After the Louie Giglio controversy, in which an anti-gay evangelical Christian pastor was selected to give the benediction at President Obama‘s Inauguration ceremony, the team putting the event together was looking for someone who doesn’t take pride in his own bigotry.
Their decision will probably do the trick: Rev. Luis Leon, an Episcopal priest who also gave the benediction at President George W. Bush‘s second inaugural ceremony, has been chosen to take Giglio’s place:
A source close to the inaugural committee confirmed León would be delivering the benediction and said a formal announcement would be coming later in the week.
President Barack Obama and his family have worshiped at the church numerous times during his first term. They have visited the church more times than any other during his presidency, and the president and León are said to have a good relationship.
The Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Anglican tradition, voted at their annual convention in July to approve the blessing of same-sex ceremonies. Such services are not considered marriage ceremonies, media affairs representative Nancy Davidge told CNN at the time.
“We have authorized a blessing, and a blessing is different than a marriage,” Davidge said. “A blessing is a theological response to a monogamous, committed relationship.”
It’s not a perfect choice, but it could be much worse. (In other words, a pretty appropriate selection for a ceremony honoring Obama…)
Now we can move on to more pressing questions, like why the hell we even need a benediction in the first place.