Neglecting Religious Voices

Over at American Spectator I write that the fiasco involving Louie Giglio is only the latest in a series of incidents demonstrating President Obama’s low view of religious expression:

Noticeably absent from next week’s inaugural ceremonies will be evangelical pastor Louie Giglio, unceremoniously dumped from the dais when a liberal blog unearthed a sermon from last century in which Giglio preaches from the Bible about sex. (For a quick primer, seeGeorge Neumayr’s piece from Wednesday.) Under the Obama administration such beliefs disqualify one from participation. The situation landed like a turd on the porch of Giglio’s enormous church, which wants no part in the debate over the meaning of marriage. They are learning the hard way that the vanguard of the culture war bears a rainbow colored flag. You can run, but you can’t hide.

The Giglio fiasco represents just the latest instance of an administration increasingly dismissive of religious voices. The announcement one year ago of a new rule authored under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring employers to subsidize the cost of contraception for their employees, regardless of any religious conviction that would otherwise bar them from doing so, awakened many sleepy-eyed religious leaders to the increasing degradation of religious freedom in American society that has been occurring for quite some time. A slew of lawsuits and declarations of concern came from across the religious spectrum, including the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby.

Close on the heels of the HHS mandate came the final stage of President Obama’s evolution on the meaning marriage. He became the first sitting president to publicly declare support for no-mother and no-father marriage. The president stopped short of calling for actual legislation, but did instruct the Justice Department to cease enforcement of the duly-enacted Defense of Marriage Act, federal law since the Clinton administration, and successfully put an end to the military policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” One result of these actions is that military chaplains are being pressured to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, regardless of the teachings of their faith.

Read the full piece here.

  • Alan

    Noticeably absent from next week’s inaugural ceremonies will be evangelical pastor Louie Giglio, unceremoniously dumped from the dais when a liberal blog unearthed a sermon from last century in which Giglio preaches from the Bible about sex.

    Was he really dumped? From what I have read Giglio chose to pull himself out because of the controversy created, he was not told he could not participate. If a Christian bends at such minimal persecution as what others say about them. Where will they be and what will they do when the serious persecution starts up in this country? Deny Christ?

    • Eric Teetsel

      Good question Alan. The technical reality is that Giglio stepped back, but most acknowledge that such resignations are typical when the White House is involved. For example, Susan Rice rescinded her name from consideration for Secretary of State, but we all know she didn’t want to but was forced when the White House decided the battle to retain her wasn’t worth the political cost. Seems clear the same happened here. An early NYT report of the situation even said the White House asked the inauguration committee to “fix the problem.”

  • Truth

    No-father marriages? Maybe Eric the fundamentalist didn’t know, but no-father were possible long before the era of Obama by… not having children. That’s simultaneously a no-father and a no-mother marriage, which would make it twice as bad as Eric thinks same-sex marriages are.

    He also fails to complain about the HHS mandate requiring Jehovah’s Witness business owners to cover blood transfusions in their insurance programs.

    Bottom line, your demand for religious privileges was rejected, and rejected decisively. You single-handedly lost the Republicans the election. Thus always to parties that ally themselves with theocratic religious reactionaries.

  • Daniel Lafave

    In his Second Inaugural speech, Obama referred to God three times, the creator once, and ended his speech by saying “God bless you. And may He forever bless these United States of America.” Both the Invocation and Benediction were offered by Christians. So, it’s a little hard for me to comprehend the claim that he has a low view of religious expression. If anything, he seems to embrace religious expression more than he should.

  • Adam

    Religious freedom does not mean a complete freedom to do anything based on religious belief. There are constitutional and judicial restrictions on religious practice, just like there are the same on freedom of speech. It’s why Mormons can’t practice polygamy, it’s why constitutional law is the only thing that matters in a court of law and not biblical law. It’s why someone who murders a homosexual can’t point to Lev. 20:13 and say, I shouldn’t go jail because God said it was okay. It’s a fiction in this country to believe that religious freedom means freedom from legislative or judicial authority.