Louie Giglio pulls out of Obama inauguration

Passion founder Louie Giglio has decided to withdraw from US President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Giglio had been due to perform the benediction at the ceremony on 21 January.

He initially said it would be a "privilege" to lead the nation in prayer but last week he sent a letter to the White House explaining his change of heart.

"Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration," he wrote in the letter, made available to The Christian Post.

"Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ."

The Thinkprogress website last week published a section of a sermon by Giglio delivered in the mid-90s in which he said Christians must "firmly respond to the aggressive agenda" of many in the homosexual community.

The report led some to question Giglio's participation in the inauguration of a president who has openly supported gay marriage.

In his letter to the White House, Giglio further explained that he did not wish to be part of a debate on homosexuality.

"Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President's invitation," he said.

"I will continue to pray regularly for the President, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day."