Earlier this month we broke the story that Tim Tebow was scheduled to appear at a megachurch led by far-right pastor Robert Jeffress. Today, Tebow announced on Twitter that he is pulling out of the event “due to new information that has been brought to my attention.”
The preacher has been makingtherounds on conservative media denying claims about his extremist rhetoric, and yesterday told radio host Janet Mefferd that liberals simply cannot understand his words because they are “spiritually blinded” and are “the most intolerant and hateful people.”
He added that Tebow won’t cancel his appearance “as long as he listens to the Holy Spirit and to God’s voice.”
UPDATE: In an interview today with fellow anti-gay activist Tim Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association, Jeffress said that Tebow told him “he would like to come back to our church at a later date” once the current controversy blows over.
While Tim Tebow is struggling to find an NFL team that is willing to sign him, he is apparently having no problem booking speaking gigs as the Jets’ backup quarterback is scheduled to address a Texas megachurch whose pastor is notorious for extremist statements about Roman Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, gays and lesbians and President Obama.
Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church Dallas gained national attention during his appearance at the Values Voter Summit where he urged Christians to oppose Mitt Romney’s candidacy for the GOP nomination for president because his Mormon faith makes him a member of a “cult” that is “from the pit of Hell.”
Televangelist Robert Jeffress used his sermon about Armageddon to argue that America’s defense policy must include banning same-sex marriage, ending abortion rights and weakening the separation of church and state, warning that they will otherwise lead to divine punishment.
Jeffress: I think we ought to have a strong military, but there is absolutely no amount of armaments we could require to protect ourselves against the judgment of almighty God. The best defense policy we could have as a nation, instead of just the acquisition of an endless number of armaments, the best defense policy we could have to protect our nation would be to turn away from ignoring God’s almighty law; to turn away and say no to these things that God has said no to; to turn around and repent from the murder of millions of children in the womb through abortion; to turn away and say no to what God has called an abomination, homosexual marriage; to say no to the continued allowance of God’s named to be blasphemed or be banned from the public square.
Robert Jeffress has warned that a vote for President Obama is a vote for the “future reign of the Antichrist,” and told Janet Mefferd yesterday that if Obama secures re-election and marriage equality wins at the ballot box (it did), then America “is going to bring about God’s judgment upon our country” by backing “evil” and “reject[ing] God and His law.” He added later that he expects Obama to impose hate speech laws that could be used to imprison pastors and will try to give the government the right to select a church’s pastors and priests.
Mefferd: A lot of people look at this and think: what happened to my country?
Jeffress: And what’s happened to the Christian community? Take the same-sex marriage issue, for the first time ever the majority of young adult evangelical Christians support same-sex marriage or civil unions. I think it’s this false idea we have that somehow we don’t have any right to impose our values on society as a whole. But the fact is all values are based on somebody’s morality, and for the first two hundred years of our country it was based on Christian values and now it’s being based on pagan values. I remind people all the time that Jesus Christ is not just Lord over the church, he is Lord over all creation, he is not just interested in religious people and religious institutions, He is interested in all institutions, including government. Listen, God is no respecter of people or nations, God doesn’t get a lump in his throat when he hears the Star - Spangled Banner, He doesn’t hold America to a different standard than any other nation. Any nation that reverences God is going to be blessed by God, but any nation that rejects God and His law is going to be rejected by God. We as Christians have a responsibility to say without stuttering or stammering: this is wrong, this is sin, this is evil and this is going to bring about God’s judgment upon our country.
Jeffress: I do think as Americans we’re going to continue to see this attempt to restrict our religious liberty and our freedom of speech. I think all you have to do is to look at the past four years to see what the next four years under Obama will be like. I think we will live to see very quickly the enactment of hate speech legislation that will try to prevent Christians and especially churches from speaking out on issues like homosexuality or the exclusivity of the Christian faith. We just saw a year ago the Obama administration attempting to say that the ministerial exemption regarding federal hiring standards should be rescinded, that will ultimately give the government the right to say who churches could hire as their pastors or their priests. I think this is where we’re going under another four years of the Obama administration.
Leading Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress quickly moved from Romney critic to Romney booster after the former Massachusetts governor won the Republican nomination, dropping his earlier claims that electing a Mormon president will lead to God’s judgment. In a pre-election sermon, Jeffress claimed that President Obama is “paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist” and must be defeated. He attacked President Obama’s views on abortion rights and gay equality, which he says will restrict religious freedom and as a result make it “relatively easy for the Antichrist to take over without any opposition whatsoever.”
