He might as well have offered up a shrug emoji.
Robert Jeffress, pastor at Dallas’s First Baptist Church and unofficial leader of Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory council, has made a career of defending Trump using Christian rhetoric.
A day after Trump made headlines by condemning immigrants from “shithole” countries, Jeffress released what has become a customary defense of Trump’s actions. What sets his reaction to the president apart this time, however, was the seeming lack of any theological basis whatsoever.
Typically, Jeffress would be expected to break out another torturous, theologically loaded justification for Trump’s actions and statements. In just one example, last August Jeffress made a statement supporting Trump’s incendiary comments about North Korea, saying that God had given Trump “full power to use whatever means necessary” — including war — to defend America.
Which is why his latest statement in defense of Trump is so surprising. The statement didn’t even try to defend Trump in the language of Christian nationalism that he — and Trump’s other evangelical allies — has spent the past two or so years honing. Rather, he just focused on, well, nationalism.
In a statement made to David Brody of the (consistently pro-Trump) Christian Broadcasting Network’s The Brody File, Jeffress said:
JUST IN to @TheBrodyFile : Pastor Robert Jeffress on President Trump’s immigration comments: “Apart from the vocabulary attributed to him, President Trump is right on target in his sentiment.”Full statement here. @robertjeffress @realDonaldTrump @WhiteHouse @POTUS pic.twitter.com/tmSOyBrZRl
— David Brody (@TheBrodyFile) January 12, 2018
What’s most striking about Jeffress’s statement is what he doesn’t say. He’s not making a theological argument in favor of Trump’s actions here, even though Jeffress (along with his co-council member Paula White and the rest of the advisory council) have made a career Read More Here