One would think that maybe—just maybe—in the wake of the horrific mass shooting of 49 members of the LGBTQ community in Orlando, a candidate for President of the United States could avoid hanging out with, taking pictures with, and then re-tweeting a virulently anti-gay pastor who thinks that homosexuals are child molesters and possibly complicit in “laying down the path for the Antichrist.”
Now maybe it’s just that Trump can’t get anyone with an ounce of dignity to appear at his rallies, but “Dr.” Jeffress is really scraping the bottom of the barrel, especially for a candidate who recently said this:
The LGBT community, the gay community, the lesbian community — they are so much in favor of what I’ve been saying over the last three or four days. Ask the gays what they think and what they do, in, not only Saudi Arabia, but many of these countries, and then you tell me — who’s your friend, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?
Let’s “ask the gays” what they think about this tweet from the Pastor Jeffress, which Donald Trump quickly retweeted:
— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) June 17, 2016
Jeffress has been outspoken on subjects ranging from his belief that Mormonism is a cult and the assertion that Islam is a “false religion [that] is inspired by Satan himself who Jesus said came to steal, kill and destroy,” but he has been most flamboyantly and fabulously verbose on the subject of homosexuals. He think they are very, very bad boys (and girls). Here’s an interview in which he lays out and is unable to defend his position that homosexuals are disproportionately responsible for child molestation:
This is a claim that has been debunked repeatedly as the product of malicious manipulation of the relevant data. Dr. Gregory Herek (a real doctor), of the Department of Psychology at UC-Davis puts it this way:
The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.
It is not surprising that Donald Trump is courting this kind of anti-gay hatemonger. Such is the time-honored tradition of Republican candidates for offices up and down the ballot. What is surprising is that Donald Trump couldn’t show a little respect for even a solid week after the deadliest mass shooting in American history happened at a gay nightclub and was perpetrated by an individual who, by all accounts, was a deeply repressed homosexual himself, in all likelihood because his religion looked harshly upon it.