Pro-Life Advocate Calls on Pastor Rick Warren to Address Abortion in Forum

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocate Calls on Pastor Rick Warren to Address Abortion in Forum

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 13
, 2008

Lake Forest, CA ( — A pro-life advocate is calling on Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren to address abortion issues when he interviews John McCain and Barack Obama at a weekend forum. The event is the only occasion where both presidential candidates will appear together before the party conventions.

The forum will take place Saturday night and the two-hour event will be held in a non-debate format.

Warren will pose the questions instead of a panel or coming from the audience and each candidate will speak with Warren for an hour.

He plans to ask the candidates about issues like AIDS, poverty, human rights and the environment, but Hunter Baker of the Red State web site says he’s "concerned" Warren won’t bring up any abortion-related issues.

"In your news release about the candidate forum, you suggest that you will avoid ‘gotcha’ questions," Baker writes in an open letter to Warren. "There is much to be said for rising above partisan politics."

"However, there are certain issues that demand the church’s involvement, issues of basic justice, issues of life and death," Baker says. "Perhaps the least ambiguous of those issues is the protection of babies throughout pregnancy and immediately after birth."

Baker goes on to explain why he feels abortion is perhaps the most important topic Warren can address with the candidates.

"We live in a culture that, strangely, acts as though unborn children are like genies that can be stuffed back into the bottle. We know that isn’t true. We know that abortions end with little piles of bloody flesh and bone. Fetuses don’t merely cease to exist. They experience violent physical death," he explains.

"There are many doctrinal issues that divide Christians, but the protection of young life should not be one of them," he writes.

Baker goes on to talk about how early Christians just after Jesus’ death cared passionately about defending human life and counseled women out of abortions. He noted one of the presidential candidates, without naming Obama, supports infanticide.

"How strange it is that today a candidate claiming to be a Christian could oppose the Born Alive Infants Protection Act or a ban on partial birth abortion," he said.

Ultimately, Baker says Warren has an obligation to address abortion.

"I submit that you would do a disservice to your congregation and to the church at large if you host both candidates and ignore the issue that divides them more clearly than almost any other," he concludes.

Baker isn’t the only pro-life advocate to ask Warren to query the candidates on pro-life topics.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins previously told he hopes Warren will touch on the contentious issue. nat4117.html

"While the left would have us believe that this is the faith community’s new agenda, a candid discussion of traditional values issues such as life … is what American voters need and deserve," he said.

"Saddleback Church has the rare opportunity to crystallize the debate over abortion," he said.


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