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Pastor withdraws from inauguration after audio of anti-gay sermon surfaces

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The pastor chosen to deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration has withdrawn from the ceremony after a recording surfaced Wednesday of a vehemently anti-gay sermon he delivered in the mid-1990′s.

The Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta said in a statement he withdrew because it was likely that the “prayer I would offer will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”

Louie Giglio

Giglio — whose selection was announced Tuesday by the Presidential Inauguration Committee — came under fire Wednesday after Think Progress published audio of an anti-gay sermon in which Giglio advocated for “ex-gay” therapy, and made references to biblical passages often interpreted as advocating for the execution of gays.

“The 54-minute sermon, entitled ‘In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality,’ advocates for dangerous ‘ex-gay’ therapy for gay and lesbian people, references a biblical passage often interpreted to require gay people be executed, and impels Christians to ‘firmly respond to the aggressive agenda’ and prevent the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ from becoming accepted in society,” reported Think Progress.

Addie Whisenant, a spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said the committee had chosen Giglio because of his work to end human trafficking.

“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this inaugural,” Whisenant said in a statement.

The committee said it was considering others to deliver the benediction at the Jan. 21 event.

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53 more reader comments:

  1. Good!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:05am
  2. Win.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:05am
  3. bigot!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:06am
  4. Good!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:07am
  5. Good. Over 250 nations will watch this…. we must not look the part of the fools.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:07am
  6. I love the response to his withdrawal by the President’s aide; as for the pastor, his explanation for withdrawing proves that he is still a hateful bigot and gay-basher.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:07am
  7. Good riddance!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:09am
  8. Giglio’s complete statement released by The Media Collective reads:

    I am honored to be invited by the President to give the benediction at the upcoming inaugural on January 21. Though the President and I do not agree on every issue, we have fashioned a friendship around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms.
    Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, 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. Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.

    Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation. I will continue to pray regularly for the President, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day.

    Our nation is deeply divided and hurting, and more than ever need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:09am
  9. Very good

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:10am
  10. Wat happens it the dark god will bring to light

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:10am
  11. I really never understood why Obama chose him in the first place.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:11am
  12. I wonder why is it, in a country where there is supposed to be a separation of church and state, that we allow religious leaders to swear in our elected officials?

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:12am
  13. So much for God loving everyone…duh

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:12am
  14. Phft. The God and Goddess watch over us, lending us Their strength. We and only we can make physical change in our world

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:12am
  15. probably a bud of Hagel.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:25am
  16. Thank good that he is not going to be praying for the President and all of the American people on TV on inauguration day.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:26am
  17. Good riddence.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:29am
  18. Clarification to Tori: His role was to give a benediction, not to swear in the president. In any case, good riddance. His call for national unity and coming together, etc. rings hollow when he refuses to retract his casting of gay people and our ‘agenda’ for social equality as a threat to all that is good.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:34am
  19. These folks should realize that we have eyes and ears that really work, and we are listening. If they say it or write it, it WILL follow them.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:52am
  20. Thanks

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:53am
  21. Good! Go pray and prepare yourself for more “disappointment”

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:58am
  22. Its amazing how ppl try to justify their hatred.. So disgusting

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:13pm
  23. He made his bed and now he has to lay in it!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:18pm
  24. Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:31pm
  25. Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:31pm
  26. So diversity and different points of view are only honorable if it agrees with your lifestyle. Got it.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:35pm
  27. So diversity and different points of view are only honorable if it agrees with your lifestyle. Got it.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:35pm
  28. Spewing hate is not honorable no matter who you are. Hate is not an example of “diversity” and it is not a “different point of view”. And I am glad he withdrew.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:49pm
  29. Spewing hate is not honorable no matter who you are. Hate is not an example of “diversity” and it is not a “different point of view”. And I am glad he withdrew.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:49pm
  30. @Tori, the pastor doesn’t swear him in, the Chief Justice of SCOTUS does. But I do agree with your sentiment and also would add it should be done on a copy of the constitution…not a bible.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:52pm
  31. @Tori, the pastor doesn’t swear him in, the Chief Justice of SCOTUS does. But I do agree with your sentiment and also would add it should be done on a copy of the constitution…not a bible.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:52pm
  32. ? It’s not a “point of view” when a person advocates for someone else’s death. That’s not diversity, that’s hate speech.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:58pm
  33. ? It’s not a “point of view” when a person advocates for someone else’s death. That’s not diversity, that’s hate speech.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:58pm
  34. Can you please point out anything he has ever said that would be classified as hate. In quotations please.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 1:23pm
  35. Disagreeing with someone’s lifestyle is not hate or hate speech.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 1:27pm
  36. Obviously it could have caused a lot of issues and they decided it be wiser to invite someone who is not so vocal on their homophobic views

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 1:46pm
  37. thats very different than hate speech.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 2:18pm
  38. I have started a petition at the White House site to attempt to get Dr. Steven Sprinkle, an active LGBT advocate and openly gay person, to preside over the invocation at the President’s inauguration. While it chaps my hide that religion is at all brought into this, I think it would be best if we could get someone who is an equality advocate and a strong one to be there. Anyway, if you can find it within yourself and with good conscious, please sign the petition asap. Time is running out.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/ask-rev-dr-steven-sprinkle-preside-over-invocation-presidents-inauguration/6f12NmsD?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 2:21pm
  39. good riddance

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 3:06pm
  40. Seeing that he didn’t apologize for his past remarks or state that he has evolved on the issue, he needed to leave the scene.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:00pm
  41. Seeing that he didn’t apologize for his past remarks or state that he has evolved on the issue, he needed to leave the scene.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:00pm
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    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:35pm
  43. I’m assuming no one on here even knows exactly what he said!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:05pm
  44. Seems to me you all have been fighting for ALL American inclusiveness. Seems that’s what you’re fighting against now!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:10pm
  45. Gee Emily, maybe it’s because he’s spouts hate and false statements??? How would YOU respond if he was extremely anti-women and used hate and false statements against YOU???

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:41pm
  46. Michael, I have gone back and watched the sermon last night just to be sure I am standing up for something I not only feel is right, but know is right. There was no hate whatsoever preached. Before people jump on board with the media or any other person feeding false statements into their heads, I encourage you to go watch his sermon yourself.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 7:17am
  47. Then, after you listen to that, take the time to read what Louie sent out to his Church Community yesterday shortly after he withdrew.

    http://www.passioncitychurch.com/blog/?p=1436

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 7:43am
  48. He withdrew because “it was likely that the “prayer I would offer will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.” Oh. Please.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:01am
  49. The fact is, Christian ministers must preach the word of God. We can’t ignore sin and at the same time we must offer grace. According to the Bible homosexuality is a sin. That is not attacking anyone. It’s making public doctorine.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 1:25pm
  50. Sorry, doctrine.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 1:25pm
  51. Jesus said in Matthew 19:11&12 gays are born that way. Saying homosexuality is a sin is a pharissean viewpoint not in line with the actual words of Jesus Christ.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 3:10pm
  52. But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” (Matthew 19:11, 12 NKJV)

    Apparently the meaning of a eunuch is misunderstood by thousands of theologians world wide.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 4:15pm
  53. Christ is for everyone. And he loves and died for everyone. He saves us from our sins. Not in our sins.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 4:17pm