Archive for the ‘invocation’ Category

For Barack Obama, Middle East Pressure Cooker Intensifies With Each Unchecked Israeli Move

January 4, 2009

With global respect for the United States at an all time low and hopes in Barack Obama at an all time high, how much more pressure and drama can a new President of the United States tolerate?

Well, Israel, the Middle East and George W. Bush are adding fuel to the proverbial fire.

An Israeli tank enters the Gaza Strip from Israel on a combat mission, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. Israeli ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip early Sunday, bisecting the coastal territory and surrounding its biggest city as the new phase of a devastating offensive against Hamas gained momentum. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Photo: AP

Bush’s totally unbowed support for Israel and his deaf ear to pressure from the Arab world has resulted in gridlock in the United Nations Security Council.  It now looks as if the U.N. may not even consider another cease-fire proposal between Israel and Hamas until Tuesday.

The U.S. has blocked two previous cease-fire resolutions.

Many nations would like to see Isreal ordered to agree to a cease fire; but U.S. non-compliance has allowed Isreal to forge ahead in its air, and now ground, assault upon Gaza.

For right or wrong, the U.S. position on Israel is under siege: putting even more pressure on Barack Obama to come up with a solution more people can agree to in the Middle East after he is inaugurated on January 20, 2009.

Maybe Mr. Obama can still replace Rick Warren with a Muslim for the invocation….

Related:
 Gaza, Israel Highlight Stark Obama, Bush Differences

 Arab Nations Enraged At U.S. On Gaza, Palestinian Deaths
.
Gaza: International Community Allowing Isreal To Bleed Hamas?
.
Gaza and Obama’s “Deafening Silence:” Arabs and Muslims Wonder

In this Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008 file photo, Pastor Rick Warren ... 
Rick Warren: Needs an all inclusive prayer…. and a very big rug….

Obama’s Peace of Mind: Rick Warren and a Holy Host of Others Still Compete to Ruin It

December 31, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama’s many well intentioned friends could still, at just about any time, ruin his day.

Such is the fun and the tragedy of American Politics.

Rick Warren still has a prayer to deliver in behalf of President Obama on his Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009.

(This essay was written before the Inaguration.  To read Rick’s Inauguration Day prayer go to:
 Rick Warren Inaugural Prayer Transcript)

We pray that Pastor Warren is reserved and cautious, but that is not his way.

Rick Warren has, at times, been the Rod Blagojevich of the ministerial tribe.

“Jesus Christ what a bad selection for the prayer,” one pundit said to us.  “What will gays say?  I thought Rick didn’t have a prayer with Obama.”

Well, gays have spoken and they are offended.

And if Rick Warren does “have a prayer” and uses the name of Jesus Christ in his invovation others will be offended too.

In fact, there is already a lawsuit to remove the words, “So help me God” from the presidential oath of office.

Then there is Blago himself and respected Democratic U.S. House of Representatives member Bobby Rush of Chicago.

By turning the Illinois U.S. Senate Seat once held by Mr. Obama into a race-reserved monolith in the Senate, all involved seem to be seeking shame and not repentance.

Then we have Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid,  Rahm Emanuel and a host of other infighters on Mr. Obama’s “side.”

Let’s hope Barack Obama isn’t swallowed by the axiom, “When you are doing this well, you can only go down….”

This year 2009 should be terrific!  Even before Barack gets “help” from Medvedev, Putin, Ahmadinejad, etc……

President-elect Barack Obama asks members of the public sitting ... 
What? Me worry? Obama truies to hush critics… and supporters! President-elect Barack Obama asks members of the public sitting on a wall to silence their cheers for him as his golf partners play the 18th hole at a private course in Kailua, Hawaii Monday, Dec. 29, 2008.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Related:
 Obama’s Other Choices After Rick Warren for Prayer
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Obama’s Rick Warren Pick: Glib, Callous, Conscious

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By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

President-elect Barack Obama‘s choice of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation drew one kind of protest. Whether the evangelical pastor offers the prayer in the name of Jesus may draw another. At George W. Bush‘s 2001 swearing-in, the Revs. Franklin Graham and Kirbyjon Caldwell were criticized for invoking Christ. The distinctly Christian reference at a national civic event offended some, and even prompted a lawsuit.

