Pastor Louie Giglio Calls Homosexuality ‘One of the Most Difficult [Issues] Our Nation Will Navigate’

Pastor Tony Giglio, who removed himself from Obama's inaugural line-up earlier today after a sermon surfaced in which he said, among other things, that gays will go to Hell, posted a message to his church elaborating on an earlier statement.

GiglioSays Giglio in part:

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.

As a pastor, my mission is to love people, and lead them well, while lifting up the name of Jesus above anything else. I’m confident that anyone who knows me or has listened to the multitude of messages I have given in the last decade would most likely conclude that I am not easily characterized as being opposed to people—any people. Rather, I am constantly seeking to understand where all people are coming from and how to best serve them as I point them to Jesus.

In all things, the most helpful thing I can do is to invite each of us to wrestle with scripture and its implications for our lives. God’s words trump all opinions, including mine, and in the end, I believe God’s words lead to life.

Meanwhile, the religious right-wing has gone predictably nuts over the Giglio withdrawal. A bevy of reactions here.

T_perkinsWrote FRC's Tony Perkins:

“This is another example of intolerance from the Obama administration toward those who hold to biblical views on sexuality. Why is the president surprised that an evangelical pastor would teach from Scripture on homosexuality? One would be hard pressed to find an Evangelical pastor who hasn’t preached on what the Bible teaches about human sexuality.

“Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Orthodox churches all actively proclaim that sexual intimacy within the marriage of one man and one woman is the only biblically-sanctioned human sexual behavior. Are the scores of millions of Americans who affirm these teachings no longer welcome at the inauguration of our president?

Added Perkins in an email:

"What a difference four years makes! In 2009, when the Left was in an uproar about Pastor Rick Warren's prayer, the President was quick to come to his defense. 'We have to disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things we hold in common as Americans.' Now, having revealed his true position on same-sex 'marriage,' the President seems determined to create even more division. If anything, this pulls back the curtain on the Left's real agenda. And it's not about tolerance. It's about forced acceptance. Americans need to wake up and realize that the homosexual movement cannot be appeased–not by marriage, not by special benefits, not by anything but the sanitization of Christianity from the public square."


  1. says

    You know, it really isn’t all that difficult, Louie, except for the irrational. And when future generations look back on people like him and the bigots who are up in arms because–surprise!–their anti-gay views are falling out of the mainstream, they will see that the concept of treating gay people as equal citizens was actually quite simple.

  2. Gary says

    In the early years of the century, we cannot know how the division of gay marriage could devastate our culture. This isn’t the “Star Trek” model. America is full of guns and hatred in 2013.

  3. Gary says

    Anti-gay (21st Century Gay) always has anyone against them as full of hate Their way or the “hate way.” There are hundreds of issues that have nothing to do with love or hate in the gay argument. It’s the self entitled culture that fuels it One day they’ll see where that got them.

  4. Caliban says

    Yes, I’m sure that if Mitt Romney had won and asked a pro-gay minister to speak at his inauguration that Tony Perkins would have silently stood by, beaming his approval!

    Uh-huh. Right.

    Face it, Tony. You and those like you with a “Biblical view of sexuality” endorsed Mitt Romney and YOU LOST! So here’s the World’s Smallest Tabernacle Choir singing a sad song just for you.

    *wah* *Wah* *WAAAHHHHH*

  5. DB says

    As a Christian man who happens to be gay, I always think it odd when any person who pretends or claims to be Christian tries to justify his sinful feelings of hatred by using the name of the radically inclusive and loving Christ. After all, seventy-two percent of gay Americans are Christian and 10 percent of all Christians are gay. It’s nice to see that in Maine, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Rhode Island, and elsewhere, the Christian churches have been leading the push for full civil marriage equality. This seems particularly true of the United Church of Christ, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Lutherans.

  6. Javier says

    Some Christians are not the only ones that need to move towards a new direction of understanding and respect. Many in the GLBT and progressive communities have a long ways to go themselves. In fact, let’s be honest, both sides fail at being “tolerant” of one another. The goal should not be to make other people agree with you, but to value their right to live in accordance with their beliefs.

  7. Troy says

    Where does Obama dig these people up in the first place?! There are a MILLION inclusive and articulate pastors in this world. It isn’t hard to avoid these whack jobs. It blows my mind.

