Jan 10, 2013 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits
Excerpted from Briefing Room: Louis Giglio, a Georgia-based pastor who had been selected to give the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration, has dropped out from the program after reports that he gave an anti-gay sermon in the 1990s.
Giglio’s decision comes after the liberal blog ThinkProgress unearthed a sermon in which he encouraged Christians to fight homosexuality being “accepted as a norm in our society and … given full standing as any other lifestyle.”
In a statement, Giglio said he was concerned his inaugural prayer would be “dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”
“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,” Giglio said. “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.”
The pastor also emphasized that while he and Obama “do not agree on every issue, we have fashioned a friendship around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms.”
Giglio has spearheaded a global campaign to end slavery called 2013 Freedom, and raised $3 million during a four-day event in Atlanta earlier this month.
A spokeswoman for the Inaugural Committee said they were unaware of Giglio’s comments about homosexuality at the time of his selection, but said that they did not “reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural.”
“Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world,” said Inaugural Committee spokeswoman Addie Whisenant. “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.“