Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, says big corporations that are boycotting states that ban men from going into womens' bathrooms are a greater threat to religious freedom in America than the Islamic State terror group.
Following several media headlines that Jeffress said falsely reported he was trying to compare IS to "transgender friendly businesses," the megachurch pastor told WBAP News in a radio interview on Tuesday that what he was actually saying referred to the threats on religious freedom itself.
"Businesses, or business groups that threaten to boycott states because they have passed bathroom protection bills, or religious freedom bills, I said those businesses are a greater threat to religious liberty in America than ISIS is," he said.
"ISIS is not lobbying legislators not to pass religious freedom laws, but big business is," he added.
These big businesses in question include Disney, one of the largest entertainment corporations in the world, which threatened to boycott the state of Georgia back in March over a bill that would have prevented the state government from punishing faith-based organizations, churches and pastors over their opposition to same-sex marriage.
Sports giants such as the National Football League had also threatened to turn down Atlanta as a Super Bowl host city in the future over the same proposed law.
Jeffress referred to a sermon he made last week about the bathroom controversy in America, where he stated that God made genders male and female, with no third option.
"What parent wants some hairy-legged man going into a girls' locker room and showering with their daughters, because he is confused about [his] gender?" Jeffress asked in the radio interview.
He previously said: "Gender identity confusion is an emotional disorder, that should be treated professionally, and compassionately. Gender identity confusion should not be exploited by social activists like those in the Obama administration who want to deny the God-given distinction between the sexes.
"This is a rebellion against God's plan," he added.
Jeffress' comments on Obama refer to a directive he issued to public and Christian schools, ordering them to allow boys to go into girls' bathrooms if they identify as female on any given day.
"There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement at the time.
The Dallas pastor said Christians have the right to disagree with such a worldview, but insisted they should always be loving toward others.
"This is not hatred. Christians should never ridicule, or show hatred toward those experiencing gender confusion, they should not do that at all. We ought to treat them lovingly," he added.