Giglio: ‘Agenda’ Would Overshadow Inauguration Prayer

Giglio2Rev. Louie Giglio has released a statement on why he stepped down from his position as the official inauguration pastor. According to him, a shadowy “agenda” threatened to distract from and “dwarf” his appearance.

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.

The inauguration committee, under fire for selection Giglio in the first place, has also released a statement, this one insisting they were unaware of Giglio’s past anti-gay comments:

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.

Sheesh, first Chuck Hagel and now Giglio. Obama’s vetting teams are slacking in the post-reelection enviornment.


  1. Lymis says

    It’s very telling that he completely fails to say anything about having changed his mind, which would be the first thing he’d say if he didn’t still believe what he said all those years ago. Until proven otherwise, we have every reason to assume he still holds those views.

  2. CGD says

    So this guy said something 15-20 years ago which may or may not be his position today and we can’t give him the benefit of the doubt? POTUS evolved, why can’t others?

  3. K in VA says

    Clearly, his use of “agenda” indicates his views are unchanged.

    I don’t know why the Obama people (campaign administration, two inaugural teams) continue trying to reach out to the unreachable religious right. It’s a total waste of time. But if they’re going to continue in futility, they could at least try using Google now and again.

  4. Cal says

    I give them credit for acknowledging that he doesn’t represent their views instead of going with the old “We stand by our choice, he would have been great, but we accept his decision.”

  5. Paul R says

    Of course he still holds those views. No one who uses the word “agenda” supports gay rights.

    Also, he looks like an annoying person who would be dwarfed in any case. The inauguration committee must be low-level staffers if this is the best vetting job they could do. Or they’re lying. I would think the CIA or FBI would have to run a check on everyone before they could be asked to be a major speaker, and his past comments certainly would have been noted.

  6. says

    @ CGD :

    You’re kidding ?
    This guy is unrepentant, unreconstructed, unapologetic, unevolved…….
    In that part of his message, “their agenda”, to what do you think he’s referring ?
    As for the vetting committee; Res Ipsa Loquitor.

  7. Ha! says

    Again with the moronic last lines, Belonsky. Hagel’s comments were well-known to the Obama folks before his nomination; Giglio’s comments apparently were not. If you’re going to attempt to conclude your posts with witticisms, why not try to have them make sense?

  8. Ha! says

    Again with the moronic last lines, Belonsky. Hagel’s comments were well-known to the Obama folks before his nomination; Giglio’s comments apparently were not. If you’re going to attempt to conclude your posts with witticisms, why not try to have them make sense?

  9. Andy says

    This was supposed to be a kumbayah moment where a gay poet and an anti-gay pastor were supposed to meet each other and peaceably disagree, or something. Now what?!

  10. Tj says

    I can’t wait til’ the Drug Addicts start shoving their immorality, venom & hate down our throats like these homosexually obsessed bloggers do, this country will b SUCH a better place. This is a MORAL issue. Face it, you’re not born gay. There’s just too much evidence the other way – Elton John, Anne Heche, Lindsay Lohan, Cinthia Nixon, M. Stipe, Ricky Martin – all ur posterboys (& girls) are flip-floppers! Do what u do n private, but don’t demonize the rest of us b/c we don’t agree w/ Dung-Hole Worship.

  11. Tj says

    And ‘gay’ is about the worst misnomer I could possibly think of. I mean how many ‘happy’ 50-60 somethings, homosexual men do you know? Most (in fact all of MY friends that age) are totally miserable & depressed because their ‘community’ has totally shunned them. The young bucks detest them & just want them to go away. They are totally alone. I wish it wasn’t so, but the homosexual lifestyle is an unfortunate, lonely trap. There’s no pot of gold

  12. BRAINS says


    What a load of nonsense; did you leave your brain in the toilet bowl this morning-as usual?

    I challenge you to take a trip down heterosexual way and you will see an equal amount of lonely and suicide-prone “50-60″ somethings!

  13. Jack M says

    Yes, it’s so wrong to make a focal point of the man of God having spewed hatred against his fellow human beings in the past. It just ruins the party altogether!

  14. Derrick from Philly says

    “Most (in fact all of MY friends that age) are totally miserable & depressed because their ‘community’ has totally shunned them.”

    Ok, now tell us about the Gay ones.

  15. reality says

    “Sheesh, first Chuck Hagel and now Giglio.” …. Andrew, sorry but you are by far the worst voice on this blog. Your failure to understand the Hagel situation is proof.

  16. BRAINS says

    And, TJ, while you are reaching deep in that toilet bowl full of your brown brain matter, you might want to read-up on bisexuality.

    For your information, all credible scientific studies prove that sexual orientation is genetically based. And, occurs in an equal percentage amongst all PRIMATES!

    A$$ HOLE!

  17. fritzrth says

    @Inauguration Committee

    “We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments…”

    BS. If you weren’t aware, you weren’t doing your job. If you’re not vetting the people you’re asking to participate, you have no business planning the inauguration. You’re either incompetent or you’re lying. Or both.

