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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 Louie Giglio has withdrawn from giving the benediction at President Barack Obama's inauguration.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. ted

    Well the good news is that a Gay fascist regime will be easy to over throw. I'm looking forward to kicking our new overlords but.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Do you even have a third grade understanding of what you said?

      Obama as Fascist?

      I am now quite confident you not only indoctrinated, but illiterate as well.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      Ted: You are another blowhard bigot

      January 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Jared

    Small-minded liberals hypocritically shouting at "small-minded" bigots. Liberals have a hard time handling dissenting views all the while preaching being inclusive.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • William Demuth

      ??

      Many might call me a Liberal, and my philosophy about opposing views is simple

      Kill them.

      Not all of us are as passive as you fascists seem to believe.

      Just ask the German Christian Nazi's about what us "Liberals" did to them.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Progressives discriminate using big minded bigotry. A crowd of Socialists is their backup.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  3. Jeremy

    Typical of the left....they're so tolerant and understanding of others....as long as others always agree with them.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      interesting how apparently not accepting intolerance is apparently intolerant.
      are you intolerant of the KKK?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  4. DoubleStandard

    Interesting. They want their choice of who to deliver the inaugural prayer to "...reflect this administration's vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans..." And since all American's are not the same (equal in rights, but not the same in any other category, eg gender/age/race/test scores/ability to run 5 miles/etc/etc/etc), apparently it's ok to do just the opposite of what they stated by being exclusionary and non-accepting of someone that they don't agree with. Oh, wait – inclusion and acceptance only applies to those that think in lock-step with their liberal ideologies. Got it. And here I thought inclusion and acceptance applied to all Americans. Thanks for the lesson.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      He WAS invited. He chose to decline.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Huh?

      Preaching hate and blocking civil rights is not something that reflects well on America.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Akira

      He withdrew.
      HE did.
      Therefore, everything you have just stated is moot.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's funny how people like DoubleStandard whine and cry when they don't get to preach exactly what they want to. It's like they think they should be treated better than everyone elsel or something.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • lol??

      Aki, why force people to watch ye ol' withdrawing? You perverted?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Akira

      Isn't withdrawl against Christian mores?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • lol??

      Not only do BI's have double standards but they also are double minded.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  5. lol??

    "Sorry! The word "bigot" doesn't occur in the KJV."

    January 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Neither does "internet" or "silicone" or "computer".

      Your point?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yeah, but there's these statements:

      Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

      Luke 6:31 – And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

      Mark 12:31 – And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

      So I guess the bible doesn't agree with discrimination, either.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • William Demuth

      tallulah13

      Love thy neigbor as thyself?

      Does that mean gay guys should bugger this preacher?

      I mean if it is in the Bible, I say go for it.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • lol??

      Don't want no h0m0s e xual doin' to me what he wants done to him.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • sam

      @lol?? – "Don't want no h0m0s e xual doin' to me what he wants done to him."

      Like what? Obtain equal rights? Sorry, everyone gets those.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  6. Moni

    YOUR morals and YOUR values that YOU chose are only for judging YOU, not ME.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  7. Fred Hoeppner

    An invitation from the President of the United State to offer a benediction should be respected by all. Only the selfish and narrow minded would try to turn our President's inauguration into a battle ground for their own agenda.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  8. lol??

    "Jam 2:3-4 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?"...........Gays are always wantn' to be treated special.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Southern Humanist

      I think you mean "to be treated equally."

      January 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • lol??

      They get to die, too?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  9. stevephoenix

    Obama could get Al Sharpton – he could pray for money to pay his own tax debts

    January 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  10. Charles

    God is! God is supreme, His word is not just views but TRUTH and LIFE. God cannot be interpreted or judged by governments nor by ideologies not even liberalism. Truth is not often in the middle, it is not hate but love. How can one be sorry for telling the truth?

