DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas pastor is the target of a new billboard campaign by the American Atheists.
The national atheist group put up more than a half of dozen billboards in Texas on Monday as part of its “Go Godless Instead” campaign to promote its upcoming national convention in Austin.
The billboards feature quotes from Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, and First Baptist Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress.
The one featuring the Dallas pastor uses a statement he made during a sermon about homosexuality. It reads, “What they (homosexuals) do is filthy.”
Dave Muscato with the American Atheists said, “We find that statement absolutely abhorrent.”
While Rev. Jeffress said the quote is accurate, he added it’s not complete.
“The fact is the Bible does teach that homosexual acts are unnatural. They go against nature, but the Bible also says all of us do things that are filthy in God’s eyes,” said Rev Jeffress.
Muscato said the quote was picked for one of its billboards because in many ways he said the social injustice atheists face is the same one facing the LGBT community.
“I think we are natural allies,” he said.
“What we are trying to do is shame him (Jeffress) and make people aware of the kinds of things he is saying.”
The Dallas pastor said he’s not ashamed at all by what he said.
“Personally I consider it a badge of honor that they would choose to attack me,” said Rev Jeffress. “Any day that our church is attacked by the American Atheists, we consider it to be a great day. It means we are doing something right.”
The First Baptist Dallas pastor said by now he’s used to controversy.
Last week, Jeffress made national news when NFL quarterback Tim Tebow backed out of speaking engagement he made at the downtown Dallas church citing new information he learned.
Apparently, Tebow was concerned about controversial statements that Jeffress made about Catholicism, Mormonism, as well as homosexuality
“He had a lot of pressure brought to bear on him by the liberal media that mis-characterized our church but Tim made his own decision,” the pastor told CBS 11 News.
The billboard featuring Jeffress went on display in Austin on Monday, and while the American Atheists did start running digital billboards in Dallas on Monday the Jeffress sign was not in the rotation.