Warren did not answer directly when asked whether he would dedicate his prayer to Jesus. In a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press, Warren would say only that, “I’m a Christian pastor so I will pray the only kind of prayer I know how to pray.”

“Prayers are not to be sermons, speeches, position statements nor political posturing. They are humble, personal appeals to God,” Warren wrote. His spokesman would not elaborate.

Evangelicals generally expect their clergymen to use Jesus’ name whenever and wherever they lead prayer. Many conservative Christians say cultural sensitivity goes way too far if it requires religious leaders to hide their beliefs.

“If Rick Warren does not pray in Jesus’ name, some folks are going to be very disappointed,” Caldwell said in a recent phone interview. “Since he’s evangelical, his own tribe, if you will, will have some angst if he does not do that.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081231/ap_o
n_go_pr_wh/rel_inauguration_prayer

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From Fox News
.
The head of an atheist group that has filed a lawsuit against prayer at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration says the government is picking a winner between “believers” and “those who don’t believe” and subjecting atheists and agnostics to someone else’s religious beliefs.

Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has joined with Michael Newdow, who fought to have the words “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, in a federal lawsuit seeking to enjoin the Presidential Inaugural Committee from sponsoring prayers at the official inauguration. 

The 34-page legal complaint similarly seeks to enjoin Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., from adding the phrase “So help me God” to the presidential oath of office.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/3
0/atheist-group-files-lawsuit-prayer-presi
dential-inauguration/

Obama’s Rick Warren Pick: Glib, Callous, Conscious

December 28, 2008

Obama’s pick was a slap at gays: a glib, conscious and callous insult from a man with too much hubris….Indicative, perhaps, of trouble ahead…Rick Warren may be a prayer but he is not seen as a healer….

Charles Krauthammer suggested on Fox News this last week that Barack Obama needed a man standing behind him wispering, “You are only mortal…”  This a reference to Roman generals returning after great victories….

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Barack Obama is generating huge hopes even before he takes office. So much so that his name and face, affixed to any product, may be the last commodity left in the marketplace that can still move Americans to shop.

By Frank Rich
The New York Times

I share these high hopes. But for the first time a faint tinge of Bush crept into my Obama reveries this month.

As we saw during primary season, our president-elect is not free of his own brand of hubris and arrogance, and sometimes it comes before a fall: “You’re likable enough, Hillary” was the prelude to his defeat in New Hampshire. He has hit this same note again by assigning the invocation at his inauguration to the Rev. Rick Warren, the Orange County, Calif., megachurch preacher who has likened committed gay relationships to incest, polygamy and “an older guy marrying a child.” Bestowing this honor on Warren was a conscious — and glib — decision by Obama to spend political capital. It was made with the certitude that a leader with a mandate can do no wrong.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/opinion/28rich.html

Gay Congressman Says Obama Made A Mistake on Pastor

December 22, 2008

The team admired for its careful decision making and control is still getting heat for last week’s announcement….  Maybe they should have said a prayer before this one….

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President-elect Barack Obama shouldn’t have selected Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation because the evangelical pastor has made offensive comments about gays, said Representative Barney Frank.

“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,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, today on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

Associated Press and CNN

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, ...
Barney Frank

Frank, who is openly gay, made the comments after Obama stood by his selection of Warren for the Jan. 20 inauguration. Obama, speaking at a Dec. 18 news conference, said he doesn’t share Warren’s views on gay rights and wants to create an atmosphere “where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans.”

Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life”and founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has drawn criticism from gay rights groups for his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Warren didn’t return a message left on his voice mail at the church. He has defended himself by saying he loves “gays and straights,” according to the Associated Press.

Related:
Obama’s Other Choices After Rick Warren for Prayer

 Obama Picked Pastor Rick Warren Why? Not The “Wright” Choice for Obama….

 Speaking at Obama’s Swearing-In: Pro-Life, Anti-Gay Pastor Rick Warren

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/21/rep-frank-oppo
ses-warren-invocation-inauguration/

Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel ... 
Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in this September 26, 2008 file photo. U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Warren, who opposes gay marriage, as a speaker at his inauguration, creating a commotion over what inclusiveness will mean for his administration.REUTERS/Chip East/Files

Rick Warren Defends Obama’s Choice

December 21, 2008

Rick Warren, one of the nation’s most influential evangelical pastors, is defending President-elect Barack Obama‘s invitation that he give the invocation at the upcoming inauguration.

