A controversial Fox News host has risked sparking anger after he said during his programme that there was “some indication” that “Jesus may have been gay".
Don Imus made the comment on his show earlier this week during a telephone interview with political analyst Kirsten Powers.
According to the Pink News website Mr Imus referred to a 3rd-century religious text known as the “Gospel of Judas Iscariot” and claimed it provided evidence that Jesus was a homosexual.
“You know there’s a Gospel of Judas floating around,” he said.
“There were hundreds of gospels written, only four made it into the [Bible]. There was the Gospel of Thomas, Mary had a gospel, they all had a gospel. But Judas — there’s some indication there that Jesus may have been gay.”
“Oh, come on,” Powers responded.
Imus retorted: “I didn’t write it. Don’t be shooting the messenger here.”
Powers went on to attack Imus's claims as “ridiculous”.
The incident is not the first time Mr Imus has been involved in controversy.
In 2007 the host came under fire after referring to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, which at the time was comprised of eight African-American and two white players, as "nappy-headed hoes".
Imus subsequently apologised for his statement after first defending it as "some idiot comment meant to be amusing".
The Gospel of Judas, which was written by Gnostics, contradicts the Bible in a number of ways.
Crucially it contains the claim - contrary to the canonical gospels - that Judas' betrayal was done in obedience to instructions given to him by Christ.