Robert Jeffress Says He Supports 'Assassination, Capital Punishment or Evil Punishment to Quell the Actions of Evildoers Like Kim Jong Un'
Texas Christian evangelical Robert Jeffress, an advisor to the President on matters of faith, Tuesday afternoon applauded Donald Trump's astonishingly violent rhetoric toward North Korea. "In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un," the megachurch pastor told The Washington Post.
"When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary â€” including war â€” to stop evil," said Jeffress, who is both a Fox News contributor and, separately, hosts a syndicated religious TV show.
Romans 13 "gives the government to the authority to do whatever, whether it's assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un," Jeffress, who leads the 12,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas, told the Post.
What Jeffress might not haver mentioned is just 12 hours earlier, he was advertising his "Countdown to the Apocalypse" series on his "Pathway to Victory" TV show. That show is broadcast across the nation and in 28 foreign countries. Jeffress also authored a book titled Countdown to the Apocalypse in 2015.
Pastor Jeffress' 30-second commercial, which he posted to Twitter, opens with a wall of images including an LGBT pride flag, an ISIS flag, a photo of New York City's Twin Towers in flames on 9/11, NYC police cars, a hand-written sign that says, "Education is a right! student debt is a crime!!" and other images which the evangelical pastor apparently thinks are signs of the apocalypse.
"We live in shocking times," Jeffress in the voiceover of his ad says. "In our own country, moral confusion abounds. Could we be living in the end times?" he posits.
He says in his "Countdown to the Apocalypse" show, "we're learning how to interpret current events in light of Biblical prophesy."
In the background, an iconic image - taken in celebration of gay rights and same-sex marriage - of the White House lit in rainbow colors, a sign opposing "Christian fascists," and more.
Is Jeffress is ginning up violent rhetoric and egging on the president to engage North Korea, possibly in nuclear war, in an effort to help his ratings?
Jeffress is closely linked to this White House. Hours before Trump was sworn in, Jeffress held a pre-inauguration private prayer service for the Trump and Pence families, and about 300 invited guests. He's also served on Trump's evangelical advisory board.
Jeffress has a long history of making anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-Mormon, and anti-Catholic remarks. He also has weighed in regularly on the nation's politics, espousing a hate-filled far right wing viewpoint.
Just two days before the 2012 election, Jeffress said, "I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he's not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes. President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist."
Four years earlier, in 2008, Jeffress delivered a controversial sermon (audio here) titled, "Gay Is Not OK," which featured this condemnation: "What they [homosexuals] do is filthy. It is so degrading that it is beyond description. And it is their filthy behavior that explains why they are so much more prone to disease."
That same year, the Dallas Observer reported that Jeffress "said Mormon Mitt Romney was a member of a 'cult' and who, in September, said that 'Christians are uniquely favored by God, [while] Mormons, Hindus and Muslims worship a false god.' And in the 1990s, he said that homosexuality causes 'the deaths of tens of thousands every year through AIDS.' He's super-tolerant. Then again, Jeffress has done quite a bit for the gay community: In 1998, while he was pastor at the First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, he protested the library's carrying such titles as Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate, which only served to make them more popular."
Just two weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its 2015 ruling on Obergefell, finding the Constitution does allow same-sex couples the right to marry, Jeffress appeared on Fox News, invoking the Holocaust, and tying it to supposed persecution of Christians.
"Christians," Jeffress falsely told Sean Hannity, are "losing their business because they believe in traditional marriage."
"This isn't imaginary," Jeffress said. "It's real. And sure, it doesn't rise to the level of having your head chopped off by ISIS in the Middle East, but it's all the same attitude that allows for those attacks."
"I want to remind people that, you know, the Nazis weren't able to take the Jews to the crematoriums, immediately," Jeffress said, without a moment of remorse. "The German people wouldn't have allowed for it. Instead, the Nazis had to change public opinion. They marginalized the Jewish people, disparaged them, and make them objects of contempt."
Hannity interrupted, to ensure Jeffress really thought "Christians are being marginalized the way Jews in Germany were?"
"Absolutely. They are being marginalized right now," Jeffress insisted. "Treated as objects of contempt by the media and once that happens then the taking away of further rights will be very easy."
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