E.W. Jackson, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia, said Sunday in a sermon that non-Christians are "engaged in some sort of false religion."
"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 at the Restoration Fellowship Church in Strasburg, Va., according to a recording obtained by the Washington Post. "Jesus said, ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by me.'"
Elsewhere during the sermon, Jackson railed against gay marriage. "God intended heterosexual marriage. I don't hear anything about two people of the same sex being married," he said to applause. He later added that "this is not about hating people on their sexual orientation."
Jackson, a Baptist minister, has made many incendiary remarks about homosexuality, abortion and race. At a campaign stop in May, he said that he did not have to apologize for his past remarks.
Jackson's running mate, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, said in August that the two were "running together," amid speculation that the gubernatorial candidate had been distancing himself from Jackson and his comments.
In response to a request for comment, Cuccinelli's campaign referred to an answer he gave in a May interview. "I am just not going to defend my running mates’ statements at every turn," Cuccinelli said in an interview with the Washington Post. "They’ve got to explain those themselves. Part of this process is just letting Virginia voters get comfortable with us, on an individual basis, personally."
A Jackson spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.