In a recent New York Times column, conservative writer Peter Wehner called out Robert Jeffress, a prominent Southern Baptist pastor, for his vocal support of Donald Trump.
Yesterday, conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher invited Jeffress and Wehner to debate Trump’s candidacy on his program, where Jeffress defended his support for the presumptive GOP nominee by saying that it’s “biblical” to support a “strongman” in government.
Jeffress said that he supported Trump in the primary “because I believed that he was the only one who was electable and could beat Hillary Clinton,” adding that “our country has moved so far to the left” that “I just didn’t think that Ted Cruz was electable.”
“But as far as his worldview, Trump’s worldview,” he continued, “you know, I was debating an evangelical professor on NPR and this professor said, ‘Pastor, don’t you want a candidate who embodies the teaching of Jesus and would govern this country according to the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount?’ I said, ‘Heck no.’ I would run from that candidate as far as possible, because the Sermon on the Mount was not given as a governing principle for this nation.
“Nowhere is government told to forgive those who wrong it, nowhere is government told to turn the other cheek. Government is to be a strongman to protect its citizens against evildoers. When I’m looking for somebody who’s going to deal with ISIS and exterminate ISIS, I don’t care about that candidate’s tone or vocabulary, I want the meanest, toughest, son of a you-know-what I can find, and I believe that’s biblical.”
Jeffress took issue with evangelical leaders who refuse to support the presumptive GOP nominee, boasting that Trump will shift the courts to the right and work to overturn abortion rights.
“This is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats,” Jeffress said. “It’s a battle between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness, and I think it is time for people who say they are conservative Christians to get off the fence and go to the polls and vote their convictions.”
A fiery Jeffress dismissed those who have moral objections to supporting Trump, saying that these “weak and namby-pamby” holdouts are too “proud” and “can’t get over the fact that their candidate didn’t win” in the Republican primary.
Jeffress said that unlike President Obama, who he said “hates” conservative Christians, Trump will be a “true friend in the White House” and “appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court.”
“This isn’t about partisan politics,” he said. “This is about good and evil.”
According to Jeffress, Trump told a group of Religious Right leaders that America is in decline “because of people like you all around this table, you’re the ones who have allowed the country to get into the shape that it’s in.” “And he was absolutely right about it,” Jeffress added.
Both Jeffress and Wiles were among the 1,000 Religious Right leaders who met with Trump in New York last week.
Today, Donald Trump’s campaign announced the formation of his Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, which includes right-wing figures ranging from ex-Rep. Michele Bachmann to Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.
After retiring from Congress on the heels of a campaign scandal, Bachmann has not let up in her radical preaching.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the group is likely to include longtime supporters such as televangelist Paula White, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress.
Others expected to join the board include Ralph Reed, who recently introduced Trump at an event hosted by his Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ronnie Floyd and Jack Graham, the current and past presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, respectively, and Jay Strack of the Orlando-based Student Leadership University.
The choice of these activists as campaign advisers would further undermine Trump’s attempts — bolstered by some in the media — to portray himself as either supportive of gay rights or at least distanced from the GOP’s anti-LGBT politics.
It appears now that everywhere you look, everything you read and everything you hear is about the gay lifestyle. Satan has taken his tool of homosexuality, a gross and evil sin, and done a con job on the American culture, making it seem like all is okay when you are gay. I hope you are aware that what was once subtle has now turned into the rage of a lion as brazen and threatening as anything in our culture. I must sound the trumpet loud and clear, praying that we do not run in retreat, but march in the truth of God valiantly. This is not a skirmish or a conflict or a disagreement, but it is a war. The war they have declared against our culture has an agenda and we need to be aware of it.
The attack everywhere in our culture is to get you to see the gay lifestyle or gay couples as being the same as you. The agenda is also trying to desensitize you to them, their verbiage and lifestyle. In other words, "if you get use to us you will eventually ignore us or accept us." The bombardment and intentionality is already so great that the desensitization is already occurring. Of course, inclusiveness is their theme song. Their goal is to get themselves included into all of society and its benefits, including benefits economically. As they play the song of "inclusiveness," gay couples are now adopting children. What a tragedy. As each of us desire, the homosexual and lesbian want affirmation and will do whatever it takes to receive it. The love and acceptance they have found in the homosexual community is what lured them there and will keep them there until God intervenes.
