Televangelist Pat Robertson has claimed that the devil is responsible for spreading rumours about the sexuality of Jesus.
Robertson, 88, is the host of nationally-syndicated Christian Broadcasting Network show The 700 Club, which airs on Disney-ABC channel Freeform.
Speaking on Thursday’s (February 21) episode of The 700 Club, Robertson weighed in on claims that Jesus Christ was gay.
He said: “There’s no [evidence] whatsoever.
“You know, I hate to say it, but the homosexual agenda has gotten so pervasive, it is taking the thought processes of colleges, universities, all the way up and down the line, the bathrooms, and all the transgender, and so forth.”
Pat Robertson: Jesus gay claims are a lie from the devil
He added: “I just think it is a lie from the devil.
“Jesus Christ, you know, was the perfect man. He never sinned in the whole time he lived, and he obviously wasn’t engaged with any relationship with any fellow man.
“There’s no support for that in the Bible whatsoever. Nothing in history. Nothing whatsoever. But it is a fiction that is created by the tiny minority who are in that L-G-B-F, all those numbers (…) the Q for ‘queer’ at the end!
“But there’s no foundation whatsoever.”
Plenty of queer theologians have previously speculated about the sexuality of Jesus, an unmarried man with twelve male disciples.
The Gospel of John makes references to “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” whose identity has fuelled years of speculation.
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Theologians have long speculated about the sexuality of Jesus
Bishop Gene Robinson of the US Episcopal Church, who is gay himself, previously suggested that Jesus could have been gay.
Speaking in 2005, Robinson said: “Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values, this man that we follow was single, as far as we know, travelled with a bunch of men, and had a disciple who was known as ‘the one whom Jesus loved.'”
He added: “[Jesus] said my family is not my mother and father, my family is those who do the will of God.
“None of us likes those harsh words. That’s who Jesus is, that’s who he was at heart, in his earthly life.
“Those who would posit the nuclear family as the be all and end all of God’s creation probably don’t find that much in the gospels to support it.”
A 1976 poem that depicted Jesus as gay, “The Love That Dares to Speak Its Name,” led to a high-profile blasphemy trial in the UK
The publisher of defunct newspaper Gay News, Denis Lemon, was found guilty of committing libel against Christianity, the last prosecution for blasphemy.
Denis Lemon was sentenced to nine months suspended imprisonment and fined £500. Publisher Gay News Limited was fined £1,000.
In November, actor Ezra Miller said: “I’d like to chill with Jesus. He seemed like a queer, radical, person of colour who was resisting an occupying empire.”