    January 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • jwt

      The truth is I have no god.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • sam

      One religion's narrow version/idea of the truth.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god is fail. god is imaginary. god is a human construct. deal with it.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • James

      "How can one be sorry for telling the truth?"

      Are they really telling the truth? 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 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Charles", but "God", "His", "His word", "TRUTH", and "Truth" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      "God cannot be interpreted"

      So, there is only one christian church?

      January 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  11. S Kyle

    Guess it sucks when the past comes back to haunt you. Not a small-minded bigot any longer? Awww. Too bad. Shouldn't have used your position of power to preach hate.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Ryan

      Very well put.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Just askin'

      Wouldn't your description of him as "preaching hate" be a form of preaching hate against him? Just askin' ...

      January 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Brian

      Kyle, you do realize that the definition to bigot is one who treats others with differing beliefs with hatred and intolerance. Giglio and real God fearing Christians accept all others with open arms as is said in his sermon. Bigots are those like yourself that refuse to allow others to disagree with you.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Robert

      "Giglio and real God fearing Christians accept all others with open arms as is said in his sermon. Bigots are those like yourself that refuse to allow others to disagree with you."

      Yet, they continue to deny gays their civil rights, that's not having open arms and that is bigotry.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  12. joshua

    Thank you pastor God bless you. thank you for standing up against the government madness. people God is real stop playing around with His Holiness it will destroy us. see kakamega revival for proof of His existance and stop gay marriage in america or america will face judgement by God.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Wanna bet he butt buggers altar boys????

      January 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • James

      " and stop gay marriage in america "

      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 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      no such thing as god. next.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      why is it that so many claim god will destroy america for gays but apparently god did jack all to america during slavery? does god have no issue with slavery? is keeping a human being as property less of sin than 2 people loving each other?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • jwt

      Thanks for tyhe daily chuckle. You may have a god but not everyone does.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • sam

      If god has a problem with it, let him deal with it himself. All you fundie buggers leave everyone else alone to be happy and live their lives.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • jonathanweeston

      Replace the word 'god' with 'harry potter' and you'll see how a lot of us view your silly argument.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • UofARoadHogs

      God made it very clear that it should be only a Man and a Woman. Two men cannot reproduce and two women cannot reproduce unless they have something from a man. That was not part of gods plan. Can anyone say Sodom and Gomorrah? This world is headed deeper and deeper in that direction. The president should have known better than to just fit in a make everyone happy by endorsing this kind of stuff. Good for this pastor.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • CraigRB

      Hogwash.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Elaine

      " Can anyone say Sodom and Gomorrah? "

      In Genesis 18, the story about the angels coming to Lot's house, we learn that the reason they were coming to destroy Sodom was because of the wickedness that ALREADY existed in the city. The exact form of wickedness is not mentioned in that story!

      Let's just reinforce this CRITICAL piece of information. In the story of Sodom, in Genesis 18, God had ALREADY decided to destroy the city BEFORE the attempted rape of the angels – which incidentally was perpetrated mainly by heterosexuals since ALL the men of the city were involved, and we know that throughout history, gays have only represented about 10% of the population. Also, if they were homosexuals, why would Lot suggest that they take his daughters instead? That just doesn't make sense if the men were gay.

      So just to get this straight, the event that took place at Sodom was an act of violence and rape, mainly by heterosexuals. It had nothing to do with a loving relationship between two people of the same sex, and homosexuality was NOT the sin of Sodom in whatever form. The story of Sodom in Genesis 18 was about violence and domination, the same type of event that takes place in prisons and occupied countries, but it was NOT the reason for God's decision to destroy the city, and to use this story as a basis for prejudice against homosexuality in general is like comparing rape to marriage. There is NO similarity!

      The aftermath of Sodom aside, let's take a look at other passages of Scripture that mention the sin of Sodom. Here are 14 references to Sodom and not one of them mentions homosexuality!!!!! The overwhelming themes are idolatry, immorality and inhospitality! To me, this indicates people like Bob and HeavenSent have taken things out of context!

