On his Thursday program, MSNBC’s “The Last Word” host Lawrence O’Donnell said the Bible shouldn’t have any role in the upcoming Inauguration Day ceremonies.
The news that Passion City Church of Atlanta Pastor Louie Giglio lost the honor of giving the benediction at the inaugural ceremonies because he delivered anti-gay sermons, O’Donnell said, is a reminder of how much undue influence the Bible has in modern discourse.
“It turns out there is no better way for a pastor to get kicked out of the inauguration ceremony than quoting the Bible,” O’Donnell said. “That is what Louie Giglio, of Passion City Church in Atlanta, did to get knocked out of this year’s inauguration. His participation was announced at 9 a.m. on Tuesday by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. It took all of a day for something to surface in his Giglio’s sermonizing past that made him persona non grata at the swearing-in of a president who is in favor of gay rights, including marriage equality.”
“We will ensure that whoever delivers the benediction rejects the same parts of the Bible that President Obama rejects and most Democrats reject, even though every word of the Bible is the word of God,” O’Donnell said. “As I’ve pointed out … no one accepts all of the teachings of the Bible. No one. … Still, the president, following one of our most absurdest traditions in the government that invented the separation of church and state, will put his hand on this book filled with things he does not believe — filled with things that no one in the United States of America believes — and with his hand on this book he will recite the oath of office.”
O’Donnell offered an unlikely alternative to the Bible for the swearing-in ceremony: one of the president’s daughters.
“Now, wouldn’t it be better if the president’s hand was on the shoulder of one of his daughters, suggesting that he was honoring the oath of office as much as he honors Sasha and Malia?” O’Donnell asked.