From the Christian Post

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama will make their first joint appearance as the presumptive Republican and Democratic presidential nominee, respectively, at Saddleback Church on Aug. 16 for a leadership and compassion forum.

In the two-hour event, each candidate will take the stage separately for about an hour to respond to Pastor Rick Warren’s questions about faith and moral issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate change and human rights.

“We’re honored that the candidates chose The Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion for their first joint appearance, an unprecedented opportunity for America to hear both men back-to-back on the same platform,” said Warren, who founded the 22,000-member Lake Forest, Calif., megachurch.

Both men have struggled with gaining evangelical support, and probably feel this is a good way to try to do just that.  Rick Warren has said that he isn’t going to ask “gotcha” partisan questions.  He wants to focus his question more on how they lead and social justice questions.  Both Obama and McCain have endorsed Pastor Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan which stands for:

  • Promote Reconciliation
  • Equip Servant Leaders
  • Assist the Poor
  • Care for the sick.
  • Educate the next generation.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, sent an e-mail today encouraging Rick Warren to make sure that other issues of concern for evangelicals are discussed as well like same-sex marriage, partial-birth abortion, Freedom of Choice Act, and the Federal faith-based initiative

Both candidates will attempt to shore up vital support from this community (evangelicals) at a forum hosted by Rev. Rick Warren of California’s Saddleback Church. On August 16, McCain and Obama will appear separately to discuss what Warren describes as “main areas of focus” -AIDS, poverty, human rights and the environment. While the Left would have us believe that this is the faith community’s new agenda, a candid discussion of traditional values issues such as life, marriage, and religious freedom is what American voters need and deserve. Surely Rev. Warren won’t ignore the most crucial initiative in his state (and perhaps the entire nation) as California determines the fate of marriage this November. Saddleback Church has the rare opportunity to crystallize the debate over abortion and homosexuality before FRC Action’s Values Voter Summit in September. The candidates should be asked:

1. What is your position on man-woman marriage?
2. Where do you stand on partial-birth abortion and the killing of nearly-born babies?
3. Would you sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law?
4. How can the federal faith-based initiative survive without hiring protections for religious charities?

It will be interesting to see if Rick Warren takes Tony Perkins’ advice.  Let’s hope it isn’t an opportunity squandered and that all Christian issues are discussed, both social and moral.

Update: Kevin McCullough has some tough criticism and questions for Rick Warren.  He’s got me wondering as well, who made Warren “King Maker”?

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