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January 10th, 2013
12:07 PM ET

Giglio bows out of inauguration over sermon on gays

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor


(CNN)–
In the face of withering criticism over a sermon he apparently delivered on homosexuality in the 1990s, the Rev. Louie Giglio has withdrawn from giving the benediction at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Giglio informed inauguration officials Thursday morning of his decision to withdraw from the ceremony, an inauguration official told CNN.

"I am honored to have been invited by the president to give the benediction at the upcoming inauguration on January 21," Giglio said in a statement delivered to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee. "Though the president and I do not agree on every issue, we have fashioned a friendship around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms."

"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 a 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."

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Giglio, a pastor and the leader of the Passion Movement, was chosen to deliver the benediction because he's a "powerful voice for ending human trafficking and global sex slavery" and due to his work in mobilizing young people in that effort, an inauguration official said earlier in the week when the reverend's selection was first announced.

Criticism over the selection swirled after the liberal website Think Progress posted a sermon that it said Giglio gave in the mid-1990s, a speech the site called "vehemently anti-gay."

A spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee said the committee was "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."

"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," said PIC spokeswoman Addie Whisenant.

In an audio copy of the sermon posted on the Think Progress website, a voice identified as that of Giglio's called homosexuality a sin. "That's God's voice. If you want to hear God's voice, that is his voice to this issue of homosexuality. It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear."

"If you look at the counsel of the word of God, Old Testament, New Testament, you come quickly to the conclusion that homosexuality is not an alternate lifestyle... homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the word of God."

The recording continues: "The only way out of a homosexual lifestyle, the only way out of a relationship that has been ingrained over years of time, is through the healing power of Jesus."

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"We've got to say to the homosexuals, the same thing that I say to you and that you would say to me... it's not easy to change, but it is possible to change," he can also be heard saying during the sermon.

Giglio is a rising voice in evangelical Christianity. Last week, the Passion conference, which he founded, wrapped up its annual event for college students in Atlanta, with more than 60,000 students attending and vowing to end global slavery. They raised $3 million for charities that work to stop slavery and aid its victims.

Giglio said Thursday that he and his team don't 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; thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the president's invitation."

"I will continue to pray regularly for the president, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day," Giglio's statement to the White House continued.

"Our nation is deeply divided and hurting, and more than ever need God's grace and mercy in our time of need," it concluded.

Giglio took to his church blog Thursday to further explain his position to his congregants at Passion City Church in Atlanta.

"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," he wrote.

He asserted that his main goal as a pastor was to love people.

"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."

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said Giglio's decision to withdraw was the right one.

"Participants in the inaugural festivities should unite rather than divide. Choosing an affirming and fair-minded voice as his replacement would be in keeping with the tone the president wants to set for his inaugural," Griffin said in a statement.

Giglio represents a new type of evangelical leader who "doesn't like to get involved in the culture war because it blurs the larger points he wants to make," said Michael Cromartie, the vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

"What I want to remind his critics is he's not being named to a Cabinet position," Cromartie said. "He was being asked to deliver a prayer. All sorts of people deliver prayers who we don't agree with on a number of issues."

"It's unfortunate that this kind of political correctness doesn't allow people who are doing great work to pray at inauguration," he added.

CNN's Athena Jones contributed to this report

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (1,699 Responses)
  1. Douglas

    Go Giglio!

    God is on your side.

    Gay coitus and gay marriage are at cross purposes with the Holy Bible and God's
    teaching in the Jewish Torah and the Islamic Koran.

    They can't all be wrong...when they are all on the same page on this one.

    Go Giglio..you stand up against slavery...while the gays enslave themsleves in sin.

    Shame on you Obama! You of all people should no better!

    January 11, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • Dr. Zeus

      People like Douglas always remind me how crazy and heartless religious people are.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • sam stone

      douglas: how fvcking arrogant can you be to claim to know the mind of god?

      January 11, 2013 at 6:55 am |
    • James

      "while the gays enslave themsleves in sin."

