Court Evangelical Seizes on Ilhan Omar’s Remarks to Score Points for Trump

Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, is at it again:

Jeffress is quick to condemn such “hate speech.”  Yes, this is the same guy who:

Jeffress believes that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and must be reclaimed as one.  His rigid way of seeing the world, and his arrogant claims to know the will of God on all matters, makes him one of the most divisive clerical voices in the United States.

48 thoughts on “Court Evangelical Seizes on Ilhan Omar’s Remarks to Score Points for Trump

  1. I realize that you deeply resent that the “Islamic lady” was not singled out and punished for her alleged transgressions, which I suspect center on her Islamicness and her criticism of the secular Israeli government’s policies. Criticism of the secular Israeli government’s policies or one of its political parties is not against the Jewish peoples. Your guy Trump has a deeper reservoir of quasi anti-semitic – “questionable” – comments. Does he earn your outrage? And God knows there are Christians, even now, that preach open hatred of the Jew – see the link I provided above for Tony.

    Anti-semitism is vile and egregious in and of itself but is a part of a larger problem of hate against targeted groups in general. For the “DEMs” to condemn the part and not the whole would have appeared to give license to the parts not condemned.

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  2. Jim in STL,

    As far as Dr. Fea’s theology, it has been my impression that he has not used this forum to express it in any great degree. His far greater emphasis on his site and in BELIEVE ME has been on his political views. In fact, he has pointed out the difficulty in clearly defining the word “evangelical.” Accordingly, you really don’t know any details on where he stands theologically. Nor do I

    As far as my remarks about liberals and DEMs being essentially the same thing———I stand by that remark. What ever happened to the old Boll Wievels who used to vote with Ronald Reagan on many matters? They are gone.
    James

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  3. “You do, however, have a tendency to lump all conservative believers into the same camp.”

    I specifically did not and do not do this. I made reference to “not conservative enough Christians” which implies a range of conservatism. I have no reason to believe that John is anything but a conservative and sincere believer but some on the conservative-believer spectrum do not think that he is conservative enough.

    I respect John’s ideas and writing or I wouldn’t be here and I’ve been following him for several years and I have at least one of his books almost withing reach at this very moment. There are other conservative-believer writers and lecturers that I do not respect or pay much attention to. I do make the distinction.

    You, on the other hand, are always sharing your contempt for liberals and DEMs without much if any distinction. My inner liberal wants me to say more but my inner conservative tells me that this is enough. I’m going with conservative me.

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  4. “… I think her “divided loyalties” remark is a good starting point.”

    Have you seen or read an entire transcript of the exchange? Can you provide a link to the video where the statement is made so that I can judge for myself in full context? from the quotes that I’ve read she said,

    “So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

    To my ears this is a legitimate question and did not appear to be directed toward Jews specifically. Although I can understand the sensitivity to possible anti semitism.

    Criticizing the secular Israeli government and or its policies is not the same as spreading hate against its people and questioning abject and uncritical loyalty to the Israeli state, a foreign government, is, in itself, not anti semitic.

    So, actual facts and perspective would be helpful. I suspect that is not what you have in mind.

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  5. John,

    I don’t see the consistency in your statement about simply trusting in God “….who will work all things out for good…”. If you believed that, you would not have voted in 2016 but rather would have stayed home trusting God to put your candidate in office. I trust you are not saying that Christians should be totally passive and society will be just fine?

    James

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  6. Jim in STL,

    Well, I don’t think she needed to make three statements simply to expose her mind on this subject, Jim. With tat being said, I am sure I could comb through all of her speeches for the last year and find more than three questionable statements regarding Jewish people. For the preset, however, I think her “divided loyalties” remark is a good starting point.

    James

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  7. Hello Jim in STL,

    As far as Ms. Omar’s protected class, let us look back to Orwell. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal.” Ms Omar is in the second class.

    Am I saying she should just shut up? No, I believe in the First Amendment. I simply believe the DEMs red to acknowledge the sort of members they now have in their ranks rather than cloaking their views in meaningless resolutions.

