Who woulda thunk it? After it was announced this morning that anti-gay Pastor Louie Giglio had withdrawn from delivering the benediction at President Obama's inauguration, the usual suspects on the right stepped
forward backward to, as Think Progress describes it, rant about "a left-wing conspiracy to force him off of the program." From the same Think Progress story, here are some of the right's comments:
• “[T]he administration’s inclusivity only goes so far. It’s not inclusive of those who disagree with them.” [Richard Land, Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission]Erickson and others argue that Giglio represents "mainstream" Christianity since, after all, when he was slamming homosexuality, he quoted the Bible. These are, as Robert Jeffress says, "historical teachings." Sure, the Bible also suggests adulteresses should be stoned. I guess that's mainstream and historical too. And don't you even dare piss against a wall!
• “This president appears determined to stir division and create two Americas: One America that holds to a biblical view of sexuality and another that offers tolerance so long as you embrace its redefined view of sexuality.” [Tony Perkins, Family Research Council]
• “It is the ultimate hypocrisy for the Obama administration to pretend it supports diversity and yet denounces anyone who dares to disagree with its radical homosexual agenda. Rev. Giglio’s comments about homosexuality from more than a decade ago were not hateful but represent the historical teachings of the world’s three major religions. Apparently the Obama administration’s definition of tolerance is only broad enough to include its own views.” [Robert Jeffress, First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas]
• “The intolerant Left claims another scalp.” [Kirsten Powers, Fox News political analyst]
• “Louis Giglio, a popular orthodox evangelical pastor whose views are mainstream Christian cannot pray the Inaugural benediction.” [Erick Erickson, RedState]
• “The bully bigots at Big Gay win huge victory for fascistic intolerance.” [Bryan Fischer, American Family Association radio host]
Their main gripe is that President Obama says he supports diversity, yet he will not showcase points of view with which he disagrees at his inauguration. Hey, it's his party! He didn't ask Nazis to speak at the inauguration either. And what about the millions of Americans who are atheists? Their voices are almost never represented at these big shindigs. The right's argument is just hogwash. Remember Rick Warren? It's time for another perspective. Diversity.
Look, Giglio wasn't asked to just sit on the stage or meet with the President during the ceremonies. He was asked to give the friggin' benediction! This is America's every-four-year Big Speech to God and the Nation. A man who thinks homosexuality is a sin, who warned America not to allow the gay lifestyle to become "acceptable," and who promoted therapy to cure the gay, is not mainstream, except when he's standing next to Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer.
Louie Giglio is free to preach his divisive and hateful religion whenever and wherever he wants, and Americans are free to listen to him. Or not. President Obama also has the right not to give his homophobia a platform and big microphone. If that's being intolerant of intolerance, so be it.