I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he’s not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes, President Obama is not the Antichrist. Nor am I saying that President Obama is not a Christian, I would never make that claim, I could not look into his heart as he cannot look into my heart. Nor am I saying the President doesn’t have some good ideas, nor am I saying that he doesn’t deserve our respect and our prayers. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.
You see when Antichrist comes, he is not going to be able to suddenly seize power and suddenly make these radical changes, he’s not going to be able to suddenly restrict speech and religious worship and commerce, why to do that suddenly would cause a revolution that would topple his reign on the earth. Yet Revelations 6 says when Antichrist comes he will take over power automatically, he’ll ride a horse that has a bow with no arrow on it, his overtaking the world will be effortlessly, it will be without any effort at all. How does that happen? The only way that’s going to happen is if there is a gradual erosion of God’s laws and our personal freedoms over a long period of time, and it will be that gradual erosion of our sense of morality, our adherence to God’s laws, that gradual erosion of our personal freedoms that will make it relatively easy for Antichrist to take over without any opposition whatsoever.
That’s why ladies and gentlemen I believe it is time for Christians to stand up and to push back against this evil that is overtaking our nation. To stand up and push back against these actions that are paving the way for the final world dictator. The best way to push back against unrighteousness is at the ballot box. This coming Tuesday we have a decision, the decision is not between Republicans and Democrats, the choice before us is the choice of righteousness or unrighteousness.
It is no secret that, for all of the talk of deeply held principles and stalwart Christian convictions, most Religious Right leaders are Republican Party cheerleaders who will eventually back the GOP presidential nominee, regardless of every declaration to the contrary they may have made in the past.
This fact was perfectly demonstrated back in 2008, when James Dobson spent the entire Republican primary telling everyone who would listen that "I cannot, and I will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience" only to declare shortly before the election that "I am now supportive of Senator John McCain and his bid for the presidency."
Similarly, back during that 2008 primary, Robert Jeffress, who has never been shy about calling Mormonism a "cult," warned that Republicans could not nominate someone like Mitt Romney because "God always judges a nation that has a ruler who introduces false gods into that national life":
But yesterday, Jeffress was on with Bryan Fischer where he declared that America was engaged in "high-handed sins" and warned that failing to elect Romney would be "asking for God's judgment on our country":
Just to clarify: Jeffress once believed that electing a Mormon like Mitt Romney would cause God to judge this nation, but then Romney became the GOP nominee, at which point Jeffress decided that not electing Romney will cause God to judge this nation.
Jeffress told Janet Mefferd, who has also criticized Romney over his faith, that it is still better to vote for Romney, even though he is a member of a “cult” and “false religion” that believes in a “multiplicity of gods,” than Obama because of his stances on marriage equality and abortion rights. The pastor said defeating Obama is even worth potentially giving Mormon missionaries a tool to bolster “legitimacy of their faith” and make more converts.
I still think there are concerns out there among evangelicals about voting for a Mormon. I’ve made peace with it; the way I’ve made peace with it is to make it very clear on programs like yours that Mormonism is a cult, it is a false religion, Mormons worship a multiplicity of gods, they deny the Bible, in fact they think the Bible is so error-filled there had to be a second book of revelations. I want to make it very clear that I don’t believe Mormonism is Christianity but I do think that in this case it is better to vote for a non-Christian who supports biblical principles like life and marriage than voting for a professing Christian like Barack Obama who absolutely repudiates what Jesus Christ said about some key issues.
I don’t want to minimize the Mormonism issue. I had probably the most well-known pastor in America say to me last week; you know one concern is the mission implications of this, Mormons are so involved in missions overseas, they’ll be able to point to a Mormon president as legitimacy of their faith. So I think we need to be clear that Mormonism is a false religion that leads people away from rather than toward the true God, but having said that we are making this choice in spite of that.
He warned that America is “about to go over the moral and spiritual cliff from which there is no return” if Obama is re-elected, asserting that his administration is “openly involved in high-handed sins” and shaking its “fist in the face of God” on matters like same-sex marriage.