In a keynote speech that Warren delivered at the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s annual convention in Long Beach Saturday night, the pastor says he faced a lot of criticism for inviting Obama to his church three years ago.

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of the best-selling Christian book of 2004, ’The Purpose-Driven Life,’ poses Jan. 10, 2005, at his church in Lake Forest, Calif. Warren says he wrote the book to save souls but even he was surprised when a man who shot his way out of an Atlanta courthouse in early March found God in his words and surrendered. Associated Press.

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California

Warren says the two men don’t agree on everything but people with differences can work together to solve the world’s problems.

Obama’s choice of Warren sparked an outcry from gay rights and other liberal groups, who say choosing such an outspoken opponent of gay marriage is tantamount to endorsing bigotry.

–Associated Press

Obama’s Inaugural Mistake: God Awful

December 20, 2008

Barack Obama has selected televangelist Rick Warren, author of  “The  Purpose Driven Life” and an outspoken opponent of  abortion rights and same-sex marriage, to deliver the invocation at his inauguration Jan. 20. Why? What was he thinking when he picked this particular religious spokesman—a publicity hound who fights against causes of great moral importance to many of Obama’s supporters—for such a prominent role in the inauguration?

I consider this Obama’s first big misstep, and not only because of Warren’s stance on abortion and gay rights. He represents a combination of evangelicalism and boosterism , in the tradition of Norman Vincent Peale and Billy Graham, that is a particularly repugnant part of American religious tradition. Many have suggested that the choice of Warren puts him in a position to succeed Graham as the nation’s  best-known pastor. No religious leader should occupy the role that Graham played in successive  administrations—as an unofficial counselor to presidents, a predictable functionary on all ceremonial occasions, and a spokesman for one brand of religion. It is a brand of religion that has always been allied with American anti-intellectualism, and that is yet another reason why Obama’s choice is so puzzling and disturbing. 

Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel ... 
Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in this September 26, 2008 file photo. U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Warren, who opposes gay marriage, as a speaker at his inauguration, creating a commotion over what inclusiveness will mean for his administration.REUTERS/Chip East/Files

How wonderful it would have been if a humanist had been included in the inaugural ceremony for the first time.  Secularists, unlike evangelicals, voted overwhelmingly for Obama. It is truly disappointing to me  to see Obama catering those who make up a significant share his enemies and disregarding the views of his friends….

By Susan Jacoby
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/community/groups/index
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Related:
http://sheblogan.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/praying-for-obama/

To Whose God Will Rick Warren Pray?

December 19, 2008

The selection of Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Rick Warren to deliver the Inaugural Invocation raises all sorts of provocative questions.

Has Barack Obama betrayed the left by choosing someone so closely identified with the anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage positions of the Christian Right? Does this mean Warren has succeeded Billy Graham as America’s pastor? Will the 2009 Inaugural Invocation be the first in American history delivered by a man with a goatee?

I think the most interesting question won’t be answered until Warren speaks on Jan. 20. To whom (Whom?) will Warren deliver the Inauguration’s opening prayer? Will his language be inclusive or exclusive? Will he pray to the sort of generic Creator God mentioned in the Declaration of Independence? Will he pray to the monotheistic and paternalistic God the Father? Or will he, as a conservative Christian pastor, pray in the name of Jesus?

Does it matter?

Above: Detail of Sistine Chapel fresco Creation of the Sun and Moon by Michelangelo (completed in 1512).

By David Waters
The Washington Post

Billy Graham used inclusive language when he delivered the Inaugural Invocation in 1989. “0 God, we consecrate today George Herbert Walker Bush to the presidency of these United States,” he said. But four years later, Graham ended his invocation at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration this way: “I pray this in the name of the one that’s called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Amen.”

Do you remember anyone complaining? I don’t. It’s Billy Graham, the greatest evangelist of the 20th Century. How else would he pray?

