By Richie Beeler

There’s a new church emerging in America. It’s the one your founding fathers feared most. The religion that is rearing its head in the 21st century bears little resemblance to the one protected by the First Amendment. There is no protection for this one. Or from it.

America now has what amounts to a state religion. Its beliefs are determined and shaped entirely by the secularist views of an ever-decaying culture. This has not happened overnight. America began as an almost exclusively Christian nation with a tolerance for other religions. In the ensuing decades it became a more religiously tolerant society, but still with a strong Christian majority.

In the 20th century, however, an evolution began to take place in this country with accelerating speed. America rapidly morphed into a secular society with a tolerance for religion. Now, in the 21st, that tolerance is growing weary of Christianity.

The religion that shaped Western civilization and laid America’s foundation is now the most reviled of all spiritual and social perspectives in our culture. The religion that has done more in the name of love and compassion than any other entity in history is now referred to by many as bigoted and hateful. The religion that was once protected by a “wall of separation” from the government is now being dictated to from the top of that very wall.

There really is no wall anymore. The federal government and those who swoon over its socialist agendas really couldn’t care less what Bible-believing Christians think. The archaic moral code of the Judeo-Christian worldview is being replaced by a much friendlier set of beliefs. They are inventing a new, state brand of Christianity.

Never was this new religion more clearly on display than last week when the Christian pastor chosen to pray at President Obama’s inauguration had to withdraw his name from the event. Atlanta-based evangelical pastor, Louie Giglio, had been invited by the President to offer the benediction at the ceremony, largely because of the relationship the two have developed over the issue of human trafficking. Giglio has helped spearhead efforts to end slavery across the globe during the past several years.

Those in the ideological center considered it a bit unusual that the most liberal president in our nation’s history would extend such an invitation to a pastor who has always been identified as a Biblical conservative. Some on the right questioned whether Giglio should accept the invitation at all. The left pretty much threw a tantrum.

The liberal vetting machine quickly began researching everything they could find on Louie Giglio. And wouldn’t you know it, they found something. Seems that fifteen years ago or so, Giglio preached a message (perhaps more than one) where he condemned the sin of homosexuality, stating that unrepentant homosexuals “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” That direct quotation from his message is also a direct quotation from Scripture. Believe it or not, it’s the gospel. And it is that gospel that is the greatest threat to the new religion emerging in America.

After the sexual liberation and gay rights groups pitched their fits on the blogs and other media outlets, calling Giglio an “unrepentant bigot,” he withdrew himself from the event. I highly doubt the decision was completely voluntary.

There are two sinister forces at work here. One is the unabashed hypocrisy of the liberal left. What exactly did they expect an evangelical pastor to believe about homosexuality? The President – as many other chief executives before him have done – invited a Bible-believing Christian to pray at his inauguration. The left, rather than simply coming out and declaring “we hate Christians,” instead digs up something the guy has said about a clear Biblical moral mandate, and then reacts in shock and horror at his “bigoted” views.

This would be akin to inviting a Jewish rabbi to pray at a state luncheon, and then recoiling in outrage when he refuses to eat his ham sandwich. And just an interesting thought: I wonder if a Muslim imam were invited to pray, would he be so vehemently objected to by the left? I seriously doubt it. And let me assure you his views on homosexuality would be more stringent than Louie Giglio’s.

But the other issue is more dangerous even than hypocrisy. It is the idea that the government, along with the secular culture it represents, are now mandating to Christians what a Christian must believe. Granted, a pastor has no Constitutional right to pray at a presidential inauguration unless invited. But now, even with an invitation, he cannot bring his own Christianity with him. It must be checked at the door and repackaged as the new state brand, with a much more manageable and inclusive morality.

Interestingly, President Obama will be placing his hand on not one, but two Bibles during his swearing in ceremony. One belonged to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while the other was the Bible of Abraham Lincoln. I’m pretty sure both Bibles contain the Book of Romans, as well as the twenty-seventh verse of its first chapter.

I wonder if the left has vetted that?