The Revd Robert Jeffries is the senior pastor of 1st Baptist Church, Dallas. 1st Baptist is a Southern Baptist mega-church in downtown Dallas with between 11 and 12,000 members. Jeffries was asked recently to appear as a debate participant on FOX and Friends on the local DWF FOX News channel. The topic of debate was regarding “sanctuary churches.” Jeffries was asked by the commentator a hypothetical question inquiring if an illegal immigrant showed up at the church door hungry, perhaps with a child in tow, would Jeffries turn them over to ICE – US Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Jeffries responded that his church wouldn’t be checking the immigration status of folks who attend the church, but neither would they harbor illegal immigrant criminals as he claims some liberal churches are doing.
“Jesus was not this wimpy little guy who walked around munching sunflower seeds and saying nice things to people,” Jeffress said. “The real Jesus of the Bible said, ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.’ That is: Obey the government.”
FOX News reported that there were sanctuary cities across the country. These are cities that have declared themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants and some have passed local laws instructing their local law enforcement agencies not to cooperate with the federal agencies by detaining and release immigrants into federal custody. Fox then reported an inflammatory story about one of those cities, San Francisco, which had freed an illegal immigrant from jail without detaining him for ICE. That immigrant has since been charged with allegedly killing a women while on the street. The show then made a leap between two ideas of providing sanctuary by reporting that there were also dozens of churches across the US who had declared themselves sanctuary churches. It was this false connection to which Jeffries was responding.
Jeffries has a reputation of making controversial statements;
- Jeffress has claimed that Islam “promoted pedophilia” and has been accused of reducing “Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and virtually everyone else” to members of cults.
- In 2008, Jeffress, in his sermon “Gay Is Not OK”, stated that “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 September 2010, Jeffress called Islam an “evil, evil religion”.
- In December 2010 he established a “Naughty and Nice List” where businesses are identified based on whether or not they openly celebrated Christmas, saying “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.”
- In October 2011, at the Values Voter Summit, Jeffress called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) “a cult”. He received widespread criticism for his statement, but has not retracted it despite U.S. presidential candidate and church member Mitt Romney’s request for him to do so.
- An outspoken opponent of gay marriage, Jeffress has described such marriages as being “counterfeit.”
Photo from dallasvoice.com
Posted by David Allen