President Obama has selected an Atlanta pastor known for his tireless organizing against human trafficking to deliver the benediction at his inauguration.
But that pastor, the Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church, is already under fire for past sermons railing against gays. In one such sermon, Giglio tells listeners that gay people will be prevented from “entering the Kingdom of God.”
Why is picking an inauguration preacher so hard? Rick Warren, the California megachurch pastor who gave the invocation at Obama’s first inauguration, was strongly criticized too.
Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, will give the invocation, which opens the ceremony. History buffs might remember Medgar Evers as the Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP, who was gunned down in his driveway in 1963.
The president has also chosen the inaugural poet. That honor goes to Richard Blanco, 44, the youngest person to recite a poem at a presidential swearing-in, as well as the first Hispanic and the first gay person.
Vice President Joe Biden and officials on his gun violence committee held an unannounced meeting Wednesday evening with a group of 12 national faith leaders. It wasn’t clear who those faith leaders were.
A Virginia teenager admitted to setting a church known to have a predominately black congregation on fire.
A painting of Jesus that has hung over an entrance at Jackson Middle School in southern Ohio for 65 years will remain, school leaders decided. The Freedom From Religion Foundation had challenged the painting.
Our vices have gone virtual, according to a new study. Nearly half of Americans say they are tempted to idle the hours away on the Internet, video games.
British bishops and Prince Charles are concerned about a proposed law that would allow the British monarch to marry a Roman Catholic. British monarchs are also leaders of the Church of England. The concern is that a royal offspring of a mixed marriage may not be an Anglican.
In Egypt, TV viewers were horrified when a preacher recently popped up on primetime to say women must cover up for their own protection and advocated the introduction of religious police.
French President Francois Hollande met with local religious leaders, including the country’s chief rabbi to hear their views on same-sex marriages.
Meanwhile, French Muslims have begun joining a mostly Catholic-led movement against same-sex marriage, widening opposition to the reform that the government is set to write into the law by June.
European soccer authorities have opened disciplinary proceedings against the Rome soccer team Lazio for the alleged anti-Semitism of its fans.
Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops sacked a criminologist studying sexual abuse of minors by their priests, prompting him to accuse them of trying to censor what was to be a major report on the scandals.
He may not be eligible for the Husband of the Year award, but the National Father’s Day Council has named former President Bill Clinton Father of the Year for 2013. The 42nd president was chosen for his work through the William J. Clinton Foundation “to improve global health, promote healthier childhoods and protect the environment.”
And finally, a new Israeli law prohibits the employment of underweight fashion models. The law, the first of its kind, requires models to produce a medical report no older than three months at every shoot for the Israeli market, stating that they are not malnourished by World Health Organization standards.
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