If you attended the Ninth Annual Pastors Appreciation Lunch in Tampa, Florida this week, you would have heard a keynote address that not only urged pastors to get political in the pulpit, but one that compared the more liberal candidate to… well, read it for yourself:
“I believe the preservation of America depends on pastors,” said Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas. “This is no time for God’s men to be passive. It’s time to stand up and push back against all the evil in our country.
“Tell your people that they have a choice: to cast a vote for righteousness or vote for unrighteousness.”
Stay silent, he warned them, and you’re no different than German Lutheran pastors who didn’t speak out against Hitler’s growing influence in the late 1930s. That lack of action led to the Holocaust, he said.
Righteousness, in Jeffress’ eyes, means voting for Mitt Romney, despite Jeffress saying about Mormonism: “It’s absolutely a cult.”
Unrighteousness means we may be bringing on another Holocaust? Really?! Is that what will happen in a second Obama administration?
[Jeffress] said in an interview afterward that “people can connect the dots. It’s clear which candidate shares our views.“
I’m guessing the guy who’s less Hitler-y…?
(Anyone else amazed that all these pastors are opposed to Obama, the one Protestant in the race?)
Anyway, as far as I can tell, at no point did Jeffress ever tell the hundreds of pastors that their churches should pay taxes in exchange for endorsing a candidate. That would be the right, legal, honest thing to do, but Jeffress, like so many other pastors, doesn’t care one iota about doing the right thing.
The IRS, meanwhile, is just sitting on its thumbs waiting for the bureaucracy to get its shit together.
One other note: A couple of the pastors interviewed in this article said that they would not endorse a candidate in the pulpit; they would only endorse their “biblical values”… which we all know is just a code word for “Republican.” What I found most interesting was this quotation from one pastor:
Though [pastor Elbert Nasworthy] takes no public position on candidates or issues, he believes it’s his role as a spiritual leader to inform his congregation on the importance of making a choice based on biblical values.
“They can draw their own conclusions after that,” he said. “You better believe I’ll be making a case on Sunday.”
They can draw their own conclusions?!
It’s the one time these pastors don’t tell their congregations exactly what to think… and instead of actually laying out the different theories and letting church members actually make their own decision, these pastors just strongly suggest which way they ought to vote.
It’s a distinction without a difference.