Anti-LGBT Policy, Exorcisms, and Creationism at Marco Rubio’s Miami Church
Truth Wins Out expressed deep concern Tuesday about Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s troubling ties to a radical Miami mega church cleric who endorses exorcisms, while preaching anti-gay and creationist views. It appears that Rubio, who announced he is running for president Tuesday, echoes many of those same anti-science beliefs based on his public policies and statements. A report by researcher Bruce Wilson details the connection.
Rubio often attends a Catholic Church, however, he also goes to services at an ultra-conservative Southern Baptist mega-church, Christ Fellowship, where he listens to sermons by Pastor Rick Blackwood. Christ Fellowship has an anti-gay hiring policy, the promotion of demonology, and exorcisms, young earth creationism, and the denial of evolution.
“There is nothing moderate or mainstream about Marco Rubio,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “His membership in a radical church with extreme beliefs helps explain Rubio’s anti-gay and anti-science positions. Rubio has made his religious beliefs central to his campaign, so it is fair game to explore how they might influence his decisions as president.”
This week, The Advocate magazine wrote an article that said Rubio “already racked up an extensive antigay record” and speculated that he “might be the most antigay presidential candidate yet.” He has a long list of anti-gay quotes and policy positions – which appear to be growing more conservative each day in his quest to win the GOP nomination.
Rubio has given at least $50,000 to Christ Fellowship, which requires prospective employees to sign the following sexual purity oath: “I hereby certify that I am a Christian, not a practicing homosexual in accordance with scriptures (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-10, I Timothy 1:10).”
Rubio’s Christ Fellowship Pastor, Rick Blackwood, described his 2011 exorcism of a demon-possessed church member: “I could sense the demons going out of this man and the Spirit of God entering him.”
In a 2011 Christ Fellowship sermon titled “Demon Possession,” pastor Rick Blackwood said: “Satan’s agenda is to seduce people away from God; to seduce them away from the heavenly Father, and then to take control of that individual. One of the ways that Satan accomplishes that is through what the Bible calls demonic possession. Make no mistake about it: Satan’s angels can seize control of an individual and possess an individual physically, spiritually, and even mentally.”
Rev Blackwood also proclaimed in a 2014 sermon: “The scientific method actually teaches that the Bible is science because it is based on observable evidence, and that evolution is actually blind faith because it is not based on observable evidence. Let me say that again. Evolution is not based on observable evidence. Creation is based on observable evidence.”
Rubio’s views on science appear consistent with those of Rev. Blackwood. In an interview with Gentleman’s Quarterly, Rubio was asked, “How old do you think the Earth is?” to which Rubio replied: “I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”
“What is a mystery is how in the 21st Century a man like Marco Rubio could be considered a serious presidential candidate,” said Truth Wins Out’s Wayne Besen. “Rubio made a point of discussing his religious beliefs in his 2012 book, ‘An American Son: A Memoir’, so it’s only fair that his beliefs are now examined in his run for the Oval Office.”