Conservative pastor on Romney: Don't vote for a Mormon
October 7th, 2011
05:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Conservative pastor on Romney: Don't vote for a Mormon

(CNN) – A pastor of a mega church in Dallas said Friday that Republicans shouldn't vote for White House hopeful Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon and described the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a "cult."

"I think Mitt Romney's a good, moral man, but those of us who are born again followers of Christ should prefer a competent Christian," said Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, which has a congregation of about 10,000 and has long been considered a highly-influential church in evangelical circles.

Jeffress, who's endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry and introduced him at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, told CNN Political Correspondent Jim Acosta that the Southern Baptist Convention "has officially labeled Mormonism as a cult."

In fact, a website maintained by the Southern Baptist Convention lists the Mormon faith under its "New Religions and Cults" section, which also includes Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Scientology.

"That's why I'm enthusiastic about Perry," Jeffress said, later adding: "I again believe that as Christian, we have the duty to select Christians as our leaders…Between a Rick Perry and a Mitt Romney, I believe evangelicals need to go with Rick Perry."

Perry distanced himself from the comments Friday night, telling reporters in Iowa he doesn't think the Mormon church is a cult.

This isn't the first time the Dallas pastor has hit Romney over his religion. During the 2008 campaign, he made similar comments.

But if it came down to a contest between Romney and President Barack Obama, Jeffress said he'd still vote for Romney, although holding his nose at the same time.

"I would rather have a non-Christian who at least supports biblical principles than a professing Christian like Barack Obama who embraces unbiblical positions," he said.

When asked for a comment, Perry's team said it was the event organizers–not the campaign–who asked Jeffress to introduce the candidate.

"The governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult," added Mark Miner, Perry's national press secretary.

Michael Purdy, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to comment on a statement "made at a political event."

"But those who want to understand the centrality of Christ to our faith can learn more about us and what we believe by going to," Purdy said in a statement.

The Romney campaign said it will not have any comment to the remarks made by Jeffress.

Meanwhile, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which helped organize the event, said on CNN's "John King, USA" that his group gave Perry a heads up approximately two weeks ago that Jeffress would be introducing the governor.

"We sent it to the campaign. They signed off on it," Perkins said. "I don't think there was any other communication beyond that. The campaign did not know what he would say. We did not know what he would say."

Jeffress made his comments about Romney in a conversation with reporters, not in his introductory speech for Perry.

Later on Friday, he stood by his comments, saying it was his job as a pastor to support a candidate of the Christian faith.

"I don't hate Gov. Romney. He's a good, moral person," Jeffress told CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King. "But as a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have the responsibility to proclaim what the Bible proclaims."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (493 Responses)
  1. Rational Americans

    So one cult leader is denouncing Romney because he's part of a different cult. Big whoop. They both believe that some middle eastern guy got nailed to some boards two thousand years ago, right?

    What, does one branch think he got tied up there instead?

    News Flash: You're both 'tarded. Magic, gods, and unicorns are not real. You're making the rest of us Americans look bad.
    Please enter real life now.

    Rational Americans

    October 7, 2011 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. Codepwned

    Lets say this again class... Religion does not belong in government. Our nation was founded without it, it's history is that of misuse, violence and destruction. Be religious, that's fine... but choose candidates who have track records of good decisions based on facts, not some book monks wrote 2000 years ago from second hand stories of rapists, murders and child molestors. <- I'm not kidding.

    October 7, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  3. kingnpriest

    Wow...the comments on here are scary. Jesus Christ, the Lord, would condemn Mormonism, along with all over faiths that are not of Him. John 14:6...the way of salvation is through Jesus Christ alone! NO other name will save. However, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace alone, and Mormonism is yet another psuedo christian movement that tries to tie salvation to our good works and human effort. That is what the guy means by "cult". Any group that denies that salvation is anything other than by grace through faith, is unscriptural and cursed, Galatians 1:8. Paul the apostle states that any group that teaching anything other than what he taught is cursed, that includes mormonism, catholic, muslim, jehovahs witness, scientology, masonry etc. That is the facts!

    October 7, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. Leo Bone

    This pastor needs to resign asap..

    His duty is to pass on the word of the lord, not influence his congregation to vote for who he wants to win the election.

    This piece of cr*p pastor is not following the principles he preaches and so he must now place his tail between his leg and disappear out of the public eye.

    No one should ever use gods name to further their personal interests! This pastor should be hanged for mixing religion with politics.

    October 7, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. Harry

    Agreed Mit Romney is a Mormon. What difference does it makes. Why bring religion in politics.
    Truly shows JeffrASS is Moron.