  8. Francis says

    Well, the more wackos exposed, the better to highlight just how ridiculous, bigoted and extreme the right-wing and fundamentalists in general are.

    Anyway, the whining is funny to see. Homophobia has consequences.

  9. Phil says

    Why is it so difficult to navigate? You either hate people or you don’t. You meddle in their lives or you don’t. You are a busybody or you aren’t. It’s not that difficult. Maybe the arrogant man who wants to be revered is dumb.

  10. Mary says

    The pastor’s wording makes me laugh. First off is “the most difficult issue our nation will navigate.” Makes me want to say “Oh, the stormy seas of gay rights! Steer that ship, captain.” Secondly, “wrestle with scripture.” Are we in a contest with the Bible? I would think that if so, the Bible has the edge in that fight, being that it is the Word of God. But maybe I’m just tired because its getting late.

    I liked Javier’s comment about us all needing to be tolerant of other’s right to hold different views. The fact is that for millenia gay sex has been considered sinful and anti-social by Western society. We can’t expect that in a few short years we’ll be able to take what was considered the only “normal” view and now equate it with accepting the Klan. History doesn’t work this way. In another 20 or even 40 years there will still be millions of people who think gay sex is immoral. Our goal should be to co-exist with them or GENTLY try to change their minds. A peaceful life is just as important as equality.

  11. Bill says

    Let’s just out bible-thump Tony Perkins by telling him to “give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.”

    I.e., the state can do what it likes with a state-issued marriage license, and whether anyone chooses to recognize it as somehow sacred is that person’s choice.

    It’s a cute argument, but a bit controversial. read… for an overview of how people try to twist it to support their position on taxation.

    But don’t worry. Tony Perkin’s skill set does not seem to include subtlety.

  12. Caliban says

    “The goal should not be to make other people agree with you, but to value their right to live in accordance with their beliefs.”

    Ah, but there’s the rub. If were a matter of them living THEIR lives according to their beliefs there wouldn’t be a problem, but they want to impose their religious beliefs on others, codify them into civil LAW. Or their religion tells them the Earth is 6,000 years old and they want that taught as science in PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

    I might think their beliefs are ignorant, and they would be better off rejecting superstition in favor of science, but I don’t really give a wet f*art WHAT they believe so long as they keep it to themselves. I’ve never tried to prevent them from marrying, take their children away from them, or have them imprisoned. I haven’t blamed them for hurricanes, tornadoes, or childhood obesity even though there’s a correlation there that’s pretty hard to overlook (or see around).

    If they could say the same thing I wouldn’t even know they exist.

  13. fedorajoe says

    CALIBAN: Preach! Don’t ask me to peacefully coexist with those who would see me destroyed. Sorry Mary et al, but it don’t work that way. This is a civil rights battle, just like it was for blacks and others in decades past. Would you have told those loud, pesky darkies to just sit quietly at the back of the bus for the sake of peaceful coexistence? Yes, I think you probably would have.

  14. says

    It’s only difficult for them because their personal bigotry–justified by their personal religious interpretations–are falling more and more outside of the mainstream, and, if they have a brain, they know it will only get more “difficult” for them. But, in retrospect, their “difficulties” will be viewed similarly to those that greeted racial inequalities. The problem for the anti-gay religious is that they haven’t yet accepted that they’re on the wrong side of history.

    @Javier: Valuing a person’s right to have a personal faith is different than valuing views that support depriving us of our civil rights. Tolerance of and respect for views that support discrimination only enable them to continue. We don’t have to be apologists for the anti-gay, particularly since there are allies of faith we can and should respect because they value our humanity.

  15. jamal49 says

    One wants to shout in the faces of the bible-thumpers whenever they roil on about the “biblical view of sexuality”: are you talking about the incest, the rape, the castration, the polygamy, the sexual mutilation? WHICH BIBLICAL VIEW OF SEXUALITY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Because from where I sit, reading that execrable collection of tribal myths, the sexuality that is contained within is pretty raunchy and perverse.

