As the flap over
President-elect Barack Obama's choosing Pastor Rick
Warren to conduct the invocation at his inauguration
continues, it seems that Warren's church has taken
steps to cover up its homophobic stance.
once had language on its website explicitly
stating that "unrepentant" gays and lesbians were not
welcome. "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," the website said, according to a screen
shot acquired by AmericaBlog. "That does not mean they
cannot attend church -- we hope they do! God's Word has the
power to change our lives."
The language has
since been stripped, but AmericaBlog was able to find
the old language using Google's cache, which archives older
versions of existing Web pages. A spokesperson for
Saddleback told Advocate.com on Tuesday that the
wording has been repurposed and not completely removed.
On a page answering questions about the Bible, an audio
recording by Saddleback associate pastor Tom Holladay
says that the definition of marriage is made clear in
the book of Genesis. The recording also says that
people who engage in "sexual sins," such as homosexuality or
adultery, cannot be a part of the church, and says that
those practices are not taught in the Bible. It
does say, however, that anyone can "attend,"
which is different from being a "member of the
church." (Michelle Garcia, Advocate.com)