      Deuteronomy 29:17-26 – the sin – idolatry and images to false gods – "Why has the Lord done this to the land? . . . It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . ."

      Deuteronomy 32:32-38 – the sin – idolatry – "He will say 'Now where are their gods?'"

      Isaiah 1:2-23 – the sin – idolatry, rebellion, injustice, murder, greed, theft, covetousness, mistreating the poor – "They have rebelled against Me."

      Isaiah 3:8-19 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance – "Their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious Presence"

      Jeremiah 23:10-14 – the sin – idolatry, adultery, lying by priests and prophets – "Both prophet and priest are godless. . . . They prophesied by Baal and led My people astray."

      Jeremiah 49:16-18 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance, oppression, pride of the heart – "The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived
      you. . ."

      Jeremiah 50:2-40 – the sin – idolatry, pride, false prophets – "Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror. . . . . For she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. . . . . Their shepherds have led them astray."

      Lamentations 4:3-6 – the sin – cruelty and failure to care for the young and poor – "My people have become heartless."

      Ezekiel 16:49-50 – the sin – "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

      Amos 4:1-11 – the sin – idolatry, oppression, mistreating the poor – "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom . . . . yet you have not returned to Me."

      Zephaniah 2:8-11 – the sin – idolatry, pride, mocking – "This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the land."

      Luke 17:26-29 – Jesus speaking – No specific sins mentioned

      II Peter 2:1-22 – the sin – idolatry, living after ungodliness, lawlessness, arrogance, blaspheming, adultery, greed, corruption, depravity, boasting, lust – "But there were also false prophets among the people . . . . ."

      Jude 1:7-8 – the sin – sexual immorality and perversion, i.e fornication after strange flesh (angels, see Genesis 6:1) KJV

      The dictionary defines "perversion" as "a sexual practice regarded as abnormal". That means that a heterosexual practicing homosexual acts is perverted as in the case of ALL the men of Sodom wanting to engage with the angels (strange flesh). However, since sex with the same gender is normal for a gay person, there is no perversion associated merely by the sexual act.

      Note also that, while the word "abomination" has been used with reference to homosexuality, the biblical interpretation of the word "abomination" relates to any act of uncleanness as set out in the Holiness Code, such as eating shellfish, trimming your hair, touching the skin of a dead pig (should we stone the entire NFL?), wearing clothes of two kinds of material (polyester/cotton) – the list is long. How can we discuss one sin to the exclusion of all others?

      This is an enormous subject, which has been reduced to simplistic values. It is plain and simple prejudice to portray homosexuals as immoral just because of the gender to whom we are attracted. Of course there are immoral homosexuals, just as there are immoral heterosexuals, but simple orientation carries no implication of morality or immorality.

      Our sexuality is God-given. God made us the way we are. It follows naturally that He loves us exactly the way He made us. So long as we embrace marriage with the same standards as any monogamous, loving heterosexual relationship there should be no barrier against us.

      When gays are only asking to have their loving relationships acknowledged and respected, why is there so much fear and anger? To strengthen marriage, why not take a stand against divorce and separation, instead of opposing love and commitment? Jesus spoke of divorce, but he never mentioned homosexuality. I believe that was because homosexuality was not even an issue in His day. Love was love. Love IS Love!

      "Protect marriage? Puhlease. With a 50 percent divorce rate, rampant domestic violence, Las Vegas drive-through chapels, and I wanna-marry-a-really-rich-guy reality TV shows, there's no way gays could trash marriage the way straight people have."

      This letter only refers to the sin of Sodom. There are actually six "clobber verses" which are used against gays. Space does not permit an explanation of each one, but just as the sin of Sodom has been misrepresented, so have the other verses. There is an explanation for each one that clearly indicates that, just as slavery was condoned by Scripture for many years, ("Slaves obey your masters . . . . ." Eph. 6:5-8) and civil wars were fought to protect the ownership of people, we now know that Scripture was interpreted incorrectly, for God would not have people to be possessions.