You know in the Old Testament the Bible had what it called high-handed sins, sins that were like a clenched fist in the face of God. We are now seeing an administration that is openly involved in high-handed sins: the embracing of gay marriage. A friend of mine said to me recently, ‘think about this just ten years ago if a pastor or a sandwich company were to say marriage is between a husband and a wife, a man and a woman, no one would have batted an eye at that, but today that is labeled as hate speech,’ now what has changed? It’s not the Bible or the message that has changed, it shows what has happened in our culture. I know this sounds alarmist but I believe we are at the precipice, we are at a tipping point in our country right now, we are about to go over not the fiscal cliff, we are about to go over the moral and spiritual cliff from which there is no return, and that is why it is imperative for Christians to get out and vote in this election.
Pastor Robert Jeffress has been making the rounds to defend Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay advocacy with claims that gays lead a “miserable lifestyle” and telling his congregants to support “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”:
"The liberals have gone into a frenzy," said Jeffress. "Their first response was to try to stop the expansion of businesses with which they disagree. That should be of great concern for every American," he added.
The pastor, who last year made headlines for saying Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is not a Christian and Mormonism is a cult, also urged his church members to support the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Aug. 1.
"Let's go to Chick-fil-A this Wednesday to support religious freedom in America,'" said Jeffress. Supporters of traditional marriage and fans of Chick-fil-A are expected to head to their nearest chain restaurant on Aug. 1 to encourage Cathy.
His Pathway to Victory radio ministry also replayed one of his an anti-gay sermons on Friday, where he warned that homosexuals, since they are “perverse,” could begin to molest children since “if a person will sink that low” then “there is no telling to whatever sins he will commit as well.”
Jeffress: Amazingly, some gay activists don’t even try to hide the link between homosexuality and pedophilia. There are some who are right now are actively involved in trying to legalize sex between adults and children by lowering the age of consent or removing it altogether. In all fairness, it would be wrong to suggest that all homosexuals to pedophiles, it would be wrong to even suggest that a majority of homosexuals are pedophiles, but the truth nevertheless is there. There are a disproportionate amount of assaults against children by homosexuals than by heterosexuals, you can’t deny that, and the reason is very clear: homosexuality is perverse, it represents a degradation of a person’s mind and if a person will sink that low and there are no restraints from God’s law, then there is no telling to whatever sins he will commit as well.
On yesterday’s edition of The Janet Mefferd Show, anti-gay pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas labeled the message of liberals “hopeless,” and said that gay people lead a “miserable lifestyle” that is predisposed to “depression, or suicide, or alcoholism.” Jefress’s comments are the latest in a string of anti-gay screeds. He has previously implied that gay rights will result in the “inevitable implosion of our country” and that gays are using a variety of “brainwashing techniques” to “inject homosexuality” into our culture.
Jeffress: God’s plan for sexuality is one man with one woman in a lifetime commitment called marriage. Any deviation from that is sin. And of course, I’m always, the retort to that is 'oh! Are you pulling a Rick Santorum and saying that homosexuality is like bestiality, uh, incest, or pedophilia'? And I say 'Yes.'. It is just as immoral as those practices. But then I’m quick to add, it’s also just as immoral as adultery, pre-marital sex, or unbiblical divorce. Any deviation from god’s plan is sin.
Mefferd: Well, but so much of what they’re trying to do now is not just say “accept us and don’t be discriminatory in your beliefs”. But also, embrace it, see that the bible really was wrong in these passages, in Leviticus and Romans I and it’s really not commending homosexuality. It’s almost as if they’re trying to co-opt the bible and make it say what it obviously does not say.
Jeffress: Absolutely, you have to do so many hermeneutical gymnastics. But what you really have to do is just throw out the bible to get to the point that you say, that uh, it’s uh normal. There are two agendas that homosexuals have in order to gain acceptance. First of all they try to normalize their behavior but also to marginalize as bigots those of us who oppose homosexuality. Normalize and marginalize are the two tactics. And they are being extremely successful about it.
Jeffress: We’re the ones that have a message of hope. And the message of hope we have is you don’t have to stay the way you are. You can experience freedom. You can experience life as god intended you to have it, by trusting in Christ and following his plan. You know, it’s the liberals that have no message of hope. It is the liberal message; 'you’re born that way, and you have to stay that way until the day you die.' I mean, why is it that gays, and I talk about this in my book, you know, have such a more preponderance for depression, or suicide, or alcoholism. It is a miserable lifestyle. And that is why we, as preachers of the gospel and Christians, we’ve got the message of hope, and we need to quit being ashamed to share it.
