The pastor of a megachurch in Dallas, Texas, known for its virulent anti-gay comments and leanings, spoke out over the weekend after NFL quarterback Tim Tebow canceled his scheduled appearance at the church following a public outcry against him.
“You know, it is an amazing thing to me that a church is called anti-Semitic simply because we preach that everyone — Jew, Baptist, Catholic, Hindu, atheist — everyone must trust in Christ in order to go to Heaven. It’s amazing to me that we’re called anti-gay simply because we say sex ought to be between a man and a woman in marriage; somehow that’s construed to be anti-gay,” First Baptist Church of Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress told his congregation.
“The bad news is there is such a thing called sin, and the Bible says we are all guilty of it, and we are all headed for an eternity of separation from God. But it the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. It doesn’t matter whether you were a Jew, a Baptist, a Catholic, a Muslim, a Hindu, a homosexual, an adulterer, a thief, or a cheat. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, you can be forgive of your sins if you trust in Jesus Christ as your savior. That’s not a message of hate; that’s a message of hope,” he added.
The Dallas church is home to virulent anti-LGBT Pastor Robert Jeffress, who has lashed out against President Barack Obama, referring to him as the “Antichrist.”
Tebow is no stranger to speaking openly about his beliefs across the country. Last year, he spoke in both Texas and Arizona to churchgoers.
But with Jeffress and the Dallas church, it appeared that Tebow was joining the anti-gay movement in full force.
Jeffress himself has been even more outspoken on his anti-gay beliefs, saying “70 percent of the gay population” has AIDS, he said, and declared in 2012 that “There are a disproportionate amount of assaults against children by homosexuals than by heterosexuals, you can’t deny that.”
This is counter to studies published on the topic, including a report from the University of California at Davis, which looked at 175 men incarcerated for child molestation in Massachusetts.
“None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47 percent) were classified as “fixated;” 70 others (40 percent) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13 percent) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that “in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women….There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males…” it stated.
But Jeffress disregarded the study, saying “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.”