    October 7, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  6. sarah

    Wow, here we got again. I swear that more most "Christian's" talk the more you see see how far off of the real message that Jesus ever said. I have to say that some of the most honest, trustworthy people never set foot in a church, preach a single word, and do not push anything on anybody. I am so tired of religion and how political people treat one another for the sake of being a "good Christian". Maybe the GOP need to quit interpreting their reasoning of the bible and follow his message.

    October 7, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. baatman74

    Jeffress has some balls calling the Mormans a 'cult,' when he is a member of the biggest cult in the land! lol. it's funny watching a kettle call the pot black! Listen up, J, go with the Mormans, at least you get more tail that way!!!!

    October 7, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Christian

    Mormons also do not believe Jesus is God...they reject is deity...this is fundamental to Christians that Jesus was indeed God.

    October 7, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  9. Raison

    I understand the seperation of people some ( Politicians ) are tying to create. United We Stand Divided We Fall. Are we buying it ? Hook line and sinker, I think. Any Politician aimed at seperation of any kind in your country, I would never vote, nor trust to do right by any man Christian or not. Shame on You.. Aren't there enough problems in your country that ultimately will send the country falling ! Oh right that is what you are trying to do ! Hidden in Plain Sight ! The Politicians have been bought for a price didn't you know especially those riding the seperation of people ( voters )Band wagon. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, But only one picture goes throught my mind, Christ exersizing Righteous indignation, by getting the money Changers out of the Temple who Professed his name, but sold any thing they had for personal gain .. Perry and associates have you done that ?

    October 7, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. Frank

    Way to show your ignorance Pastor! Don't you know that you are a cult leader.

    October 7, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. nytw

    Just think what this "man of god" would say if Romeny was a catholic. I wonder what god thinks of this. I bet it makes her mad.

    October 7, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  12. FL-Patriot

    Mitt Romney can believe what he wants to believe, it's a free country, but if our party chooses someone who reads from a book other than the BIBLE then I am out and voting for Obama, hate to say it but at least he is a Christian!!! Mormonism is a cult because it puts their founder who was a liar and had multiple wives (both sins) on the same level as Christ.

    October 7, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. A.

    Did someone put "stupid' in the water? Seriously? Who in their right mind would say something like this, in public no less.

    October 7, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  14. General Davis

    Who cares about Mormons? Don't vote for Romney because he's a warmonger.

    October 7, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  15. LeeRoy

    . . . and I'm a Mormon. And Christian. Check out the religious facts at LDS dot ORG or MORMON dot ORG. We don't believe in bringing others down and bullying others. It's just not the right thing to be doing. You could feel the dark spirit in that pastor's message. For the political facts, watch the debates and study the issues. So far, it's easy to see Romney is much more presidential then any other candidate. And he's obviously making people nervous; just as Kennedy did. Go Romney! Go Mormonism! 🙂

    October 7, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  16. Roberto

    So now we're boiling it down to religion for the 2012 election. I knew there was a reason I quit going to church many, many years ago. And the Baptists, oh my. Do you know why Baptists don't make love standing up? If someone saw them, they would be accused of dancing!

    October 7, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  17. indyreader

    Mormon Dominionists on one side, Christian Dominionists on the other. The US is not a theocracy, people. Keep religion and politics separate – combining them leads to the worst of both.

    October 7, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |

    the world still believe obama promise america to creat a jobs but political crack it down...

    October 7, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  19. Bryan Drake

    I'm sure this will get lost in the shuffle, but to those foolish comments that suggest that Mormonism is "Christian" Please do yourself a favor and look-up the doctrine of the Mormon church, and you will see that it drastically varies from traditional Christianity. Followers of Christ don't love to hate, but in this world we live in, just because we disagree with something we instantly "hate" it. That's so incredible stupid. That argument has such fallacy that it's ridiculous.

    October 7, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  20. Luis Wu

    Boy, is that ever the pot calling the kettle black. All religions are cults. When will people ever wake up and stop accepting ancient mythology as having anything at all to do with reality??

    October 7, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  21. skeeve

    You, Christians, are so funny. Every time another one of them speak I truly understand the meaning of that old saying: "God, please, save me from your followers!"

    October 7, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  22. Bryan Drake

    Ed it's funny you use the word orthodox, yet clearly use it in a way that destroys it's context.

    October 7, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  23. keith

    and don't vote for Perry cause he doesn't give a rats a$$ about the general public, unless you can give him millions of $$'s.

    October 7, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  24. Charles

    Don't vote for a Christian.

    October 7, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  25. moribundman

    Ah, the separation of church and state at work! All of those clown candidates are cultists, mostly of the cult of Mammon.

    October 7, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20