In March, Kyle reported that Rick Scarborough of Vision America was launching a new effort, 40 Days to Save America, to rally conservative voters before the November election and stop the “daily deluge of sinful activity”:
We fully understand and are grateful for the fact that America was birthed first in your heart. We acknowledge that America has been a blessed nation above all the nations of the world. Hallelujah!
But we also acknowledge that we have forgotten as a people that it was you and your laws that made this country the land of freedom and opportunity that has been the envy of the world for more than two hundred years. Dear Lord, forgive us of our pride and apathy that has allowed men to call good, evil; and evil, good. We acknowledge that we have grown calloused to the daily deluge of sinful activity, degradation and speaking that has become the routine in American life, and we repent.
Reignite our love for purity and holiness, and create in us a will to initiate the changes in our society that will allow you to once again bless our beloved America.
Scarborough is now unveiling endorsements of the effort from Senator Roy Blunt and Congressmen Todd Akin, Doug Lamborn, Duncan Hunter and Louie Gohmert, and major Religious Right groups like the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the Family Research Council. Dominionist organizations including Lou Engle’s The Call and Cindy Jacobs’ Generals International have also signed on, along with Janet Porter’s Faith2Action, Jerry Boykin’s Kingdom Warriors, Sam Roriguez’s National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Jim Garlow’s Renewing American Leadership.
The board of directors appears to be a who’s who of leading conservative activists and pastors:
40 Days for Life
General Jerry Boykin
Harvest Prayer Ministries
Dr. Jim Garlow
Renewing American Leadership
Bishop Anne Gimenez
Rock Church, Virginia Beach, VA
Bishop Harry Jackson
Hope Christian Church
Dr. Robert Jeffress
First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX
Concerned Women for America
Father Frank Pavone
Priests for Life
Family Research Council
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
The anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking and release of ‘Titanic 3D’ has apparently inspired Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, to produce a new short film presenting the “radical homosexual agenda” as an iceberg that could potentially destroy the United States.
The Truth that Transforms film features well-known anti-gay activists such as Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, right-wing historian Bill Federer, radio talk show host and author Michael Brown, and pastors Harry Jackson, Robert Jeffress and Erwin Lutzer.
Staver warned that the “homosexual agenda is the moral iceberg that we need to steer clear of” and maintained that it is “the biggest threat I believe in our lifetime to religious freedom and the fundamental values we share here in America.” While Jackson said the “homosexual agenda” is “one of those icebergs that if we don’t navigate around them correctly, will take us under,” Brown claimed “we’ve already hit the iceberg and the ship is already going down” and Land insisted that “we’re taking on water, the only question is whether or not we’re going to be able to survive and the ship won’t sink.” Staver predicted that opposition to gay rights is bound to be “criminalized and targeted for assault” and Federer even asserted that “there are just a couple steps before the military could be used in a persecution of those that are viewed as enemies of the new state belief system.”
Last year evangelical writer and WORLD Magazine associate publisher Warren Cole Smith created quite a stir with his column pledging not to vote for Mitt Romney if he wins the Republican nomination because of the boost his presidency would provide to Mormonism. “You can't say that his religious beliefs don't matter, but his ‘values’ do,” Smith explained, “If the beliefs are false, then the behavior will eventually—but inevitably—be warped.” He pointed to the Mormon doctrine of “continuing revelation” to explain Romney’s history of flip-flops and warned that a Romney presidency “would serve to normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over,” drawing more people into the LDS church and away from orthodox Christianity.
But it seems that few other prominent faces of the Religious Right are agreeing with Smith’s stance.
Televangelist James Robison on Daystar told a listener that she should favor a non-Christian over a Christian just as people favored Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood actor, over Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher, because Reagan better understood biblical principles:
Even Robert Jeffress, the preacher who attacked Mormonism as a “cult” at the Values Voters Summit and said Christians should prefer evangelical Rick Perry over Romney, made a similar case on Janet Parshall’s radio show in January when he said a “non-Christian who embraces biblical principles” is preferable to “a professing Christian who espouses unbiblical principles”:
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said he will vote for Romney even though he believes a Mormon president would undermine the “spiritual health” of the U.S., and Rick Scarborough of Vision America, repeated his antipathy towards Mormonism in an interview but made clear that “if the choice comes down for me between a Mormon and Barack Obama, I’d vote for the Mormon every time.”
