I was not actually planning to do an Idiot of the Week this week. Between election news/views, sporadic rants, and preparing the Idiot of the Year columns, I’ve been busy enough without having to deal with everyday, run-of-the-mill idiots. But then, Pastor Robert Jeffress popped onto my radar … not just once, but a couple of times, and I finally concluded that the only way to banish him would be to give him the honour of this award. I always feel a little bit bad about awarding this honour to religious people, but it seems that lately they are the most outspoken idiots and … well, an idiot is an idiot, no matter his career or life’s calling.
Mr. Jeffress came onto my radar when I saw this headline:
Pastor Attacks Christians Who Won’t Vote Trump
In fact, I saw it a number of times, so finally I felt compelled to investigate. In so doing, I found that this is only the latest in a long string of idiocy.
- While a pastor in Wichita Falls in 1998, Jeffress took umbrage with two children’s books, ”Heather Has Two Mommies” and ”Daddy’s Roommate,” in the library, about children with gay or lesbian parents. A church member checked them out, then took them to Mr. Jeffress, who paid for them rather than returning them. Once the story of his actions was published, the library received multiple copies of the books as donations. Interestingly, his ploy had the opposite effect of that which he intended, as demand for the books soared thereafter!
- In a 2010 sermon, Jeffers said, “The deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia – sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl – had sex with her.”
- “Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult.” Despite this, Jeffress eventually did support Romney in the 2012 election, primarily because he hates President Obama, presumably more than he hates the ‘cult of Mormonism’.
- In 2008, Jeffress stated, “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.”
- In December 2010, Jeffress established a “Naughty and Nice List” in which businesses are identified based on whether or not they openly celebrated Christmas: “I wanted to do something positive to encourage businesses to acknowledge Christmas and not bow to the strident voices of a minority who object to the holiday.”
- Also in 2010, Jeffress referred to Roman Catholicism as a “Satanic” result of “Babylonian mystery religion”, and said, “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.” Can we say, “my way or the highway”?
- Two days before the 2012 presidential election between President Obama and Mitt Romney, Jeffress said, “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. 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.”
Now to his latest transgression, his over-the-top support of Donald Trump. In an interview with radio host Rick Wiles, he said:
“To me, this is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It’s a battle between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness, and I think it is time for people who say they are conservative Christians to get off the fence and go to the polls and vote their convictions.
And I’ll tell you something else, these so-called Christian leaders who say, “Well, they’re gonna follow their conscience and they cannot, because of moral reasons, vote for Donald Trump.”
Can you please tell me what great moral principle out there would allow Hillary Clinton to become the next President of the United States and appoint up to five Supreme Court justices?
My gosh, after today’s decision by the Supreme Court on our state’s abortion laws here in Texas, shouldn’t Christians wake up and understand what this election is about? It just blows my mind how weak and namby-pamby some of these Christian leaders are.”
In other appearances over the past three months, he has been quoted as saying:
“It is absolutely foolish to do anything that would allow Hillary Clinton to become the next President of the United States … at least Donald Trump has voiced a belief in a pro-life movement, he has at least talked about religious liberty …”
“I believe any Christian who would sit at home and not vote for the Republican nominee … that person is being motivated by pride rather than principle …”
“… I can tell you from personal experience, if Donald Trump is elected president of the United States, we who are evangelical Christians are going to have a true friend in the White House. God bless Donald Trump!”
Jeffers, by the way, is another member of Trump’s ‘religious advisory board’. Note that he is offended by Islam because he believes (falsely) that it promotes sex with children, yet he supports for president a man who is about to go on trial for the rape of a 13-year-old child. Oxymoron? Irony? Double standard?
The religious leaders like Jeffress, Robertson, Falwell, et al, who are weighing in with their thoughts on this election need to realize one thing: in voting for a president, senator or representative, we are voting for a person who will make the most viable, intelligent choices regarding the economy, the health and welfare of our citizens, the environment, and our international relations. We are not voting for a religious leader. Ours is a secular government, and comments like those made by Mr. Jeffress prove why a secular government is necessary.
Well, Mr. Jeffress, let me be the first to congratulate you on the highly coveted Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award! I am sure it will look great on that wall where, I am told, you have displayed the covers of all the books you have written! Thank you for all the fires of intolerance and bigotry you have fueled over the last two decades!