      No, they don't. The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      January 11, 2013 at 9:58 am |
  2. KRHODES

    Here is another story on belief net "Obama to swear-in on a stack of historic Bibles."
    Now if believing h0m0se x u ality is sinful and wrong...doesn't it stand to reason the bible could not be included because it does not foster inclusion? Obama no more believes the bible is true than any other atheist. It amazes me they act so contradictory... and people actually believe he is a Christian.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  3. atlantan

    the only thing that would top this news is if Giglio came out of his closet ;)

    January 10, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Marinus van der Lubb

      Well, he DOES look kinda gay...

      Just sayin'...

      January 11, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  4. aallen333

    Are we not a nation that has become double minded. We claim to believe in God but we despise his Word when it interferes with our lusts. Did not God say a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. I can find no better description of the state of our nation today. Unstable.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Being "unstable" is when hypocrites pick on other people while ignoring that they have plenty of failures themselves.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • Pete Smith

      @Observer-

      This "hypocrite" stuff gets trotted out a LOT. So lemme ask you: since everyone has "plenty of failures themselves", by your (apparent?) logic, no one should criticize anyone for anything. Am I right? But what I actually see you (and most of the anti-christians here) saying is that CHRISTIANS shouldn't criticize anyone for anything.

      The reason I ask, is that I see a ton of criticizing going on here, across the board, but it's pretty much solely the Christians who get it thrown in their faces. Seems to me that, well, that's kinda hypocritical...

      January 10, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • KRHODES

      You got that completely right AAllen...it is unbelievable.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Observer

      Pete Smith,

      Jesus said that anyone who divorces and remarries commits adultery unless the previous spouse was already an adulterer.
      How many Christians say such people in their families and churches should divorce and change their ways or go to hell?

      The Bible says that incense is an abomination. How many Christians pick on the so-called Three Wise Men for bringing the "gift of the Magi", which was gold and TWO ABOMINATIONS?

      The Bible says that women should never teach men. How many Christians follow that?

      Ask any Christians about these "sins" and the don't want to talk about them. It's more fun for the HYPOCRITES to pick on gays.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Hobby Lobby

      Hey Observer! If Christians didn't do any of the things you mentioned, and they were against hom-ose-xuality, i'm pretty sure you would still find something to fault them for. Because you don't agree with their position on hom-ose-xuality. What it comes down to is they think something is wrong, and you disagree with them on it. Someone here, earlier, stated that hom-ose-xuality has been around since mankind first stood up on two legs (or something like that.) What that person didn't mention is that this is the first time in recorded history that hom-ose-xuality has been actively encouraged. So. Say, just for argument's sake, that there IS nothing wrong with hom-ose-xuality (from a societal, or a psychological, or an evolutionary standpoint). Just as there is, in theory, nothing wrong with drug addi-ction, or alcoholism, or inc-est (adult, consentual incest) or best-iality or necr-ophilia. Really, when it comes right down to it, there isn't. If a drug addi-ct or an alcoholic or a bes-stophile or necr-ophile or ince-stophile or whatever can function in society, hold a job and pay taxes and start a family, there's nothing wrong with it, right? But what if drug addi-ction (or my other examples), instead of merely being tolerated by society, was actively encouraged? And there were, for example, "drug-addi-ction-positive" tv shows, and positive top 40 pop songs on the radio about it, and movie af-ter movie af-ter movie extolling the virtues of the drug-addi-ct lifestyle? And it were discussed in grade scho-ol as a legitimate lifestyle, and shown in a positive light in scho-ol textbooks. What then?

      Wouldn't any reasonable person think "hey now, let's rethink this stuff. Tolerance is one thing, but acceptance and encouragement is another"?

      This, i think is what we're starting to see now. Things are getting a bit out of hand, and the Reps/Cons/Christians are the ones seeing it and saying "whoa". Cuz no one else is...

      January 11, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • tallulah13

      This is a secular nation. This allows people of all faiths to live together without fear of persecution. We are protected by the Const.itution. Therefore, your statements really only apply to the christian portion of the population.

      January 11, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • sam stone

      aallen: perhaps america is not turning away from god as much as it is tuning away from YOUR verson of god

      January 11, 2013 at 7:03 am |
  5. pjoe

    What was controversial about what he said? The truth will set you free.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Observer

      "The only way out of a hom0s-xual lifestyle, the only way out of a relationship that has been ingrained over years of time, is through the healing power of Jesus."

      January 10, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
  6. lol??

    How did the Big O get all mixed up with gay Wrights, anyway?

