Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action has come up with easily the most disturbing audio clip of a Rick Warren sermon I've heard yet -- and that's saying something:
On April 17, 2005, at the southern California Anaheim Angels sports stadium thirty thousand Saddleback Church members, more than ever gathered in one spot, assembled to celebrate Saddleback's 25th anniversary and listened as Rick Warren announced his vision for the next 25 years of the church: the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.
Towards the close of his nearly one hour speech, Pastor Warren asked his followers to be as committed to Jesus as the young Nazi men and women who spelled out in mass formation with their bodies the words "Hitler, we are yours," in 1939 at the Munich Stadium, were committed to the Führer of the Third Reich, a major instigator of a World War that claimed 55 million lives. Rick Warren has exhorted Christians towards Nazi-like dedication in at least several public speeches and also during a one hour video recording of a talk by Warren, explaining his P.E.A.C.E. Plan, that is currently hosted on the official P.E.A.C.E. Plan website. A version of the anecdote can also be found on page 357 of Rick Warren's 1995 book The Purpose Driven Church, which sold over one million copies.
Here's what Warren says, exactly:
What is the vision for the next 25 years ? I'll tell you what it is.
It is the global expansion of the kingdom of God.
It is the total mobilization of his church.
And the third part is the goal of a radical devotion of every believer.
Now, I choose that word 'radical' intentionally, because only radicals change the world.
Everything great done in this world is done by passionate people.
Moderate people get moderately nothing done. And moderation will never slay the global giants. . ."
At which point he launches into a recitation of the achievements of past radicals -- notably, Hitler and Mao:
"In 1939, in a stadium much like this, in Munich Germany, they packed it out with young men and women in brown shirts, for a fanatical man standing behind a podium named Adolf Hitler, the personification of evil.
And in that stadium, those in brown shirts formed with their bodies a sign that said, in the whole stadium, "Hitler, we are yours."
And they nearly took the world.
Lenin once said, "give me 100 committed, totally committed men and I'll change the world." And, he nearly did.
A few years ago, they took the sayings of Chairman Mao, in China, put them in a little red book, and a group of young people committed them to memory and put it in their minds and they took that nation, the largest nation in the world by storm because they committed to memory the sayings of the Chairman Mao.
When I hear those kinds of stories, I think 'what would happen if American Christians, if world Christians, if just the Christians in this stadium, followers of Christ, would say 'Jesus, we are yours' ?
What kind of spiritual awakening would we have ?
What kind indeed.
It probably didn't cross Warren's mind, but the examples he cites are two of the world's most classic cases of totalitarianism. The products of their regimes -- beyond millions of people dead -- included the forced regimentation of thought and no press or free-speech protections whatsoever.
If that's the kind of fervent "radicalism" he admires, then we badly need to ought to take a long look at just what his agenda really is. And so ought Barack Obama.
Digby has more.
[H/t to Lisa Derrick at La Figa.]