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TIME lists Rick Warren among ‘People Who Mattered 2004’

NEW YORK (BP)–Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren has been listed by TIME magazine among the “People Who Mattered 2004” in the same issue in which President Bush was named “Person of the Year.”

Of Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of “The Purpose-Driven Life,” TIME wrote in its Dec. 27 edition:

“Spirituality sold well in 2004, but none did better than Pastor Rick and his faith-based self-help book The Purpose-Driven Life, which hit 20 million copies sold. Though criticized for preaching Christianity lite, Warren led by example, giving away 90% of his royalties, campaigning against hunger and expanding a drug-recovery program for prison inmates.”

Others on the list, including the horse, Smarty Jones, that almost won the Triple Crown, were:

— Nancy & Ron Reagan Jr., who needled the pro-life movement when they became headliners for embryonic stem cell research after the death of President Reagan from Alzheimer’s disease.

— Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. TIME stated: “He had the hair, the height and a war hero’s gravitas. He ran with a sunshine boy and had Michael Moore and the French behind him. He lost, the pundits said, in good measure because too many voters didn’t believe he would do the best job of thwarting another terrorist attack.”

— Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco mayor who created a firestorm by performing gay “marriages.” Of Newsom, TIME wrote: “After letting 4,000 same-sex couples marry despite California’s own ban, San Francisco’s mayor was a star of the left. But by Election Day, when 11 other states barred gay marriage, many blamed Newsom for unwittingly helping the President win a second term.”

— Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who, according to TIME, “has played the tough guy, reinstating the death penalty, backing U.S.-led assaults on Najaf and Fallujah, imposing martial law,” vowing, as he put it, to work for a “united Iraq where brotherhood and justice prevail.” Allawi’s next challenge, as TIME put it: “convince skeptical Iraqi voters he’s no U.S. stooge.”

— Israeli President Ariel Sharon, who has persisted in pursuing a peace plan with Palestinians, meeting with staunch opposition from the Israeli settler movement.

— Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, the nation’s first-ever democratically elected leader.

— Chinese President Hu Jintao, who rose to power in “the first orderly transfer of power in China’s communist history,” TIME said, and is “the undisputed leader of Asia’s economic engine.”

— Thomas Kean & Lee Hamilton, 9/11 Commission chairmen whose 567-page report became a best-seller.

— Lance Armstrong, cyclist and cancer survivor who scored a record sixth Tour de France victory.

— Steve Jobs, head of Pixar and Apple corporations who has battled a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

— Elliott Spitzer, N.Y. attorney general who fought Wall Street.

— Victor Yushchenko, Ukraine presidential candidate who suffered dioxin poisoning.

— Martha Stewart, media personality who was convicted of fraud and sent to prison for five months but, thereafter, is inked to host her own TV show.

— Kobe Bryant, basketball star who was in the headlines for a sexual assault court case, described by TIME as a “poster boy for athletes’ arrogance.”

— “Desperate Housewives.” As described by TIME: “As red-state America was supposedly pining for traditional values, the breakout hit on TV was a campy nighttime soap that showcased a quintet of sex-crazed women…. Pill popping, adultery, drunken driving, suicide — anything goes on manicured Wisteria Lane.” TIME added: “Suburban dysfunction has rarely been this much fun — or popular.”

— Smarty Jones, the horse that waged “the year’s most captivating race (aside from that one for the White House),” TIME wrote. “Owned by a sickly car dealer and his wife, Smarty was a made-for-TV-movie colt, ridden by a reformed alcoholic, flying to the finish at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. After he lost the Belmont, even the winning jockey, riding 36-to-1 shot Birdstone, apologized for ending the Smarty party. If only all also-rans were this charismatic.”

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