Graham, one of Floyd’s predecessors in leading the SBC, has a similar view, telling his congregation recently that “the LBGT [sic] promotes a godless agenda, and now on the backs of many confused and conflicted people, are opening the door, literally, to perversion of all kinds.” Last year, he encouraged civil disobedience to protest the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality ruling.
Robert Jeffress says that conservative Christians "are going to realize ... there is no choice in this election except to vote for Donald Trump" because the only thing that matters is the Supreme Court.
Thrice-married adulterer Newt Gingrch says that Trump is "totally virtuous" compared with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Bill Muehlenberg says that atheists are consumed by "their hatred of God ... [which] explains their love of abortion, their hatred of marriage and family, their rejection of traditional morality, and their enmity to America and the West."
Michael Brown seems to think that gay and transgender people should just stay in the closet for the sake of their families.
Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, praised his state’s leaders yesterday for refusing to comply with an Obama administration directive on facilities access for trans students in public schools, saying that “it’s time for an all-out rebellion against this absolute tyranny of the Obama administration.” He added that business interests pressuring lawmakers not to enact anti-LGBT measures are a greater “threat to freedom of religion in America” than ISIS.
Jeffress, a key Religious Right ally to Donald Trump, discussed the topic yesterday with Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, who was guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program.
Jeffress said that the U.S. needed to admit that “we are a country based on the Judeo-Christian foundation, and whether you’re Jewish or Christian, I mean, we believe that gender is something that is assigned by God.”
Recognition of transgender rights, he said, means that “we are headed toward chaos,” adding that “at the root of this is society’s rebellion against the plan of God, that’s what this is all about.”
Jeffress and Starnes praised Texas officials’ resistance to the administration’s directive, with Jeffress noting that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick “often” worships at his church when he’s in Dallas.
“I think they’re going to stand firm on this and I hope that every governor of every state will have the guts to do that,” Jeffress said. “I think it’s time for an all-out rebellion against this absolute tyranny of the Obama administration.”
When Starnes noted that Mississippi has announced that it will comply with the administration guidelines, Jeffress laid the blame on the Chamber of Commerce and business interests, which he said were a greater threat to American liberties than ISIS.
“It comes down to money, Todd, that’s what it’s about,” he said. “And when states are being faced with the loss of business, they tend to fold real quickly. And I’ve said often that the greatest threat to freedom of religion in America is not ISIS, it’s the Chamber of Commerce. I mean, it’s the businesses that say to our representatives, ‘Oh, don’t pass laws like that, don’t pass these religious freedom laws because people will interpret that as anti-gay and we’ll lose business.’”
Indeed, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has touted the endorsements of several politicians and activists who have done everything from denounce women’s suffrage to deny the existence of marital rape.
Schlafly is the founder of the anti-feminist group Eagle Forum and is best known for helping defeat the Equal Rights Amendment.
Among her anti-feminist beliefs is the claim that marital rape does not exist.
“By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape,” she said in 2007, later explaining that marital rape is simply a fabrication invented by feminists who want to levy the accusation when “they get tired of a husband” or “want to fight over child custody.” (Trump’s own lawyer has similarly claimed that marital rape is not rape).
Besides denying the existence of marital rape, she has blamed reports of sexual assaults on college campuses on the rising number of female college students, criticizing policies to combat assaults for turning college campuses into “a dangerous place for men.”
“There isn’t any rape culture,” she said in 2014. “There is a war on men.”
Colleges, according to Schlafly, should stop enforcing Title IX and install gender quotas to protect male admissions.
As Ian Millhiser noted in Think Progress, the Justice Department’s complaint cataloged instances where Arpaio’s deputies were “forcing women to sleep in their own menstrual blood,” “assaulting pregnant women,” “stalking Latina women” and “ignoring rape.”
