Pastor Louie Giglio, who was going to give the benediction at President Obama’s inaugural until ThinkProgress discovered that Giglio had said some nasty things about homosexuality, including that it’s a sin, that it can be cured, and that it’s a “malfunction.”
As you can imagine, Malfunction-Americans weren’t terribly thrilled about yet another anti-gay bigot appearing at yet another Obama inaugural.
In the ensuing uproar, Louie Giglio was suddenly no longer giving the benediction.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee released a statement implicitly criticizing Giglio, and Giglio released a statement slamming certain gays and their “agenda.”
Tonight, Giglio released another statement.
I was suspicious enough when I saw the Inaugural Committee issuing a snippy statement about Giglio – it’s not the kind of thing you do when you part on good terms. Rather, it’s the kind of thing you write when you try to get someone to make amends, they refuse to, so you fire them.
Now that I’ve read Giglio’s latest statement, I’m all the more convinced that Giglio didn’t pull out of the benediction voluntarily. It’s increasingly sounding like he got a little help out the door. Here’s the first sentence of his latest statement. It’s also the most telling, in my view:
Though I was invited by the President of the United States to pray at his upcoming inauguration, after conversations between our team and the White House I am no longer serving in that role.
He didn’t write that after the conversation with the White House they mutually agreed that it was best for him to drop out, or that after they talked he thought it best that he withdraw. Rather, he gives us a rather mysterious “I talked to the the White House, and then I was no longer giving the benediction.” To me, that reads: I was fired and I’m ticked.
Oh, and Giglio is upset that we’re intolerant of his intolerance:
The issue of homosexuality (which a particular message of mine some 20 years ago addressed) is one of the most difficult our nation will navigate. However, individuals’ rights of freedom, and the collective right to hold differing views on any subject is a critical balance we, as a people, must recover and preserve.
Louie Giglio is free think gays have a malfunction that he can cure. And we’re free to tell him to take a hike. Religious bigots have an awfully hard time dealing with the concept of mutual free speech. They love the idea that they can say whatever hateful thing they want. But then they get very upset and confused when someone gives them a piece of their mind in return.
I can’t prove that the White House told Louie Giglio to take a hike. I’m simply reading tea leaves. And the tea leaves I’m reading are making me more and more pleased about how the White House has handled this issue.
I wasn’t pleased that Giglio was selected in the first place. It was a huge oversight, considering past history. But they fixed things fast, and to our satisfaction. And that ain’t nothing.