Thursday, June 12, 2008

NY Times and Newsweek Fall for Soul Force PR

Newsweek and the New York Times didn't check the facts with Rick Warren's church before producing articles based on the Press Release from the gay advocacy group Soul Force that begins:
Gay Dads to Celebrate Father's Day at Saddleback Church

For Immediate Release

Contact: Paige Schilt, 
Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771

(Lake Forest, CA) This Father's Day, June 15, a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and straight-ally families will spend their holiday in a way that is simultaneously extraordinary and profoundly commonplace: they will attend services at Saddleback Church, the mega-church founded by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life.

The following day, the families will join leaders from Saddleback Church for a private meal and conversation. Warren and his wife Kay are expected to attend.

Rick Warren has submitted a comment to GetReligon which denies the reports in Newsweek and the New York Times that members of Soul Force, the gay advocacy group, have been invited to Saddleback for Father's Day this weekend. (see comment 14 here)
14. Rick Warren says:
June 12, 2008, at 2:11 am

Mark, you were correct in assuming Newsweek quoted a Soul Force press release headline that was 100% false. We did not invite this group and I will not be meeting with them. They invited themselves to draw attention to their cross country publicity stunt.

My staff has already told them that neither my wife nor I will meet with them for any discussion or debate. This weekend, both Kay and I are receiving awards from two different universities so we’ll be out of town!

Also, it’s Father’s Day and I’m spending the holiday with my children and grandchildren, as are all my staff.
Rick Warren
Saddleback Church

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