    James

    P.S. I wasn’t attempting to draw blood———rather to simply put light on a shameful and disingenuous behavior by the DEMs

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  8. But to show that I really am well intentioned, give me the top three things she spouted that are most egregious and I’ll do more homework.

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  9. “…had she not initially spouted off.”

    So you’re saying she should just shut up and behaved?

    “She is in a protected class.”

    Yes, American citizen.

    Sorry you didn’t get the blood you were hoping for.

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  10. Come on, James. Of course the Bible talks about “fear.” It talks about the fear of God. This is NOT the kind of fear that have driven many white evangelicals to Donald Trump. In fact, I would argue that if evangelicals had a true fear of God as a sovereign and all-powerful God who will work all things out for good, then they would not see Trump as a savior.

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  11. Jim in STL ,
    Footnote to my earlier posting to you this afternoon.
    After I wrote you I went to the gym and was thinking about one statement I made. I think I implied that state churches vanished immediately after the Constitution was ratified. That might not be wholly accurate. It seems I recall reading somewhere that a couple of New England states were slow to abolish their official churches. It might have been CT and MA but don’t hold me to that. I need to look into it. My bigger point was, however, that we never had a national church.
    James

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  12. John,
    I have to part with you here on the value of fear. It can be a positive emotion if it channels action in the right direction. I am aware of its use in the Bible and the word is contextually driven. Sometimes we are to “Fear not.” At other times we are to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” If you run all of the references in a concordance, you will see that fear is used in both negative and positive ways.

    As far as your wide definition of a pluralistic society, there afebalwys “values” underlying any society and they will be religious values. I think it’s preferable that we stick with Judeo-Christian values.
    James

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  13. Jim in STL,

    How can you defend this cowardly statement on the part of the DEMs? We all know that the resolution was first proposed because the Islamic lady from Minnesota, Congresswoman Omar, made veiled anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks. A simple resolution condemning her would have sufficed. But no……..her remarks were obfuscated by all of the high-sounding verbiage you quoted from the spineless resolution. Jim, if you cannot see how she and her supporters manipulated the DEM leadership, I would ask you to put it into perspective. There would have been no resolution of any sort had she not initially spouted off. The broad “we condemn everything that is bad” language was simply a bandage to cover her earlier statements.
    The DEMs are fearful of being harsh on an Islamic female. She is in a protected class.
    James

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  14. John,
    I honestly know of no areas where theonomy has been the direct influencer of the mainstream Christian Right. As you have time, please mention a few.

    Now, before I see the examples I think it is only fair to say that simply because theonomists believe X and Pastor Jeffress believes X does not necessarily count. Please let me explain. If the Communist Party USA came out for a forty hour work week in 1920 and the Democrats and the Republicans happened to agree for reasons of their own, I would not necessarily say that the DEMs and the GOP were communists or even influenced by communists. Maybe the idea had merit regardless of who was supporting it.

    Accordingly, if the mainstream Christian Right opposes abortion and theonomists oppose abortion, that proves nothing. Anyone drawing a causal connection needs to clearly explain how one group influenced the other.

    The other thing I am a bit circumspect about is the use of the term Christian nationalism. That is a term which can be defined one way by a small church in rural Pennsylvania and quite another way by Antifa or the editorial page at The Washington Post.
    James

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  15. Sorry Jim, no sale. What should hsve been — and which began — as a straightforward repudiation of Omar and her repeated anti-Semitic slurs, was turned into a meaningless deninciation of all manner of bad things. Why? Because a freshman Congresswoman, by virtue of her identity, now has more political power than Nancy Pelosi. Make no mistake: this was a power struggle between the old guard and the new radicals, and the BDS brigade won handily. This was a profile in cowardice.
    Spin it as you may, none paying attention are convinced. This will not be the end; Omar and her fellow travelers can’t help but be themselves. More empty “universal tolerance” gestures to come, no doubt.

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  16. Again, I expect all human beings to be afraid. I hold Christians (the primary audience for my book) to a higher standard. Christians should not dwell in fear or build a political philosophy on this emotion. And I would argue that being a pluralistic society DOES imply that we will not have “common religious values.” That’s the entire point.

