Today I see the culmination of a new religious tyranny in our country. It’s certainly nothing that hasn’t been slowly taking shape over the past 20 or so years. However, recent years have seen the rapid ascent of this strangulation of freedom in the public square, one that many good people died centuries ago to protect.
I’m speaking of the recent flap over Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio’s invitation and subsequent dis-invitation to the Presidential inauguration simply because of his views on homosexuality. After seeing the list of invites to what has become an over hyped party, a liberal watchdog group dug up material that Giglio preached in the 1990’s that identified his view on sexual orientation as being…..Conservative Evangelical…What a big surprise! The new moral compass of our nation apparently is to stomp out such views as out of touch and not inclusive to everyone. Really? If I understand the logic here, Giglio is being persecuted for his views which are traditionally held views in much of the Christian churches in America. In so doing, the inauguration committee has stated that they will find someone to replace him whose views are more inclusive. So the views of conservative Christians no longer are considered part of this “inclusive” club of the nation? What does that do to the committee’s argument here? It nullifies it. By supposedly trying to invite tolerance, it has brought about a gross intolerance that Americans should not stand for.
Giglio was not invited to share his view in a political atmosphere. Nor was he lined up to preach specific doctrine. No, he was invited to give a prayer. A simple prayer. His privately held views on homosexuality were not part of this and why they matter in this event is beyond me. I could understand if his views were more in line with sects in the Islamic faith that think homosexuals should be killed. But then, Franklin Graham’s views on the topic of Islam were enough to get him booted from the National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon in 2010. Again, his statements on the topic were in line with Conservative Evangelicals and that was enough for persecution to begin even though his father had been a spiritual guide to our nation’s presidents longer that I have been alive.
Four years ago, the same watchdog groups that attacked Giglio went after Rick Warren when he was invited to offer the same prayer at the presidential inauguration. It seems that since these groups feel they were the ones to elect our President, they should be considered in all decisions of what is “inclusive” and if not, they will rattle their sabers until they get what they want. It’s funny that when similar groups opposing such views do the very same thing, they are marginalized as backwoods, hillbilly, out of touch, rednecks. Seeing the apparent success of such radical intolerance leads me to wonder where our nation will be in 2017 when a new President will be inaugurated and undoubtedly, such tyrannical groups as these will be trying to further snuff out the religious freedoms we are blessed to enjoy for the moment.
If our President wants to show true leadership for all of America, he needs to step up to the plate now and snuff out this radical element of our society. During the campaign, I heard passionate emphasis on working with all Americans from the east coast to the west and all parts in between. Conservative evangelicals are a large part of this, a very large part. Their voices count too. This group can hold its view and still be a part of the public square just as homosexuals can. Within the context of public events such as the Presidential inauguration, neither side has a right to impose its views on the other. It also stands to reason that those same views should not determine who gets invited and who gets persecuted.
I pray for our nation.