"Now that the Rev. Louie Giglio, the Atlanta pastor who was going to pray at President Barack Obama's inauguration but came under fire for an anti-gay sermon he gave in the mid-1990s, has bowed out, some conservative Christians and evangelicals have began to ask: are they welcome in the public square?"
So begins a story by Jaweed Kaleem, the enterprising religion reporter at the Huffington Post, about the the latest controversy that has flared up at the intersection of faith and politics.
Kaleem quotes a column by Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research who wrote:
Some are wondering if those who hold to traditional evangelical beliefs on homosexuality are no longer welcome in the public square...what does this mean for Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Orthodox Jews, and so many more who believe that their authoritative religious texts teach something the prevailing culture finds so unacceptable that they are no longer welcome within the mainstream context, even if they are (as Louie Giglio is know for) working to eradicate slavery? To some, they are no longer welcome because of disagreement over a single, yet specific, point of their sincerely held religious beliefs.
There is a distinction to be made between whether anti-gay views are permitted (a commitment for free speech would seem to demand as much) and whether those who hold such views should be selected for positions of honor by political leaders who are not in sympathy with those views. But Stetzer's question is still worth asking. To what extent should the views of those who believe that same-sex relationships are immoral be accommodated "within the mainstream context"?