Pro-LGBTQ businesses are a greater threat to religious freedom in the United States than the Islamic State, said Robert Jeffress, a conservative evangelical minister of the 12,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. He reportedly was speaking out about the federal government's reaction to anti-transgender legislation in states, such as North Carolina.
Jeffress, as reported by Right Wing Watch, commented recently about the Obama administration's controversial directive advising public schools to allow transgender students to use whichever gender lavatory with which they felt comfortable. On the Family Research Council's Washington Watch program, Jeffress stressed the conservative view that "gender is something that is assigned by God. And by the way, it's not just a matter of religious belief, it's a matter of science, it's a matter of chromosomes."
Jeffress said, according to Christian Today, "at the root of this is society's rebellion against the plan of God, that's what this is all about. I think it's time for an all-out rebellion against this absolute tyranny of the Obama administration."
The pastor said states' decisions about the matter come down to money. "When states are being faced with the loss of business, they tend to fold real quickly. And I've said often that the greatest threat to freedom of religion in America is not ISIS, it's the Chamber of Commerce.
"It's the businesses that say to our representatives, 'Oh, don't pass laws like that, don't pass these religious freedom laws because people will interpret that as anti-gay and we'll lose business.'"
Jeffress also is a Fox News contributor, and adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Similar to Jeffress, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said on May 13 on Washington Watch, "I think this is a time for resistance. I think it's a time for defiance. This is wrong. Parents have a God-given responsibility and obligation to protect their children. It is wrong to surrender our children to a godless system that this president is promoting."
On Jeffress' Facebook page, Abigail Elise Ferguson, stated "the truth of the matter is that we are all sinful and if we believe in the Gospel we must understand that Jesus will come. However, Scripture clearly states that the world is going to get continually worse in ways we cannot imagine.
"So yes 'at the root of this is society's rebellion against the plan of God' but how can we expect anything but that to happen? We cannot sit back and watch it happen without sharing the Gospel, but we also cannot make wild statements like 'LGBT businesses are worse than ISIS.' Ultimately, all sin is sin and we cannot expect the grace of God out of people who do not know the grace of God. That is unfair and ungodly of Christians to expect. We were wretched before Christ and our flesh will always be wretched until we see God is eternity. Reference 2 Corinthians 5:11-21."