Last year, The Guardian reports, Arpaio’s office “agreed to pay $3.5m to settle a lawsuit that alleged metro Phoenix’s sheriff botched the investigation into the rape of a 13-year-old girl and failed to arrest the suspect who then went on to sexually attack her again,” a case that “was among more than 400 sex-crime cases that were inadequately investigated or not looked into at all by Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office during a three-year period ending in 2007.”
3) Ann Coulter
While Trump has been campaigning with conservative columnist Ann Coulter to promote her attacks on immigrants, we wonder if she will ever lead one of his campaign rallies in a chant against women’s suffrage.
Indeed, Coulter hasrepeatedlyvoiced her opposition to women having the right to vote, saying that revoking women’s suffrage is necessary to help elect Republicans.
This is far from Coulter’s only controversial views on women’s issues.
Among the first members of Congress to endorse Trump was Tennessee Republican Scott DesJarlais, who along with some of his fellow GOP lawmakers met with Trump in March to work on ways to unify the party.
As we’ve noted, the GOP congressman has quite the record on women’s issues:
Before running for Congress as a “pro-life” and “pro-family” Republican, “DesJarlais, a physician, pressured a patient who was his mistress to get an abortion. It was later revealed that the pro-life congressman had approved of his first wife having two abortions, and that he’d had sex with at least two patients.” He also had affairs with “three coworkers and a drug representative,” and was later fined for violating medical ethics.
DesJarlais’ ex-wife also accused him of “dry firing a gun outside the Plaintiff's locked bedroom door, [admitting] suicidal ideation, holding a gun in his mouth for three hours, an incident of physical intimidation at the hospital; and previous threatening behavior ... i.e. shoving, tripping, pushing down, etc.”
5) Robert Jeffress
Texas-based pastor Robert Jeffress is one of Trump’s most outspoken Religious Right supporters and campaign surrogates. For instance, Jeffress rushed to Trump’s defense when he said that women who have abortions should face “some form of punishment.”
Conservatives' outrage over @realDonaldTrump abortion comments hypocritical. Maybe they don't really believe abortion is murder.
Before the GOP presidential frontrunner started winning the backing of Republican leaders, he assembled a team of ardent right-wing conspiracy theorists whose bigoted and bizarre beliefs once put them decidedly on the fringe of American politics.
Trump himself has spread a wide range of bizarre and bogus claims, winning state after state by questioning the facts about President Obama’s birthplace and religion, bashing immigrants as “killers and rapists,” parading discredited stories to demonize Muslim-Americans and, at one point, linking an opponent’s father to the Kennedy assassination.
As more “establishment” and “mainstream” Republicans declare their support for Trump, it is critical to remember the people whom Trump initially invited into his campaign: a range of pundits and preachers who have pushed racist, xenophobic and truly insane beliefs throughout their careers.
No endorser was out of bounds for Trump, whether it was a pastor who believes Starbucks injects semen from gay men into its lattes in order to spread Ebola or a radio host who thinks that alien creatures secretly run the government.
These activists have now also become some of Trump’s most outspoken defenders. And, in return, Trump has elevated their profiles by appearing on their radio programs, inviting them to share the stage with him and even praising them to national audiences.
Trump’s apparent victory in the Republican presidential primary gives these figures an unprecedented platform from which to spew their paranoia and bigotry. And it presents a strange turning point at which conspiracy theories that previously only lurked around the edges of political discourse are suddenly thrust to center stage.
The fact that the Republican Party is about to nominate a candidate who has embraced conspiracy theorist broadcaster Alex Jones is downright terrifying.
Trump’s top confidant, Roger Stone, a conservative operative who has called for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to be killed, has been on Jones’ show nearly every week during the campaign. The two are even working together on an effort to track down Republican delegates who don’t support Trump and hound them at their hotel rooms at the party convention in Cleveland.
Jones’ “news” program is a natural outlet for Trump, as pollafterpoll shows that Trump supporters disproportionately subscribe to shocking conspiracy theories, including ones championed by Jones and by the candidate himself.