Graham was too frail to deliver invocations for George W. Bush. At Bush’s 2005 Inauguration, Rev. Luis Leon’s prayer language used inclusive language, praying to a “most gracious and eternal God” and closing his prayer by saying, “We ask in Your most holy name.”

But at Bush’s first inauguration in 2001, the pastors who delivered the invocation and benediction created a bit of a stir when both of them prayed to Jesus. The invocation by Franklin Graham ended “in the name of the father, and of the son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.” The benediction by Kirbyjon Caldwell ended with the words, “‘We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that’s above all other names, Jesus the Christ.”

Among the critics was Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, who wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Graham’s “particularistic and parochial language . . . excluded tens of millions of American Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, Unitarians, agnostics and atheists from his blessing . . . The plain message conveyed by the new administration is that Bush’s America is a Christian nation, and that non-Christians are welcome into the tent so long as they agree to accept their status as a tolerated minority rather than as fully equal citizens.”

So what will Rick Warren’s prayer say about Obama’s America? What should it say?

Related:
http://sheblogan.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/praying-for-obama/

Obama Didn’t Need Rick Warren for Prayer; Others Abound

December 19, 2008

We are told here at Peace and Freedom that the President-elect considered a broad spectrum of pastors to come to Washington to assist in the invocation of God at the inauguration in January….

The Rev. Al Sharpton, left, and Caroline Kennedy have lunch ... 
The Reverend Al Sharpton, left, and Caroline Kennedy have lunch at famed soul food restaurant Sylvia’s in Harlem, New York, Thursday Dec. 18, 2008.  Sharpton was not available in January because he’ll be praying for his own shot in the Senate and commenting on the Obama presidency on TV…

U. S Rep. Bobby Rush speaks after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich ... 
None of thse guys has a prayer….U. S Rep. Bobby Rush speaks after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announces his choice of former Ill. Attorney General Roland Burris, right, to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 in Chicago.(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Said “God damn America”
during church sermon. Probably not right for an
inauguration….Obama was a member of  Wright’s
church and contributed money for some 20 years….
But Wright is now wrong for Obama….

Jessejackson.jpg
Jesse Jackson is not available this January because he is having his scowl surgically removed.  He also said he wanted to “cut off Obama’s balls” which didn’t help his chances….

President-elect Barack Obama gestures during a news conference ... 
President-elect Barack Obama lists his many
possible pastors….

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich shakes hands with Pastor Marshall ... 
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich shakes hands with Pastor Marshall Hatch of the New Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church as he arrives at his home with Pastor Ira Acree, right, of the Greater St. John Bible Church, and the Rev. Steve Jones, president of the Baptist pastor’s conference, Friday, Dec. 12, 2008, in Chicago.  Most of the pastors from Illinois are busy this month and next….


Rahm says there are still some guys available for the “God Gig”….

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., pauses during his remarks at ... 
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., pauses during his remarks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008.  Little Jesse said he was not available…. and really pissed off….

The Pope and all Catholic pastors declined
and said they’d be doing  “ministry to
little boys”…..

John McCain
This guy said he’s praying for rain…..

John Kerry
This guy said “this whole deal is a nightmare”….


She’s trying to pray her way out of the “the single greatest love story” fraud…. Photo: Getty Images 

RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2008  A performer rests during a religious ... 
A performer rests during a religious carnival marking Ashura on day eight of Muslim holy month of Moharram in Sede, near of the city of Isfahan, 495 km (309 miles) south of Tehran, January 17, 2008. Ashura, a 10-day-long event commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Iman Hussein in battle 1,300 years ago. Most Muslim Holy Men are busy this next January. ….REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN)

President-elect Obama’s statement:

Let me start by talking about my own views. I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something that I have been consistent on and something that I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency. What I’ve also said is that it is important for America to come together, even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues, and I would note that a couple of years ago, I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion. Nevertheless I had an opportunity to speak, and that dialogue I think is part of what my campaign’s been all about, that we’re not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable, and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans.

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The Gettysburg address was about this short, covered a lot more ground and had more clarity…..

Abraham Lincoln
Not available….

Related:
What Church for Obama?

St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House

Obama “Invocation”: Who Needs God? He’s ‘The One’…

December 18, 2008

Barack Obama is in trouble with gays for asking anti-same-sex-marriage Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration.

