Gabe Lyons on Giglio Controversy: Gays Forcing Christians Into Closets?

Gabe Lyons weighed in on the Louie Giglio controversy by calling out the LGBTQ community for its intolerance of traditional Christian views.

"As gays come out of the closet, are Christians meant to swap and go hide back in closets of their own? This zero-sum game is the most un-American of games," said the author of The Next Christians and the founder of Q Ideas.

Lyons' post, titled "Bullied on the President's Stage," was made in response to the protest that erupted over Pastor Giglio participating in President Obama's inaugural ceremony. Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church, was invited to give the benediction on Jan. 21 and though he initially accepted, he later withdrew following uproar over a mid-1990s sermon he delivered on homosexuality.

The sermon was labeled as "anti-gay" by the gay rights community. Not wanting his prayer to be "dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration," Giglio withdrew.

The presidential inaugural committee also announced that they would choose a replacement whose beliefs "reflect this administration's vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans."

President Obama announced last May that he supports same-sex couples getting married.

Giglio's withdrawal sparked outrage among evangelicals, with many pointing to the incident as evidence of Christian views being increasingly excluded from the public square.

Lyons argued that the LGBTQ community is guilty of the very discrimination that they felt victim to these past few decades.

"Mr. Giglio is the target of intolerance-the kind of prejudice that many in the LGBTQ community have suffered themselves," he maintained.

"Yes, there are militant Christians who have shamefully worked against civil rights for gay brothers and sisters. But that is hardly the full story. Many Christians were also first responders to the AIDS crisis (contrary to the accepted narrative). Now, as the tide of power has turned, some in the LGBTQ community seem intent on giving back in full measure the injustice and hurt many in their community experienced. It is reverse discrimination at its finest."

Lyons originally wrote that Giglio was a "victim of a kind of hate crime" but later modified his words following opposition. In an apology, Lyons wrote, "I recognize that, while I was using this phrase hyperbolically, real violence has surrounded this issue for decades and cannot be ignored or taken lightly. I do not want my mis-used word to overshadow the larger point I'm trying to make regarding intolerance and so hope this change makes that more clear. I apologize to those I offended or hurt."

His larger argument is that Americans are losing their freedom of conscience.

"January 21, 2013 may go down in history, as the day Americans lost their most important freedom-their freedom of conscience," Lyons, who says he's no fear monger, offered.

He called on President Obama to remind the American public about their first right to freedom of conscience and expression.

"Please use the bully pulpit to educate Americans on how true liberty ought to play out in a pluralistic society," he urged.

"And a pastor who once gave a sermon expressing his biblically based belief that homosexuality isn't condoned does not deserve scorn."

The presidential inaugural committee stated that they had chosen Giglio to give the closing prayer because of his work against slavery. Obama has praised Giglio for his Passion movement and his efforts to end modern-day slavery. Giglio gave the closing prayer at last year's Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House.

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