Watch CBS News

Dallas Pastor Who Called Mormonism A 'Cult' Now Backs Romney

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After repeatedly referring to Mormonism as a "theological cult," Dallas-based pastor Dr. Robert Jefress is now publicly endorsing Mitt Romney's bid for the Republican party's presidential candidate.

In an interview with News Radio 1080 KRLD, Jefress said he is setting aside the theological differences between his and Romney's Mormon faith –– it's now an issue of choosing which candidate's values closely resemble those of Christianity.

"Given the choice between a Christian like Barack Obama who embraces very unbiblical principles like abortion and a Mormon like Mitt Romney who supports biblical values like the sanctity of life and marriage, I think there's a good biblical case for voting for Mitt Romney," Jefress said.

The First Baptist Dallas pastor initially supported Gov. Rick Perry's failed presidential bid. He introduced Perry at the Values Voter Summit and told reporters after that "Mitt Romney's a good moral person, but he's not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity."

After those remarks, Perry's campaign said the former presidential hopeful does not share Jeffress's opinion of Mormonism.

"Sometimes voting for a candidate is voting for the lesser of two evils," Jefress said Tuesday. "It's like my friend Janet Marshall says, 'Jesus isn't on the ballot this year, so we have to make choices.'"

Jeffress called President Obama the "most pro abortion president in history" and said he's led an "unprecedented attack on religious liberty."

The pastor said he feels Romney's stances on the "key issues" during the campaign are more in-line with the church's than the president's are.

"As a Christian, I want to compare a candidate's positions to biblical positions and I believe the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage and religious liberty are key issues in this election cycle," Jefress said. "That's why I think Mitt Romney is preferable to Barack Obama."

In January, Dr. Darrell Bock of the Dallas Theological Seminary told CBS 11 that he expected this scenario, saying political beliefs will ultimately hold more sway in the voting booth than religious affiliation.

"It will be a hard choice between their religious convictions and their political ideology," Bock said then. "I think in the end, political ideology will win out for a lot of people."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.