      We now have a fuller understanding of Scripture with regard to slavery. It's time to accept a fuller understanding of homosexuality based on new research into language, concepts and customs when these words were written.

      So please choose acceptance and inclusiveness whether or not you understand fully. One of us is wrong. Many of you think it's me. I think it's you, based on solid research into Scripture from another perspective. Yes, God encourages us to question Scripture.

      "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, REPROOF and instruction in righteousness." II Tim. 3:16

      If there is even a chance that I could be right, do you want to take the eternal risk of rejecting some of God's children, and slamming the doors of your churches to those of us who wish to enter? That's what you're doing when you treat us as less than yourselves simply based on our orientation.

      If we have done the research, and it is our understanding that God loves us, including our orientation, then why not just let God be the judge? He will be in the end anyway. If one of us is to err, why not err on the side of love and acceptance? Now that was truly Jesus' example!

      January 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • John

      "God made it very clear that it should be only a Man and a Woman."

      Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

      Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

      There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

      Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

      Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

      Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

      That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      joshua: it is a civil rights issue. if you don't support equal rights, you are a bigot. if you use the bible to support your bigotry, you are a pious bigot. f you and your empty proxy threats

      January 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      UofAPiggy: By what authority to you claim to know "god's plan"? by translated, edited iron age hearsay?

      January 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Ryan

    I'm glad that Giglio is not giving the benediction. Evangelicals need to be held accountable to the blasphemy and hatred for people.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • sunnyday

      Ryan,
      Just becaue you don't agree with a viewpoint does not make it blasphemous.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  14. Duane

    I'm a Christian and I'm a fan of Giglio...

    I drink beer.
    I like to hang out with folks who could care less about Jesus.
    I don't push my views on anyone.
    I will however, if asked, share them and not condemn anyone.
    Christianity isn't so much a religion as it is a personal relationship with Jesus.

    If I say God will that one guy post a reply to me about mythology and being a total failure for doing so? That totally cracks me up.

    Also, I think those that aren't christians on this page would enjoy my company and friendship and wouldn't try to convince me out of my beliefs.

    Word to your mother.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      except the bible commands christians to kill all g.ays. leviticus 20:13. so you aren't being a very good christian, are you?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Duane

      The New covenant started when Jesus stepped on the scene my man. Not applicable now. That's a common misconception but the Bible does declare that it is sinful. BUT we all are sinful. Luckily Jesus wasn't so we can confide in him! Just what I believe! You can argue that and say its wrong and all that Jazz but we will just go in circles and never really reach a stopping point.

      Hope you're having a good day! I'm trying to land a good job today!

      January 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Southern Humanist

      Duane, that's just one Christology, but not the Christology of Mathew, in which Jesus actually enhances the Law and says it will stand until the Heaven and Earth disappear.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Duane

      Never said it was abolished. But it was fulfilled by Christ. Christ wanted us to use the law so that we could identify with the fact that we are not capable of adhering to it 100% because of our fallen state. And we look to Christ because he fulfills it.

      Seriously. It is hit or miss when you talk to a lay-christian in depth about what the Bible says and what it doesn't say. That is the church's fault for not "Discipling" believers to the point they can have a intelligent discussion with someone.

