For Today, a Christian heavy metal band from Sioux City, Iowa, is making Internet waves after the band's guitarist, Mike Reynolds, took to Twitter on Thursday night to underline his views against homosexuality after learning the gay issue had prevented a pastor from participating in President Barack Obama's inauguration.
Reynolds was reacting to news that Pastor Louie Giglio, an Atlanta-based preacher, would not give the opening prayer at Obama’s inauguration on Monday, Jan. 21. He went as far as to recognize the fusion of church and state.
"Don't be fooled by the formation of a state church as though the government is being converted," Reynolds wrote on Twitter. “They only use the name of Jesus for their progressive liberal agenda. If you are a Christian then separate yourself from this civil religion that advocates sin. Be true to God."
After Reynolds' post drew attention, For Today took to Facebook as a band to explain their stance:
"For Today has always and will always be a band that is about loving people. We have no hatred towards any people, regardless of what they believe or how they live. We may not agree on everything, but Jesus loves you and died for you. And so would we."
Without naming Giglio, Reynolds railed against the lack of evangelical presence at the inauguration — he linked to a news story about Giglio's removal from the event. ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl broke the news of the pastor's removal late Thursday night.
Karl later noted an "inaugural source" said that Giglio removed himself from the proceedings because he perceived his involvement as a distraction.
"Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago," Giglio said in a statement to Think Progress, "it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration."
An Obama spokesmen announced Tuesday the president had picked Giglio to give the opening prayer. But the pastor quickly came under fire when a sermon from the 1990s surfaced in which he railed against homosexuality.
"You come to only one conclusion: Homosexuality is less than God's best for his creation," he said. "It is less than God's best for us, and everything in our lives that is less than God's best for us and his plan for us and his design for us is sin. That's God's voice."
For Today has sold nearly 75,000 copies of their albums. On their website, Mattie Montgomery, the groups lead singer, says, "No matter how popular we become, we'll never downplay our faith and relationship with God."
In 2008, Obama ignited fury among LGBT groups when he selected Rick Warren, another pastor with ties to homophobic leanings, to offer a prayer. LGBT advocates responded to Giglio's appointment with a petition calling for him to be removed.
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