But the acceptance of Romney as the leader of the GOP by the Religious Right’s leadership may not come as a great surprise, as the same people have largely embraced another high profile Mormon, Glenn Beck.
Beck has become a favorite of Religious Right figures, leading his religiously-infusedRestoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial and introducing his clerical Black Robe Regiment, promulgating ‘Christian nation’ history with David Barton and keynoting last year’s Values Voters Summit.
The turnaround when it comes to working with Mormons, who many evangelicals see as “cobelligerents” in the culture wars along with conservative Roman Catholics and Jews, can be seen in Kirk Cameron’s own about-face.
Beck’s appearance and discussion of his talks with God in Cameron’s Religious Right “documentary” may raise eyebrows since Cameron in 2006 co-hosted an anti-Mormon film with evangelist Ray Comfort. In the show, Cameron said that it was likely Satan who appeared to Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, as the Angel Moroni and led him to golden plates that became the Book of Mormon, and even said that Mormons are “following a false Jesus” and “will end up in Hell forever.” “If you’ve ever spoken to a Mormon, sometimes you know how frustrating it could when they use the same words you do but they mean something different and you’re not sure how to finish the conversation,” Cameron said.
Watch highlights of Cameron’s anti-Mormon film here:
Despite Cameron’s dogmatic warnings against Mormonism, he is now actively working with one of America’s leading Mormons. Similarly, just as many on the Religious Right once denounced the Mormon faith, they are now prepared to vote for Romney over President Obama.
After stopping by Family Talkwith James Dobson, Robert Jeffress appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show where he expounded on his claim that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Engel v. Vitale, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas is leading to the ultimate “implosion” of America. He said the first Supreme Court ruling which he argued set off “explosives” to the country’s “spiritual and social structure” is Engel, the Supreme Court decision which deemed public school-organized prayers unconstitutional.
Jeffress said the decision is wrong not because it barred the practice of government-sponsored prayers but because it doesn’t allow the government to endorse one religion over another. He acknowledged that many evangelical Christians rightfully do not want to pray non-sectarian, generic, government-composed prayers at school. Jeffress argued that his problem with Engel is that it doesn’t allow the government to endorse Christianity, maintaining that “neutrality is really hostility toward religion.”
Jeffress’ claim contradicts the stated argument of many Religious Right activists who advocate for school-organized prayer and a constitutional amendment overturning Engel and say that their stance has nothing to do with government endorsement of Christianity but simply about the need for children to pray.
Jeffress: I use the analogy of when we imploded about a million square feet of our facility at First Baptist Dallas and I learned a lot about how implosions work, what you do is you attach explosives to some key structural supports, you explode those supporting structures, there’s a delay and then the structure falls in on itself, it collapses. I said in this book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” there have been three explosive decisions by the Supreme Court in the last fifty years that have so destroyed the spiritual and social structure of our country that I believe our collapse is inevitable. We are living right now in that delay period between the explosions and the ultimate implosion. As you mentioned, that first decision was 1962, Engel v. Vitale, I know Christians say, ‘well that’s no big deal to remove a non-sectarian prayer,’ but it’s all the decisions that cascaded from that and it’s the basis on which that decision was made. It is impossible for the government to be neutral toward religion, neutrality is really hostility toward religion and especially the Christian religion.
Robert Jeffress took his book tour to James Dobson’s Family Talk and the two Religious Right leaders bemoaned that America is doomed as a result of Supreme Court decisions in Engel v. Vitale, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas. Jeffress falsely claimed that Engel “removed voluntary prayers from the school,” when it actually said it was unconstitutional for public schools to compose and organize prayers. He also claimed that Engel, along with Roe and Lawrence have “so destroyed the spiritual and moral structure of our nation that we are going to collapse on ourselves, we are going to implode, it’s only a question of when.”
Jeffress: I believe there have been three explosive decisions by the Supreme Court in the last fifty years that have so weakened our spiritual and social structure as a nation that our implosion is inevitable. In 1962, Engel v. Vitale which removed voluntary prayers from the school, all of the decisions that have cascaded down from that decision that have made government not neutral but hostile to Christianity. Then in 1973 of course Roe v. Wade that has resulted in 40 million unborn children at least being murdered in the womb.
