Rick Warren Not Satisfied with Making Abortions 'Rare'

Attempting only to make abortions "rare" is not much different than saving some of the Jews during the Holocaust when all could be saved, according to megachurch pastor Rick Warren.

"Of course I want to reduce the number of abortions," Warren told Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman when asked if he was going to work with the Obama administration to achieve an abortion reduction agenda or if he thinks that the effort is a charade.

"But to me it is kind of a charade in that people say 'We believe abortions should be safe and rare,'" he added.

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"Don't tell me it should be rare. That's like saying on the Holocaust, 'Well, maybe we could save 20 percent of the Jewish people in Poland and Germany and get them out and we should be satisfied with that,'" Warren said. "I'm not satisfied with that. I want the Holocaust ended."

During the lengthy interview with Beliefnet, the increasingly influential church leader was asked mostly questions pertaining to grace, faith and Christian theology. Warren shared with Waldman comments such as what questions he would like to ask God, what he felt the worst sin is, and how he pictured Heaven to be.

A little more than half way into the session, Waldman's questions switched over to those related to social issues, including some on abortion, torture, and marriage.

One question Waldman asked Warren was why he talked to Obama about his abortion position but not President Bush about his position on torture, which Warren said he is "totally against."

"Never got the chance. I just didn't," Warren responded.

"In fact, in the first place, I'm a pastor, and people might misunderstand," he continued. "I don't deal with policy issues with Barack Obama or President Clinton or John McCain. I just don't. That's not my role. My role is to pastor these guys."

Furthermore, Warren noted that it was Obama who first brought the issue up during a Democratic Senate Caucus that Warren was invited to speak at.

"Hey Rick, let's talk about the big elephant in the room," Warren recalled Obama saying.

"When we Democrats … do stuff for the poor and we do stuff for the sick, we don't get many letters about it. But when we vote to support abortion we get thousands and tens-of-thousands of letters. What's the issue here?" Obama had asked, according to Warren.

In response, Warren told Obama and the other Democrats in the room – which included Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and Chuck Schumer – that almost everybody has a single issue that they care about.

Turning to Clinton, Warren said the New York senator would likely not vote for someone who she felt was wrong on the civil rights issue, even though she might agree with them on everything else.

"And I went around the room and when I came to Chuck Schumer I said, 'Chuck, how bad, if you had a candidate and he was right in every single area that you agreed with but he's a Holocaust denier?'

"'There's no way you're gonna vote for a holocaust denier,'" Warren recalled telling the Jewish American politician. "That's a single issue issue for you."

With that said, Warren told the Democrats, "For these people who believe life begins at birth, all right, at conception, it's an American holocaust. They believe that there's 40 million people who should be here. And to them that's an issue."

During the Beliefnet interview, Warren said he does intend to speak with Obama privately about the issue again as the two are friends. But he doesn't intend to debate publicly with him on it.

"It's not something I protest out on the street about. It's something you deal with individually as rational civil people," Warren said.

Since the election of Barack Obama, conservative Christians have been increasingly prayerful for – and some more vocally critical of – the Illinois senator, who many believe will be "the most radical pro-abortion president" in U.S. history.

During a gathering for Planned Parenthood, Obama declared that the first thing he would do as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would abolish all restrictions and limitations on women in the United States to have an abortion prior to fetal viability, whether at the state or federal level, or after the point of viability when the life of the mother is endangered.

Obama has also been known for his opposition to the Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and his votes against legislative efforts in the Illinois Senate for three consecutive years (2001-2003) to give legal protections to a baby born alive during an attempted abortion procedure.

During Warren's interview with Beliefnet, the megachurch pastor confessed that he and Obama "totally disagree" with one another on the issue of abortion.

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