It’s hard to describe how utterly bizarre Jones’ worldview is and how unbelievable it is that a major presidential candidate is promoting it.
Trump has become a regular guest on “The Savage Nation,” a right-wing radio program hosted by Michael Savage that has the fifth-largest radio audience in the country, often appearing on the show immediately before primary election days in order to drum up support from Savage’s listeners.
Oh, you're one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today — go eat a sausage and choke on it. Get trichinosis.
“Ann’s been amazing,” Trump said earlier this year. “I’m a big fan and you know that.”
Indeed, Trump’s extremist plan of mass deportation, constructing a massive border wall, impounding remittances, expelling refugees and curtailing legal immigration seems to resemble the proposals laid out in Coulter’s book, “Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole,” in which she called on the government to adopt draconian policies to curb both lawful and unlawful immigration and refugee resettlement programs because, in her view, America has too many Latinos.
Coulter has urged GOP candidates to win elections by stoking anti-immigrant sentiment and “unapologetically opposing the transformation of America into a Third World country.”
Coulter claims that unless immigration is drastically curbed, parents will have to “get used to your little girls being raped” because “gang rape, child rape, elder rape, and murder rape are highly correlated with specific ethnic groups — ethnic groups we are bringing to America by the busload.”
Gallups and Trump share a passion for promotingbirther conspiracy theories and denouncing the Common Core academic standards, which Gallups warns will ensure that “our smallest children in pre-school” will learn about “the mechanics of homosexual sex.”
“[T]his dude is a Hollywood actor, his so-called wife is a Hollywood actor,” he said of two parents who lost children in the shooting.
A Trump spokeswoman said that the campaign “was not aware” of Gallups’ views, but the campaign still boasts of his endorsement on its website.
Unsurprisingly, Gallups has also speculated about whether Obama is the Antichrist, ultimately concluding that while the president is “an anti-Christ,” it is more likely that “he is a depiction of some of the characteristics of the anti-Christ who is to come.”
Trump was very proud to land the endorsement of Robert Jeffress, a prominent Southern Baptist preacher and Fox News contributor who has hitthetrail with the candidate at a number of events.
At one rally, Trump invited Jeffress to join him on stage as he decried the supposed persecution of Christians in America through the “War on Christmas” and lamented that he wouldn’t have been criticized if he had proposed a ban on Christians from entering the U.S., as he did with Muslims.
Jeffress made waves in the last presidential election when, after endorsing Rick Perry, he told Christians that they shouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith, which wasn’t too surprising since he once blasted Mormonism as “a cult” from “the pit of hell.”
Update: Following the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, James David Manning said he was outraged by Trump’s remarks expressing support for the LGBT community and has withdrawn his support. “Sodomy is more dangerous to America than radical Islam,” he said.
Accused Obama of murdering his “love child” outside the U.S. Capitol.
And that list barely scratches the surface of the many absurd and offensive things that Manning has actually said.
While Trump of course cannot be held responsible for all of the statements these individuals have made, he can and should be held responsible for embracing them and, at times, promoting their baseless conspiracy theories.
“Do I love the Mormons?” Donald Trump asked last week in Utah. “I have many friends that live in Salt Lake City, I have a lot of friends, I have a lot of friends, and by the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them. Did he choke? Did this guy choke? He’s a choke artist. I can’t believe — are you sure he’s a Mormon? Are we sure?”
Despite Trump’s (mixed) praise for the Mormon faith heading into the Utah primary, Mormon voters may want to know why the Republican presidential frontrunner has been touting the support of Texas pastor Robert Jeffress.
Things have changed quite a bit since 2012, when Rick Perry was roundly criticized for touting Jeffress’ support because of Jeffress’ anti-Mormon preaching, much of it directed at Mitt Romney, such as his declaration that Mormonism and Islam are demonic faiths “from the pit of hell”:
Somehow, Trump’s claim to “love the Mormons” is less convincing given that he’s aligned himself with a radical pastor who believes Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam and homosexuality are inspired by Satan.
