ABC News is reporting that Louie Giglio, the anti-LGBT pastor who was to perform the benediction at President Obama’s second inauguration, has been removed from the progra , ABC News’s Jonathan Karl reported Thursday.
Giglio’s selection angered members of the LGBT community after it came to light that in the 1990s, he preached that gay people were going to Hell, that the LGBT was a dangerous movement, and that homosexuality could be cured by prayer—among other homophobic homilies.
Giglio, who apparently withdrew from the ceremony voluntarily, issued a statement today:
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.
Wow, not even the faintest attempt at an apology.
Here’s the thing, Mr. Giglio—and Sen. Hagel can take note, as well: Unless you were a child, you’re accountable for things you said 15 years ago. Giglio is 54 years old now—he was in his late 30s when he said:
“..Homosexuality is not just a sexual preference homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the word of God. You come to only one conclusion: homosexuality is less than God’s best for his creation. It is less than God’s best for us and everything in our lives that is less than God’s best for us and his plan for us and his design for us, is sin. That’s God’s voice. If you want to hear God’s voice, that is his voice to this issue of homosexuality.
It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear.”
Just because George Bush thinks being a cokehead in his mid-30s counts as a youthful indiscretion doesn’t mean the rest of us do.
h/t: Think Progress