As President Barack Obama was sworn in on Monday for his second term as the United States’ 44th president, several Christian leaders offered their reactions via Twitter.
In an impassioned tweet, Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, wrote: “Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know.” The post has been retweeted more than 3,100 times.
Although Obama has publicly professed his faith in God many times, conservatives accuse him of attacking religious freedom, most notably with his Affordable Care Act, which requires religious employers to offer insurance that covers birth control, including abortifacients, to their employees.
Obama has also been criticized for his views on same-sex marriage, which he publicly endorsed in May, and his support of abortion.
Pastor John Piper argued in a Sunday tweet that Obama's views on abortion are against the ideals that civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. stood for. King's remembrance day fell on inauguration day this year.
“President Obama 'spiritually blind' or 'evil hypocrite' in claiming MLK and disregarding the weakest,” wrote Piper, the former senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.
Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., sent two tweets about the inauguration on Saturday.
“Pray that Presidential Inauguration will be #safe and #successful. America needs encouragement right now,” he wrote, followed by, “Inauguration Speechwriters: PLEASE use patriotic words that unify, not partisan words that divide. #NoBlamingOrBerating.”
Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, also shared his thoughts on his Twitter page. Giglio was recently at the center of a controversy surrounding the inauguration when he resigned from delivering the official benediction after a liberal group posted a mid-1990s sermon where he preached on homosexuality.
“The word benediction literally means 'good + to speak.' Seeking to do this today,” Giglio tweeted Monday morning.
The evangelical pastor was replaced with the Rev. Luis Leon of Saint John's Church, the Episcopal parish closest to the White House. The parish blesses gay and lesbian unions and elects bishops who live openly with same-sex partners.
Obama discussed the gay-rights riot at Stonewall, a symbol of the LGBT movement. His remarks could have sparked more controversy if Giglio had not stepped down from delivering the benediction.