People like me have been saying that given the way the gay rights issue is playing out, today’s traditional Christians will be tomorrow’s segregationists. What I didn’t foresee is that yesterday’s traditional Christians would so quickly become today’s segregationists. Here’s Al Mohler:
A new chapter in America’s moral revolution came today as Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio withdrew from giving the benediction at President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. In a statement released to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Giglio said that he withdrew because of the furor that emerged yesterday after a liberal watchdog group revealed that almost twenty years ago he had preached a sermon in which he had stated that homosexuality is a sin and that the “only way out of a homosexual lifestyle … is through the healing power of Jesus.”
In other words, a Christian pastor has been effectively disinvited from delivering an inaugural prayer because he believes and teaches Christian truth.
And not only that. As Mohler goes on to say, there’s evidence that Pastor Giglio pretty much dropped the gay issue as part of his public ministry 15 years ago. Mohler concludes:
If you are a Christian, get ready for the question you will now undoubtedly face: “Do you now or have you ever believed that homosexuality is a sin?” There is nowhere to hide.
The blacklist is coming, and it will be justified by companies on the basis of avoiding the creation of a “hostile work environment.” It will be based not on what people do, but based on what they believe. Or, it seems, once believed.
UPDATE: Here’s Timothy Dalrymple on Patheos, writing about this thing. Excerpt:
While evangelicals have political power due to their sheer voting numbers, and while the worst (and therefore most-quoted) evangelical commentators can be terribly ungracious in their use of the power of the megaphone, it’s nevertheless true that evangelicals are frequently mocked in popular culture, frequently given a raw deal in academia and elite media, and evangelicals who hold to traditional views of sexual ethics are — as the Louie Giglio affair shows — increasingly shoved to the side of the public square.
An evangelical pastor with a sterling record, who had developed strong relationships with President Obama and particularly his office of faith-based initiatives headed by Joshua DuBois, who had turned his enormously successful Passion conferences against the problem of human trafficking, was just publicly humiliated and shouted out of the public square for professing fairly standard Christian views on human sexuality and the possible redemption of our desires through the transformative power of the gospel of Christ. On the advice of the faith-based office, Giglio was invited to deliver the benediction, the LGBT community raised a hue and cry, and the White House quite obviously (see here and here) pressured him to step aside.
The message is loud and clear. It doesn’t matter what else you have done. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was. If you hold to traditional Christian views of human sexuality, or once did, you are no longer a citizen in good standing who is welcome to participate fully in the public square.
So, a wry congratulations to the LGBT community. You just chased an evangelical pastor widely known and celebrated for his anti-trafficking efforts out of the President’s inaugural for the thought-crime of believing (or once believing) that homosexual sex is sinful, and homosexual desires can be controlled or cultivated in other ways. In so doing, however, you proved not only that you (unlike most oppressed minorities) wield immense political power, but you also proved that the oppressed can also be oppressors, the bullied bullies, and you proved too that evangelicals are right to have concerns that their religious conscience freedoms are in danger.
Was it worth it? It’s hard to claim the place of the oppressed when you wield power like this.