Saddleback Church: It’s Up to Obama to Decide Whether to Review Warren's Inaugural Prayer

By Matt Hadro | December 22, 2008 | 7:28 PM EST

Then-candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church (AP photo)

( – It will be up to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team whether Pastor Rick Warren’s prayer at the inauguration is vetted in advance, a spokeswoman for Warren’s Saddleback Church tells

The spokeswoman would not say whether Warren would object to having his prayer reviewed – or edited – in advance by Obama. 

“[The issue] hasn't been discussed as of now,” said Kristin Cole of A. Larry Ross Communications, which represents Warren’s Saddleback Church.“It will probably not be Pastor Warren's call if his prayer is vetted by the Obama team.”
Cole refused to say whether Warren would voluntarily submit to any interference with his prayer, dismissing the question as “hypothetical.”
Obama’s transition team has not indicated whether anyone will try to edit what Warren decides to pray, but Warren, author of the popular book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” has drawn fire from key Obama constituencies -- homosexuals and ultraliberal abortion supporters -- since the president-elect chose the evangelical Christian pastor to pray at the Jan. 20 event.
Warren opposes abortion and supported California’s Proposition 8 defining marriage as a relationship "between one man and one woman."
Abortion-rights groups and homosexual “marriage” proponents, meanwhile, have excoriated the president-elect for his choice, though Obama has appeared twice at Warren’s Lake Forest, Calif.-based church – once for a conference on AIDS, and then for an August candidate’s forum, in which Obama took turns with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on stage with Warren. 
Last Friday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), one of the nation’s best-known homosexual spokesmen and activists, stopped just short of demanding that Warren be “dis-invited.”  
“Giving that kind of mark of approval and honor to someone who has frankly spoken in ways I and many others have found personally very offensive, I thought that was a mistake for the president-elect to do,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said on CNN’s “Late Edition” late last week.
Obama defended his choice last Thursday, pointing out that he had invited Rev. Joseph Lowery to deliver the benediction. Lowery, a Methodist minister, supports same-sex marriage.
"During the course of the entire inaugural festivities, there are going to be a wide range of viewpoints that are presented. And that's how it should be, because that's what America's about. That's part of the magic of this country ... we are diverse and noisy and opinionated," Obama said.
Warren, meanwhile, has been clear about his conservative views – especially on the issue of so-called “same-sex marriage.”
On “Dateline NBC,” Dec. 19, Warren told Ann Curry -- “We all have biological predispositions. Some people struggle with anger, and other people say ‘I don’t struggle with anger; I sure struggle with fear.’ Well some people say, ‘I don’t struggle with this; I struggle with being shy.’”
He added: “For 5,000 years, every single culture, and every single religion has defined marriage as a man and a woman. Not just Christianity -- Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism.”
When Curry asked him if he was homophobic, Warren responded: “Of course not. I’ve always treated them with respect, and when they come and want to talk to me, I talk to them.”
In early December, Warren told CNN’s Larry King, “When you look at a female body, and you look at a male body, it seems that naturally, certain parts go together.”
He added: “You know, Larry, we all have instincts and we all have urges and we all have desires. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I fulfill all of them. In other words, as a heterosexual man, I might desire to have sex with 100 women. That doesn’t mean I do it because that wouldn’t be the right thing.”
“I believe that God created one man for one woman for life.”