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Presidential Forum at Saddleback Church Canceled

Pastor Rick Warren's plans for another election year event at his Lake Forest megachurch fall through.

A meeting between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at , once planned for this week, has been canceled.

As Patch reported in mid-July, to bring the two politicians to the Lake Forest megachurch.

Instead, Saddleback's main pastor announced Wednesday that he no longer would hold the forum but instead invite religious leaders to a September meeting at the church.

Warren cited the negative tone of both campaigns as his reason for not holding the event. Planning had been taking place for months.

"We created the civil forums to promote civility and personal respect between people with major differences," Warren said in an interview with the Orange County Register. "The forums are meant to be a place where people of goodwill can seriously disagree on significant issues without being disagreeable or resorting to personal attack and name-calling. But that is not the climate of today's campaign. I've never seen more irresponsible personal attacks, mean-spirited slander, and flat-out dishonest attack ads, and I don't expect that tone to change before the election."

The well-known pastor hosted then-Sens. Obama and John McCain in 2008 at his first such forum at the church.

Tom August 23, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Warren should know better than to even start opening that can of worms...seperation of church and state dude....get it..?
Jayne Nodrog August 23, 2012 at 08:06 AM
So he actually gave up on an opportunity to make money and get more notoriety?
Jayne Nodrog August 23, 2012 at 08:08 AM
But with Warren, money is money!
Scott Kirchen August 23, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Pastor Rick gives 91% of his money away. Come check out the church he built some time. If your poor and have no food, no problem come to Saddleback they feed thousands for free. If your poor and have no health insurance or can't afford to see a doctor, no problem come to Saddleback curch for free health care. Have an addiction and can't afford help, no problem come to Saddleback church for celebrate recovery. And what have you done to help people? I think Pastor Rick may have you beat.
Crashaxe August 23, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Does Rick really give his money away? How do you know? Have you seen any documents? or is this just what you heard? The Mormon church has all the same perks as Saddleback but that don't make it right. Rick Warren has long scene sold his soul to the devil.
Tennickly August 23, 2012 at 06:33 PM
If there's a time slot that needs to be filled, I have a fake band that could play and it has a Presidential theme, but we spelled it wrong and didn't notice until we had all the t-shirts made. We have a wood chipper.
Cindy P August 23, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Yes, Rick Warren DOES give 91% of his money away. He has not collected a paycheck from his church for years & even paid back any money he once received from the church. So, he works for FREE as a ministry to his church & the community partly so no one can ever say that his work & ministry is for personal gain. His income is derived off of his book, "The Purpose Driven Life". A best seller for years. A good book that I highly recommend anyone to read. He has also done more for the country of Rwanda than any other individual or organization. Saddleback church sends teams there often to EDUCATE & HELP it's government & citizens on a regular basis as well as other parts of the world. Rick is one of the least materalist people you will ever meet. He has lived in the same house he did BEFORE he received any noteriety or fortune. Anyone who accuses Rick of being in this for the money, just flat does not know the man or much if anything about his church or ministry. Check it our for yourself before you JUDGE & ACCUSE the man of things you know nothing about.
Katherine August 23, 2012 at 10:40 PM
The birds ALWAYS peck at the BEST fruit... I admired Rick Warren for his stands, views, selflessness and giving example. That man is NOT movitated by money. So many people want to attack that part in him, and often it is because they lack such integrity, selflessness, faith, and wisdom. That is a Huge, more to be admired and learn from, then attack.
Charles August 24, 2012 at 03:24 PM
How come just about every comment here is in context with Rick Warren and money? Where there's smoke.... Got to hand it to him; He capitalizes on the brainwashed religious "victims". Tell you what, you send me $5 and I'll guarantee you'll go to heaven.
Shripathi Kamath August 25, 2012 at 12:58 AM
http://youtu.be/v6LCncrBWGY http://youtu.be/yWidYLWx_js
Martin Henderson (Editor) August 27, 2012 at 07:14 AM
I'm disappointed that Rick Warren chose not to have the candidates. If these guys are running such negative ads, what better place to call them out on it than a civil forum? That's no reason to not invite presidential candidates -- either of the two men who might be considered the most powerful in the world -- to not discuss themselves so we can make the best decision possible, which is what we should do. And, it's what Saddleback should do -- provide a forum to ask hard questions without begin nasty. Unfortunately, IMHO on the surface this decision to abandon the forum looks like a convenient way to avoid discussing theological differences with Romney and Obama's stance on gay marriage. Negative campaigns are here to stay; the reality is if these guys are slandering each other so bad, why shouldn't one of the most engaged religious leaders in America call them out on it on national TV? Warren has missed his chance to clean up the race, and that's disappointing because I suspect that's not the direction God was really leading.
HardCore September 02, 2012 at 05:26 AM
All of you sheep that follow this moron are no better than us non church going folks, Go Army! I feel really bad for you un-knowing flocklings,
MFriedrich September 02, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Rick Warren: "If you believe what the Bible says about marriage...." Check out the Bible's Deuteronomy 22:13-21. The Bible has to be one of the most disgusting books of fiction ever written, particularly when it comes to marriage, family, sex and the maltreatment of children. So you'll excuse me, Mr. Warren, if I don't believe what the Bible instructs - to stone to death all women who don't demonstrate an intact hymen on their wedding night.
MFriedrich September 02, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Maybe Clint Eastwood will show up instead and admonish an empty chair?
Shripathi Kamath September 02, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Then Warren can discuss some values with a guy who is a very good movie actor/director, made a living pretending to be a really tough guy, dispensing Biblical justice, Old Testament style. Then they can move on to Biblical family values, since he also fathered seven kids with five women, only two of whom he was ever married to. In a civil discussion, of course. After all, Eastwood is a Korean War era Army veteran. And a GLBT rights supporter, so perhaps a discussion of Warren's duplicitous claims of abstinence from Prop 8 involvement could also be on the docket. My bet's on that chair.

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