Did Your Evangelical Church Say Anything About El Paso or Dayton on Sunday Morning?

Trump court evangelicals

Feel free to write a response in the comment sections below or hit me up on Twitter.

Meanwhile, here is a taste of Emma Green’s piece on the evangelical response to the shooting:

But other pastors, including several influential mega-church leaders who have been strong supporters of the president, have pushed back on what they call the politicization of this and other shootings. “I think it is wrong to assign blame to any party or any candidate for this problem,” Robert Jeffress, the head pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas and a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory council, told me. “This is the problem of evil.”

Repeatedly throughout his candidacy and presidency, Trump has spoken about immigrants and asylum seekers, especially from Latin America, as “invaders.” He has also derided Mexicans as “rapists” and “criminals.” But Jeffress does not believe that the president is at all responsible for creating an atmosphere of violence. “If you listen to what the president is saying—contrary to some in the mainstream media—he is not anti-immigrant. He is anti–illegal immigrant. And there is a big difference between the two,” Jeffress told me. “I’ve known the president for four years. He’s a friend of mine. I’ve seen him in a number of different situations. And I’ve never seen one scintilla of evidence of racism in him.” In an address to the nation today, Trump did take a unifying tone: “The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate,” the president said. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated.”

Democrats are not impressed. Over the weekend, Democratic presidential candidates repeatedly blamed Trump for “savagely fraying the bonds of our nation by speaking consistently words of hatred,” as Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey put it on CNN. This kind of behavior is “shameful,” Jeffress said. “By politicizing this tragedy, some Democrats are trivializing this tragedy.”

Another Dallas-area pastor and Trump adviser, Jack Graham, agreed. “I’m not going to blame rhetoric on the evil heart of some terrorist. Who knows what was going on in the mind of this shooter,” he told me. “To me, this is not the time … to go running out there and condemning political leaders, whether it’s the president or anyone else, or blaming rhetoric, or blaming guns.”

Samuel Rodriguez, an evangelical pastor who serves as the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, has also been one of Trump’s evangelical advisers. But he told me that it is impossible to deny that anti-immigrant rhetoric stokes bigotry. “I do believe words matter,” he said. “When we paint the immigrant community with one broad stroke, we are, in essence, feeding the poisonous venom already injected in the hearts and minds of individuals who truly do believe there is a Hispanic invasion.” He called on all elected officials to disavow this kind of anti-immigrant rhetoric. But he also said he hopes his white, Christian brothers and sisters will explicitly defend immigrants in this moment. “I would like to see every white evangelical pastor in America stand up on their pulpit and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, immigrants are not a burden. Immigrants are a blessing,’” he said.

Read the entire piece here.

7 thoughts on “Did Your Evangelical Church Say Anything About El Paso or Dayton on Sunday Morning?

  1. It was mentioned because I mentioned it, *I’m one of the pastors at our church*. I led off our church-wide prayer time by praying for the victims families, for healing for the wounded, and for our leadership in the country to act quickly and with care. Our church is trying to teach people that we may not be smart enough to solve all the issues surrounding it or any other hot-button issue and that we can pray and pray with expectation that God will act in any way He see’s fit.

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  2. I think the victims, families, and first responders were prayed for along with the usual things pertaining to our church. But it wasn’t anything lengthy. The pastor often remarks that the answer is for America to turn back to God.

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  3. No, it was not mentioned in our service, which I found disappointing. But then again it is rare for any current event or national/world tragedy to ever be mentioned in our services, which I also find disappointing.

    However, the pastor was preaching on one of the “kingdom” parables, the parable of the treasure in the field, which the man found and hid and went and sold everything he had to buy the field. His sermon emphasis was on what the kingdom of heaven is and what it is not, and how our focus must be Jesus, and one big section of his sermon was devoted to the fact that the focus is NOT America, and that it is absolutely wrong to conflate the two. So while not directly mentioning the tragedies, he made very clear that Christian nationalism is antithetical to the gospel.

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