      Good reading for stuff related to all the disagreeing on this page is Tim Keller's "Reason for God"

      Don't have to read it but it'd be insightful to why I believe what I believe.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  15. chapsisbe

    A santicified, baptized-in Jesus' name needs to stand up for the gospel.....Adam and Eve ate from the knowledge of tree of good and evil. In order words, they listened to the voice of Satan and Satan introduced them to something that it wasn't time for them to know yet. They did not eat an apple.....Today people are still eating from three of knowledge of good and evil and not attempting to gain life through the tree of life.....Jesus Christ. Once Adam and Eve realized their sin; they did not repent, Adam blamed God for giving him Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and God cursed the serpent which will last throughout eternity. They did not repent and they were expelled from the Garden forever....It is time for the Lord Jesus to come and take his true believers out of the world (those who have been baptized in Jesus' name according to Acts 2:38)....then there will be tribulation such as never seem. It is written in Matthew 24-25. God's word will come to pass no matter who dont believe it. Jesus brought the gospel of salvation, not religion. Obey Acts 2:38 today and be saved.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      you seriously actually believe that nonsense dont you? so bizarre.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • UofARoadHogs

      Cedar Rapids... And why don't you believe this?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'And why don't you believe this?'

      really?
      talking snakes, magic fruit, supernatural beings casting spells?
      yeah sure, whats not to believe.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Jim

    If you don't believe being gay is wrong, then you do not believe the Bible. If you do not believe the Bible, it seems to me that it's difficult to be a Christian. Same way with the Muslim faith. Same with the Jewish faith. I don't think you subscribe to any of these religions and think that being gay is not a sin against God. I don't think God allows you to pick your own sins.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • 261 Ministers Proclamation

      As Christian clergy we proclaim: the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

      In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

      -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

      –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

      –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

      –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love.

      Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      skip over leviticus 20:13?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • jwt

      That is your opinion of what the bible says. It is not a universal opion of christians.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • CraigRB

      Religion has screwed up the world. My belief in God is what get's me through life. The "written word" was just created to control peoplel.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • lol??

      261 Ministers Proclamation, why don't you and your pals join a convent?

      January 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  17. boocat

    Another hypocritical "christian."

    January 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • lol??

      Ok back at ya, what's yer point?

      January 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  18. CraigRB

    I don't care how long ago this pastor made that hateful statement, he still means it. People don't change that much unless they have a spiritual awakening. God loves everyone. This man should never have been a pastor.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Nathan

      Have you ever read the bible? You cannot change it to suit your wants/needs.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • UofARoadHogs

      Yes, God does love everybody but he deeply morns for those who do not follow his instructions. Genesis Chapter 1 explains his plan. He didn't change it as time went on, sin came into play and changed it.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'He didn't change it as time went on, sin came into play and changed it'

      but didnt god know that would happen?
      and if he knew it would happen then that was his plan and it didnt change anything surely and he wanted man to sin?

      January 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • OTOH

      UofA,

      Your old Middle Eastern Hebrew book says:

      "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." Isaiah 45:7

      January 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  19. Bootyfunk

    if the rev. came out and said, "i was wrong," that'd be one thing - but he didn't. he didn't retract his statements. he believes g.ays are going to hell. it's a disgusting line of thought and that kind of bigotry has no place in politics. why would there be a public prayer anyway? separation of church and state....? pray at home. pray for the president or against him or whatever - but do it at home or in church or in a park.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • lol??

      Who made you boss, ya creepy little commie?

      January 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  20. Hillcrester

    Some see expressing anti-GLBT views as divisive.

    Some see expressing pro-GLBT views as divisive.

    Let's just face it: The issue is divisive, not the person who expresses a view.

    Given the likely focus there would be on that sermon, he would not be a good choice for the Innauguration.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      bad analogy. it's like saying some thought blacks getting the vote was divisive and some thought them not getting the vote was divisive. doesn't matter - it's wrong. just like the kind of h.omophobia this guy preaches at the pulpit is wrong. you're not talking about someone liking vanilla and someone liking chocolate - his kind of hate speech promotes bigotry. if he came out and apologized and said he was wrong for what he said back then - i'd accept him with open arms. but he didn't retract anything. so he still believes the cr@p he was saying.

      please keep religious leaders away from politics. why do we need a religious figure at a political event? did they invite a buddhist? hindu? wiccan? of course not - just a christian. go home and pray - don't do it on the steps of the capital.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
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About this blog

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.