'This Week' Transcript: Pastor Rick Warren

OBAMA: And I believe in God's command to love thy neighbor as thyself. And when I talk about shared responsibility, it's because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it's hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills, to shoulder the burden alone."


TAPPER: So, is he -- is he right?

R. WARREN: Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There's over 2,000 versus in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there's a fundamental question on the meaning of "fairness." Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.

The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You -- you rob them of dignity. The primary purpose of government is to keep the peace, protect the citizens, provide opportunity. And when we start getting into all kinds of other things, I think we -- we invite greater control. And I'm fundamentally about freedom. You know the -- the first freedom in America is actually the freedom of religion. It's not the second, third, fourth or fifth.

TAPPER: You -- you've written about this, especially on Twitter a great deal when it comes to the Obama administration's health care rule when it pertains to contraception. You -- you objected to that. Initially they dialed it back.

R. WARREN: Yeah.

TAPPER: How are you with what they called an "accommodation?" Where you OK with that, or no?

R. WARREN: Well, no I'm not. But the issue here is not about women's health. There's a greater principle and that is do you have a right to decide what your faith practices? Now I don't have a problem with contraception. I'm a -- I'm a Protestant. I'm an evangelical. But I do support my Catholic brothers and sisters who believe what they want to believe.

TAPPER: You said in December that no American could say that they're better off than they were four years ago.

R. WARREN: Well I don't think so, not economically. There may be a -- a portion but I have my ear to the ground. Most people would not think they're better off economically than they were four years ago.

TAPPER: And -- and who do you hold responsible for that?

R. WARREN: I hold everybody responsible for that. I hold the people who got themselves in debt. I hold the government that got themselves in debt. I hold multiple administrations. It's not the fault of any one person. There's plenty enough blame to be passed around.

TAPPER: This week's Newsweek Magazine which has a very provocative cover has a different perspective on what ails America's religious communities. Under the headline, "Forget the Church, Follow Jesus" Andrew Sullivan argues that American Christianity is in a crisis, it's too focused on politics and policy, too little on spirituality. And that's the same theme that was in this video by Jeff Bethke that was -- that went viral earlier this year with over 20 million views.


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