“Haiti? Why do we want people from Haiti here? Why do we want people from all these shithole countries here? We should have more people from places like Norway.” – Donald Trump, discussing African countries and Haiti
“Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth… Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy.” – The Bible, Matthew 5:5-7
Evangelicals have been defending President Donald Trump since he began his campaign. Unbelievably, these religious leaders have scoured theological teachings in an effort to uphold the idea that Trump is a Christian president. But it would appear Trump has finally said something that evangelicals can’t twist using theology.
Robert Jeffress is the pastor at Dallas’s First Baptist Church and unofficial leader of Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory council. Jeffress came out in defense of President Trump after his “shithole” comment, but surprisingly, the pastor didn’t have a theological defense for the president’s remarks.
In a statement, Jeffress said, “Apart from the vocabulary attributed to him, President Trump is right on target in his sentiment. As individual Christians, we have a biblical responsibility to place the needs of others above our own, but as Commander-in-Chief, President Trump has the constitutional responsibility to place the interests of our nation above the needs of other countries. I’m grateful we have a president like Donald Trump who clearly understands that distinction and has the courage to protect the well-being of our nation.”
The interesting thing about Jeffress’s quote, is that he admits that the president, out of necessity, must put the constitution before theology. Jeffress is claiming that Trump must first act as an American, then as a Christian. While Jeffress and his fellow evangelicals have been touting Trump as a Christian, and a politician who will uphold Christian ideals, even they couldn’t defend his disgusting, divisive, and racist remarks as being Christian.
One wonders when Jeffress realized that lawmakers’ first responsibility is to the law of the land, and not religion. If that defense is good enough for President Trump, it seems like the same defense could have been made when SCOTUS ruled on gay marriage.