First Baptist Dallas launches ‘Grinch Alert’

Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas

You all remember Pastor Robert Jeffress over at First Baptist Church in Dallas, right? He’s the one who riled up the LGBT community a couple of years ago with his “Gay is Not OK” sermon.

Well, now Pastor Jeffress is at it again. He and his church have created a new website, GrinchAlert.com, to warn us all about those horrible business people who have the nerve to say something like “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” or who, even worse, don’t recognize the Christian holiday at all.

So if someone or some business pisses you off while you are out commercializing Christmas this year, you can go to this website and post a comment designating them as “naughty.” And if they spell out “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” on their chain link fence using colored plastic cups and Christmas lights, you can go to the site and reward them with a “nice” post.

Jeffress told Dallas Morning News: “Too many businesses have bowed down to political correctness. I thought this would be a fun way to call out businesses that are refusing to celebrate Christmas.”

He also told the Morning News that First Baptist isn’t creating any standards on what determines “naughty” or “nice,” and that the church won’t be monitoring the site to protect businesses owned by non-Christians. I wonder if that means if I go to the site and add a post declaring Pastor Jeffress and his church are “naughty” because he is a completely hateful, bigoted jackass, that they will leave it up there? Or would they remove it and add me to the “naughty” list instead?

It’s tempting, but I will refrain. Instead, I will just offer this reminder to Pastor Jeffress and others like him: In the New Testament, in one of the Gospels, there is a story about how the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus into saying something that would get him in trouble, so they asked him, “What is the most important commandment?” (The trick, of course, is that no one commandment should be considered more important than any other.)

Jesus replied, “Love your neighbor as yourself, and love God above all else. Do that, and you will be following all the commandments.”

So here’s my message to Pastor Jeffress: Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself, and guess what — not all your neighbors are Christians. Don’t you think is is a little less than loving to expect them to kowtow to your religious beliefs by saying Merry Christmas, and by chiding them on your ridiculous website because they prefer to say “Happy Holidays” instead?

—  admin

Did Dallas evangelist and Christian TV mogul Marcus Lamb have an affair with a transsexual?

Marcus and Joni Lamb

Marcus and Joni Lamb, co-founders of North Texas-based Daystar, America’s second-largest Christian TV network, announced Tuesday on the air that Marcus Lamb cheated on his wife a few years ago. In admitting Marcus Lamb’s marital infidelity, the Lambs also alleged an extortion attempt, saying someone has demanded $7.5 million of “God’s money” to keep the scandal out of the media.

None of this is terribly shocking, and you may be wondering why we’re even bothering to repeat it on this LGBT blog. Well, for one thing it’s yet another example of religious hypocrisy, and for another some leading anti-gay figures, including Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas, appear on Daystar. But what really caught our attention was the following quote from one of the couple’s marriage counselors, Fred Kendall, who reportedly provided some of the few details about the affair:

“He had one inappropriate period of misbehavior with one person, and it wasn’t a man. It wasn’t a transvestite. It was with a woman,” Kendall said.

We have absolutely no idea why Kendall felt compelled to point out that the affair wasn’t with a man or a transvestite — as if this somehow makes it any better — but we’d like to point out that his statement leaves open the possibility that the affair was with a transsexual woman.

OK, that’s all, carry on now.

—  John Wright

More of Chris Krok’s bigotry, including evidence that his boss lied to Instant Tea earlier today

Earlier we reported that Jeff Catlin, operations manager at Cumulus Radio Dallas, told Instant Tea that he disciplined KLIF host Chris Krok for his anti-gay rant against Joel Burns. As proof of this, Catlin cited the fact that Krok hadn’t talked about Burns again since the original rant in October. But Talk About Equality is calling bullshit, and they’ve got proof. The below clips indicate that Krok talked about Burns on at least two occasions since then. Seriously, this guy is quickly becoming the No. 2 bigot in Dallas, close behind Senior Pastor Robert Jeffress at First Baptist Church of Dallas. Listen to these two clips, then call Catlin at 214-526-2400 or e-mail him at jeff.catlin@cumulus.com.

—  John Wright

What does Chris Heinbaugh think about Mayor Leppert’s decision to endorse Rick Perry?

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert on Wednesday endorsed Republican Gov. Rick Perry for re-election.

The Dallas Morning News described it as a “rare display of public partisanship for Leppert,” and said it marked the first time he’s endorsed a candidate for major office. The DMN also noted that Leppert may run for U.S. Senate in 2012, when Perry presumably might return the favor.

Leppert has been generally supportive of the LGBT community and has an openly gay chief of staff, Chris Heinbaugh. However, Leppert is also a member of First Baptist Church of Dallas, which is led by anti-gay Senior Pastor Robert Jeffress.

Perry, meanwhile, is virulently anti-gay and spearheaded Texas’ 2005 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Leppert says his decision to endorse Perry was based on their shared views about economic development and job creation.

Instant Tea asked Heinbaugh on Thursday what he thinks about the endorsement.

“I’m not going to comment on it,” Heinbaugh said. “It’s his business what he wants to do.”

—  John Wright

More on Mayor Leppert and Pastor Jeffress

I’m getting crucified in the comments below and also over at The Dallas Morning News’ City Hall blog for comments I made concerning Mayor Tom Leppert’s recent decision to join First Baptist Church of Dallas. I say good, bring it on, but I do want to clarify one small thing: You see, I don’t really give a shit where Leppert goes to church, and these people are right, to some degree it’s his business. My point is only that in my humble opinion, it’s a politically motivated decision as Leppert continues to position himself to run for Senate. In the Southern Baptist Convention, First Baptist Church of Dallas is like Mecca. So when Leppert is out there on the Senate campaign trail, he can just tell people in small-town Texas that he’s friends with Pastor Robert Jeffress, who happens to be a complete bigot, and they’ll be more inclined to vote for him. Again, I say good, and good riddance for Dallas if he steps down to run. But it’s worth noting that until now, Leppert has painted himself as a supporter of the LGBT community. In light of his decision to join First Baptist, I’m beginning to think that this was all just lip service designed to help him get elected or re-elected in a city where the gay vote matters. And now that he wants to get elected statewide, we’re expendable. I’m also starting to wonder whether Leppert really was responsible for those anti-gay robo calls against Ed Oakley in 2007. I’ve requested an interview with the mayor about his decision to join First Baptist, but I haven’t heard anything back. Go figure.

—  John Wright

Heinbaugh calls Leppert's choice of anti-gay church 'a highly personal decision'

I finally received a response from Chris Heinbaugh, Mayor Tom Leppert’s openly gay chief of staff, about the mayor’s recent decision to join First Baptist Church of Dallas, which is led by famed homophobe Robert Jeffress, whom Leppert calls a “good guy.” In fairness to Heinbaugh, he was out of town yesterday and unable to get back to me until now. Here’s his response thus far:

Choosing a place of worship is a highly personal decision and I am not about to comment on where the Mayor goes to church.”

You call it highly personal. I call it highly political. I also call it a slap in the face to not only the LGBT community, but also to Hindus, Muslims and Mormons, whom Jeffress has accused of worshipping “a false God.” For more on Jeffress’ virulently anti-gay record, including his campaign to ban books at the Wichita Falls library in 1998, go here. Above is our report from last year’s protests outside First Baptist in response to Jeffress’ sermon, “Why Gay is Not O.K.”

For an update, go here.

—  John Wright