Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas called on Hollywood, the media and universities to stop demonizing political leaders on June 14, despite his own history of demonizing former President Barack Obama.
Jeffress made his comments in a statement posted on his church website in response to a shooting of Republican lawmakers on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia:
The incident also highlights the fact that the unrelenting demonization of our legitimately elected political leaders could lead to tragedy, and I refer particularly to the mainstream media, our universities, and to Hollywood. Now is the time to tone it all down, embrace real tolerance, report objectively and stop provoking our nation to conflict.
Religion News Service noted in 2014 that Jeffress said Obama was demonstrating how the Antichrist will gain support in his book "Perfect Ending":
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For the first time in history a president of our country has openly proposed altering one of society’s (not to mention God’s) most fundamental laws: that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
While I am not suggesting that President Obama is the Antichrist, the fact that he was able to propose such a sweeping change in God’s law and still win reelection by a comfortable margin illustrates how a future world leader will be able to oppose God’s laws without any repercussions.
Jeffress made another Obama/Antichrist statement to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in 2014, notes Mediaite.com.
Jeffress reportedly said that Obama was "conditioning" citizens to rely on government support, and that "people will have been conditioned long before the Antichrist comes to accept government overreach, and that’s what you’re seeing with President Obama."
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The Dallas Morning News reported in January 2016 that First Baptist Dallas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which means it is receiving a federal tax exemption from the government. Jeffress cannot officially endorse any candidate or his church could lose its tax-exempt status, but he did introduce Donald Trump at several election rallies.
"I’m not saying President Obama is the Antichrist," Jeffress told O'Reilly. "In fact, I’m sure he’s not, because the Antichrist is going to have higher poll numbers."
According to Religion News Service, Jeffress told his 11,000 church members in 2012 not to vote for Obama who was making it "relatively easy for the Antichrist to take over."
Jeffress insisted that he was not comparing Obama to the Antichrist: "But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist."
The Washington Post noted in January that Jeffress told people in 2012 not to vote for Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the GOP primary, and condemned Romney's religion, Mormonism, as a "cult."
Jeffress has reportedly said that Satan led the Catholic Church astray, Islam is an "evil religion" and that gay people live a "miserable" and "filthy" lifestyle.