"Ready for dinner"
E.W. Jackson, the minister, lawyer and Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in the state of Virginia, is not a man known to hold his tongue. Slavery wasn’t as bad to black families as the Great Society programs of the 1960s? He said it. Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Party pose a greater danger to African-American lives than the KKK ever did? That was him, too. Or how about yoga, and the fact that it’s a gateway to … Satan? Yup, you guessed it — E.W.J., all the way.
It’s therefore difficult to be truly surprised by the man who would be lieutenant governor’s latest outburst. (Though, by all means, please do be offended.) Speaking this Sunday at a morning sermon in Northern Virginia, Jackson offered up a small example of some of his more “controversial” beliefs — beliefs that, it should be noted, Jackson considers mandatory for practicing Christians. From the Washington Post:
“Any time you say, ‘There is no other means of salvation but through Jesus Christ, and if you don’t know him and you don’t follow him and you don’t go through him, you are engaged in some sort of false religion,’ that’s controversial. But it’s the truth,” Jackson said, according to a recording of the sermon by a Democratic tracker.
Jackson wasn’t all alone in his stance, however. As the Post reported, the pastor at the church where Jackson spoke also believes that countless millions of the world are beholden to some kind of “false religion,” too:
The church’s pastor, Jay Ahlemann, said he agrees with Jackson’s interpretation of scripture. He also said a member of his church staff told him nothing had been deleted from the recording.
As for non-Christians, “I would expect they would be offended,” Ahlemann acknowledged. “It’s not our purpose. And [Jackson] said he did not set out to offend people. It’s his purpose to proclaim what the Bible said as a preacher. That was not a political speech. That was a Bible sermon…Those of us who are Bible-believing Christians are very proud of what he had to say.”
Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.More Elias Isquith.