Pastor Robert Jeffress Says Supreme Court Has ‘Declared Open Season’ on Christians Who Oppose Homosexual Marriage

Pastor Robert Jeffress inside the sanctuary at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. (PHOTO: COURTESY OF FIRST BAPTIST DALLAS)
Pastor Robert Jeffress inside the sanctuary at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

Commenting on Friday’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage a constitutional right, outspoken megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress said he believes the court’s decision has further “emboldened” and “equipped” liberals to take legal action against Christians who resist same-sex marriage.

Jeffress, the 59-year-old pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, composed a Friday op-ed for Fox News, where he stressed that the court’s ruling will have many “legal, sociological, and spiritual consequences for years to come.”

In a Friday interview with The Christian Post, Jeffress expanded on his argument and stated that religious colleges and universities won’t be the only ones that are at risk of facing government sanctions — like loss of tax-exempt statuses — or lawsuits for refusing to compromise on marriage.

Jeffress stressed that churches that refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies will likely be easy targets for lawsuits.

“Anybody can be sued for any reason at all. But what has happened as a result of today is, those who want to sue the Church have been emboldened as well as equipped by the Supreme Court to bring such a suit,” Jeffress stressed. “I believe that today, an unintended consequence, but a very real consequence of this decision, is the Supreme Court has just declared open season on those who believe in traditional marriage and they granted liberals a hunting license to go after those who resist same-sex marriage.”

Contrary to Jeffress’ claim that churches could begin to face government sanctions if they refuse same-sex marriages, Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Erik Stanley told CP last week that pastors will likely not be required to officiate same-sex ceremonies and churches will not be required to host same-sex weddings because churches and para-churches “still have great constitutional protections.”

Jeffress maintains, however, that if the government can remove the tax-exempt status of religious schools who “violate” a civil rights law by not allowing a married same-sex couple to stay in the same dorm room, why couldn’t the government do the same for churches that refuse to honor same-sex marriages?

“Anyone who thinks that it is only religious colleges that are in danger, they are naive,” Jeffress asserted. “I always hear the argument that ‘nobody can hold a gun to your head, pastor, and make you perform a same-sex ceremony.’ Well, of course not, but I believe that if gay marriage is a civil right, I think that the government will say they can not sponsor or support an institution that engages in a civil rights violation. I do believe, sooner rather than later, churches will face the loss of their tax-exempt status if they do not engage in same-sex ceremonies.”

“Once you enshrine gay marriage as a civil right, which is what the court did today, then anyone who opposes gay marriage will be guilty of a civil rights violation,” Jeffress added.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Samuel Smith

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