The Bully Pulpit

This week I was especially glad to always have Mondays off because I got to curl up with my cup of coffee and watch the Inagural pomp & circumstance. The fact that this year the 2nd Inauguration of Obama fell on MLK day was especially poignant. The President’s speech was unapologetically progressive and groundbreaking in its inclusion of LGBT folks. I really enjoyed it. It was a good morning.

Usually when I watch live events like that I follow along on Twitter because a lot of the folks I follow have great and also super funny things to say. (Does anyone else follow Patton Oswalt’s live-tweeting of Downton Abbey? Unbelievably funny). As the festivities continued I began to see posts pop up from progressive pastor friends about a twitter statement made by a prominent evangelical pastor from the Pacific Northwest who shall not be named. I do not follow this person, so I wasn’t familiar with what they were talking about, but it was easy enough to figure out.

This pastor is someone who leads a large church and tends to be very controversial. I find him to be very unpleasant and honestly it’s an act of spiritual discipline to not lead a one-person crusade against him. I got the idea of not using his name from my pastor who posted about this yesterday. It gives him power and it gives people access to his dementia. I’m not kidding that it’s a spiritual discipline not to rail publically against him. It forces me to trust God and natural consequences.

This pastor, with his large church, millions of twitter followers and massive influence posted that he was “praying for our President who was swearing on a Bible he did not believe and to a God he does not know.” There have been plenty of postings by progressives and even some mainstream evangelicals who have taken him to task about his uber-judgy statement about someone else’s relationship with God. Someone he has never met, conversed with or advised. It is the height of arrogance to say that someone doesn’t have any relationship to God or the Bible because they live out their faith different from you. I suffered 8 years through the G.W. Bush presidency. He claims to be a Christian, and while I interpret scripture and live my faith differently than he does, I cannot imagine a context in which I would decide his faith was not genuine. That’s not mine to say.

My issue is why the majority of evangelical social media, especially Christianity Today and their Out of Ur blog, have let this lie in favor of the Louis Giglio issue. Those sources have taken this pastor to task before on his controversial writings and his super “edgy” use of profanity from the pulpit. But this man decides that our President doesn’t believe the Bible and doesn’t know God and those sources of “news” in the so-called mainstream Christian world remain silent? I find that almost as offensive as this man’s statement.

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