    January 10, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Observer

      Rev. Wright's not gay, but expect you didn't know that.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  7. EricTheLate

    I wonder if any of Giglio's critics have taken time to listen to the man. I think you would find a very genuine, loving person. Just sayin.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm sure he's great, as long as you weren't born gay. Then he will fight to take away your rights.

      Despite the fact the speech was made 15 or so years ago, Giglio has apparently not recanted his ignorant tirade. I don't find much that is loving about a man who advocates treating fellow humans like second class citizens, just because they were born different than him.

      January 11, 2013 at 3:36 am |
  8. wanda sims

    Values are thrown out of the window and will get worse now that Obama and his Liberals are back in power. Pastors and men of God should stand up and speak out, This is getting worse and worse. OMG, God help America

    January 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Three Republicans said they were told by God to run and lost bad.

      Four years ago Palin said God's will would be done.

      Why don't you believe other believers?

      January 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • ProudAtheist

      According to your book of magic and fairytales, this is all part of God's plan. In Revelations, all of these things must come to pass so that God will may be done. Therefore, we humans are nothing more than puppets in His play, with our scripts, behaviors, and actions already determined.

      Does that make you feel better to know that the destruction of our world is part of God's plan? If not, then perhaps you should choose to believe a more loving god, because your god is NOT a god of love, at least based upon your babble (bible).

      January 10, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Susan

      Yes, Wanda you said that right!

      January 10, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yeah. That liberal agenda is terrible, what with the poor getting fed and the sick getting aid. These are not conservative christian values. Acquiring wealth and trying to legislate discrimination - now these are conservative christian values.

      January 11, 2013 at 3:42 am |
    • sam stone

      values? like equality?

      January 11, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • christianlady

      What value is getting thrown out? love? equality?
      oh, I see, bigotry and prejudice and intolerance are your values. I choose love (i.e. I choose to follow Jesus and His law of love).

      January 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  9. rick2911

    Jesus states "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved" Matt 10:22

    stand firm and don't give in to those that deceive.
    God Bless you Louis Giglio!

    January 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • ProudAtheist

      You think that we're somehow living in the end times because Christians are being persecuted? Christians are not the only religious people who have been persecuted over the centuries. Catholics partook in religious cleansing during the crusades by attempting to erradicate the Muslims, so Christians are not exclusive.

      Christians have been persecuted since their inception, and humans have been at war with each other since the time of our neanderthal ancestors. How are the Revelation stories relevant? They're stating what has been occurring since before humans became civilized.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • dave

      proudatheist-There are a great many christians who think we are living in the end times–I can prove to them that their theology has already be proven wrong through math–I am talking about the kirk cameron left behind types

      January 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • ProudAtheist

      The "left behind" Christians are the only ones of which I know. What math is this of which you speak? I'd like to know about it.

      Do you have a domain name for a website that explains the math?

      January 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • dave

      proudatheist–That israel existing today has to do with the return of christ-"the olive tree" This generation shall not pass away until these things are fulfilled-1948? nah ill give them 1967–20 years is a generation –always has been always will be–but ok 40 years-2007 has passed–they will keep on pushing the generation up and up

      Jesus christ may or may not return–but it has nothing to do with israel existing or not existing

      January 10, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Carolyn

      The Bible also says that "evil will be good, and good will be evil", which is very much the case today.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Observer

      Carolyn,

      What's wrong iwth evil? God bragged that he does it.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • christianlady

      Jesus states, "love your neighbor as yourself." According to Him, that is the second greatest commandment. Love is incompatible with the bigotry and prejudice and intolerance esposed by giglio.

      January 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  10. Michael Celtland

    Let's see ... Hagel can make anti-gay statements, but Giglio can't.
    Oh .. okay.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • dave

      Whats wrong with hagel? He is a patriot

      January 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • frank

      Ah – has Hagel been called to lead a spiritual message for the President's next term?

      January 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • christianlady

      Hagel apologized, stated those views are not his current views, and he was not selected to lead an important prayer.

