Controversial pro-Trump pastor Robert Jeffress, whom Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney known as a "non secular bigot" on Twitter, delivered a prayer on Monday on the dedication ceremony of the brand new United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
GJELTEN: The benediction today was given by another evangelical Christian Pastor John Hagee. Past U.S. presidents have historically declined to weigh in on the dispute over the city.
The Dallas-based Southern Baptist is a megachurch founder and a staunch supporter of President Trump. The message was clear but Hagee said his position was misrepresented and "the ugliest of lies". He is preoccupied with what LGBT Americans do in the privacy of their own homes, saying they are "engaged in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine".
Jeffress has said Jews and other non-Christians, a group in which he includes Mormons, will go to hell - a belief he reconfirmed Monday. Jews, he believes, are going to hell. "Mormonism is wrong. It is a heresy from the pit of hell". "You can't be saved by being a Jew", he's said. 'How do would you know? The three greatest Jews in the New Testament: Peter, Paul and Jesus Christ.
"I am exhausted of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about important issues", he said in a statement.
Israeli border police officer pulls a sign from a Palestinian protestor outside the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Monday May 14, 2018. Non-Christian religions are sending their followers to hell, he preached in a September 2008 sermon.
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Jeffress also once said that "the dark dirty secret of Islam ..." Those sins included a gay pride parade that was scheduled for the same day Katrina made landfall. Hagee said that marriage equality was a sign that "America does not have purity". Afterward, Jeffress spoke with reporters and told them that the Mormon Church is a cult. "Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and saviour, he is not a Christian".
Late Sunday evening, Romney tweeted that Jeffress is "a bigot" and shouldn't "be giving the prayer that opens up" the embassy.
"How did it happen?" "Iran", he said of Israel's geopolitical foe, "is certainly no match for almighty God". "Why did it happen?"
The outrage over Jeffress comes amidst a backlash against the Trump adminstration's embrace of an Israeli cleric who also made racist remarks about black people.
Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, added: "Well".
"He told The Associated Press things attributed to him have been taken out of context". "I really hope people will look at the book and see what their tax dollars are supporting". So they had a monkey as a son, a son like this, so you say the blessing on him'.