Dobson: I think it’s closer to 50 [million].
Jeffress: That’s right. Listen, you can’t kill 20 percent almost of your population and not have economic repercussions for that. So that’s the second decision. The third decision in 2003, which our listeners may not be as familiar with, the Lawrence v. Texas decision, where the Supreme Court really paved the way for same-sex marriages.
Jeffress: Now think about it, when you first of all remove prayer and make government hostile toward Christianity, when you allow for the murder of the unborn and when you absolutely redefine the most basic institution of society, marriage and the home, you have so destroyed the spiritual and moral structure of our nation that we are going to collapse on ourselves, we are going to implode, it’s only a question of when.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Robert Jeffress, a prominent endorser of Gov. Rick Perry, said in an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday that the Social Security crisis, the Medicare crisis and the mounting federal deficit are “God’s judgment” for legalized abortion.
Citing a study by the fringe anti-choice group Movement for a Better America, Jeffress claims that legalized abortion is responsible for $35 trillion in lost GDP over the last 35 years.
Jeffress: Since Roe v. Wade, we’ve had 40 million babies aborted, murdered. Do you realize that if those children, one study I cite in the books says, if those children had been allowed to live, if they had grown up and become productive citizens, it would have added $35 trillion to our Gross National Product in the last 35 years, and there would be no Social Security crisis or Medicare crisis because those people would be paying, productive citizens into the system.
You know, we’ve got even conservatives, Janet, in the Republican Party who are saying, “Oh, this is the year where we’re interested in the economy and not in social issues.” Listen, there is a connection between social issues and economic issues. You cannot wipe out 20 percent of your population, like we have done as a nation through abortion, without great economic repercussions, which I think are God’s judgment. I think the mounting deficit, the Social Security crisis, all those things are part of God’s judgment because we have murdered 20 percent of our population.
Today on Pathway to Victory, Robert Jeffress claimed that equal rights for gays and lesbians will lead to the end of America. Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and a prominent endorser of Rick Perry, earlier claimed that gays and lesbians “engage in a high degree of promiscuity” and are incapable of monogamy, and also maintained that the media is using “brainwashing techniques” so homosexuality can be “crammed down our throats.” On Pathway, Jeffress said that gays and lesbians “engage in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine” as homosexuality is an “unnatural” and “filthy practice” that leads to disease:
Jeffress: Why is there such a high incidence of disease among homosexuals? Because ladies and gentlemen, what they are doing is more than holding hands and kissing, OK? They are engaged in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine. Because what they are doing is unnatural, it goes against nature, because of that filthy practice; there is a natural result to it. There is natural, physical consequences to homosexual behavior. That’s why God says don’t engage in it, you are going to harm your bodies in doing so.
Jeffress dedicated much of Pathway to bemoaning the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which found state anti-sodomy laws to be unconstitutional, and said that supporters of LGBT equality are “fueled by sexual perversion” and “rebellion toward a holy God”:
Jeffress: The Lawrence decision of 2003 has paved the way to what both conservatives and liberals agree is the inevitable redefinition of marriage. Now folks don’t let anyone mislead you, this fervor to redefine the family is fueled by sexual perversion, and it is fueled by a sexual perversion that is in turn fueled by nothing but rebellion toward a holy God.
He claimed that Lawrence was the third case, along with Roe v. Wade, which barred states from criminalizing abortion, and Engel v. Vitale, which blocks officially organized prayer in public schools, that will lead to America’s destruction:
Jeffress: The third explosion that has weakened the social and spiritual infrastructure of our nation, making our collapse I believe inevitable, is the Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas in 2003.
Sometimes God destroys a society immediately. But other times, as in our case, there is a series of seemingly unrelated explosive choices, followed by a delay, and then followed by the sudden and dramatic collapse, just as in an implosion. Ladies and gentlemen, I am convinced that we are living in that in between time right now. We are living in that in between time between these explosive, wrong choices our country has made and the inevitable implosion of our country.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Robert Jeffress, a prominent endorser of Rick Perry, is not happy about the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom. In fact, Jeffress warns in a sermon posted online today, the religious protections of the First Amendment will “kindle the anger of God against us”:
Although our Constitution grants every citizen the right to worship or not worship any god he chooses, that right in no way changes God’s attitude toward idolatry. God does not change. Any nation that chooses to publicly renounce the true God in order to embrace and elevate other gods is going to face God’s judgment. That is what the Word of God says. And I closed that editorial in the Washington Post by saying, how ironic that the Air Force, which is trying to protect our nation against terrorist attacks, how ironic that our nation is doing the very thing that is guaranteed to kindle the anger of God against us.