      January 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  11. LUKE150

    THREE TIMES I POSTED MY COMMENTS AND THEY HAVE NOT POSTED. YOU CAN HAVE PEOPLE THAT SWEAR AND USE EXTREME LANGUAGE AGAINST GOD AND POSTED THEIR COMMENTS, BUT WHEN IT COMES TIME TO POST COMMENTS ABOUT PEOPLE THAT TELL THE TRUTH THAT IS WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE YOU WON'T PUBLISH. SHAME ON YOU CNN.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Go ahead. We are waiting.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You probably had a word like "const.itution" which the automatic word filter will not allow because of the word "t.it" in the middle. Or perhaps a word like "va.gue" because CNN thinks that any time someone writes the letters "v" "a" and "g" in a row, they must be spelling the word "va.gina."

      Of course, it could be a conspiracy by CNN to keep one person out of 7 billion from posting.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Or maybe god doesn't like caps lock.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'M SORRY, LUKE150, BUT "GOD" IS AN ELEMENT OF MYTHOLOGY, THEREFORE YOUR ASSERTION IS UNFOUNDED. USING MY IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION EQUIVALENCY MODULE (IEE), THE EXPRESSION THAT BEST MATCHES THE DEGREE TO WHICH YOUR ASSERTION MAY REPRESENT A TRUTH IS: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • ProudAtheist

      Just because something is written within the bible doesn't make it true. The bible was written over 2,000 years ago, in a dessert in the Middle East, and the gospels weren't even written until about 70 years after Christ's alleged death. How is the bible a reliable source of truth when there are nonsensical stories contained within it (e.g. creationism story of Genesis, Noah's Ark, the story of Moses, the story of Job)???

      Just because the bible claims that the bible is God's word doesn't mean that God exists or that the bible is God's word. The bible's over 2,000 years old, and it hasn't been revised or updated to take out all of the genocide, infanticide, slavery, misogyny, slave beating, stonings, and other hateful messages contained within it.

      Instead of reading the bible, why don't you read a book of science? You can learn far more from a science book than the bible.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Observer

      LUKE150,

      It could be a user problem since you apparently don't know where the caps lock key is for toggling..

      January 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • lol??

      Pridy, did you make up your own great commission? That's just copyin'.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • lol

      fuck you and fuck your invisible baby-massacreing buddy

      January 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • frank

      what's this: "massacreing " ? are they putting mascara on babies now?

      January 10, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Jean Baptiste

      Yep, let's all make fun of LUKE150 for getting understandably frustrated with the incredibly stupid profanity filter, which he hand no prior knowledge of, because he's (apparently?) new here and trying to make a one-time post instead of hanging out on the CNN Belief blog for months and Months and MONTHS at a time, bullying and ridiculing every comment from every Christian that comes along. Like many of you.

      You guys are doing a bang-up job. Keep up the good work.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I WAS REALLY MORE MAKING FUN OF CNN BUT OK YEAH THAT'S A GREAT POINT SO MANY ATHEISTS ARE ON HERE ALL THE TIME MAKING FUN OF ALLLLLL THE CHRISTIAN COMMENTS EXCEPT FOR SOME OF THE TIME WHEN THERE'S OK DISCUSSION ACROSS THE AISLE LIKE I SEE QUITE A BIT THOUGH SOMETIMES NOT FOR DAYS AT A TIME BUT MAYBE WE COULD TRY A LITTLE MORE TENDERNESS AND SEE IF THAT WORKS BUT THEN AGAIN A LOT OF CHRISTIANS ARE HATERS TOO AND SO THEY INVITE THE CRITICISM THEY RECEIVE AND THEN ACT LIKE WHINGING BABIES WHEN THEY GET A LITTLE BIT OF FLACK FOR FOURTEEN PARAGRAPHS OF HATRED AND BILE AND THE LIKE BUT MAYBE WE SHOULD GO ABOUT IT A DIFFERENT WAY I DUNNO

      January 10, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • frank

      I feel your caps, moby.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Jean Baptiste,

      No, I think they are giving him a hard time because he acted like a paranoid jerk. There are other ways to ask for help, and yes, even other ways to vent frustration.