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  17. James: Your rigid definition of theonomy here misses the subtle ways in which the Christian Right draws on Rushdoony’s thought. This is a typical Christian Right move–“no, where not theonomists.” This move is an attempt to ward off critics without addressing the problematic Christian nationalism at the heart of their political agenda.

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  18. Jim in STL,

    Well Jim, I did give you credit for knowing a number of things in the secular realm. That definitely has value.

    You do, however, have a tendency to lump all conservative believers into the same camp. Baptists like Pastor Jeffords and the late Jerry Falwell do not believe in state religion. Certain British colonies in North America had it, but it no longer exists and hasn’t since the implementation of the current Constitution. With that being said, the Constitution does not necessarily prohibit legislative measures against vice and other forms of common immoral or unhealthy behavior. Morality can be derived from natural law as well as from the general principles of all major religions.

    Theonomy or some variation of dominion theology did not work for Calvin in Geneva and I don’t know of any significant Baptist who has advocated it. These views are held by a small core of others who have never had much of a numerical following.

    Jim, we as citizens are always going to be under a civil code with certain distinct underpinnings. People like Pastor Jeffress are simply attempting to make those underpinnings more commensurate with our Judeo-Christian heritage which is far broader than any single denomination. It is not a battle for exclusion.
    James

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  19. “An anti-Semitic remark by one of their [DEMs] own was turned into a resolution against Islamophobia….”

    Why you continue to get away with spreading outright misrepresentions at this blog and your constant expressions of disdain for anything or anyone smacking of liberal or DEM, is beyond me – you add nothing constructive. The House resolution that you cite starts:

    RESOLUTION Condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and condemning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.”

    Among the whereases are:

    ”whether from the political right, center, or left, bigotry, discrimination, oppression, racism, and imputations of dual loyalty threaten American democracy and have no place in American political discourse;”

    And it goes on to condemn racial bigotry, religious bigotry, and specifically antisemitism including “the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States-Israel alliance.”

    And it closes with:

    ” (9) encourages all public officials to confront the reality of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry, as well as historical struggles against them, to ensure that the United States will live up to the transcendent principles of tolerance, religious freedom, and equal protection as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the first and 14th amendments to the Constitution.”

    The whole thing can be found here:

    https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20190304/BILLS-116hres183-SUSv1.pdf

    Yes, it appears that the DEMs are unleashing the dangerous forces of universal toleration. And, to make matters worse, they appeal to the Constitution.

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  20. James, I would like to thank you for your more than kind patronizing statements. I am, if nothing else, well intentioned. And I do admit to enough ignorance to keep me from excessive certainty and pride.

    (An observation: you seem to adhere to the notion that because a duck never openly declares itself to be a duck that it is not a duck or related to ducks. Interesting.)

    However, when it comes to Rushdooney, his modern counterparts and the various strains of modern Christian Dominionist and Nationalist movement(s), I have put in the time to know that whatever the variations, there are strong overlapping goals and a shared loathing of non-Christians, not conservative enough Christians, other religionists, agnostics, deists, atheists, secularism, modernity, liberalism, liberals, and anything resembling an open, democratic, pluralistic and egalitarian society. And it’s hard to overlook the strong tendency to want a retreat to the primitive tribal barbarisms of the past.

    I’m sad that you didn’t give me any credit for not yelling “theocracy.” Harrumph.

    Now, do school me on all the distinctions.

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  21. John,
    You are correct about Barton and the late Francis Schaefer. They may not be as far as Rushdoony or Gary North, neither do they take the full historic Baptist position. While Pastor Jeffress might have gotten a few ideas from them, he is still a traditional Baptist in his heart of hearts and would never countenance a state religion. As you well know, Baptists have been willing to go to jail over that issue. (By the way, we would not have the so-called Religious Right if the secular liberals had not successfully promoted much of their agenda beginning with Mrs. O’Hair in the early 1960s. That’s another matter for another discussion.)

