Survey: Obama's Pastor Pick, Negative Media Fails to Sway Americans

Though liberal activists and media continue to pound Barack Obama over his selection of Pastor Rick Warren as the invocation deliverer, most Americans remain unchanged in their opinions of the president-elect and believe that that if any negative impact comes from Obama's pick, it will only be slight.

On radio programs such as The Rachel Maddow Show, Warren has been painted in the most negative light possible, chastised for his church's membership policy, which is not open to unrepentant homosexuals, and his recent equating of homosexual marriages to incestuous marriages and pedophilic marriages.

"Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one's life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted as a member at Saddleback Church," openly lesbian radio personality Rachel Maddow noted in her MSNBC program.

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Notably missing from her citation, however, was the next sentence in the Saddleback website, which stated "That does not mean they cannot attend church – we hope they do! God's Word has the power to change our lives."

Maddow also compared side-by-side two statements delivered by Warren in which he talks about incest, pedophilia, and gay partnerships. In one, he is asked by an interviewer for if he believed a brother and sister calling their relationship marriage or an older man and a child calling their relationship marriage was equivalent to homosexuals getting married.

"Oh, I do," Warren responded.

Later Warren acknowledged the confusion he might have caused from the interview and clarified that he does not believe the three relationships are equivalent and claimed he never has believed such a thing.

Despite the negative portrayal of Warren in the MSNBC program, however, 41 percent of people surveyed by HCD Research after watching the clip on Wednesday said they believe Obama's pick of Warren will not affect his overall public perception.

And while 50 percent believed the pick will have a negative impact on Obama's public perception, 37 of the 50 believed the negative impact would be slight.

Meanwhile, ten percent said they believe Obama's pick would have a positive impact on his public perception, slight or otherwise.

Warren's interview with Beliefnet was also brought up in an NPR interview with popular musician and openly lesbian Melissa Etheridge, who last month defended Obama and Warren amid criticisms over the inaugural pick.

"I don't think he's alone there," Etheridge said after hearing the clip and laughing for a bit. "I think there's all kinds of people who think that if we let them gays get married it's going to open the door to all kinds of crazy stuff."

She added, "Just because he thinks that does not mean that I have to not speak to him or I never want to be in his company."

In the interview, the singer also said she believes she understands why Obama selected Warren to deliver the inaugural prayer.

"I believe Barack Obama wants to be President of the entire United States," she said.

"I just want to make sure that as the liberals progressives Democrats whatever you call us are moving into this new time with this new President that we do not say 'Well they, the evangelicals and the ones who say such horrible things about gays, they have to stay over here and were not going to let them in,'" she added.

Notably, Etheridge has also had her share of criticisms from the homosexual community over the recent controversy. Many disagree with her decision to stand by Warren and not against him.

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