First Baptist's Robert Jeffress is Toning Down His Anti-Gay Rhetoric

Categories: Religion

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Robert Jeffress
It wasn't long ago -- July, in fact -- that First Baptist's Robert Jeffress was comparing homosexuality to bestiality and incest.

This wasn't particularly surprising. Matter of fact, it was in line with his past pronouncements on the subject of homosexuality, which are summed up most succinctly in the title of a 2008 sermon, "Gay is not OK." (Sample line: "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." Like AIDS, which 70 percent of homosexuals have, according to Jeffress.)

But The Associated Press reports that Jeffress is part of a growing contingent of evangelical leaders taking a softer line on homosexuality.

"I think we were too quick to dismiss the possibility of a genetic predisposition," he told the AP, acknowledging that it's possible that homosexuality can't be cured or prayed away.

He still thinks acting on homosexual desires is a sin condemned by the Bible, but he puts it in the same category as adultery, premarital sex and "unbiblical divorce." In other words, there's not a special place in hell for gays. They'll just go to regular hell.

How much of a shift this marks is debatable, since Jeffress has long tempered his condemnations of homosexuality with a message of compassion. His 2008 homosexuality-is-filthy line was followed by an exhortation to his congregation to love and cherish their gay family members.

And Jeffress' bottom line -- that homosexuality is a sin -- remains unchanged. Until he begins preaching otherwise, any shift in rhetoric is just putting lipstick on a pig.

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25 comments
iwearblack
iwearblack

A little off topic, but why don't Southern Baptists allow coitus in a standing position?

It's too much like dancing... :|

muddystick
muddystick

I am over 70 years old.  I was raised in a Southern Baptist church.  Back in the 50's these folks were so paranoid that a black person might try to attend their churches that my church had a plan in place to do a mass exodus if a black crossed the front door during a worship service. 

For folks like Jeffress, gay is the black of the 50's.  They can openly exhibit their hatred while professing their love of all.  Don't ever think a good Southern Baptist isn't capable of holding two opposing thoughts in his head at the same time! 


wcvemail
wcvemail

Jeffress and the rest of the "growing contingent" just heard about gays' disposable incomes. Somebody circulated, quietly, a cost-benefit analysis. It's all about the Benjamins.

downtownworker
downtownworker

I miss the old batshit-crazy Southern Baptist stance on homosexuality because this new, "maybe they are pre-disposed" stance is just bizarre. If your god made you a certain way and you live your life like a decent human being that doesn't hurt anyone else, shouldn't you be celebrated for being that way? Shouldn't they encourage gay people to get married and raise children so that this world can be a better place?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Why do you continue to give this asshat publicity? At least make him go off the rails completely before he gets written about again. Next we'll get to hear what Glen Beck thinks of Jeffress.

This is a view-baiting post that Wilonsky would've never bothered with. Next time, think WWWD.

polishbear
polishbear

I’m reminded of a commentator on a Southern Baptist website who wrote, “I can’t reconcile how someone could feel he or she was born with strong homosexual feelings, love Christ and yet take on the limitations of what seem to me to be straightforward biblical teachings. That’s agonizing, and I don’t really understand it.”


And this is the weird thing: “Straighforward biblical teachings” should at least be understandable to the average person. So often I hear it said, “OUR ways are not GOD’s ways,” as if God was some sort of inscrutable alien being.

Consider The Golden Rule: We do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Put all the religious dogma and ritual aside, and this is what our laws boil down to. We don’t lie or bear false witness because we won’t want people to lie to us. We don’t steal from other people because we do not want people stealing from us. We don’t betray the trust of our spouses because we wouldn’t want them doing the same to us. Same goes for killing and a variety of other “bad” behaviors.

And yet somehow there seems to be this sheepish adherence to a double standard for Gay and Straight people. If you’re Straight, it’s all so wonderful to be able to find a compatible person of the opposite sex, court and get engaged and marry and live happily ever after. But if you’re Gay, all of that is completely out of the question. Don’t even bother trying to find a compatible person. Lesbians and Gay men are precluded from any hope for romance or commitment. Gay people are simply told: “Gosh, sorry about that. You make us uncomfortable; acknowledging your existence means we might have to revise what we’ve been teaching all these years - meaning, Whoops! No infallible Magisterium or “literal” Bible ... so you’ll just have to sacrifice your life and any hope of finding somebody to love. Tough luck, kid. God said it, I don’t necessarily understand it, but there it is.”

I wish more social conservatives and evangelicals would at least TRY to wrap their minds around why this makes so little sense to Gay people, and why constant exposure to this sort of disdain is exactly WHY so many Gay young people end up taking their own lives.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

@wcvemail Exactly. He's getting diminishing returns and he sees that the bigotry is literally dying out and the younger demo has no problem with homosexuality. Fear tactics aren't working.

observist
observist topcommenter

@Scruffygeist  Wilonsky would post a link to old Dallas photos for sale on eBay.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@polishbear You're forgetting these religious assfucks are basically hateful people that use religion as an excuse to get together and spew their hatred.

observist
observist topcommenter

@polishbearTechnically speaking, gay people adhere to The Golden Rule more closely than straight people do.

MaxNoDifference
MaxNoDifference

@polishbear I tend to agree with you.  Heck, let them get married so that they can be as miserable as the rest of us.

polishbear
polishbear

@keepcensoringDO: It is becoming increasingly common to capitalize words when they apply to demographic groups. Whereas "Gay" and "Straight" refer to people of a particular sexual orientation, "gay" refers to a lighthearted or festive quality, whereas "straight" refers more to direction. Whereas "Black" and "White" refer to races, "black" and "white" refer to colors. 

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