Friday, January 11, 2013

Pastor Withdraws From Inaugural Benediction After Furor Over Past Anti-Gay Sermon

As previously reported, Rev. Louie Giglio had been invited to deliver the benediction at President Obama's inauguration later this month.  Now CNN and the New York Times report that Giglio has withdrawn from delivering the benediction in the wake of a furor created when a controversial anti-gay sermon he preached in the mid-1990's surfaced on Think Progress blog. In a statement delivered to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee yesterday, Giglio said in part:
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 a 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.
The full text of the statement and additional comments have been posted by Giglio on PassionCityChurch blog.

Meanwhile, separately the Presidential Inaugural Committee yesterday announced that President Obama will take the oath on Sunday on the Robinson family Bible, and at the formal ceremonies on Monday will use two  Bibles-- one used by Abraham Lincoln at his first Inauguration (which Obama used in 2009), and a Bible used by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.