Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress tried to defend his reputation Monday evening on Fox News, where he is a paid contributor. Jeffress, who astonishingly was chosen to pray at Monday’s opening celebration ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, has a long history of making vile and offensive remarks about other religions, including Judaism, and about LGBTQ people.
Yet on Fox News he tried to claim his remarks were taken out of context.
After Fox News host Shannon Bream confronted Jeffress with an accurate tweet from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Jeffress couldn’t even deny that he made ugly remarks about people who observe the Mormon, Catholic, and Islamic religions, or about LGBTQ people.
But Jeffress did insist he has “never said anything derogatory about the Jewish people.”
“Shannon, I want to be clear,” Jeffress said. “I’m not a bigot. I’m not an extremist. I do without apology embrace the most historic belief of foundational Christianity. And that is, faith alone in Jesus Christ is the exclusive way to heaven.”
Asked if he could understand why people are offended by his remarks, Jeffress told a tall tale.
“I think people many times take my statements out of context,” Jeffress insisted. And then he chose to attack Mitt Romney for tweeting out accurate characterizations of Jeffress’ remarks.
And in fact, Jeffress is not only a bigot, he is lying.
There is no way his remarks about Jews, Muslims, Mormons, and Catholics, not to mention LGBTQ people, can be seen in a positive light.
In a now infamous 2011 interview, Jeffress said, “every other religion in the world is wrong: Islam is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Mormonism is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell,” and, “Judaism, you can’t be saved being a Jew.”
He has also said Islam promotes pedophilia, and is “evil,” “violent,” and a “false” religion.
Jeffress also preaches that “homosexuality is an abomination,” “is degrading,” “is a degenerative practice,” and is “detestable,” “unclean,” and “a perversion.” Same-sex marriages, according to Jeffress, are “counterfeit” and “cheapen the value” of different-sex marriages.
Jeffress has also called Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam each a “cult.” And “Muhammad was nothing but a blood-thirsty warlord.”
In short, Jeffress says that if you’re not a Christian – and a certain type of Christian – you’re going to hell, as Right Wing Watch has documented.
NCRM was the first to report on Jeffress being chosen to pray at Monday’s celebration in Jerusalem while linking him to his previous bigoted remarks.
The Dallas megachurch pastor who frequently appears on Fox News and, separately, hosts his own syndicated TV and radio shows that appear in well over 100 countries, serves on President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board and is a member of Trump’s White House Faith Initiative.
The White House claims it has no idea how Jeffress was chosen, and did not condemn his previous remarks.
John Oliver unleashes on news sites that sent out stupid push notifications
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver doesn't come back until Feb. 16, but he dropped a new web-exclusive video Sunday complaining to news agencies that they should stop sending out stupid push notifications on their apps.
Oliver told his audience that there are two major criteria when considering a push notification: 1. Is there something I should be doing differently?; and 2. Is this something I need to know now?
Things like declarations of war, earthquakes or acts of terrorism are all perfect examples of things news agencies should inform readers about quickly. But when CNN sent out a push notification about a 115,000 Neanderthal child that was only found "half-eaten" by a bird, Oliver was understandably frustrated.
Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report
The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.
It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.
"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.
"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.
Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo
Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.
Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.
In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.
But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."