  16. Wilberforce says

    It sounds to me like the guy is trying to walk back his earlier commentary.
    ‘individuals’ rights of freedom, and the collective right to hold differing views on any subject is a critical balance…
    seeking to understand where all people are coming from…
    wrestle with scripture and its implications for our lives.’
    You wrestle with scripture when you don’t have all the answers, which is a far cry from the all-knowing, hate mongering fundamentalists out there.

  17. Bob says

    He is so upset—
    His history of bigoted speech has overwhelmed his more recent good works.

  18. Steve says

    Screw you. These people will never be content to just live with their beliefs. They will never be content until they take complete control over the country, create a Christian Saudi Arabia and force everyone else to live by their beliefs.

    Or to put it into legal terms. They have the right to hold their beliefs. And that’s it. They don’t have the right to have a platform for them. They don’t have the right to act on them in all situations. And they most certainly don’t have the right to enshrine them into law.

  19. Disgusted American says

    I cant imagine the total embarrassment it must be to be one of Tony’s kids…he has a daughter in college …no doubt, she denys ALOT being related to him…..what a legacy she’ll have to look back on…kind of like Anita Bryant’s kids…Notice you NEVER hear a peep out of them….?

  20. beed says

    “…while lifting up the name of Jesus above anything else.” That is the problem with religious people; they cannot imagine anyone being happy if they don’t worship the same imaginary friend as they do.

  21. nikko says

    He’s a typical deluded piece of poop. He thinks homosexuality is a “difficult issue to navigate” but he had no dificulty condemning it by death penalty. Vile .

  22. Bill says

    @Nikko: I found the sermon in question last night on a web site. While I was rather surprised at its length – nearly an hour – he spent some time emphasizing that “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” means that Christians should not act hatefully towards gays and lesbians, and definitely should not kill them (the ‘first stone’ was the first in a barrage intended to kill someone). The biblical example he used was a story about an angry mob that was about to kill an adulteress: after defusing the situation, and after the mob disperses, the story has Jesus saying, “Will no one condemn you? Then I will not condemn you,” and tells her to go and sin no more.

    But, he did spend nearly an hour ranting about how homosexual activity was going to send the country down the tubes, and was so over the top in that regard that today one would question the guy’s sanity.

    Originally I was inclined to laugh at him and maybe let it slide as it was a good 15 years ago and I figured he just picked a topic that was in the news that week as he tried to come up with something for a 10 minute weekly sermon at a standard-sized church. But nearly a full hour of ranting about it? He sounded like the crazy religious fanatics in “Inherit the Wind” (a classic film about what became known as “The Scopes Monkey Trial” where a school teacher was tried for teaching Darwinian evolution.)

  23. jamal49 says

    Tony Giglio, Darling Pastor, the most “difficult issue” this nation will “navigate” is how we can kick evangelical christianity–that great American social, political and cultural cancer–to the curb so our nation can heal and move forward.

    It’s a tough one but it shall be done.

  24. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Bill: For that sort of congregation, lengthy sermons are the norm. They used to be the norm in the colonial days when you were expected to be in church all day. There were people who had a pole with a doornob (or something similar) on one end and a feather on the other to keep people awake.

  25. Bill says

    @Diogenes Arktos: only 1 hour for people who were expected to be in church all day? The standard for tiresomeness was 6 hours – Gilbert’s lyrics for The Mikado included the following:

    All prosy dull society sinners,
    Who chatter and bleat and bore,
    Are sent to hear sermons
    From mystical Germans
    Who preach from ten till four.

    (It was from the Mikado’s first song in which he describes how he is going to make the punishment fit the crime.)

  26. John Riley says

    I attended Mr. Giglio’s Passion 2013 conference, and although I can’t speak on his behalf, I have certainly experienced the radical love he has for people.

    Jesus Followers must constantly wrestle with issues such as these. Humans can be slaves to many different things that cloud your ability to be intimate with God. For many, that is drinking or drugs. For others, it may be relationships with girls. I can’t comment on God’s view of homosexuality, but I know, regardless of his view, he loves the people.

    I would urge you to learn more about Louie! The Passion Conferences launched the End It Movement (, a campaign to end human slavery and trafficking for the 27 million people who are forced into it. I sincerely do not believe Louie is a hateful person. He’s just like any other Christ follower, who is caught it a game of balancing grace and truth.

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