A lot has changed in four years.
According to Christian Post, President Obama broke new ground for the office of the president during his first term by his outspoken support of homosexual activists' goals for same-sex marriage and full recognition in the military. And that support for gay political causes has even impacted this year's inaugural ceremony.
Four years ago, Pastor Rick Warren's selection to give the invocation at President Obama's first inauguration ignited "fury from same-sex marriage advocates and progressives." (Christianity Today, 12/23/2008).Nevertheless, he gave the invocation as planned.
Warren himself recently spoke out on the issue of religious freedom in a statement for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is handling seven of the cases against the Health and Human Services Department mandate requiring abortifacients and contraceptives to be included in insurance coverage:
Today, the government has tried to reinterpret the First Amendment from freedom to PRACTICE your religion, to a more narrow freedom to worship, which would limit your freedom to the hour a week you are at a house of worship. This is not only a subversion of the Constitution, it is nonsense. Any religion that cannot be lived out … at home and work, is nothing but a meaningless ritual."
On January 16, President Obama began his presidential proclamation for Religious Freedom Day with the following:
Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose. Today, we celebrate one of our Nation's first laws to protect that right – the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
Later the proclamation states:
Because of the protections guaranteed by our Constitution, each of us has the right to practice our faith openly and as we choose. [emphasis added]
What are you saying, Mr. President? Is our "practice" of our faith going to be limited to freedom to worship inside our churches and houses of worship, as you punish us for holding to our religious beliefs on Monday through Saturday at our places of work and as we speak out on public forums?
We pray that God will open your heart and mind to see that unless freedom of religion includes freedom of conscience and freedom to speak the truth as we understand it, there is no freedom of religion in this land. Next Sunday, as you solemnly swear to "faithfully execute the office of President" and to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," may you acknowledge this truth and act accordingly.