Right-wing pastor Robert Jeffress has been growing increasingly defensive as he faces criticism over his warm embrace of Donald Trump, especially from fellow right-wing Christians like the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer.
Jeffress is particularly upset that self-professed Christians who support Trump are having the legitimacy of their faith questioned for doing so:
Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the 12,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas who has endorsed Donald Trump, is pushing back against several high profile Christian leaders and pundits who have mocked the professions of faith of Trump and anyone who votes for him.
“Every Christian has the right to his own opinion about a presidential candidate, but no Christian has the right to impose his preference as a litmus test for someone else’s Christianity or spirituality,” Jeffress tells Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
This is quite a change for Jefress who, during the last Republican presidential primary, urged Christians not to vote for a Mormon like Mitt Romney because "every true, born-again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian."
In fact, back in 2011, Jeffress sat down with none other than Bryan Fischer to explain that "evangelical Christians need to support and encourage true born-again followers of Christ to be president" and therefore needed to support Rick Perry over Romney.
Paraphrasing John Jay, Jeffress stated that "as Christians, we have the duty and the privilege to select and prefer Christians as our leaders."
"We ought to have a born-again follower of Christ in the Oval Office if we have a choice," he stated, insisting that Christians should always prefer the candidate who is "in-dwelt by the spirit of God" over one who isn't.
Jeffress even attacked Romney for being "all over the map" on issues like abortion and marriage:
This time around, the GOP primary race still has more than one candidate that would presumably meet Jeffress' standard for being a "true born-again follower of Christ," yet Jeffress is not supporting them and is, instead, proudly standing by the one who has been "all over the map" on the issues he claims to care so dearly about.
“God bless Donald Trump,” Jeffress declared. Trump had a much bleaker message: “Christianity is under siege. Every year it gets weaker and weaker and weaker.”
He said he would restore Christianity to greatness by scrapping IRS regulations pertaining to church engagement in partisan political activity on behalf of candidates or campaigns.
It makes you less powerful than a man or woman walking up the street. You actually have less power, and yet if you look at it, I was talking to someone, we probably have 250 million, maybe even more, in terms of people, so we have more Christians than we have men or women in our country and we don’t have a lobby because they’re afraid to have a lobby because they don’t want to lose their tax status.
So I am going to work like hell to get rid of that prohibition and we’re going to have the strongest Christian lobby and it’s going to happen. This took place during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and it has had a terrible chilling effect.
When I said that there has to be a temporary ban on certain people coming into this country, we have no choice, there’s something wrong, there’s something really wrong. And when I said ‘Muslim,’ I was met with furor. If I would’ve said ‘Christian,’ people would’ve said, ‘oh we can’t do anything about it.’ That’s going to end folks.
We’re going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ now on Christmas. We’re going to start going to department stores and stores and you’re going to see big beautiful signs that say, ‘Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.’ And we’re going to have a big, big, big lotta fun.
There is a lot to unpack here.
First, it is difficult to know what Trump means when he says that “we have more Christians than we have men or women in our country.”
Second, the part of the tax code Trump is speaking of was put into effect in 1954, not “during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson,” although as a senator he was behind the amendment instituting the policy.
Third, there are hundreds of interest groups who claim to represent Christians and even specific Christian denominations in America, proving that the IRS regulations did not have “a terrible chilling effect.”
Fourth, it is hard to square Trump’s claim that he is a defender of religious freedom when also boasting that he wants to ban all of the world’s Muslims — over 1.6 billion people — from entering the U.S.
Fifth, it seems unlikely that people would have shrugged if Trump said he wanted to ban Christians from the country.
Sixth, people still say “Merry Christmas” on Christmas.
Donald Trump has onceagain joined up with Texas pastor Robert Jeffress, this time inviting Jeffress to introduce him at an event at a Christian college in Iowa over the weekend.
