“Gay or Straight…Created in God’s Image.” Rev. Louis Leon finds happy ears at Obamas second inauguration. Leon, an Episcopal Priest and rector at St. John’s Church, located across the street from the White House was a ‘second choice’ to Pastor Louie Giglio who was originally chosen to give the benediction prayer.
Pastor Louie Giglio is an international speaker, author, Pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, and founder of the Passion Movement. Pastor Giglio was chosen to give the benediction prayer at President Obama’s inauguration, largely for his work against human trafficking.
Wednesday, the liberal website ThinkProgress posted audio of a sermon Giglio preached 15 or 20 years ago, where the pastor points out Scripture and calls those who were in a same-sex relationship as in a sinful and abominable relationship. Although in the same sermon, Giglio urges Christians to welcome gays and lesbians to the church and that God loves them.
“Speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years,” Giglio said.
“The issue of homosexuality … is one of the most difficult our nation will navigate,” he wrote on his church blog. “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.”
Obama’s inaugural planners have put an emphasis on reflecting diversity in the festivities, including the participation of conservative Christians and gay Americans. Obama personally selected Richard Blanco, whose work explores his experience as a Cuban-American gay man, as the inaugural poet. And the Lesbian and Gay Band Association of St. Louis was one of the first selections to march in the inaugural parade. (Source: Wichita Eagle)
In contrast to Pastor Louie Giglio, the DC Episcopal Priest, Rev. Luis Leon made ‘diversity’ of race, culture, financial standing, and sexual orientation the center piece of his Benediction prayer which has already found much praise with the LGBT and Democratic Party.
Here is the full text of Leon’s benediction:
“Let us pray:
Gracious and eternal God, as we conclude the second inauguration of President Obama, we ask for your blessings as we seek to become, in the words of Martin Luther King, citizens of a beloved community, loving you and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
We pray that you will bless us with your continued presence because without it, hatred and arrogance will infect our hearts. But with your blessing we know that we can break down the walls that separate us. We pray for your blessing today because without it, distrust, prejudice and rancor will rule our hearts. But with the blessing of your presence, we know that we can renew the ties of mutual regard which can best form our civic life.
We pray for your blessing because without it suspicion, despair, and fear of those different from us will be our rule of life. But with your blessing, we can see each other created in your image, a unit of God’s grace, unprecedented, irrepeatable (sic) and irreplaceable.
We pray for your blessing because without it, we will see only what the eye can see. But with the blessing of your blessing we will see that we are created in your image, whether brown, black or white, male or female, first generation or immigrant American, or daughter of the American Revolution, gay or straight, rich or poor.
We pray for your blessing because without it, we will only see scarcity in the midst of abundance. But with your blessing we will recognize the abundance of the gifts of this good land with which you have endowed this nation.
We pray for your blessing. Bless all of us, privileged to be citizens and residents of this nation, with a spirit of gratitude and humility that we may become a blessing among the nations of this world. We pray that you will shower with your life-giving spirit, the elected leaders of this land, especially Barack our president and Joe our vice president. Fill them with a love of truth and righteousness, that they may serve this nation ably and be glad to do your will. Endow their hearts with wisdom and forbearance, so that peace may prevail with righteousness, justice with order, so that men and women throughout this nation can find with one another the fulfillment of our humanity.
We pray that the president, vice president and all in political authority will remember the words of the prophet Micah, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and always walk humbly with God?”
[Gives a brief prayer in Spanish]
Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, may God bless you all your days. All this we pray, in your most holy name, amen.”
What do you think of Rev. Leon’s Benediction Prayer?
Do you think that Pastor Louie Giglio made the right choice in his withdraw?
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