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Evangelical Pastor Out at Presidential Inauguration

"Are all orthodox clergy now to be banished from civic life if they openly affirm their faith's teachings about marriage and sexual ethics?" -- Mark Tooley, IRD President

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- An Evangelical pastor tapped earlier this week to give the benediction at the presidential inauguration is withdrawing after criticism of a sermon he gave addressing homosexuality, according to ABC News.

The Rev. Louie Giglio, who serves as pastor at Georgia's Passion City Church, sermonized in the mid-1990s that Christians must "lovingly but firmly respond" to an "aggressive agenda" by some in the homosexual community.

Giglio is perhaps best known for his involvement in the Passion Conferences, which annually attract tens of thousands of university students. The conferences have been heavily focused around opposition to human trafficking and slavery, with the most recent event drawing over 60,000 to Atlanta's Georgia Dome and raising millions of dollars towards combating trafficking.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

    "Are all orthodox clergy now to be banished from civic life if they openly affirm their faith's teachings about marriage and sexual ethics?

    "Are only clergy from declining liberal denominations now acceptable according to hyper political correctness? Will the same standard also apply to Muslims and members of other faiths who don't subscribe to the views of western secular elites?"

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