'I'm Not a Bigot': Jeffress Responds to Backlash After Prayer at US Embassy Opening
Pastor and Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress responded to criticism he received after his prayer at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.
Jeffress faced backlash from Mitt Romney, who called him a "religious bigot" in a tweet due to his past comments on Jewish people.
Robert Jeffress says “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,“ and “Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.” He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 14, 2018
Jeffress had said during an interview in 2010, "You can't be saved being a Jew."
He also said in a 2008 sermon that religions like Judaism "lead" people to Hell.
"I want to be clear. I’m not a bigot, I’m not an extremist," Jeffress said on "Fox News at Night." "But I do -- without apology -- embrace the most foundational belief of historic Christianity."
The Anti-Defamation League also criticized Jeffress' prayer and labeled him as "unrepentant."
Pastor Robert Jeffress is an unrepentant religious bigot who has said “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,“ & “Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.” He was the wrong person to offer an opening prayer. On this day we need prayers of peace, hope, openness and respect.
— ADL (@ADL_National) May 14, 2018
Jeffress said that people often take his statements "out of context."
He added that Romney felt the need to "steal the spotlight" on such a historic day like Monday.
"I don't hate anybody," Jeffress said. "But I do want people to know [that] Christ is savior."