Saying no to Inaugural bigotry
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter who delivers the benediction at a presidential inaugural. On the other hand, symbolism is important - which is why we should breathe a sigh of relief that pastor Louie Giglio, the Obama inaugural team's first choice, has opted not to show up.
It shouldn't be hard to find an inaugural speaker who treats all Americans equally. I can think of several in the time it takes to type this sentence. For instance, there's Louisiana Baptist minister Welton Gaddy, who builds interdenominational bridges as president of the Interfaith Alliance, and who believes in "ministering to churches with a message of inclusion." And there's theologian Jim Wallis, a prominent social justice advocate and the founder of Sojourners, who believes that envangelical Christianity could be a progressive force. When asked recently what a pastor should say on Inauguration Day, he replied: "Use the occasion to remind our political leaders of their responsibility to the common good."