And ladies and gentlemen, when God chooses to judge us, remember how he did it with Israel? He used a pagan nation that worshipped pagan gods to bring his punishment on Israel. And I believe he will do the same with us, and when he chooses to do that, no military power, no matter how strong we are, will be able to protect us against the judgment of Almighty God.
Jeffress refers to the Air Force's facilitaton of worship by members of minority faiths. Like Jeffress, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) has ripped into the Air Force for its equal treatment of religious minorities and televangelist John Hagee has claimed that pagan worship in the military is the reason why the U.S. is unable to win wars.
Jeffress sums up the Almighty’s beef with the First Amendment thus: “What we call diversity, God calls idolatry”:
Earlier in the sermon, Jeffress claimed that a school shooting in Kentucky was divine retribution for a series of Supreme Court decisions on prayer in public schools.
In a sermon posted yesterday, Jeffress argued that three key Supreme Court decisions on the separation of church and state have “so weakened our nation’s spiritual and social structure that collapse is inevitable.” He singles out the Court’s 1980 decision in Stone v. Graham, which struck down Kentucky’s law requiring that the Ten Commandments be posted in all public school classrooms. This decision, Jeffress argues, led directly to a tragic 1997 shooting spree in a Kentucky high school by a 14-year-old student who was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.
“Is that just a coincidence?” Jeffress asks. “I don’t think so. God warned Israel repeatedly of the devastating consequences she would experience if she forsook God and forgot his commandments.”
The prohibition against prayer, the prohibition against voluntary reading of the Bible, were only preambles to the most outlandish Supreme Court decision to date. For years, the public schools in Kentucky had posted copies of the Ten Commandments in the hallway. Understand, there was no obligation for the students to read the Ten Commandments, there was no explanation, no teaching of it in the schools. The Ten Commandments were simply displayed in the hallways, commandments like, “Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not covet,” “Thou shalt not steal.” That was what was posted. However, in 1980, in the case of Stone v. Graham, the Supreme Court ruled that the posting of the Ten Commandments was unconstitutional.
In a tragic twist of irony, 17 years after the Stone decision in 1980, a group of students had assembled together at Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, as they did every morning for a time of prayer and Bible reading. As these students stood around a set of lockers and they were engaging in prayer, a 14-year-old student approached them, pulled out a handgun and opened fire, killing three of the students and seriously wounding five. All of that occurred in the hallway of a Kentucky school where the Supreme Court said, “You cannot post the words, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’” Is that just a coincidence? I don’t think so. God warned Israel repeatedly of the devastating consequences she would experience if she forsook God and forgot his commandments.
Jeffress' anti-Mormon views should have been no surprise to the Perry camp, and in this interview last year with the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Jeffress argued that the Mormon religion, along with Islam, is "from the pit of Hell." He went on to say that along with Mormons, Muslims, Jews and gays are also destined for Hell.
Jeffress: I think part of the problem is we're in this consumer mentality as a church where we have the idea that our job is to build as big of a church as we possible can. And if we get into that idea and fall into that trap, then we say then we can't say anything that's going to offend people, why, if we preach that homosexuality is an abomination to God we better not preach that because that's going to offend the gays or people who know gay people, if we tell people what the Bible says that every other religion in the world is wrong: Islam is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Mormonism is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Judaism, you can't be saved being a Jew, you know who said that by the way, the three greatest Jews in the New Testament, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Christ, they all said Judaism won't do it, it's faith in Jesus Christ.
Following his endorsement and introduction of Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit, Robert Jeffress went on Focal Pointwith Bryan Fischer to chastise Romney's Mormon faith, arguing that he is not a "true, born again follower of Christ." He said that only Perry can defeat "the most pro-homosexual, most pro-abortion president in history."
"It is not Christianity, it is not a branch of Christianity," Jeffress said, "It is a cult." Jeffress went on to explain that many evangelical Christians will not vote for Romney because he is a Mormon and therefore not "indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God." He even claimed that Romney's Mormon faith "speaks to the integrity issue" as it explains why he has reversed his position on abortion rights, among other issues.