A US news anchor has drawn ire after appearing to suggest that Jesus Christ was not perfect. CNN's Don Lemon made the remark during a discussion with fellow host Chris Cuomo about America's founding fathers.
He said: "Jesus Christ, if that's who you believe in, Jesus Christ, admittedly was not perfect when he was here on this earth. So why are we deifying the founders of this country, many of whom owned slaves?"
The clip was widely shared on social media, with many highlighting Lemon's misunderstanding of who Jesus really was.
Texas baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who is a long-time supporter of President Donald Trump, told Fox News that Lemon's comments were "heretical" and contradicted "the most basic tenet of the Christian faith and demonstrates how tone-deaf the left is to faith issues".
"Our founding fathers, like all of us, were imperfect human beings," Jeffress added, "but Jesus Christ was different than any other man that lived, and as the founder of our faith, he had to be perfect".
Evangelist and preacher Franklin Graham responded on social media:
"Don Lemon said on television this week that Jesus Christ “admittedly was not perfect when He was here.” Even though he’s a news reporter by profession, Don Lemon is missing out on the Good News—actually, the greatest news there has ever been."
The former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, called the comments "blasphemy".
NFL legend Tony Dungy added: "I’m sorry Mr Lemon but just who “admitted” that Jesus Christ was not perfect here on earth? Not anyone who believes the Bible. Not anyone who trusts in Jesus as their savior. I’m not sure the point you’re making but your premise is dead wrong. That was the point in Jesus coming!"