    I understand that you do not like Robert Jeffress or at least do not like his style. Am curious, however, why the figures on the religious left never arouse your critiques? After all, there are plenty of them and they have done many inconsistent and questionably Christian things. I realize that the thrust of BELIEVE ME is about Trump and not about religious liberalism, but the timely topics you discuss in this forum are not limited to the 2016 election. You did say that you wished Tony Compolo would be less political, but he is hardly the worst figure on the religious left. Those people are as vocal as Jeffress.

    In closing, I concur with Tony at his expression of gratitude to you for hosting this discussion site and allowing me to participate. I realize the site is not a small commitment on your part and feel privileged to have found it after reading your book.
    James

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  22. I would not call Jeffress a theonomist, but he is very close. He believes that the language of the church is appropriate language for civil discourse. He makes no attempt to forge policy in a way that brings all Americans together and refuses to find common ground. Instead, he calls everyone who disagrees with him morons or casts them off to hell. I should also add that there are a lot of theonomist tendencies in folks like Francis Schaeffer and David Barton, the architects of the Christian nationalism Jeffress embraces. The scholarship is solid in this area.

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  23. Tony,
    You made a very profound remark in stating that the DEM Congress has been quite bizarre. An anti-Semitic remark by one of their own was turned into a resolution against Islamophobia (among a bevy of other things.) The identity politics the DEMs have practiced have unleashed dangerous forces which we are sadly beginning to see.

    I also found it curious that John did not correct Jim in STL about the difference between theonomy and simple Christian political activism. Jim appears to be a well-intentioned, old style 1940s political liberal who has not studied the key distinctions within the current Christian community. Jim has incorrectly conflated Pastor Jeffress with someone like R.J. Rushdoony, and I wish John would fill him in on the differences.

    Liberals have at least three major dodges to avoid meaningful discussion these days: That violates separation of church and state; that is hate-speech; that is __________phobic. On the final dodge there are multiple insertion options where I drew the underlining.

    James

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  24. John: I promise to read Believe Me. I owe you that much given your graciousness in posting — and responding to — so many of my comments, and also because I appreciate the broader arguments that you have raised about the Evangelical movement, even if I don’t always agree. I just started “Rebel Yell” (Stonewall, not Billy Idol). Will add BM to the queue.

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  25. Tony: Please read *Believe Me*. Your post here gets at an important point in my book’s treatment of Jeffress. I just don’t have time to unpack this here. As for the accusation of “whataboutism” with Jeffress, I don’t think I am engaging in “whataboutism” when I show the inconsistencies in one person’s thought. Whataboutism would be if I said Jeffress is OK to spout this hate-filled rhetoric because liberals do it all the time. Finally, if it will make you feel better Tony, I “forcefully condemn” Omar’s anti-Semtic rhetoric.

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  26. I do think it is somewhat telling that John chose to focus on the reaction to Omar’s well documented anti-Semitism, which the D party can’t seem to forcefully condemn, as opposed to her repeated expressions of prejudice. (I’m not sure whether John realizes this is a standard tactic employed by the media.
    When a D says something indefensible, the focus immediately shifts to what R’s (or, in this case, a Court Evangelical) have said about it. Thus, the handy “[people we dislike] seize” or “[people we dislike] pounce” formulations.) To be clear: I have no doubt John is repulsed by anti-Semitism. My point is that even when discussing this issue, the focus is always about Trump, or someone supporting Trump.

    What started out as a proposed resolution censuring Omar for her clear animus towards Jews — I at least give her credit for being open about it — quickly and all too predictably morphed into watered-down pabulum against “hate.” Including, of course, Islamophobia. (Only in our up is down, strong is weak, unreality is reality politics could a Congresswoman’s anti-Semitic stylings lead to an amorphous resolution condemning, inter alia, Islamophobia.) The immutable logic of identity politics prevents forthright condemnation of Omar due to her cloak of protective “intersectionality.” The D party has a major and growing anti-Semitism problem (see also: Tlaib, R.; Ellison, K.; Sarsour, L. and all its BDS crusaders), which we are supposed to minimize, or even better, ignore. I wonder how much longer even reliably progressive Jews will be able to look the other way?