"It’s becoming something of a regular gig: Jeffress, you may recall, also intro’d Trump at his American Airlines Center rally in September. And when he’s not introducing Trump, Jeffress is laying hands on the man," Robert Wilsonsky of The Dallas Morning News wrote, noting that Trump has returned the favor by lavishing praise on Jeffress...for boasting about Trump.
Jeffress insists that his appearances don't amount to an official endorsement, but has said that Trump has the best chance of defeating a Democratic opponent and "could be a very effective president of the United States."
However, courting Jeffress' support didn't end well for the last Republican presidential candidate who tried it: Rick Perry.
Dr. Robert Jeffress joined American Family Association president Tim Wildmon on American Family Radio's “Today’s Issues” program yesterday to discuss the terrorist attacks on Paris.
Wildmon acknowledged that he’s not sure how people should respond “as Christians” to “the fact that these acts of terrorism are done almost exclusively now by Islamic jihadists.” He concluded that, as a Christian, “It’s getting to the point where I look at Muslims, and I’m skeptical of all of them.” Wildmon allowed that “maybe that’s Islamophobic” but continued on to say it’s a “reality” that all terrorists are Muslim.
Jeffress agreed with the sentiment, adding that the Paris attackers were acting in accordance to Islam. “We all individually want to love Muslims and do everything we can to lead them to faith in Jesus Christ,” Jeffress said, “but, … we’ve got to lay aside political correctness and say what is the truth, and that is these eight suicide bombers in Paris were not acting in opposition to Islam faith, they were acting in concert with what Islam teaches.”
This past Sunday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins delivered the sermon at Robert Jeffress’ church in Dallas. Although Perkins’ visit had been planned more than a year in advance, Jeffress was delighted that it ended up falling just two days after the Supreme Court struck down gay marriage bans nationwide, which Jeffress called “the greatest, most historic, landmark blunder in the history of the United States Supreme Court.”
Jeffress had some good news, though: The Supreme Court’s decision and the ensuing rainbow-flag projection on the White House all just confirm the Bible’s reports of what will happen before the return of Christ.
“What happened Friday was nothing short of an affront in the face of Almighty God,” Jeffres said in his introduction of Perkins. “And how did our president respond? President Obama responded Friday night by bathing the White House, the people’s house, in colors that represent what the Bible calls degredation, depravity and sexual perversion.”
Jeffress and his church, he said, are “not going to be silenced by the liberal left, Barack Obama or the United States Supreme Court.”
“We’re not despondent, we’re not discouraged in the least,” he added, “because everything that happened Friday is simply confirmation of what the Bible says is going to happen before the return of Jesus Christ.”
Perkins also addressed the marriage equality ruling, saying he was less concerned about being “on the wrong side of history” than on “the wrong side of the one who’s going to write the final chapter of history.”
The government, he said, had “usurped” issues like marriage and turned “the sacred into the secular.”
“I cannot see a more clear visual representation of where our nation stands,” he said, “than on Friday morning, our courts turned the sacred into the secular and that night, the president bathing the White House in the colors of Pride. God have mercy on America.”
It seems that immigration, gay rights and legal abortion are all about to destroy America, and there is nothing conservatives can do to stave off destruction until President Obama leaves office … unless, of course, Hillary Clinton gets elected, in which case we’re all doomed.
Donald Trump humbly explains why he'll make a great presidential candidate: "I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far. Nobody’s ever been more successful than me."
Apparently a new poll showing that a majority of Americans describe themselves as "pro-choice" is actually good news for those who want to outlaw abortion.
Finally, Franklin Graham issues another dire warning about the possible legalization of gay marriage: "This is a pivotal moment in the history of our nation. If the nation's highest court decrees same-sex marriage as the law of the land, the consequences will be grave. It sets the stage for persecution of believers who are committed to the truth of Scripture. Can pastors preach against homosexuality without being accused of hate speech? Can Christian schools and colleges deny housing to same-sex couples and maintain their tax-exempt status? The ultimate danger, of course, is the devastating results of disobedience to God's Word. Continual blatant sexual immorality that shakes its arrogant, godless fist before Almighty God is a flashing red sign warning of the imminent disintegration of a culture."