Today is inauguration day, and like many, my thoughts have turned to Louie Giglio. Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta who was widely known for his leadership of the Passion conferences and work against sex trafficking before everyone became aware of him as the man who withdrew from offering the benediction at President Obama’s second inauguration.
Pulling out was not Giglio’s idea. His letter to the White House explained that he stepped down from the role at the urging of the Obama administration, following attacks by the left for a fifteen-year-old sermon where he applied biblical ethics to homosexual behavior. In wake of this, orthodox Christians must ask: Are we still welcome in the public square?
As many have pointed out, there is a modern-day McCarthyism taking hold in the United States, where instead of asking “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” people are asked, “Do you now or have you ever believed that homosexual behavior is a sin?”
Under this standard, millions of Americans are left out in the cold as personae non gratae to this President’s administration until or unless they “repent” of this political misstep.
When Christians are silenced for merely sharing biblical truth, we ought to be more than worried.
The intolerance of the left towards Giglio’s deeply held religious beliefs (which frankly have little to do with the prayer he would have offered) should concern us and cause us to be vigilant to insure that our constitutional freedoms remain protected.
Our freedom of conscience, our right to believe according to our deepest convictions – as well as our right to utter them – is under attack. We must not be bullied into denying the truth of Biblical Christianity just to participate in the civil discourse.
That’s why we at the Center for Religious Expression exist, to insure the liberty of Christians to freely express their faith in the public square.
As Benjamin Franklin aptly pointed out as a young man in 1722: “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech…. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.”