It’s not that unusual for evangelical leaders to play fast and loose with “thou shalt not kill”, but I am a little surprised to see the touchy-feely Rick Warren join in the act :
HANNITY: Can you talk to rogue dictators? Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, wants to wipe Israel off the map, is seeking nuclear weapons.
HANNITY: I think we need to take him out.
HANNITY: Am I advocating something dark, evil or something righteous?
WARREN: Well, actually, the Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped. And I believeâ€¦
HANNITY: By force?
WARREN: Well, if necessary. In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers.
Like I said, this is hardly remarkable. Televangelists like Pat Robertson have been openly praying the deaths of Supreme Court Justices and foreign leaders for years now. What I find unique about this situation is that Warren, through a spokesperson, cited specific Bible verses for his Christ-tinted deathwish. From ThinkProgress :
Does Warren really consider it part of his ministry to sanctify the inch-deep theologizing-cum-warmongering of thugs like Sean Hannity? If so, who else does Warren think Jesus would bomb?
I contacted Pastor Warrenâ€™s office for clarification, specifically to find out where, exactly, the Bible says that â€œGod puts government on earth to punish evildoersâ€ like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
. . .
Pastor Warren’s office called back to confirm that Warren was indeed referring to Romans 13. I responded, as I wrote in my post, that Romans 13 addresses the power of civil government to punish criminals, and has nothing to do with killing foreign leaders. Warren’s representative said she’d check on that and get back to me again.
So…Rick Warren, one of the most powerful and influential evangelical voices in the country thinks that our relationship to our government should follow what’s written in Romans 13?? This Romans 13?
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Wow. It’s gonna be a quiet eight years, huh?
(For a Prop. 8 bonus, check our Romans 13:9-10. It would be nice for once if the religious phonies who use the Bible to justify their prejudices actually read the book they’re quoting.)