The beauty of our democracy, and what so many of us love most about America, is our freedom. Christians should be at the forefront of promoting freedom/freewill, both for those with whom we disagree and agree (and in this case that “one with whom you disagree” in this story will vary greatly for each of you). This Pastor has the right to preach as he feels convicted to, the same as gay couples should be granted full rights to live as they choose – both without interference by the government into our spiritual lives and freewill. If we cannot celebrate our freedom of speech, as well as freedom to live, believe and worship as we choose, we are in trouble.
The evangelical pastor that President Obama picked to deliver the benediction at his inauguration ceremonies withdrew from the high-profile assignment on Thursday following a furor over a sermon from the mid-1990s in which he denounced the gay rights movement and advocated efforts to turn gays straight.
In a statement, the Rev. Louie Giglio of Atlanta, founder of the Passion Conferences for college-age Christians, did not directly renounce his remarks on gays but indicated that fighting gay rights is not one of his “priorities.”
Still, because of the controversy – which erupted on Wednesday after the liberal group Think Progressposted audio of the sermon – Giglio said that “it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”
“Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years,” said Giglio, who was chosen because of his longtime work against human trafficking.
“Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ. Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation.”
Read the full article here: http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/01/10/pastor-pulls-out-inauguration-over-anti-gay-sermon/