Since Pastor Giglio withdrew from the upcoming presidential inauguration due to leftist outrage over a sermon about homosexual conduct, a variety of voices have rallied to his defense. These voices include fellow ministers like Albert Mohler, constitutional attorneys like Jordan Lorence, and others like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. But recently, two younger voices—and former Alliance Defending Freedom clients—highlighted how those who advocate for tolerance the most display it the least.
After recounting Pastor Giglio’s wide-ranging ministry, Ruth Malhotra and Jennifer Keeton describe just how “tolerantly” leftists treats those who disagree with them:
The extreme opposition to Giglio was yet another example of a tragic lesson we learned firsthand as students at public universities. And that lesson is this: unless you embrace, applaud, and advocate for the homosexual lifestyle and same-sex marriage, your views, your voice, and even your work on behalf of the poor and suffering are not welcome in the public square.
Despite all the sacrificial efforts one may have invested into humanitarian causes for the greater good, there is this rabid insistence that in order to do anything in the civic arena—including offer a prayer at a monumental event for our nation—you must not have, at any time in your history, spoken in a way that is disagreeable to a certain group of activists.
As they explain, this extreme intolerance of those who hold Biblical views extends from high-profile events like an inaugural benediction to university campuses, where it is pervasive. And it involves a range of tactics: “Sometimes—as in the case of Giglio—the tactic of the far-left involves attempts to shame and shun those they disagree with, and other times they actually use the force of law to silence those who do not share their worldview.”
For Ruth and Jennifer, this effort to purge the public square of any viewpoints the left deems “offensive” or “intolerant” is far from theoretical. Instead, they speak from personal experience, as they have both stood courageously to defend their convictions and freedoms at Georgia Tech and Augusta State University:
We were repeatedly censored, threatened, and condemned for our refusal to conform to a narrow agenda regarding human sexual behavior. We were told by administrators and professors that we must change our Biblical beliefs, follow impossibly vague speech codes, and undergo comprehensive programs of thought reform. Our cases, filed by Alliance Defending Freedom, defended the freedom of Christian and conservative students to speak on matters of public importance and to pursue our fields of study without compromising our convictions. In response to our lawsuits, the Tolerance Inquisition unleashed its fury. We faced everything from snide insults to false attacks on our character to threats of rape and murder so serious that Ruth was put under police protection.
Sadly, Pastor Giglio’s experience illustrates how the mindset so typical on university campuses is beginning to leech into the rest of society. The only way for this to change is for Christians—whether on campus or off—to ignore the social stigma and stand up for their beliefs. When they do, we stand ready to assist them and to insist that their freedom to exercise and proclaim those beliefs be respected.