    As for Jeffress, John is arguing that he has no credibility on this issue given some of his outlandish past statements. Perhaps John is right. But here John is doing exactly what he has chosen to define and dismiss as “Whataboutism.” Whataboutism for me but not for thee. I, along with James, have frequently pointed out — for example, in the context of alleged “fear mongering” — that those who wring their hands about this when done by Trump or his supporters seem willfully blind to its pervasiveness on the Left, and this glaring double standard calls into question whether we should take their concerns seriously.

    Also, I’m now confused about John’s position on Jeffress. In the past, John has criticized him for what I believe he called “half-baked 2 Kingdom theology,” which gave a pass to Trump’s moral failings because government, in this view, exists only to protect its citizens. But, below, John deemed Jim’s argument that Jeffress is a raving Dominionist who literally wants to enshrine the Mosaic law as the law of the land (note: I don’t care for Jeffress, and don’t follow him all that closely, but I’ve never heard him say anything remotely like that) “excellent” analysis. Well, which is it? Either Jeffress is a dangerous theonomist who seeks the reign of Old Testament divine law and the institutionalized suppression of all other religious faiths, or he just wants originalist judges, increased defense spending and a big ‘ol border wall and will pragmatically support the Philandering Orange CEO as the head of a secular government which implements those policies.

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  27. By the way, John, I have a message for you not related to this discussion. I was in my local library yesterday and found a new book which caught my attention. On the back was a brief indorsement from you! It was an introductory history of American religion by a man from Norte Dame. Was it George Marsden? I think so but am not 100% certain. You stated that it was a good primer or words to that effect.
    James

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  28. John,
    You have a partial point there. Specifically, his first obligation is to those who are members of his immediate parish. (I realize that’s not a Baptist word, but it’s fitting here.).

    With that being said, I would guess that the comments regarding Mormonism were made in the context of the 2012 election. Pastor J. was probably justifying his support of Mitt despite Mitt’s ecclesiastical ties. Furthermore, Jeffress’s flock extends far beyond the walls of First Baptist. He has become a leading spokesman for evangelical Christians. Many Christians look to him for leadership, and he takes the role seriously. Jeffress is articulate and well spoken, so even if you differ with him, you know where he stands. I’d sooner have a man who lets his “yeas” be “yeas” and his “nays” be “nays” than an ambiguous religious gladhander.

    Fox also has Catholic priests and Jewish rabbis on their shows to offer opinions. I enjoy getting their thoughts, be they at one pole or another. I don’t watch enough to know for sure but I bet they have the occasional Islamic cleric also on. Well and good. Let the candid discussions begin!

    James

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  29. If Jeffries is indeed a pastor of a flock he should pastor his congregation and stop going on Fox News and spewing such divisive rhetoric. If he wants to criticize Mormonism he can do it in his church

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  30. Dave H,
    Well, I don’t agree that he disparages others who are innocent. He does take aim at certain public wrongs and the personages who foster these wrongs, yet I have never heard him use hateful language.

    As far as the success of his church missions program………I have no direct knowlegde about that. I would bet, however, that it is quite productive, especially in the developing world. The Christian Gospel’s growth there seems to be far more robust than it is in Europe and North America.

    James

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  31. John,

    I think it rather presumptuous for you to state that Jeffress only cares about Americans to the degree they conform to his view of America as a Christian nation. I hardly see him as a callous man. Disagreement with another human on religion dies not imply a lack of charity, affection for the”other.”
    In fact, I do not believe the country was founded specifically as a Christian nation, and I have no doubt Pastor Jeffress would welcome me into his church.

    Liberals have made this “not founded as a Christian nation” phrase into a canard. The reasoning goes like this. We were not founded predominantly by orthodox Christians hence religion has no claim to legitimacy in the political discourse.” Sadly, this tactic has worked for many years. Stating that we are a pluralistic society in no way disallows common religious values. Pluralism simply allows everyone to worship as he wishes and to be respected as a citizen with full rights.

