Pastor Says LGBT People's Behavior Is 'Filthy' and 'Degrading'
At 12:00 PM Friday, Donald Trump will place his left hand on the Lincoln bible, raise his right hand, and be sworn in as President of the United States.
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," Trump will say.
But about an hour or two before he stands on the west front steps of the U.S. Capitol, Donald Trump and his family will attend a private prayer service for them and about 300 invited guests, including Mike and Karen Pence, at St. John's Episcopal Church, across the street from the White House. That service, CNN reports, will be led by pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church in Texas.
Pastor Jeffress is far from an unassuming, little-known man of the cloth.
His Dallas-based church boasts a membership of 12,000. He is a long-time Fox News contributor and political pundit, and sits on Trump's evangelical advisory board. His views are well-documented.
So it should come as no surprise to Trump or his supporters that Pastor Jeffress is one of the most divisive, controversial, and un-Christian ministers in America.
How bad is Robert Jeffress?
Christian conservative hero Tim Tebow in 2013, after learning about Jeffress' views, canceled a guest speaking engagement at Jeffress' church.
Jeffress has an opinion on just about everything.
Just two days before the 2012 election, Jeffress said, "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. 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."
Four years earlier, in 2008, Jeffress delivered a controversial sermon (audio here) titled, "Gay Is Not OK," which featured this condemnation: "What they [homosexuals] do is filthy. It is so degrading that it is beyond description. And it is their filthy behavior that explains why they are so much more prone to disease."
That same year, the Dallas Observer reported that Jeffress "said Mormon Mitt Romney was a member of a 'cult' and who, in September, said that 'Christians are uniquely favored by God, [while] Mormons, Hindus and Muslims worship a false god.' And in the 1990s, he said that homosexuality causes 'the deaths of tens of thousands every year through AIDS.' He's super-tolerant. Then again, Jeffress has done quite a bit for the gay community: In 1998, while he was pastor at the First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, he protested the library's carrying such titles as Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate, which only served to make them more popular."
Just two weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its 2015 ruling on Obergefell, finding the Constitution does allow same-sex couples the right to marry, Jeffress appeared on Fox News, invoking the Holocaust, and tying it to supposed persecution of Christians.
"Christians," Jeffress falsely told Sean Hannity, are "losing their business because they believe in traditional marriage."
"This isn't imaginary," Jeffress said. "It's real. And sure, it doesn't rise to the level of having your head chopped off by ISIS in the Middle East, but it's all the same attitude that allows for those attacks."
"I want to remind people that, you know, the Nazis weren't able to take the Jews to the crematoriums, immediately," Jeffress said, without a moment of remorse. "The German people wouldn't have allowed for it. Instead, the Nazis had to change public opinion. They marginalized the Jewish people, disparaged them, and make them objects of contempt."
Hannity interrupted, to ensure Jeffress really thought "Christians are being marginalized the way Jews in Germany were?"
"Absolutely. They are being marginalized right now," Jeffress insisted. "Treated as objects of contempt by the media and once that happens then the taking away of further rights will be very easy."
But Barack Obama and LGBT people are far from Jeffress' only targets of hate.
Jeffress has also called Islam and Mormonism heresies "from the pit of hell," suggested that the Catholic church was led astray by Satan, accused Obama of "paving the way" for the Antichrist and spread false statistics about the prevalence of HIV among gays, who he said live a "miserable" and "filthy" lifestyle.In recent years, Jeffress has frequently denounced Islam, calling it an "evil religion" that "promotes pedophilia" because the Prophet Muhammed married a 9-year-old girl. (Many modern Muslim scholars disagree about her age.) The pastor has also said that Mormons, Muslims and Hindus "worship a false god."
He has called homosexuality "degrading," and linked it to pedophilia, alcoholism, depression and suicide, while insisting that his remarks are rooted in concern for gays -- a way of showing them the true path to salvation.
Of course, there's more.
In 2015, after the terror attacks in Paris, Jeffress "denounced Islam, calling it an evil and false religion," according to a local Dallas Fox News affiliate.
There are so many more examples, but the bottom line is, if Trump has chosen Pastor Robert Jeffress to help him lead the way for the next four or eight years, America as we know it is in grave danger.
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