Pictured above is Jerry Stephenson, a Kentucky pastor who appeared at Rand Paul’s official presidential campaign kickoff Tuesday in Louisville. Stephenson said he was a former Democrat and spoke about the appeal that Paul—whose own speech included references to racial injustice and economic inequality—could have to black voters. BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins writes that, after the event, Stephenson also shared some speculative thoughts about the first black president’s religious beliefs.
Speaking to a couple of reporters, Stephenson got on the subject of the religious freedom debate and — after a bit of prodding from a radio interviewer — began musing about why he believed President Obama wasn’t backing up conservative Christians.
“In five years we’ll find out what [Obama’s] real religion is,” Stephenson said.
Asked to explain what he meant, he said, “I think the evidence of his actions are not friendly toward Christians. Once he’s out, he will ‘evolve’ like he did on gay marriage. I just believe that’s what he will do.”
(You can read about Obama’s self-described “evolution” on gay marriage rights here.)
Stephenson, for the record, does not appear to have used the phrases Muslim, secret Muslim, or Kenyan-born Muslim raised and educated by Islamic Muslims.