      I can post my copy of the list if he would like to see it.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • simian style-itus

      Helpful Hints-

      Haven't you noticed? This place breeds paranoia and frustration. As well as jerks. The snark outnumbers the thoughtful comments probably 99 to 1. Every other post is a dogpile on someone, usually some Christian, with many of the dogpilers being atheists who are (rather strangely) seldom if ever up in arms against buddhists, muslims, hindus, or jews. I'm not sure what your banner shows (perhaps the same thing as mine?), but on my end I'm seeing "Hear God? You're (usually) Not Crazy" and "Jesus was a Dirty, Dirty God." And on top of that, the profanity filter effectively works in favor of brief snark and bullying, and against well-thought-out, point by point (i.e. lengthy) discussion. In other words, practically everything about this blog is weighted heavily against religion, specifically against christianity. And on top of that, one of my favorite sights here is seeing/reading people who attack the bible for being nothing but myth and fairy tale, but who probably are into vampires, werewolves, zombies, and world of warcraft. and the flying spaghetti monster, ha ha. we all have our religions. and our hypocrisies...

      regarding your copy of the verboten verbiage list, I'm sure LUKE would appreciate it...

      January 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Carolyn

      That's because CNN is nothing more than Satan's heathenous disciples.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • sam stone

      luke: it's an automatic word filter. i see that your persecution complex is working fine, though

      January 11, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • sam stone

      carolyn: satan's heathenous disciples? got your kneepads on for the salvation? take breath mints......forever is a long time for that taste to be in your mouth

      January 11, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Whatever...

      Sam, you're a fu.ck.ing degenerate...

      January 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  12. The Dude

    People who insist that being gay is a choice only do so to make them more secure in their masculinity as they confront their gay experimentation. Doing gay and being gay are not the same thing.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  13. Richard

    But it's ok that Obama had as a pal a minister who advocated the destruction of the white race? Noted.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Observer

      Richard,

      You are totally CLUELESS. Supply any FACTS.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, I'm sure you think you're special.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • vidal808

      Richard, you are so clueless, it's a wonder that you know how to use a key board and post a comment.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  14. ProudAtheist

    If being gay is an abomination in God's eyes, then why does God create gays? People don't get to choose to which gender they want to be attracted, because no one can simply wake up and choose to be attracted to a different gender other than the gender to which they are already attracted. Therefore, God creates gays.

    There are two conclusions to this conundrum: (1) God is a hypocrite, because He creates gays and then labels them as abominations, or (2) God simply does not exist. I choose to believe the latter, because a god of love wouldn't be so cruel and intolerant.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • egtrust your father

      You dont believe in anything so did you really write this are you even really there.
      just a joke i apologize if its taken the wrong way

      January 10, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • ProudAtheist

      I believe in many things; however, I choose not to believe in anything based upon faith. Faith is gullibility; therefore, I rely upon evidence, as do all rational human beings.

      I wouldn't allow a doctor to perform open-heart surgery on me simply because he said that I needed it. I would demand proof first. The doctor could perform a CAT scan, and then I could observe it with my own eyes and make conclusions based upon the results.

      It just amazes me how humans can use reason and logic in every aspect of their lives, but when it comes to their religious beliefs, they rely merely on faith. It just disturbs me, that's all.

      No offense taken, BTW.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • lol??

      "It just disturbs me"....Well you're the one braggin' about pride.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • pervert alert

      People are not created qu eer it is a learned and practiced sin of someone with extremely low moral character. Qu eers the people who have killed millions of innocents by bringing the world AIDS.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Observer

      pervert alert,

      No gays have ever done what God did when he torturously killed EVERY pregnant woman, child, baby, and fetus on the face of the earth.

      Why not read the Bible some day?

      January 10, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • egtrust your father

      Thank you for your respectful response.
      God bless

      January 10, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • ProudAtheist

      There is scientific evidence to prove your point egregiously wrong. People do not learn to become gay, and people cannot choose to become gay later on in life. You're quite deluded.

      People also do not create diseases and viruses. Viruses were in existence even before humans, so your argument is baseless.

      It is true that gays spread HIV moreso than straight people. However, this is not the case in Africa, the country with the highest rate of HIV victims, so, once again, your argument is baseless.

      Take off your faith goggles; they're blinding you.

      http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/12/11/scientists-may-have-finally-unlocked-puzzle-of-why-people-are-gay

      January 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I suspect "lol" and "pervert alert" are the same troll.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "pervert alert", but all of your assertions to date have been unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC EPIC FAIL".

