Cult of Personality, or: Good Lord, Robert Jeffress Has Had a Very Busy Last Three Days

First Baptist Dallas's Robert Jeffress first appeared on Unfair Park back in October 2008 -- the first time, or close to, he referred to Mitt Romney, a Mormon, as a member of a "cult." Friday's remarks following his endorsement of Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., may have been brand-new to some (this morning Washington Post contributor David French makes "The evangelical case for Mitt Romney --and against Robert Jeffress"), but they were the same-ol'-same-ol' to others who've been within earshot of Tom Leppert's pastor for the last long while.

As expected -- hence, the media members scattered amongst the congregation -- Jeffress took to his downtown Dallas pulpit yesterday to try to explain his remarks and whether it was kosher for him to endorse a candidate "officially." Because, a few weeks ago, he said he wouldn't. Not now, not ever. "I believe this pulpit is too sacred to publicly endorse a candidate," he reiterated yesterday. "That's not what the pulpit of First Baptist Dallas is about."

Except ... it is, apparently. Especially, he said, after he started delivering those apocalyptic sermons a few weeks ago. Besides, he insisted, it's in his job description: The whole hubbub has "given me an opportunity to point out false religions," he told his congregants. "Part of a pastor's job is to warn his people and others about false religions. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism are all false religions, and I stand by this statement." The congregation applauded Jeffress's greatest hits. Then Jeffress went on to discuss his chat with Anderson Cooper Friday night -- seen above, and, again, it's hardly "breaking news" -- and the phone call he says he received afterward. At which point the pastor referred to his candidate of choice as "Ron Perry." Let's review the tape:

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.