President of Human Life International, Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer, has challenged Pastor Rick Warren to rethink his participation in the inaugural ceremonies for President-elect Barack Obama. Rev. Warren, a strong supporter of both the pro-life movement and traditional marriage, was chosen to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration next month.
In a statement, Fr. Euteneuer applauded Warren, the pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, for his pro-life leadership, but expressed concern "that his high-profile and explicitly Christian prayerful invocation at President-elect Obama’s inauguration may be perceived as an endorsement, even a blessing, of what will likely be the most anti-life administration in the history of this country."
Rev. Warren is also the author of the best-selling book "The Purpose Driven Life."
"President-elect Obama has given every indication that he has no respect for the lives of the unborn, and whenever given the opportunity, has promised to enforce the most extreme demands of anti-life groups," continued Fr. Euteneuer. "This extremist agenda should not be seen to have the endorsement of pro-life leaders such as Pastor Warren."
"I respect the personal relationship that Pastor Warren has with Mr. Obama," said Father Euteneuer. "But such a public and explicitly Christian endorsement as this invocation is certainly confusing to those who know Mr. Obama’s record on life issues.
"We respectfully ask Pastor Warren to reconsider his participation in the inaugural ceremonies, given Mr. Obama’s extremist anti-life views," the Human Life International president concluded.