  18. Wilberforce says

    So the committee made a mistake. But they recovered nicely. Indeed, the episode is a good example of the administration’s values.
    As for comparing Hagel with Giglio, forget it. Hagel sounds to me like a realist, a long lost type in the Republican Party. The pick was smart, because he represents Obama’s policy, and because he might be an example to the nutjob wing of what the Party used to be.

  19. Jake says

    Obama wants to find a popular Christian pastor who can be at his inauguration. Most popular Christian pastors believe that the Bible is the inerrant actual Word of God, and as such, also believe that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin. Gigglio is a very popular Christian pastor of a nearly 7,000 member church that has global impact. The numerical and spiritual decline of liberal/moderate Christianity means that the center of Christianity today is very evangelical and theologically conservative. Moreover, the large majority of Christian pastors agree with Gigglio on this matter. It will be very hard for Obama to find a popular Christian pastor of Gigglio’s stature in Christianity that does not share the same theological view of human sexuality. His views are well within the mainstream of Christianity.

  20. Steven H says

    OK people, based on most of the comments thus far, I don’t think ya’ll realize that we just got played.

    The Right does Orwell like we do brunch… religiously; the Christian Right is the Grand Marshal of the Victim Parade; and passive aggression is how the South plans to win the war. (You know, the War of Northern Aggression. Trust me on this… I’m Southern.)

    This stuff is their porn, and I bet you $5 and my favorite T-shirt that they are going to masturbate all over this damn thing.

  21. Bill Perdue says

    It’s wasn’t stupid, an isolated incident or a mistake. It’s part of a pattern of Democrats snuggling with christian scum, Another bigot heading up a rally or Inaugural for Obama is nothing new. It started in the summer of 2008 in the South with a string of cultist revival meetings disguised as Obama rallies featuring pig-bigot Donnie McClurkin and ended in the weeks before the election with Obama himself galvanizing the bigot vote to defeat marriage equality with ‘gawd’s in the mix’ at pig-bigot Rick Warrens bigotfest and on MTV. The contradiction between Obama’s promises and his bigotry which defeated marriage equality in California help recreate and invigorate the GLBT movement.

    Democrats and Republicans are right wing parties that use the superstition and ignorance promoted by the cults to advance their right wing agenda. This incident is minor compared to the Democrats decades long refusal to pass ENDA or a CRA and their 18 year history of promoting discrimination by refusing to repeal Democrat bill Clinton’s DOMA.
    Democrats are Republicans in drag. Period. Full Stop. We won’t advance until we leave them in the dust. A note for all the Obama supporters during the recent election – this is not what we deserve but it is what we’re going to get because of those who enabled Obama and the Democrats ongoing bigotry, union busting and warmongering.

  22. EchtKultig says

    Well, we got a crazy closet case posting about a crazy closet case. Clearly this has touched a nerve.
    I actually don’t think Obama or the liberal establishment got “played”. Quite to the contrary, this makes Giglio look like an insecure pushover. And it makes anti-gay positions look more marginalized than they did in 2008. Ricky Warren could have nobly deferred as well but the erstwhile zeitgeist didn’t make a strong enough case for it. (and Rick might be in the minority of televangelists who are not closest cases: he’s probably just a good old fashioned huckster who knows of a flock of generous fools when he sees one. Giglio is probably afraid of the attention from the secular world this might bring and the fact that they won’t subconsciously tune-out his lisp like “good Christians” do.)

  23. EchtKultig says

    Bill…gosh, your name is vaguely familiar but I think you must be a concern troll I forgot about. Your arguments are complete bunk. No, the democratic party hasn’t always been 100% pro-gay rights, but it’s always been better than the Republicans. (At least since the 60s, before which there wasn’t even a concept of sexual identity in the national conscious) AND nowadays the difference could not be more stark, with full gay rights including marriage being part of the official DNC platform, while various state Republican platforms still advocate the reversal of Lawrence vs. Texas by constitutional amendment (i.e., the police burst down your door when you’re having MM sex and throw you in jail; wealthy members of LCR to be exempted if they pay enough bribes) and the prohibition of gay adoption, anti-employment discrimination laws, etc. 2011 and 2012 were the biggest years ever for gay rights and Obama had everything to do with it. Believe me, without his endorsement the Maryland referendum would not have passed.

    I still give it the slightest odds – < 20% but similar to the theory Obama threw the first debate – that this is exactly what they knew would happen, and planned it. Obama’s inner circle isn’t a bunch of bozo the clowns who wouldn’t think to do the most cursory background checking on someone this important to the inauguration. Do you think they knew the poet was gay and latino? (LOL) To that narrow but politically vital, unhardened middle, many under 30, it will probably make them think “yeah, those crazy fundamentalists are so intractable and narrow-minded.” Can someone please find a video of him condemning pot as “Satan’s favorite weed”?
    It doesn’t matter if Fox News goes apesh-t over this because the average Fox viewer is a fat 55 years old tea party loser who hypocritically collects Social Security.

