In 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry partnered with pastor John Benefiel, a self-proclaimed Apostle who leads the Heartland Apostolic Reformation Network, for his The Response prayer rally. Like many of the other pastors promoting The Response, Benefiel has some rather curious views. For example, he claims the Statue of Liberty is a “demonic idol” and that the District of Columbia is under the control of demonic powers. While appearing on Sid Roth’s show It’s Supernatural!, Benefiel argued that the Statue of Freedom on top of the Capitol and the Washington Monument are demonic symbols.
He told Roth that his group went to Washington in 2011 to issue a Baal divorce decree [PDF], which he maintains frees places from control of the demonic god Baal, and that God responded with the August 23rd earthquake which was felt along the east coast. He said the earthquake’s damage to the Washington Monument, the Scottish Rite Temple and the National Cathedral is no coincidence but divine punishment for masonry. “God continues to amaze us all the time,” Benefiel said, “We just did what God says to do and he follows up with this great act.”
Benefiel, who earlier maintained that homosexuality was an Illuminati plot to depopulate the earth, told Roth—after asserting that watching pornography is an act of “Baal worship”—that homosexuality is a result of paganism and Baal’s attempt to “infiltrate our Christianity.”