Giglio’s Gone

Jim Burroway

January 10th, 2013

According to a series of Tweets posted by ABC news journalist Jonathan Karl, Rev. Louis Giglio has removed himself from President Barack Obama’s inaugural program:

Rev. Gigilo[sic], who had been selected to give the inaugural invocation, has been removed from the program.

Rev. Gigilo[sic] had come under fire for his harshly anti-gay comments. He will no longer be giving the invocation at the inauguraiton.

In the 90s, Gigilo promoted “ex-gay therapy” and denounced the “homosexual lifestyle” and “aggressive agenda” of the gay rights movement.

Inaugural source: “Gigilo pulled himself out when he realized this was going to be a distraction.

Giglio had actually been chosen to give the benediction, not the invocation. Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights worker Medgar Evers who was shot in his driveway in 1963 by a white supremacist, will give the invocation. Moments ago, Karl posted the corrected story at ABC News.

The New York Times confirms Giglio’s departure, citing ” a source close to the inaugural committee.”

Update: ThinkProgress, which broke the story yesterday of Giglio’s anti-gay comments, obtained a statement from the pastor’s spokesperson:

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.

ThinkProgress has also posted a statement from a spokesperson for the Presidential Inauguration Committee saying they were unaware of Giglio’s comments from the mid-90s and will work to find a replacement whose beliefs “reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

Michael C

January 10th, 2013

…and he blames the gays.

“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.”

Did pressure from the AFA help him with his decision?

Michael C

January 10th, 2013

(you guys were so right about him)


January 10th, 2013

One less thing to worry about…


January 10th, 2013

Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years.

Interesting statement. Note that he didn’t say his views have not changed int eh past fifteen years, normally that expressing those views hasn’t “been a priority” during that time.


January 10th, 2013

I think that the most damning statement he made in regards to dropping out is this:

Giglio said in a statement. “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.”

The issue isn’t of their choosing NOW, because it’s seen for what it is these days. But I am glad he decided to withdraw on his own, but I bet the AFA will claim credit for his dropping out since they called on him to drop out as well. This guy got it from all sides.

Bose in St. Peter MN

January 10th, 2013

Poking around the Passion City Church site, I wonder how much context like this matters:

* PCC was launched 4 years ago, a pretty young org.
* Target audience is college/young adult
* Giglio has been in campus ministry since 1985 or earlier
* Focus on firing up passion for fighting poverty and human trafficking
* PCC runs conferences with a public focus more on direct fundraising for its causes than building its own infrastructure (60K attendees at the annual 2013 event in Atlanta a few days ago)
* Conferences were held in 3 African cities last fall, including Kampala
* Structure: PCC has no constitution or leadership board, is solely under the control of Passion Conferences, a 501c3 founded by Giglio
*, the e-commerce site for all of Giglio/Passion’s products has 400 or so pages; only 1 hit on “marriage” (a 6-part DVD set of Giglio talks), 2 hits on “sexual” (sexual sin, sexual failure) and zero hits on “sex”, “chastity”, “purity”

The 6-part DVD includes a snippet where Giglio admonishes singles that if they hook up even once while single, the issue is that the physical act joins a part of them to that first partner in a way that will harm the marriage they enter later. So, he’s not wavering from promoting sex only for straight marriage.

It strikes me as possible, though, that 25 years of reaching young, single adults has taught him that constantly poking them in the eye over sexual issues isn’t helpful. If he’s had his ear to the ground in the past decade, he’s familiar with the gay Christian movement, and may have recognized that his 90s-era sermon ascribing aggressive, non-benevolent traits to gays is an impediment to drawing some of his straight flock.


January 10th, 2013

Even if he isn’t entirely sex-obsessed, he is still insane:


January 10th, 2013

“…this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years…”

Another vague, misleading statement from the an ex-gay promoter. Either he stands by his comments from 15 years ago or he doesn’t.

“Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37 (NSRV)


January 10th, 2013

Does the Obama administration do any vetting of it’s speakers? At all?? First we have Rick Warren, and now this guy. Ya gotta wonder….


January 10th, 2013

@Steve: the laminin sermon just shows a really emotional guy who lets his emotions get in the way of his brain, which I don’t quite call crazy; I think it’s closer to stupid. Still, the audience’s reaction to the cross-shaped molecule showcases the power of religion to bring people together. I think religion “evolved” in us humans–religious groups cooperated better than non-religious ones, so religion became ubiquitous across cultures. (Or maybe God does exist and is just bafflingly subtle about it, like by putting cross-shaped molecules in us rather than, I dunno, taking me out to dinner once a year and giving me an updated version of his commands.)

@Keppler: I dunno how much vetting they do. To be fair it seems like he really hasn’t talked about gays much for quite a while. They can’t possibly review everything for each candidate, especially for such an IMO minor role in an IMO minor ceremony (that Obama won the election is what counts).


January 11th, 2013

I’m not at all sure that the better course might have been for HRC etc to forgive him publicly and move on. We can’t constantly fight the battles of 20 years ago today. Let people say they’re sorry and move on. Of course, had he responded by saying more in the same vein it would have been a different story. I think it important that we don’t get sucked into our own orthodoxy.


January 11th, 2013

Repeated Media requests offering Giglio the opportunity to adjust his 15 year old remarks and he has been “Not available for comment”.

Suddenly though, he became available,…but no change in the message.

Instead he accuses the Gays of having an “agenda” – soooo unlike that of Christians who preach “Kill the gays” right?


January 11th, 2013

It seems clear to me that his views have not changed fundamentally. Look at the phrase “will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.” I suspect that in his mind “their agenda” is the mythical (some say mystical) gay agenda.

It all begs the question of why some shaman is needed to sprinkle magical fairy (there goes that gay stuff, again) dust over the proceedings.


January 12th, 2013

See the blog by Claude Summers at entitled “Louie Giglio and Ryan Andresen: A Reflection on Spiritual Terrorism.” Here is a link.


January 12th, 2013

By the way, Bruce Wilson at Back to Back is reporting that Giglio’s church has close ties with a Ugandan church whose pastor is a key player in pushing the Kill the Gays bill. Here is an url:


January 12th, 2013

It is very curious to me that Giglio was seemingly not vetted any better than this. The Obama campaign’s “Oops” seems off to me. I do realize that Obama needs to reach out to all Americans, even to the dimmer lights, but if this was set to be another Rick Warren moment, I’m still glad we won’t be reliving that memory.

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