Catholic World News

Pastor bows out of role at Obama inauguration following discovery of sermon against same-sex marriage

January 11, 2013

An evangelical Protestant pastor from Atlanta will no longer deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration after a reporter discovered that the pastor had delivered a sermon against same-sex marriage.

“We were not aware of Pastor [Louie] 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,” the Presidential Inaugural Committee said in a statement. “Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

The committee added that the decision not to deliver the benediction was Giglio’s.

On January 8, the committee had lauded Giglio in a press release:

The Reverend Louie Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and the founder of Passion Conferences, a movement gathering college-aged young people since 1997 in events across the country and around the world. Most recently, Passion hosted more than 60,000 people at Passion 2013 in the Georgia Dome, uniting students in worship and prayer and raising awareness about modern-day slavery, human trafficking. In 2008, Louie and his wife Shelley led the team that planted Passion City Church, a local community of faith with the spirit of the Passion movement. Their desire is to inspire this generation to live for what matters most.

The following day, the committee announced that Richard Blanco had been chosen as the inaugural poet and would be the first “LGBT person to recite a poem at the swearing-in ceremony.” The committee had previously announced that the Lesbian and Gay Band Association will take part in the inaugural parade.

The chief executive officer of the Presidential Inaugural Committee is Stephen Kerrigan, who served as Sen. Edward Kennedy’s national political director before becoming CEO of the Democratic National Convention.

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Show 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jan. 11, 2013 8:12 PM ET USA

    That's not "strength and diversity." It's weakness and perversity.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jan. 11, 2013 6:44 PM ET USA

    Last night Lawrence O'Donnell dealt with this news item at length. His conclusion was that the Bible, which condemns sodomy, should no longer be the book the President places his hand on when he is sworn in on inauguration day. He has a point!

  • Posted by: gary.brisebois1104 - Jan. 11, 2013 5:58 PM ET USA

    Apparently "this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans" doesnt apply to Giglio..., or Evangelicals..., or Catholics... In fact, as a "vision of inclusion" it is remarkably exclusivist and intolerant.

  • Posted by: Saint Jimbob of the Apokalypse - Jan. 11, 2013 12:45 PM ET USA

    Fortitude is a gift of the Holy Spirit, or so I tell my CCD class..

  • Posted by: - Jan. 11, 2013 12:34 PM ET USA

    It makes no sense why are we continuing to openly and gladly associate with this morally corrupt government. Don’t we realize that in so doing (such as attending/participating in a public gala or event) we are tacitly paying them homage and condoning their actions? Shouldn't we as Christians be following the example of the early Church against Rome and against unrepentant sinners? What ever happened to boycotting, peaceful protest, and non compliance? "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces" (Matthew 7:6)

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Jan. 11, 2013 11:08 AM ET USA

    The inauguration committee can spin this into a withdrawal. In reality, he was "forced out". Francis Cardinal George of Chicago has stated that as soon as the gay marriage bill becomes law in Illinois that the Catholic bishops will be classified as "bigots" and open to persecution. George has stated that he would "die in bed", his successor would "die in prison", and his successor would be "executed in the market place". It is time for action and not just words.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jan. 11, 2013 10:14 AM ET USA

    So it is apparent that no matter what good you may do, you are only judged by one criteria by this administration. The tail does swing the dog, it seems.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 11, 2013 8:58 AM ET USA

    Many on the left proudly proclaimed Bill Clinton "our first Black president" on the basis of his actions. Does this same logic make Barack Obama "our first sodomite president?"