But many in the media have dubbed Barack Obama “The One” so who needs God anyway?

Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel ... 
Rick Warren: Job with no purpose.  The One has already agreed to arrive….by limo….

Barack Obama has been asked to “invoke” or call down God upon His January inauguration in an invokation.  But the media believes Mr. Obama is The One so who needs the God? 

The Boss will be there  But the real thing is The One.

WorkingOnADream.jpg
Above: The Boss

Don’e get mad at Reverend Warren: he has succeeded already in invoking The Master: we believe The One will be there….

Barack Obama
Above: The One?

 The One Calls Down God to Washington

By Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 18, 2008; Page C01

Forget the millions on Metro, and the bus caravans inching in from beyond the Beltway. Barack Obama‘s inauguration is destined to create the greatest red-carpet gridlock in the history of the Federal City.
.
Oprah at the Kennedy Center. Yo-Yo Ma at the swearing-in. Sting at the Harman Center.

Consider all the stars circling The One: Aretha Franklin, Spike Lee, Melissa Etheridge, Lou Gossett Jr., Ashley Judd, Dick Gregory, LL Cool J and T.I., for starters. And the rumor mill is loudly buzzing that Bruce Springsteen (and his new album), Kanye West and Will.I.Am just might drop by.

(Baloncici)Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/17/AR2008121703827.html

Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Said “God damn America”
during church sermon. Probably not right for an
inauguration….Obama was a member of  Wright’s
church and contributed money for some 20 years….

Related:
Obama Picked Pastor Rick Warren Why? Not The “Wright” Choice for Obama….

Barack Obama and Rick Warren: Odder Than a Three Dollar Bill

December 18, 2008

Any strange, weird, or bizarre union or alliance is, to my friend, “Odder than a three dollar bill.”

Rick Warren is an evangelical minister that does not believe in same sex marriage.  In fact, he fights against it and believes that God and the bible are on his side.

President-elect Barack Obama has been considered a friend to the gay community and most said he’s support gay marriage and the rights of gay men and women to live as married people.

Now, Mr. Obama has chosen Mr. (Reverend) Warren to pray at his inauguration: to give the invocation.

An ivocation is an asking or a calling.  An invocation is normally an asking that God will come into an event, a group and/or a person.

Gays may wonder: if Barack Obama is calling on Pastor warren to invoke God to enter the Obama inauguration; and Rick Warren’s God doesn’t believe in gays, the gay lifestyle or gay marriage, where does that leave them?  Will Rick Warren’s God condemn them?

Weirder than a three dollar bill.

Related:
Gay Leaders Furious with Obama Over Rick Warren

Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church in California is pictured ... 
Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church in California is pictured in September 2008. Barack Obama on Thursday defended his choice of the conservative evangelical pastor to deliver a religious invocation at his January 20 presidential inauguration ceremony. AFP

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(CNN) — Rick Warren — the man at the center of an inaugural firestorm — has built his career on an uncontroversial reputation.

The irony of the furor over Warren’s selection to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremony is that the California minister first drew notice for his determination to expand the evangelical agenda beyond hot-button social issues like opposition to same-sex marriage.

Warren has been described as the next Billy Graham, an evangelical leader with a moderate reputation and mass-market appeal — although instead of massive open-air rallies and an out-sized television presence, Warren focused on forging partnerships with unlikely allies working to protect the environment and fight AIDS.

As a pioneer of the mega-church movement, Warren looked to translate traditional evangelical messages for a wider audience. He penned “The Purpose-Driven Life,” a spiritually based self-help guide that brought mainstream best-seller status to a muted religious message.

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

Above: President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

In his model, everyday concerns were a top priority: Attendees at his Saddleback Church — now more than 20,000 strong — could expect free classes on home finance, or assistance with child care needs.

Warren urged ministers to adopt a Madison Avenue approach: to super-charge the growth of congregations by fine-tuning their pitch for the “un-churched.” He released bullet-point sermons with crossover potential, along with material to help churchgoers follow along. The church atmosphere he called for was a relaxed one, with dressed-down ministers leading services in nontraditional venues, featuring easy-listening music chosen with younger listeners in mind.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/1
8/rick.warren/index.html?section=cnn_latest