Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rick Warren Visits Syria

From Syria Arab News Agency:

Headline: American Priest Says no peace without Syria

American Protestant Pastor Rick Warren on Monday said there was no peace in the region without Syria, noting that 80% of the people rejected what the US Administration is doing in Iraq and considered the US policy in the Mideast as wrong.

Syria's Grand Mufti Sheikh Badr al-Din Hassoun received the American Pastor in Damascus in which he referred to the importance of spreading culture of amity, peace and justice to the American people which the US administration has distorted their image before the world.

Pastor Warren expressed admiration of Syria and the coexistence he saw between Muslims and Christians, stressing that he will convey this image to his church and country.

For those who don't know, Rick Warren is the author of the best selling book The Purpose Driven Life. He is Pastor of the mega-church Saddleback in California. Some have called him the next Billy Graham because of his growing international popularity.

Needless to say, Pastor Rick has infuriated many Christians in the States with his visit to Syria. I don't believe anybody expects Syria to do nothing less than roll out the red carpet for a man such as Warren. I understand "why" Warren made the visit but I sincerely hope that Pastor Warren is smart enough to see through all the "pomp and circumstance" that came with his arrival. I also hope that Warren made it clear that Peace with Syria means Syria must stop supplying and supporting terrorist activities in the region.

If 80% of Americans don't like how the war in Iraq is going, it is because the war is being complicated by the constant insurgency coming from Syria as well as Iran.

I don't have a problem with religious leaders meeting with world leaders, like Billy Graham does. But I do have a problem when these visits are being portrayed or used as "anti-American" propaganda.

Portion of Pastor Warren's letter to Saddleback

"In hindsight, I wish we'd been better prepared for our visit to Syria. We would have handled some meetings differently, watching our words more closely, and been more aware of the agenda of their state press..."

"...As we left, the official state-controlled Syrian news agency issued some press releases that sounded like I was a politician negotiating the Iraq war by praising the Syrian President and everything else in Syria! Of course, that's rediculous, but it created a stir among bloggers who tend to editorialize before verifying the truth. Does it seem ironic to you that people who distrust Syria are now believing Syriain press releases?"


At 12:42 PM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

To be honest I have real issues with this. Obviously we shouldn't just buy hook, line and sinker what the Syria press is saying about his visit but by visiting the way he did he allowed himself to be used as an Anti-American propaganda tool as you pointed out.

I don't know a whole lot about Warren but I would've expected better than this from what I do know about him.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Ron said...

He was invited to go to Syria by his neighbor. Then one thing led to another. His letter goes into detail. I think he learned his lesson.

I've read that he's a big Bush supporter so that's encouraging.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger FeatherIron said...

I think it was done with a good heart, he's learned his leason and everyone needs to just give him grace.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

This is turning out to be worse than you or I thought:

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I did an in-depth post on this today and the deeper I dug the more concerned I got.


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