For those who don't know, this is what's been happening.
The Rev. Louie Giglio, the Atlanta pastor of Passion City Church who will deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama's inauguration, is under fire for anti-gay preaching and for calling Christians to respond to the gay-rights movement's "aggressive agenda."
In a sermon, "In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality," posted on Discipleship Library, a Christian website that archives sermons, Giglio tells listeners that being gay is a sinful choice and that gay people will be prevented from "entering the Kingdom of God."
The "only way out of a homosexual lifestyle ... is through the healing power of Jesus," he says. "We’ve got to say to the homosexuals, the same thing that I say to you and that you would say to me … it’s not easy to change, but it is possible to change."
The sermon, which lasts just under an hour, echoes similar comments four years ago by Rick Warren, the California megachurch pastor who gave the invocation at Obama's first inauguration. Obama, who was widely supported by the gay community and gay-rights advocates, was strongly criticized for his choice.
First, Rick Warren? Now, Louie Giglio? Sorry if I seem confused. But what should I think? Why not just call up Anita Bryant and ask her over to hold the bible while we're at it.
In this interesting turn of events, Louis Giglio backs out completely:
Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio has backed out of his planned benediction at President Obama’s upcoming inauguration, saying in a statement that the uproar over anti-gay comments he made over a decade ago would distract from the event.
“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,” Giglio said. “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.”
The Presidential Inaugural Committee said Thursday:
“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. 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.“And there you have it. Damage control at it's best. What I'd like to know is why wasn't there one gay person on that committee with half a brain?