Right-wing Pastor Robert Jeffress never misses an opportunity to conflate Christianity with the Republican Party, and yesterday was no exception.
He was responding on FOX Business Network to what Mayor Pete Buttigieg said during Wednesday night’s debate about how any party that worships a God who condones “putting children in cages has lost all claim to ever use religious language again.”
His point was obviously that it’s the height of hypocrisy for Republicans to talk about how religious they are while actively hurting the most vulnerable people among us. He’s right about that.
Jeffress doesn’t buy that, of course, but his defense was to imply that all Democrats are godless whether they admit it or not (I wish) and that any kind of faith outreach by the Party is just a ruse because they don’t actually care about Christians.
… it’s referred to as the God problem of Democrats, and it’s a very real problem they’re trying to remedy. But it’s a self-inflicted problem… I mean it’s the Democrat Party that tried to actually remove God from their platform a few years ago. They’re removing God from the oath of office in many instances. And yet, now, they want some faith votes, so they’re pretending like they’re interested in God.
In fact, you hear some of the Democrat contenders talking about their faith in God, but it’s not connecting with voters, because the God they talk about is not the God of the Bible. It’s the God of their imagination — a God who loves abortion and hates Israel, whereas the True God that most Jews and Christians are familiar with is a God who hates abortion and loves Israel.
Who knew no real Christians existed before 1948?! And is Jeffress aware that white evangelicals were totally fine with abortion until the Moral Majority decided to use it as a wedge issue? Of course not.
He’s lying, by the way, about Democrats removing God from the platform. The platform in question, in 2012, openly talked about the importance of faith. But under pressure from conservatives like Jeffress, they chose to stick the phrase “God-given potential” back in there just so there was an explicit mention of the G-word. The point is God was never “removed” from the platform as much as I wish that were true.
As for the oaths of office, a couple of House subcommittees have chosen to swear in witnesses without the phrase “So help me God” as a default. They can still say it if they want to. But this, to Jeffress, is a clear sign that Democrats want to destroy religion.
For him, religious neutrality is tantamount to godlessness.
Keep in mind that in 2014, the Pew Research Center found that 55% of Democrats believed in God with absolute certainty, 21% were fairly certain, and only about 15% were openly non-religious.
Keep in mind that there’s an ever-growing Religious Left that fully accepts the divinity of Jesus and says faith inspires them to push for social justice and civil rights.
Keep in mind that most of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidates are Christians, some of whom comfortably insert Bible passages in their speeches.
None of that matters to Jeffress, who lives in a bubble where everything is black and white. All democrats are atheists. Any Democrat who claims to be Christian is lying. Any religious outreach by Democrats is fake. Only anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion, pro-Israel conservative Christians have a proper claim to the faith.
The problem for him is that his tribe continues kicking out Christians who only agree with 99% of their dogma. It’s still a lot of people but the numbers are going down. The only question is whether a coalition of progressive Christians, non-Christians, and non-theists can come together to defeat them at the ballot box.