  24. Michael Bedwell says

    The Inaugural Committee has pleaded ignorance without explaining why their “vetting” of Rev. Hate was so superficial. Yes, I WANT to believe that, in 2013, the same Obama who dug his heels in about McClurkin and Warren, would have passed on Giglio if involved in the decision. BUT this is a manifestation of how skin deep any commitment is in this Administration to ENFORCING his lip service to a “vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.” If Good Christians are impelled to ask, “What would Jesus do?” then why haven’t the disciples of our self-anointed “Fierce Advocate” been forcefully told to ask how ANY decision affects the gay and lesbian community? “Vetting” is perhaps the Second Commandment in politics, right after “Don’t appoint KNOWN murderers to your Cabinet.” Bottom line: any let up on holding Mr. Obama’s feet to the fire only results in it going out.

  25. jamal49 says

    It’s left me somewhat bemused to watch Obama muff his way into his second term.

    How in the hell could no one have researched that this vile pastor had made such hateful comments prior to being selected?

    And, oh, by the way, Giglio, there’s no “agenda” here. This is about decency and fairness and Christian love, something that you should probably know about but probably don’t because it is as mythological a concept as that Christ-myth you worship.

  26. Curious says

    Why does there have to be a f###ing PRAYER at the inauguration of the leader of the government which, in the past,has emphasized the SEPARATION of church and state? and had damn well better keep them separate!!!

  27. Rich says

    I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of hearing Gene Robinson, and I would second his nomination except for my belief that prayer as part of a State function should be as inconspicuous and forgettable as possible.

  28. tim says

    TJ – I’m 50, happily married for the past 12 years and living a quiet serene life in rural BC.

    What a sad, pathetic little life you must lead to feel the need leave comments like you do.

    You’re not a very happy person, are you.

  29. Rich says

    @Curious I’m more concerned that incoming Presidents have felt the need to add “so help me God” to the oath prescribed by the Constitution.
    After the failure of the Soviets to exterminate religion from public life, I’m pessimistic that we can do it here. Short of replacing the electorate, our best hope is to make their irrationalities harmless.

  30. Malcoln says

    The overwhelming majority of pastors and Christians have the same convictions on this issue as Giglio. Therefore, those who opposed his role in the inauguration demand that Christians be banned from official roles in this national event. They demand that Christians who believe the Bible is the perfect Word of God be excluded. Keep this in mind the next time someone gets upset when gay rights are opposed or voted down because of concern such laws will undermine religious liberty and codify persecution of Christians. This is further evidence of the true anti-Christian motives of some liberal activists. Not all gay and bisexual Americans agree with that selfish, godless agenda.

  31. Bill says

    @Michael Bedwell: my bet as to why the Inaugural Committee missed it is that they checked up on the guy by using Google’s search engine. The problem is that his anti-gay statement was made (according to him) 15 to 20 years ago. The first web browser that could show images and text in the same window was released in 1993. Audio was problematic due to all those dial-up connections. ADSL was not available until 1998 at the earliest. So chances are that nobody would have bothered to put an audio recording of him from that time period on-line, and may have not seen a reason to transcribe everything he preached.

    So the short answer is probably that these days, people are lazy and if you can’t find it using Google, it will be easily missed.

  32. Tj says


    Credible scientific studies?! LOL. This is the big lie u folks have been selling to America for the past 5 yrs. THERE IS NO GAY GENE! For every suspect evidence that gets put on the cover of Newsweek, there’s 5 that confirm the complete opposite. Homosexuality, just like these man whores who go out every night trying to ‘get some’ from whoever; is twisted and leads to self-loathing, despair & perversion.

    Your pseudo-science is a cover up & a total sham, & I feel sorry for you. Would be glad to go toe-to-toe w/ facts anytime!

  33. Thomas Cardellino says

    Kudos to BRUCE for pointing out that this inauguration is another in a series of resplendent and joyful occasions to celebrate a CIVIL government, the oldest democracy still standing in this undemocratic world, once again peacefully passing the reins of power to another, although thankfully for LGBT folks, a repeat performance of an Executive Branch reelected by more than 4 million Americans who expressed their confidence in the first term of President Barack Hussein (yes, I said it with an American pride of worldwide inclusivity, the true value of our centuries old experiment) Obama! What the insanely “melting” Christian Right will never understand (just like the dying Wicked Witch of the West) is that we Americans are world citizens; always have been and always will be. The same American shores that welcomed my Italian and Irish grandparents will continue to represent the earnest immigrants who come to the USA to work their best to be Americans and raise productive and well-educated families, to contribute their utmost to the economic engine that drives our prosperity, and to nestle into the “motley crew” elbow-to-elbow who preceded them. A nation of immigrants, as this USA has always been, can be proud of every diverse citizen who works their best to make this a great land. My only hesitation in this Salutation to the Masses is that there are way too many, as distinctly tiny a minority of citizens as they are, who think their extreme wealth makes them, to quote Orwell, “more equal than others!”

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