    Finally John, you seem to be rather dismissive about the fears of liberals and continually dismiss it as “what aboutism.” It is a legitimate question within the context of BELIEVE ME since one of the book’s theses is that Christians are afraid. Perhaps liberals are blind to their own unwarranted fears of a theonomy with Orwellian tones.

    James

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  32. John,

    I simply cannot see hate language coming from Pastor J. The word “hate” has been used freely by the left as a vehicle to avoid a forthright dialogue.

    I am pleased to read your comment that you do not believe the Mormon teachings. You, however, are not a pastor charged with shepherding a spiritual flock. Pastor Jeffress has that role and it would, in my opinion, be a dereliction of duty for him to keep silent on this issue. After all, John, the LDS missionaries who visit your house will tell you that Joseph Smith founded the only true church. President Nelson believes the same. Why do you continue to slam a Christian minister who is simply following a Biblical mandate? Do you believe our American civil religion is more important than his scriptural duty?

    James

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  33. Yes, I too think it likely that they provide a significant amount of support of missionaries. I should have been more clear In my comment. My concern was that many of Jeffress’s statements and his nationalistic approach would seem to work against and undermine a missions-minded approach and the Great Commission. That was my thought behind “it is LIKE they have no sense . . . “ (emphasis added, and I was specifically referring to Jeffress and some other court evangelicals in my first paragraph, not to his church which I mention in my second paragraph). I acknowledgied that the church would see as a “mission field” the same people and groups that Jeffress tends to disparage in his public political partisan statements. I can’t see where those statements mesh with the mission of the church, and so I was expressing wonderment that his church wouldn’t see those as unhelpful to a sense of mission.

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  34. This question only matters if you believe that we are living in a Christian nation or a nation that privileges Christianity. We are not. We are not discussing theology here. Yes, there are reasons why I am not a Mormon, but this has nothing to do with how I understand a plural society. Jeffress needs to learn to keeps his remarks to himself and quit trying to make such hate language a central part of his persona when he exits his church. When you enter the public square you need argue in such a way that finds common ground with others. This is how a democracy works.

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  35. Unicorn,
    I never heard Franklin Graham make that statement about Mormons being Christian. If it is true (and I have no special reason to doubt you), then Graham is wrong. He ought to know better. Even Mormons, when pressed, will acknowledge that they do not accept The Apostle’s Creed or the other historic creeds as understood historically by orthodox Christianity.

    By the way, I voted for Mitt as did Pastor Jeffress. His political views had little to do with Mormonism per se.
    James

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  36. Jeffress believes that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and should continue to be one. This is why he thinks that making these kind of theological statements about Jews, Muslims, Catholics and others in the public square is OK. Jeffress does not live in a Christian nation. He lives in a diverse nation founded on ideals of liberty and justice for all. He only cares about America and Americans to the degree that they conform to his view of America as a Christian nation, an ideal that is full of historical problems.

    On fear: Both Christians and secularists are fearful, but I don’t hold non-Christians to the same standards that I hold Christians. Secular liberals do not answer to a higher authority that tells them to “fear not. ” That is why I think this “whataboutism” is not a valid argument for a Christian when it comes to fear. If the Bible tells a Christian to “fear not,” claiming that non-Christians are afraid too is not a legitimate response. Instead, James, you should take a deep look into your own tribe and call them out on their fear rather than trying to dismiss the fear by saying “well whatabout liberals?”

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  37. Jim in STL,

    I must disagree with you strongly.

    Theonomy is not tied to the Baptists of Jeffress’ ilk as you stated. That is related mainly to postmillennials adhering to Covenant theology.

    Separation of church and state is a Baptist distinctive. Separation of church and state is one concept; separation of morality from state is quite another. Most religions——Christian and others——-have historically advocated government enforcing commonly accepted moral principles. That is a far cry from having a state church.

    Jeffress does not seek “…to enforce Christian dominance…” and I challenge you to find me a quote of his which intimates that.

