, saying that Mr. Warren is sick from exhaustion. We hope he recovers quickly and we’re going to turn instead to the hostage standoff off the coast of Somalia.
But Warren made several more stumbles in an interview with right-winger Hugh Hewitt on Hewitt’s radio show. Watch how Warren explains New Atheism:
HH: Now I’m looking at another book here by my closest friend, and a friend of yours, Bill Lobdell…
HH: …Losing My Religion. You know Bill, he covered you a lot.
RW: Yeah, right.
HH: He’s one of the new atheists now.
HH: Lost him, and we’ll get him back. But Hitchens was here in town at Biola University.
HH: What do you make of the new atheism, whether it’s Lobdell or Hitchens or Richard Dawkins, and all the attention they’re getting?
RW: Well, first place, they’re making a ton of money, okay?
That’s supposed to explain what, exactly? Why they’re atheists? I assure you that there are plenty of movers and shakers in the atheist community who get paid relatively little (or nothing at all).
The fact that the authors have made money off their books only attests to the idea of how popular their ideas are. Very few people write books — especially about atheism — expecting to make tons of money. That only happens on rare occasions, or if you are already famous.
And I highly doubt Lobdell is about to return to theism. If you read his website (which you should) or his book Losing My Religion, it’s clear he’s pretty comfortable with atheism and sees it as the only rational outlook on life. I see no reason he’d turn back.
Warren then goes into his scripted and erroneous monologue about the “evils of atheism”:
RW:… I’ve debated Hitchens and I debates [sic] Sam Harris, and I told Sam, I said Sam, to be honest with you, I have never known an atheist who wasn’t mad, who wasn’t angry. And he got angry about it. But the truth is, every one of them have a thorn. I’m not worried about atheists. I’m more worried about the apatheists. The apatheists are the harder ones to reach. The atheists, the reason they are so dogmatic about it is they’ve got a burr under their saddle where they’ve been hurt. I was, two years ago, speaking at Davos at the World Economic Forum, and we were sitting around a room, and the guy, we were at tables, and the guy knew who I was, knew I was a pastor, and so he got up and made some long statement like the worst thing in the world right now is organized religion, and if we could just get rid of all of that, well then we wouldn’t have any wars, blah, blah, blah. And I knew he was just bating me, and I could have, if I had wanted to, I didn’t want to, I could have gone up, stood up and said the fact of life, and for instance, far more people were killed in the 20th Century by atheist regimes than all of the people ever killed in religious regimes put together in history. When you take Mao, Stalin and Hitler, there’s no comparison the genocides that have been caused by atheists. Christian campaigns are miniscule in comparison. But I didn’t. I wasn’t just going to take the bite. And after it was over, he came over and kind of chagrined, he said my father was a rector. And I’m going well, you expected me to be surprised at that? Paul Vitz, who is an author with New York University, wrote a very fascinating book called Faith Of The Fathers, in which he went and studied the 72 most well-known atheists in history, the Bertrand Russells, the Voltaires, the Freuds, and the only thing he could find in common with every one of them is they all hated their dads. Every one of them. They had distant dad, demeaning dad, a dead dad, they had no relationships with their fathers.
To recap: Warren just said what all atheists have in common is a bad relationship with their father.
Why millions of Christians look up to Rick Warren, I don’t know. He peddles ignorance and spreads lies. This is just another example of it.