      January 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • phazon

      To answer your question God didn't create gays imperfection did. Was the first humans gay no they wasn't was their imperfect offspring gay yes. You seem to forget that God created only 3 human beings Adam,Eve and Jesus the others are offsprings of imperfect parents through one man sin entered the earth and through sin death.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Sup

      How could there be evil and intolerance if there was no God? Where would it come from and why would it matter?

      January 10, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Phazon, gays and lesbians are exactly who they were born to be. Just because they make you uncomfortable doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them. The flaw lies within you.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • frank

      "Was the first humans gay no they wasn't "

      was you the head of your class, no you wasn't

      January 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Iconify

      Another possibility is that god is fallible and accidentally creates gays. It is possible that (this hypothetical god) is not omnipotent.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • lol??

      Gays are the GUO's. Given Up Ones because they're not into Truth. Now they want "jesus" on their terms.

      January 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  15. Peter Bishop

    The pastor did not want to face the gay gestapo.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Observer

      Maybe he just realized what a hypocrite he is.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • christianlady

      LOL If there really was a gay gestapo, don't you think they would have equal rights by now?

      January 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  16. egtrust your father

    We all can see now why louie was right in backing out. There are those who would rather pick others apart instead of focusing on the important part and that is backing our leaders and giving them the support they need.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Thor

      And Giglio is one of those pick aparters.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • egtrust your father

      He only relays what the bible says. And if you watched and read his work he has made reference to his own sin to and in that not making himself exempt from the same scrutiny

      January 10, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • christianlady

      If he "only relates what the Bible says," I wonder when he's going to argue in favor of polygamy? or slavery? or avoiding shellfish? etc.

      January 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  17. fsmgroupie

    will there be prayers offered by any pastafarians?

    January 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • lol??

      Yup, chicago style italian mobster hot dogs have brought you the Big O and want a few words. And the kickbacks of waivers for all the unions.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  18. Tina

    I will be praying for all of you who do not believe in the Word of God!!

    January 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Dr. Zeus

      It's your time to waste, but if you get a kick out of imaginary magic words, go for it.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • ProudAtheist

      What makes you believe that the Bible is the word of God? You think that the Bible is God's word because the Bible says that it's God's word? That's just ignorant.

      The Bible was written by sand dwellers living in the Middle East about 2,000+ years ago, and the gospels weren't even written until about 70 years after Christ's death. Therefore, the gospels were NOT written by eye-witnesses. Rather, the gospels were written by secondary sources over 7 decades after the events alleged happened.

      Many stories of the Bible were stolen from the Pagans. For example, Hercules was a man-god who had a god for a father and a mortal for a mother. Jesus was a man-god who had a god for a father and a mortal for a mother. Do you see how silly this is now?

      If I told you that I believed in Zeus and Hercules, then I'm sure that you would label me as insane. When you realize why you would label someone as insane for believing in Zeus and Hercules, then perhaps you will realize why I label you insane for believing in another mythical, invisible, magical deity.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Which god, Tina? Which word? Humans have worshiped thousands of gods through the course of history (and not a single shred of evidence for any of them). Most of them had "holy" words attached. Do you believe in all of them or are you simply pinning all your hopes on one god and hoping that it's the right one?

      January 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Peter

      ProudAtheist,

      Hey I just want to urge you to pick up and read the book "The Reason for God" by Timothy Keller. I can assure you it's not some ploy to turn you into a Christian; this is not my intention and it is certainly not the author's. However, it is a great book and a very good intellectual study of "faith" and Timothy Keller rationalizes it the best ways possible.

      If you aren't willing to shell out money on a book suggested by a stranger on a topic you seem to oppose, I'd be more than happy to buy it for you and send it to your address. Here's my email: ptberruti@yahoo.com if you're interested in that; I'll get hard cover or paperback, whichever you prefer.

      Again, I don't want you to read this to change your life or anything like that, it's simply the best counter argument I can think of. Not that I"m trying to argue with you, I just want you to see another perspective on this.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • ProudAtheist

      @Peter: Thanks for the offer; that's very generous of you. However, I spent over 20 years of my life reading and studying the bible, and I believed every word of it. Then, I learned about science, evolution, biology, astronomy, etc., and I realized that all of the scientific knowledge that we have today – gained through hard work, research, testing, and observable evidence – suggests that God does not exist.

