Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California has said that actor Jamie Foxx calling President Barack Obama 'our Lord and Savior' should be considered blasphemy.
"That sent shivers up my spine," Warren said on Wednesday to Fox News. "There's a word for that – it's called blasphemy. It's wrong."
Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx stirred some controversy at the 2012 Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, saying before a cheering audience:
"It's like church over here. It's like church in here. First of all, give an honor to God and our Lord and Savior Barack Obama. Barack Obama."
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines blasphemy as: "the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God."
Although Foxx appeared to mostly be speaking in hyperbole, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights President Bill Donohue Read described Foxx's statement as "startling."
"It just goes to show that even though Obama did not succeed in stopping the oceans from rising (as he promised to do in 2008), he did succeed in convincing Jamie Foxx, and no doubt legions of others, that God exists," Donohue wrote.
Warren, who is currently promoting the 10th anniversary of his global best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, has said that the deification of any individual is simply wrong.
"That's called creating an idol," Warren said. "Idolatry is forbidden by the first two commandments of the Ten Commandments."
The pastor added that those who put their faith in President Obama "are going to be severely disappointed," and suggested that Obama has not made good on any of the promises he made four years ago when he first was elected president.
"It's more divided now than it's ever been," Warren said about the nation. "That's disappointing."
"Any human leader – conservative or liberal – is going to disappoint you at some point. You've got to put your hope in things that never change," he added.
Warren also spoke about President Obama during an interview on Tuesday with "CBS This Morning," and commented on his re-election. Host Charlie Rose reminded viewers that in The Purpose Driven Life, the pastor writes that God has a purpose for every individual. When asked how Obama's re-election might fit in with God's purpose, Warren said God's purpose remains a mystery to people in a many events.
The Saddleback Church leader added that the important thing is what Obama will do in the next four years in which he will remain in charge of the country.
"God's more interested in your character than your career. What you do is not as important as who you become. God is extremely interested in who Barack Obama is becoming," Warren said.