The President Inaugural Committee has issued a statement critical of Louie Giglio, below. And Giglio has now issued a statement criticizing gays’ “agenda.” Things do not appear to have ended amicably between the PIC and the anti-gay pastor. Good.
UPDATE: The Presidential Inaugural Committee just issued a rather tart statement about Rev. Louie Giglio no longer giving the inaugural benediction. This statement makes it sound more like Giglio was asked to leave, rather than his having parted ways amicably:
Below is a statement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee on Rev. Giglio’s decision to withdraw from the Inaugural Ceremony:
“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.“ – Addie Whisenant, PIC Spokesperson
That is a GREAT statement. It’s exactly what we could have asked for. Yes, I’d have preferred that this snafu didn’t happen in the first place. But they fixed it perfectly, directly, head-on with no waffling. I didn’t expect this.
UPDATE: ThinkProgress has received a statement from Louie Giglio. He criticizes the gay community and our “agenda.” Typical. Guess someone has no remorse.
January 10, 2014 [sic]
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.
Oh, so the anti-gay quotes in question are from 15-20 years ago and they don’t represent your priorities. So why not just issue a statement saying you were wrong, the comments were insensitive, and you no longer feel that way about gays? Funny, for comments that don’t represent who you are, you sure weren’t willing to rebuke them, were you, Louie?
Giglio’s bitchy statement is further proof that things did not seem to end amicably between him and the inaugural committee. It sounds increasingly like the inaugural committee told him to take a hike. And if so, good for them.
AMERICAblog has confirmed that anti-gay Pastor Louie Giglio will no longer be giving the benediction at President Obama’s swearing in on January 20th.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl just tweeted that Louie Giglio’s name was no longer on the inaugural program, and I have just confirmed that in fact Louie Giglio is no longer giving the benediction.
Great work everyone.
Louie Giglio found himself in some hot water after ThinkProgress uncovered that he had giving a sermon years ago in which he spoke of homosexuality as being a sin, that gays can be cured, and that being gay was a “malfunction.” That last part hadn’t been reported much, and I suspect it was yet to blow up into a bigger problem. You’ll recall that years ago Dr. Laura lost a TV show in part due to having called gays a “biological error.” The “malfunction” comment was screaming for t-shirts and buttons saying “I am not a ‘malfunction.’” Fortunately we didn’t need to go there, since Louie Giglio is now gone.
Things were made even worse for the administration because last time around, during the inaugural in 2009, they selected anti-gay bigot Rev. Rick Warren to give the benediction, causing a firestorm of protest.
It remains to be seen whether Louie Giglio backed out himself, or whether he was shown the door. I’d prefer the latter, since it would show that Team Obama understood how important this is. Either way, it’s smart of someone to to resolve this now. This story was not going away, and it could have gotten much bigger had anyone uncovered anything else Louis Giglio had said that was offensive to gays or any other Democratic constituency. The way you resolve these problems is by nipping them in the bud – either Giglio recants his earlier words, or he walks. And he walked.
UPDATE: ABC says Giglio pulled his name. Having said that, he could have just easily been shown the door and told he could pull his own name to save face – that’s the way it would have worked. So it’s still unclear what really happened.