Bishop E.W. Jackson, the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia, has spent a lot of his campaign explaining himself.
A position he believes is unfair.
"There's been an effort to disqualify me because what I believe and what I've taught as a minister," Jackson said in an interview with NBC12, "Even though I've made clear repeatedly, that I will follow the Constitution."
Just this week, the pastor and attorney was once again put into a defensive posture when he told WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. that he never said some very specific things during his ministry. Among the controversial statements was one that had to do with God's judgment of the military and another related to his view of homosexuals and their lifestyle.
Jackson said he was trying to defend the statements within a broad context, but he didn't back down from them.
In fact I asked him very specifically if he ever said the following passage related to homosexuals:
"Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality. When they talk about love they’re not talking about love, they’re talking about homosexual sex. So they can’t see clearly."
He told WUSA that he never said that.
When I presented it directly, he didn't deny that he said the words but argued that it was in the context of a spiritual discussion and has nothing to do with the type of Lt. Governor he would be.
"I'm not running to be the minister of Virginia," he said. "I'm running to be Lt. Governor of Virginia."
But as to the statement itself, Jackson provided no qualification or explanation. Instead he argued that if someone was honestly assessing what he had to say, they would understand he was explaining what the Bible says about the gay lifestyle.
"Whether you agree with him or not you he was basically reflecting essentially what the scripture says about homosexuality," he said.
Regardless, Jackson believes that his profession has been brought into the limelight in a way that no other candidate's professional background has. He thinks it is because he is a Christian and the left- in particular the liberal media- have purposely attacked him because of his faith.
"All of the sudden because the left has this great antipathy to Bible believing Christians all of the sudden it is a big issue if you are a Christian," Jackson said. "We don't know if you will bring those issues into office. Well people have always brought their world views into office."
Jackson connected his situation to the debate over the appointment of Tracy Thorne-Begland to the Richmond General District Court. Begland, who is openly gay, was serving as a Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney when he was tapped for the judgeship. Conservatives initially blocked his confirmation because of his outspoken advocacy against the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the U.S. Military.
"When a homosexual judge was being considered for office- anybody who raised the question if whether he was going to bring his activism to office was considered out of bounds," Jackson said. "But all of the sudden my ministry is disqualifying me from serving as Lt. Gov."
He contends when elected, he will be the Lt. Governor for all Virginians and has an easy way to know when to put his religon on the sideline.
"The Constitution will draw that line," he said.
You can see part of our interview with Jackson below.
Our full interview with him will post tomorrow as part of our preview of the Lt. Governor's race.