MSNBC's Rachel Maddow believes that the uproar over Barack Obama's selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation might have been subsiding by now, except that Warren himself -- very much like Reverend Jeremiah Wright last spring -- has stirred things up again with a video address in which he accuses his critics of being "Christophobes."
"Not only it is getting worse," commented Maddow, "it's getting weirder."
In the 22 minute message to his congregation placed on his website last Sunday, Warren first denied ever "equating gay partnership with incest and pedophilia" -- which Maddow quickly disproved with a clip of him doing just that -- and then went on to attack his critics for their "false accusations, attacks, outright lies, and hateful slander, and really a lot of hate speech."
"It's what I would call 'Christophobia.'" Warren concluded. "People who are afraid of any Christian."
"Might those people possibly just be Pastor Rick-o-phobes?" Maddow asked.
Maddow was joined by Nation columnist Katha Pollitt, who commented, "Rick Warren, I think when you said he confuses himself with Christ, I think you're onto something. The man obviously has a colossal ego. ... This is a big opportunity for him."
Pollitt added, however, that "I thought that the things you noticed would fly by the people that that was aimed at who share those beliefs. They also think that they're the real Christians, so if you don't like Rick Warren, you don't like Christ."
However, not everyone who thinks of themself as a real Christian does approve of Rick Warren. Wiley Drake, the pastor of a Southern Baptist church in Orange County, California has been bashing Warren for agreeing to appear at the inauguration.
In a widely-distributed email, Drake -- who does not believe that Obama is an American citizen -- thundered that "God will punish" Warren for his "recent plan to invoke the presence of almighty God on this evil illegal alien." In a later interview, Drake explained, "It's an abomination before God and God's going to deal with that."