Last night, Donald Trump dined with Religious Right leaders as he prepared to sign an executive order weakening contraception coverage requirements for health insurance plans and directing the IRS to exempt houses of worship from enforcement of a law prohibiting a wide variety of tax-exempt entities from openly engaging in electoral politics.
Trump met in the Oval Office with Texas pastor Robert Jeffress, whose extremism is so intense that even Mitt Romney publicly condemned him during his presidential bid.
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) May 3, 2017
As we’ve previously reported, Jeffress is a vocally anti-gay, anti-Catholic and anti-Mormon preacher:
Jeffress made waves in the last presidential election when, after endorsing Rick Perry, he told Christians that they shouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith, which wasn’t too surprising since he once blasted Mormonism as “a cult” from “the pit of hell.”
Jeffress has similarly stated that Satan created Roman Catholicism, declared that Jews, Mormons, Muslims and gay people are all destined for hell and maintained that President Obama “is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”
No fan of the gay community, Jeffress believes that gays and lesbians are “perverse” people who are either pedophiles or likely to abuse children in the future; compared homosexuality to bestiality and called it “a miserable lifestyle”; accused gay people of using “brainwashing techniques” to have homosexuality “crammed down our throats”; said that gay people “are engaged in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine”; predicted that the gay rights movement “will pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist”; and labeled homosexuality a “filthy practice” that will lead to the “implosion of our country.”
At the dinner, Jeffress said that the people in the room are going to be “your most loyal” and “enthusiastic supporters, and we thank God every day that you’re the president of the United States.”
Other Religious Right notables at the White House event included James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family; Jim Garlow, a California pastor who was one of the chief organizers behind Proposition 8; Ralph Reed, the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition; televangelist Paula White; author Eric Metaxas; pastor Ramiro Pena; Richard Land; Samuel Rodriguez; and Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham.