Giglio, a mild and inoffensive modern church leader from Georgia best known for his work combatting slavery around the globe (here and here), was found to have described homosexuality – something deemed in modern American culture not just as morally acceptable but something that must be morally affirmed upon every opportunity – as sinful in a twenty year old sermon. He expressed a belief held by the vast majority of orthodox Christians in accordance with teachings of sexual morality and sin in the Old and New Testament for centuries. Indeed, even the mildest members of the Christian world, the Joel Osteens and the like, still hold to this view – yes, even the pastor who Obama’s staff chose for the inauguration prayer four years ago, Rick Warren, held those views at the time (he too was slammed as anti-gay, and has since tried to soft-pedal the issue when challenged by the left).
Perhaps Giglio’s presence would’ve clashed with the selected inauguration poet, gay Cuban Richard Blanco, who has built a career on his ethnic and sexual identity since he couldn’t on his terrible prose (“I’m a boy who hates being a boy who loves cats and paint-by-number sets” is about the best of his work). But if all values are relative, and we ought to respect and tolerate other cultures as much as possible, shouldn’t Giglio’s arcane opinion be tolerated as well, being as it is only an expression of his deeply held religious beliefs? Is the problem that a sexual behavior is defined as sin at all – sin which requires redemption in the eternal sense? Or is it that healthy religious pluralism, which allows enormous disagreements about very deep and meaningful issues of sin and death, morality and the human soul, simply no longer exists?