WATCH: Perry Endorser Calls Judaism, Catholicism Path to Hell

Dallas pastor's call for Evangelical voters to apply a religious test on GOP presidential candidates has put Rick Perry's campaign in hot water.<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfb9p3qSRqA&feature=player_embedded#!">First Baptist Church of Dallas</a>/YouTube

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Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress says that he is not going to be Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright. That’s probably true. But Jeffress, who introduced Perry at the Values Voter Summit on October 7, certainly isn’t doing the Texas governor any favors with his argument that Mitt Romney belongs to a cult (Mormonism) and holds religious views that should be held against him at the polls this winter. Jeffress’s appearance on-stage was approved by the Perry campaign, according to the event’s organizer, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

It’s only getting worse. Alex Burns flags comments Jeffress made at his church on Sunday that, “Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Mormonism are all false religions and I stand by those statements.” But Jeffress left one major world religion out: Judaism. That wasn’t always the case. Here’s what he said in his Politically Incorrect lecture series in 2010:

God sends good people to Hell. Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism—not only do they lead people away from from God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in Hell. You know Jesus was very clear: Hell is not only going to be populated by murderers, and drug dealers, and child dealers; Hell is going to be filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.

Catholicism, though, has it even worse in Jeffress’ eyes. As he explained on his television show Pathway to Victory in 2010, the Catholic Church is an instrument of Satan designed to steer adherents straight to Hell:

If you want to counterfeit a dollar bill, you don’t do it with purple paper and red ink, you’re not going to fool anybody with that. But if you want to counterfeit money, what you do is make it look closely related to the real thing as possible.

And that’s what Satan does with counterfeit religion. He uses, he steals, he appropriates all of the symbols of true biblical Christianity, and he changes it just enough in order to cause people to miss eternal life.

The enormous qualifier, obviously, is that if Jeffress believed that Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, or Catholicism was the one true religion, he would have converted to one of those faiths by now. Picking a faith is an inherently discriminatory practice. But the argument Jeffress made on Friday is that Christians should apply their own religious test to candidates and elevate “true born-again Christians” above all other contenders. Comments like these, along with his statement that Islam is “evil” and causes pedophilia in its inherents, are only going to continue to fuel questions about what, exactly, the Perry campaign was thinking when it welcomed Jeffress’s endorsement.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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