Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!! Robert Jeffress, Southern Baptist Convention ("SBC") leader, announced at the Christianist "Value Voters Summit" that he was throwing his support behind Rick Perry because "it was critical for a pastor to tell other Christians why it is imperative to vote for a Christian rather than a non-Christian.” Jeffress went on to say "“Quite frankly, part of my hesitancy in supporting Governor Romney is I do not want to give credibility to a cult like Mormonism." For those haven't done so in the past, I suggest a perusal of the SBC's website and a monitoring of it's positions on a host of issues will quickly disclose that if Mormonism is a cult, then so is the Southern Baptist Convention. And the SBC cult's main hallmarks are hatred of others, politics of division, and an eventual overthrow of parts or all of the U.S. Constitution, especially in terms of wiping out the constitutional rights on non-Kool-Aid drinking citizens. Michelle Goldberg at The Daily Beast looks at this blatant display of religious based bigotry - and Perry's refusal to distance himself from it. Here are some highlights:
Robert Jeffress, Southern Baptist Convention leader and pastor of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, has never endorsed a political candidate, but at the Values Voters Summit on Friday, he announced that he was throwing his support behind Rick Perry. “I don’t think Michele Bachmann is going to win the nomination. I don’t believe that Herman Cain is going to win the nomination. I think it’s going to come down to a Perry-Romney fight,” he told me shortly before taking the stage to introduce Perry to the crowd. “And I felt like at this time, it was critical for a pastor to tell other Christians why it is imperative to vote for a Christian rather than a non-Christian.”
In other words, Jeffress, one of the first major religious right figures to choose sides in the GOP primary, wants to make sure that the Republican Party doesn’t nominate a Mormon. Romney’s religion, he says, “is going to play a huge role. It’s a role that many people are unwilling to speak about.” He, however, is more than willing. “Quite frankly, part of my hesitancy in supporting Governor Romney is I do not want to give credibility to a cult like Mormonism, which I believe having a Mormon president would do,” he says.
This creates a challenge for the Texas governor, but it also gives him an opportunity to capitalize on some evangelicals’ antipathy to the Church of Latter-day Saints. By Friday afternoon, Perry was coming under pressure to distance himself from Jeffress. His campaign insisted he didn’t share Jeffress’s view, and that the organizers of the Values Voters Summit, not the Perry camp, had invited the preacher to introduce to the candidate. Nevertheless, Perry didn’t renounce Jeffress, which means he’s likely to continue fielding questions about Mormonism.
The belief that Mormonism is a cult is the official position of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination. In a June Pew Poll, 34 percent of white evangelicals said they’d be less likely to support a presidential candidate if he or she were Mormon.
[A]mong conservative Christians, Jeffress is an important figure. His television show, Pathway to Victory, reaches 1,200 stations. In January, he has a new book about the apocalypse coming out, jauntily titled Twilight’s Last Gleaming: How America’s Last Days Can Be Your Best Days.
Given his [Perry's] lackluster performance in the Republican debates and conservative discomfort over his record on immigration, he needs help reinvigorating the base that once had such high hopes for him. Indeed, that’s partly why Jeffress decided to get involved.
The fact that an open bigot and far right religious extremist like Jeffress is backing Perry ought to be a clarion call to rational voters of both political parties (assuming anyone rational is left in the GOP) that Perry is bad news and needs to be defeated. With not likely Democrat primary in Virginia, candidly, I will vote in the GOP primary just to vote against Perry if he's still a player.