Rick Warren Compares Being Gay to Urges Like ’Punching Someone in the Nose’
Evangelical minister Rick Warren has been outspoken about gay issues in the past, so it wasn’t surprising that it was one of the main topics discussed when he appeared on CNN’s "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Tuesday, November 27, 2012.
Asked by the host if he believed people are "born gay" or "become gay," Warren responded:
"You know what, I think the jury’s still out on that. It wouldn’t - it wouldn’t bother me if there was, quote, ’a gay gene’ found, because here’s what we know about life. I have all kinds of natural feelings in my life and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should act on every feeling. Sometimes I get angry and I feel like punching a guy in the nose. It doesn’t mean I act on it."
He continued, citing other feelings he wouldn’t act on, such as being attracted to women who are not his wife.
"I don’t act on it." he said. "Just because I have a feeling doesn’t make it right. Not everything natural is good for me. Arsenic is not natural."
Morgan replied that he believed "fundamentally and passionately that gay people are born gay. I don’t think you become gay. And I think if you were able to convince yourself that they were born gay, you would see it differently..."
Warren replied with a clarification on the nature of sin.
"I do not believe attraction is a sin, but I do believe that some actions are sin. I’m not responsible for all of my attractions. We know, for instance, that some people are born with natural predispositions toward certain things, either good or bad. Every one of us have those. I am automatically attracted to certain kinds of art, certain kind of music... I don’t think that’s a matter of right or wrong. But the Bible clearly states that I am absolutely in control of my actions. And since I have chosen (the Bible) as my authority for my life, not the government, not common culture, anything like that..."
Warren leads a weekly congregation of 20,000 at the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. His appearance at President Obama’s 2009 inaugural brought protests from Pro-Choice and LGBT advocates. Prior to the 2008 election, Warren endorsed Prop 8, which overturned court-sanctioned same-sex marriage in California. In 2005 the pastor told Fortune Magazine that "he would counsel gays and lesbians to adopt a heterosexual lifestyle."
On the "Today Show" in December, 2008, he made comments not unlike those he made on Morgan’s show. "We all have biological predispositions... You say because I have natural impulses to the same sex, I shouldn’t have to reign them in. Well I disagree. I think that’s part of maturity, I think that’s part of delayed gratification, I think that’s part of character."
He was on the Morgan show to promote the 10th anniversary re-release of his book "Purpose Driven Life."
Earlier that day, he appeared on "CBS This Morning" where he also answered questions about gay marriage asked by the show’s host Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell.
"I have Biblical views regarding what marriage is about. I am not in favor of redefining marriage, I’m not. It’s not illegal to have a gay relationship, so it’s not a big issue to me."
Watch Rick Warren on "Piers Morgan Live," Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012: