Obama Has Met Only Half of Rick Warren

Evangelical's split personality includes 'bland Pastor Rick' and arch conservative
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 19, 2009 1:51 AM CST

(Newser) – Evangelical Rick Warren has fooled many Americans, Barack Obama included, with his lifelong attempt at creating a double personality, Amy Sullivan writes in Time. There's Pastor Rick—the apparently progressive anti-poverty, concerned-about-AIDS persona Obama invited to deliver the inaugural invocation, and there's the divisive staunch conservative the president-elect should quickly get to know, she advises. "Warren himself encourages the confusion," Sullivan warns.

Warren claims he makes no secret of his conservative values on abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research. But Obama's staff wasn't aware of Warren's comparison of homosexuality to incest or his belief that Iran's president should be assassinated when they signed off on him, Sullivan notes. Fortunately for them, it's Pastor Rick who will likely be the persona who appears at the inauguration, delivering a "blandly optimistic prayer of the sort that has made him popular," she writes.