Sadly, Giglio Withdraws from President Obama’s Inauguration

Jonathan Capehart is joyfully reporting at the Washington Post that Louie Giglio has withdrawn from President Obama’ inauguration.1 Just yesterday I defended Giglio from an attack by a Liberal at HuffPo. So I post with sadness that Giglio has removed himself from Obama’s inauguration.

I know Christians are divided (what’s new?) over whether or not an Evangelical should participate in an event like the Presidential Inauguration. However, many of us saw Giglio giving the benediction as a great gospel opportunity. Maybe another Evangelical will replace him who is also not ashamed of the gospel.

The full text of Giglio’s reasoning from the Washington Post story is given below. He may have his reasons, but I don’t get them and I don’t agree.

I am honored to be invited by the President to give the benediction at the upcoming inaugural on January 21.  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 the focal point of the inauguration.  Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.

Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, 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.

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

I wish he would have stayed and used the platform he was given to “make much of Jesus Christ” expressing how we “more than ever need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need” that is found only in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What came to mind when I first read Giglio’s reasons for bowing out was this Scripture, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12 ESV).

What would you have done?


  1. Jonathan Capehart. Louie Giglio out from Inaugural: Good.

tagged as , , , , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture,Gospel,politics

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rhology January 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Disappointing! Sadly, I expected if he had actually gone on to offer the prayer, a bad prayer too.

Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing

Welcome to the Christian life, brother Giglio. We don’t get to choose our fights. He should not have withdrawn. He had the chance to rattle a lot of cages and has instead meekly laid down his arms. Pheh.

2 Larry January 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

In my opinion he should have pressed on. If they didn’t want him on the platform, they should have been made to force the issue and ask him to step down. I’m also disappointed in how he chose to frame it. Is the salvation of homosexuals not part of his ‘core message’ and ‘goals?’

3 Christiane January 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I suspect Giglio was originally chosen honestly for his good work against human trafficking . . . I applaud his choice to withdraw now, as a stand for his own beliefs. A person who is called to deliver a benediction at an inauguration should be someone that can honestly do that. In this case, having become aware of Giglio’s gay remarks, most Americans would understand why he chose to withdraw when those remarks came to light.

Giglio did right by withdrawing. He confirms his gay remarks as his own. And he shows respect for those who do not own those remarks as something they can validate as American people in a growingly diverse, inclusive country.

4 Mark January 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Rhology and Larry, the first thing that came to mind, which I added to the post, is Matthew 5:10-12.

Christiane, see my comment to Rhology and Larry. This was not about growing American diversity but about one sect of people with an agenda bullying a Christian to shut him down. Which also shows that those other Americans have zero respect for Giglio and his beliefs in this diverse country.

5 Diane Neal January 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Rick Warren was crucified by evangelicals because he did participate in 2008 and now the same thing is happening with Giglio not participating. Either way, the people that claim to be his brothers and sisters would have been all over him. Based on his statement, it sounds like his reasoning is exactly what Paul commended Timothy to do in 2 Timothy 2:23. He is refusing to participate in something that he knows will turn into a pointless argument.

6 apologeticsandagape January 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I am disappointed that Louie Giglio backed out of praying at the inauguration.

There is almost nothing I agree with President Obama on. (he is ALL wrong on moral/social issues; ALL wrong on Economic issues; and mostly wrong on national security/defense issues)

Giglio should have accepted and said to the President’s staff, after they found the sermon – yeah, that’s right, and I still stand by all that I said – homosexuality is sin, and there is no such thing as “same-sex marriage”; – he should have forced the issue and made them dis-invite him.

The more Christians pull away from the world in fear, the more the world is taking over all the culture and the homosexual agenda is destroying our culture and is the destruction of civilization.

The evil that ObamaCare is doing to Hobby Lobby – Giglio should have also said that to their face. And then bring up the Abortion sin.

7 Mark January 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I am disappointed, but certainly not crucifying him. It’s his choice and that’s fine. I will note that with the boldness with which he spoke in the sermon that caused this stir I’m surprised he bowed out.

8 Ajay Pollarine January 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm

I think it’s a shame. A Cryin shame

9 Earl Witcher January 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

I am disappointed that he chose to withdraw. God gave us His position about homosexuality in the third book of the old testament.He did not change his position in the remaining 36 books. Jesus did not see fit to change God’s position, nor did He establish one of his own during his life with us.We need to uphold the principle that the practice of homosexuality is not consistent with Christian teachings and express these beliefs as opportuinty arises. I respect Louie Gigilo’s decision but with that he had chosen to remain firm.


Previous post:

Next post: