Once again, liberal activists have demanded a theological litmus test for the pastor who will pray at President Obama’s Inauguration ceremony. Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta has been forced to withdraw his acceptance to pray at the inauguration because activists found a sermon from the mid-1990s where he preached the Biblical doctrine defining marriage as one man and one woman.
Because Giglio applied that doctrine to homosexual behavior, activists howled that he must not pray at the inauguration.
The president did not ask Giglio to give a sermon on marriage or appoint him to direct marriage policy for the Obama administration. He simply asked him to pray.
A similar controversy erupted four years ago when activists objected to Pastor Rick Warren’s praying at the 2009 inauguration because Warren had supported California’s Proposition 8.
What was tragic then, as now, is that activists claiming to champion tolerance and diversity strove vehemently to suppress the voices of those who in good conscience held positions different from their own. They demand that the clergy who pray adhere to politically correct theology.
So where will this end? Will Jews be excluded if they endorse the controversial practice of circumcising baby boys? Would the late Mother Teresa be banned from praying because of her strongly held “anti-choice” (pro-life) views on abortion?
Warren survived the attack in 2009, but what Giglio is enduring now may reduce his entire life’s work to one sermon preached on homosexual behavior.
Presidential inaugurations are meant to bring diverse Americans together to celebrate renewed leadership for our nation. But some activists are sabotaging that purpose with their efforts to demonize and remove this man of conviction from speaking at the inauguration. We are all the poorer for it.
— Jordan Lorence is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom