Wow, deja vu all over again, once more with feeling!
Yet again, a pastor chosen to speak at Barack Obama’s Inaugural ceremony has a long, visible, storied history of anti-gay animus.
The Presidential Inauguration Committee announced Tuesday that the President Obama has selected Pastor Louie Giglio of the Georgia-based Passion City Church to deliver the benediction for his second inauguration. In a mid-1990s sermon identified as Giglio’s, available online on a Christian training website, he preached rabidly anti-LGBT views. The 54-minute sermon, entitled “In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality,” advocates for dangerous “ex-gay” therapy for gay and lesbian people, references a biblical passage often interpreted to require gay people be executed, and impels Christians to “firmly respond to the aggressive agenda” and prevent the “homosexual lifestyle” from becoming accepted in society.
How can this happen? Do the people who choose the pastors for Barack Obama’s inaugural events not vet their choices?
Or — worse — are these selections fully vetted and acceptable?
Many of you will recall the LGBT community — and its long-standing faith community allies — were upset in 2009 at Barack Obama’s choice of Pastor Rick Warren™ to provide the Inaugural with a
benediction invocation as official events began on the West front of the Capitol. Now the Inaugural Committee has chosen this month’s benediction-provider; he’s an evangelical preacher with a strong anti-gay bias who favors “pray the gay therapy” and proudly pointed to his own father’s authorship of the Chick-Fil-A logo — in a tweet dated August 1 of last year, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.
Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, that city’s LGBT newspaper, had this discussion with White House Press Secretary Chris Carney, following a Q&A with ABC’s Jonathan Karl about Chuck Hagel’s record on gay issues:
Washington Blade: The website ThinkProgress is reporting that the Pastor Louie Giglio, whom President Obama selected to deliver his inaugural benediction, held vehemently anti-gay views in the 1990s. In a recording attributed to him from that time, Giglio advocates for widely discredited “ex-gay” therapy, references a biblical passage often attributed to require gay people to be executed and impels Christians to “firmly respond to the aggressive agenda” and prevent the homosexual lifestyle from becoming adopted in society. Does the White House have a problem with Obama’s inaugural pastor holding those views?
Jay Carney: I haven’t seen that report. I would refer you to the inaugural committee. I haven’t seen the report.
Blade: So it’s fair to say that the administration was not aware of this sermon before the selection was made?
Carney: I’m saying that I haven’t seen the report.
Blade: The news is breaking days after the President nominated Chuck Hagel, whom, as you acknowledged, made those 1998 anti-gay comments against Jim Hormel. Is there some kind of statute of limitations on when someone can make anti-gay remarks and still deemed acceptable by the administration, and if so, what is it?
Carney: I think I’ve addressed the question about Sen. Hagel, and I would simply point you to President Obama’s record on LGBT issues as representative of his beliefs, convictions and his policies, and where he believes this country is moving and where he hopes to lead it.
AmericaBlog calls Louie Giglio “Rick Warren’s evil twin:”
If you hated Rick Warren giving the invocation at the first Obama inaugural, then you’re gonna love Pastor Louie Giglio being selected to give the benediction this time around. (SPOILER ALERT: He thinks being gay is a “malfunction.”)
This is not only an insult to the LBGT community; it’s a slap in the face to the long-time allies of equality throughout American faith communities. Why choose someone like Rick Warren or Louie Giglio when there are literally thousands of hard-working faith leaders who’ve never wavered in their support of full equality for ALL Americans?
Add your name, if you like, to this White House petition asking President Obama to withdraw this invitation and choose from among the many American faith leaders who have always fought for equality of all citizens before the law. The petition reads:
We petition the Obama Administration to:
Replace anti-gay Pastor Louie Giglio for the benediction at the inauguration with a pro-LGBT member of the clergy.
On January 9th you announced that you had selected Pastor Louie Giglio to give the benediction at your second inaugural. According to Think Progress, Pastor Giglio, like Rick Warren, has delivered sermons urging Christians to fight against LGBT equality. Four years ago Rick Warren was unacceptable for doing that. Today, Giglio is.
There are many members of the clergy active in the cause of civil rights and who have long been on the front lines of the fight for LGBT equality. As we told your four years ago, selecting a Christian fundamentalist who has a record of anti-gay sermons is offensive and unnecessary.
Therefore, we call on you to replace Giglio and to select a member of the clergy with a history of supporting LGBT equality to give the benediction at your second inaugural.
Created: Jan 09, 2013
Photo by cmcentral under Creative Commons license