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McEachin condemns E.W. Jackson's "false religion" claim

9/24/2013, 9:32 a.m.
State Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) is not happy with E. W. Jackson’s comments that non-Christians are engaging in “some ...
EW Jackson

State Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) is not happy with the latest so-call controversial E. W. Jackson’s comments that non-Christians are engaging in “some sort of false religion.”

At a morning sermon Sunday in Northern Virginia, Jackson, the Republican lieutenant governor candidate and a Chesapeake pastor, said people who don’t follow Jesus Christ “are engaged in some sort of false religion.”

Jackson offered that view while describing a list of the “controversial” things he believes, and that must be said, as a Christian.

“As a Virginia state senator and as a minister of the gospel, I was quite dismayed to read that E.W. Jackson believe that religions other than Christianity are false religions," said McEachin. "Statements such as these are what give Christianity a bad name.

“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. “Jesus said, ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by me.’”

McEachin, also an ordained Christian minister, did not buy Jackson's rhetoric.

“This is not what my Christian faith teaches me. Rather, what the gospels tells me is that by loving one another, taking care of the poor and the vulnerable, protecting the children and treating one another with kindness and mercy and justice we are acting in the way that Jesus and all major religions command of us. And by doing so, none of us are engaging in a false religion but rather obeying the Words of God as we each hear them and translate them.

“We are fortunate to live in a great and diverse Commonwealth and someone who would exclude some Virginians based on their chosen path to faith does not deserve nor is qualified to be the leader of this great state. We want to be a Commonwealth that is welcoming to all and accepts all people, whatever faith they practice or choose not to practice.

“I am very concerned that we did not immediately hear and have yet to hear from E. W. Jackson’s ticketmates on this issue. I am very disappointed that they did not promptly and completely condemn this bigoted talk from Mr. Jackson to let voters know they don’t believe these type of egregious exclusionary statements have any place in political discourse whatsoever.”