Open Letter to Rick Warren RE: Message Control

by phil on Thursday Jan 15, 2009 4:57 PM
e-mailing famous people, mainfeed, message control

This is a re-telling of my previous post, "Message Control Idea for Rick Warren". E-mailing famous people has worked in the past for me. I have two replies from Noam Chomsky, for example (to be added later).

Subject: Message control suggestion

Hi Rev. Warren,

I'm loving your Purpose-Driven Life, and I have already bought multiple copies and handed them out. I find my life being transformed by your message.

Since your interview with Ann Curry, it seems you've chosen silence. At least, that's what I gather from the New York Times:

From a PR perspective, I think this is nearly the optimal move. While many are still angry, the fire has quieted down.

This is also the nearly right move in general, as it makes the Inauguration less about you.

But I think an even better move would involve both PR and a bit of introspection. First, I think you should acknowledge the "slippery slope" fallacy. While as only a slight majority of Americans disapprove of gay marriage, the vast majority of Americans probably do not equate homosexuality with incest, bestiality, or polygamy.

I have faith that you don't truly think authorizing gay marriage will then lead to authorizing incest marriage. The leap from one to the other is most likely borne out of fear.

I'd then suggest the following on-air message:

"There is a tendency, as a pastor, to be steadfast in your positions. If I am fallible, the reasoning goes, how will I gain the trust of my followers? But while as God's word is infallible, pastors are most certainly fallible. God also says, [insert Biblical passage urging us pause and re-evaluate]. And so over the the holidays, I reflected deeply, and prayed for guidance. What I discovered is that I made a mistake. I need to apologize to the gay community, America, and the world. I do not believe that gay marriage should ever be compared to incest, polygamy, or bestiality. I realize the hurt I have caused by making that comparison. I want to let the gay community know that they will always have a friend in me, and that we will treat them, as we treat everybody, with respect and kindness."

I'm not asking you, right now at least, to go back on Prop. 8, but to find a way to widen the dialog.

I also think an expression of humility, at this point, would be a key move, and also within the realm of possibility, given your style.


Philip Dhingra


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