by Robert George and Russell Moore
January 23, 2013
Russell Moore is the Dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky)
Robert George is McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University and a senior fellow of the Witherspoon Institute.
In a post at CNN’s Belief Blog, a young Evangelical urged Christians to “shrug off” the fact that an Evangelical pastor was apparently disinvited by the President’s Inaugural Committee to pray at the inauguration because of his Christian convictions on sexual morality. We disagree.
The Evangelical pastor is Louie Giglio, leader of the popular “Passion” youth conferences, who has been an outspoken advocate for those harmed by sexual trafficking. Giglio’s invitation to pray at the inauguration was effectively revoked when President Obama and his team caved to pressure from sexual liberationist groups who object to Giglio’s stated belief that sexual intercourse is proper only within the marital bond of husband and wife.
Several of us expressed dismay that the White House would abet a blatant effort to stigmatize the moral convictions of Christians, observant Jews, and people of many other faiths. One of us (Moore) expressed the view that yielding to such bullying tactics amounted to a kind of side-door establishment of a state church, since Giglio was disinvited for “failing” a test of what amounts to religious (or perhaps anti-religious) orthodoxy.
It was a remarkable repudiation of America’s religious pluralism and tradition of tolerance.
Nevertheless, Matthew Lee Anderson argues that Evangelical expressions of disappointment are overreactions. He counsels his fellow Evangelicals and other Christians to “shrug it off.”
What Anderson sees as overreaction wasn’t a demand for a boycott or a protest march or even a letter-writing campaign to the White House. It was simply his fellow Christians’ calling attention to a plain fact: the use of intimidation tactics to stigmatize their convictions and those of millions of Americans of many different faiths. To read more, click here.