    Dr.Fea has written a lot about fear within the halls of American political discourse. I see most of that fear in liberals who falsely think they are going to be placed in Calvin’s Geneva.
    James

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  38. Remember:

    No less than Franklin Graham (all genuflect) proclaimed Mormons to be Real True Christians(TM) when Mitt Romney won the GOP nomination to become The Great White Hope of 2012. (After all God’s Anointed Next POTUSes crashed and burned in the primaries.)

    I don’t know if that survived the November election.

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  39. Simply put, Jeffress is a Christian nationalist that denounces the “fiction” of a separation of church and state. He believes that America was founded as a Christian nation built upon Biblical law for the purpose of imposing and enforcing Biblical law and he aims to make sure that it is restored as such and that the government uphold Christian biblical privilege – a theonomy built on Jeffress’ understanding and narrow definition of the religion. He believes that the American government should not be neutral to Christianity but actively favor and enforce Christian supremacy. In essence, he is against the reality of plurality. Jews, Hindus, Islamists, agnostics, atheists, Christians of the wrong stripe, Mormons, et. al., would become, at best, second class citizens supporting Christian hegemony and Old testament law.

    Now, Christian nationalists go to all manner of contortion and obfuscation when confronted, but usually end up at some kind of semantic distinction such as ‘so long as the White House isn’t registered as a church then that qualifies as sufficient separation’ (or some such nonsense). The bottom line is that he seeks the coercive powers of the state to enforce Christian dominance and he and the Christian Nationalists seek a strong dominant presence within all the halls of temporal power. Reverence for a single religion would become a litmus test for full participation. It’s not as if there isn’t a long and usually bloody history of this kind of thing.

    I would point out that the Baptists were split on slavery too.

    Roger Williams weeps.

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  40. Jim in STL,

    If you think that Baptists advocate “….combining state and religion….”, you are not informed of the distinctive which have characterized this body since the time of Roger Williams.

    James

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  41. Dave H.,
    I have never visited Pastor Jefferess’ church nor am I on his mailing list, but I would bet you that there is in excess of a couple of hundred thousand dollars annually supporting missionaries in all parts of the world. These missionaries must adapt to local customs and societal norms. Furthermore, I would venture that these same missionaries come home on furlough and provide reports to the pastor and the congregation. It is unfair and inaccurate for you to describe this particular church and it’s leadership as having “….no sense that the Christian gospel [sic] is a message for the entire world.”

    James

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  42. The problem with the Jeffress’ of the world is their incessant program of combining state and religion in seeking worldly dominion in order to enact their own radical agenda. And, as is pointed out, it is a very narrowly defined religious view that excludes the majority of Americans (Christian and non-Christian alike) and in doing so, sows civil discord and endangers the peace and stability of the commonwealth. It is very old-world European and certainly against core American principles.

    And when civil dominion is sought by the likes of Jeffress, author of Countdown to the Apocalypse and John Hagee, an end time prophet, it is irresponsible, from a civil point of view, not to raise intense concerns that they will seek to steer their professed God-anointed strongman leader to take actions that will help precipitate the final showdown. The question becomes relevant of what constitutes the difference between a doomsday cult and the narrow church that they define?

    And, of course, this program requires elimination of anyone that would pose questions that could get in the way of their intentions. Imagine if old-world Europe had had nuclear arms.

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  43. Jeffress and some of the other “court evangelicals” have defined Christianity and the gospel so narrowly that for them it is inherently American, conservative and Republican. It is like they have no sense that the Christian gospel is a message for the entire world. When you define Christian faith and the gospel in such as way that is it only relevant and applicable and “good news” to a small subset of “the world,” you have clearly taken things waaaay off the rails.

    I also find it saddening, and revealing, that Jeffress’s church seems perfectly fine with his trading in hyper-partisan politics while serving as their pastor. Beyond fine, in fact, it is celebrated. He is demeaning, insulting, belittling, attacking, and demonizing all of what they would be the first to tell you is their “mission field.”

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  44. John,
    Regarding his comments on Mormonism…………I trust you do not believe that Mormon theology comports remotely with historic Christian orthodoxy?

    James

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