Wonder if God hates flakes as much as he “hates f@#$”? SMMFH
Almost as suddenly as he was chosen, the Atlanta evangelical pastor selected to deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 21 is now out of the picture.
The Rev. Louie Giglio, whose selection to deliver the inaugural benediction sparked nationwide controversy because of his conservative views on homosexuality, dropped out of the coveted spot on Thursday.
“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 in a statement delivered to the White House. “I will continue to pray regularly for the President.”
The decision, which the President’s Inaugural Committee stressed was Giglio’s own, was a display in the swiftness of Washington damage control.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, was chosen to give the benediction. The announcement came just days after Giglio’s church hosted more than 60,000 people at a youth-oriented event at the Georgia Dome.
On Wednesday afternoon, the website ThinkProgress reported that Giglio had given a sermon in the 1990s advocating “recovery” for gays and comparing them to alcoholics. Giglio also said gays will go to hell and called the gay rights movement “not benevolent” in advocating that “the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society.”
If this guy is such a lightning rod then why did the White House choose him in the first place??
Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part because of “his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world,” PIC spokeswoman Addie Whisenant said in a statement.
Giglio, who raised $3.3 million for the fight against human trafficking, was asked by Obama to pray during an Easter breakfast at the White House last April. The pastor has helped organize international conferences that draw tens of thousands of young Christians, has co-founded a Christian music label and has written several books.
Whisenant said Giglio was vetted but the PIC did not know about the sermon highlighted by ThinkProgress. “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.
What’s strange is that the POTUS choose such a diverse group of church leaders to take part in his inauguration in 2009.
The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery of Atlanta, a civil rights icon, was chosen to give the benediction. California pastor Rick Warren gave the invocation and drew criticism from gay rights groups because he was a vocal backer of California’s ballot measure banning gay marriage. And Obama picked New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson — the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church — to give another invocation during the inaugural weekend.
Not for nothin’, but it sonds like the PIC found out about Pastor Giglio’s sermon and asked him to step down as opposed to him “CHOOSING” to step down.
Would you have had a problem with a pastor with anti-gay sentiments participating in Barry O’s inauguration??
Image via AP/AJC