      Furthermore, I've studied other religions and speculated on all of the religions of the world, and I came to realize that, without evidence, there is no way to discern religious truth from religious fiction. Therefore, I was taking quite a gamble putting my faith in simply one religion, bible, and god.

      You're an atheist, too, because you dismiss the plethora of other gods which are believed in and worshipped today. When you realize why you find it ridiculous why Hindus believe in a monkey and elephant god, then perhaps you will realize why I find it ridiculous that Christians believe in another invisible, mythical deity.

      Good day to you, Peter.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Susan

      I will too, Tina...

      January 10, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • sam stone

      Spend a lot of time on your knees, do you Tina?

      January 11, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • christianlady

      I believe in the Word of God, and that Word is LOVE. Read the Gospels, dear. Jesus preached LOVE.

      January 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  19. Mike

    Heaven (or Hell) forbid a minister calling perversion a sin. Perhaps if we had more preachers doing the same America would not be going down the tubes.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Observer

      Mike,

      It would be better if ministers told their congregations about all of THEIR sins so they wouldn't be such HYPOCRITES picking on gays.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • Erik

      Oh, you mean like the perversion called interracial marriage back in the 60's? Or that perversion of women wanting to vie in the 1910's? Sounds like you're then one in need of 'saving', along with a dose of living 21st century brain cells.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • RPE

      Well stated. Most of the commentary here follows standard liberal rules...if you disagree then you are ridiculed, verbally assaulted and any attempt at minimization of your commentary is acceptable. Any farcical retort encouraged by a lost generation here indeed. The saddest part is most of these people responding truly have no clue in their lives and are utterly lost. Even the pastor who backed out tried the politically correct route before backing out, after all teaching Jesus message can be watered down when people disagree, right? Most of the push back can be traced to people who do not wish to have their shortcomings addressed and certainly have no desire to be held accountable for their words and actions. Nothing is morally wrong any more in the new way of thinking and the Christian faith should be ridiculed at all costs. Wonder why it is just Christianity that most of you cannot tolerate, yet you are open armed towards muslims and other faiths. Could it be that this hits too close to home? Hold yourself accountable for the gifts you have been graciously given and stop promoting immorality. That is indeed why this country is falling apart, from within.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Observer

      RPE,

      "people who do not wish to have their shortcomings addressed and certainly have no desire to be held accountable for their words and actions."

      What a perfect example of the Christian hypocrites who ignore all their sins to pick on gays. Well done.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Perversion? Oh, please. Get over it, already. Do you REALLY think that gays are going to suddenly disappear because someone says they're "perverted"? H0mos3xuality has existed since man walked upright, you idiot.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Thomas J

      RPE-

      I couldn't agree more. Well done :)

      January 10, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Christians should be ridiculed when they advocate prejudice. Reality shows that ho.mos.exuality is a natural orientation. There is nothing innately wrong with same gender relationships, no matter what your 2000 year old book of mythology says.

      On the other hand, there is no proof of god (any god) or heaven or hell, no proof that the bible was anything other than a human construct and no proof that christianity leads to any special virtue.

      In the end, your religion is nothing more than what you have chosen to believe, and it has no authority over anyone who does not choose to follow it. Christians like to think they are above criticism, but in truth, they are not.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      mike: or, it would make more ministers appear to be totally out of touch

      January 11, 2013 at 7:33 am |
  20. Stephen Nicola

    Why is there going to be a prayer at all at the Inauguration? Despite the President being a Christian, he is serving a secular duty for all Americans of all faiths and none. Ditch the prayers completely.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • lol??

      Exactly, the Masters don't have a prayer.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • lol??

      Servants gone wild and the public morphed into cheerleaders. Must be a bush thang.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • DrBob

      Exactly. The presidential inauguration is no place for religion. It is about a civil leader not about religion. The mere fact that he was invited, regardless of his obvious bigotry, should be the story, not the fact that he hates gays.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Iconify

      I have serious doubts that Obama is a Christian. I suspect that he is a Secular Humanist. His professed faith in the Christian god is probably politically-motivated.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Ari Soudar

      Why is the inauguration required?? There are a lot of $ available, is it? Same guy, four more years. Just keep working!

      January 10, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.