Robert Jeffress, the Trump court evangelical who says he is not yet ready to endorse a candidate for president in 2024, sure looked like he was back in the tank for Trump today in Waco.
I cannot seem to embed the video (watch it here starting at the 16:00 mark, right after Mike “MyPillow Guy” Lindell speaks), but here is what Jeffress said and prayed:
Over 200 years ago, the French diplomat Alexis DeTocqueville toured our great country. And after his tour he made this observation: He said “America is great because America is good. If America ever ceased to be good, America will cease to be great.” He was right. America’s greatness is tied to her goodness and her goodness is tied to the fact that America was founded as a Christian nation. [Applause and cheers]. And I know right now the liberals heads are exploding when I say that, so I’ll say it again–America was founded as a Christian nation. [More applause and cheers]. And our further success as a nation depends on our fidelity to the principles, the unchangeable principles of God found in his word.
Eight years ago our nation was in a downward death spiral as we moved further and further away from the truths of God’s word. But then came a man, descending the escalator at Trump Tower. His name was Donald J. Trump. And Donald Trump did what nobody thought he could do. He turned this nation around. He reversed the downward trajectory. And he became the most pro-life, the most pro-religious liberty, the most pro-Israel president in the history of our great country. God bless Donald J. Trump.
Now, let’s go to Almighty God in prayer. Let’s bow our heads together.
Our heavenly Father, we confess today that you are the true and the only God. Your word says, “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” You are not a respecter of people or nations. You tell us that any nation that reverences you will be blessed by you. And any nation, including the United States, that rebels against you will be rejected by you. Father, today we confess that we have departed from you–individually and together as a nation–and we ask your forgiveness. We pray for a great spiritual revival in this country that would turn us back toward you.
And father, I want to thank you for my friend, President Trump. He’s not perfect, he doesn’t pretend to be perfect, like none of us is perfect. But he is a man who loves this country. He’s a man who has given selfless service in the interest of our nation. And father I pray that you would continue to bless him greatly. Bless his family. Give them success in every thing they do, according to your will. And we pray this in the name of the one who came and died and rose again that we might have eternal life, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s in his saving name that we pray. Amen.
Jeffress was followed by Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and others.
- Jeffress has yet to endorse a candidate. But I am thinking of this pro-Trump speech and prayer in the context of Tim Alberta’s recent piece at The Atlantic in which he suggests that the court evangelicals are turning away from Trump in 2024 because he blamed the 2022 mid-term election losses on the pro-life movement. Jeffress seems to have no trouble praising Trump for his apparently pro-life views.
- Jeffress starts his speech by quoting Tocqueville: “America is great because America is good.” It’s a great line. Too bad Tocqueville never said it.
- Jeffress’s use of the fake Tocqueville quote sets him up perfectly for his claim that America was founded as a Christian nation. I’ve had a few things to say about this claim over the years. Start here. I also discussed Jeffress’s use of this claim here.
- Jeffress’s claim that liberals heads will explode when he says America was founded as a Christian nation is symbolic of the current state of conservative evangelical politics in America today. The Christian Right is not interested in thinking about how to live Christianly and faithfully in a pluralistic society. They just want to own the libs.
- The claim that Trump saved America from its “downward trajectory” is now becoming comical. Where was Bob Jeffress on January 6th?
- Notice how politics shapes Jeffress’s prayer. It is an appeal to God on behalf of Trump. Let’s remember that the former president could be indicted in New York for sending hush money to porn star. He may also be indicted for trying to fix the 2020 Georgia election and for hiding government documents at Mar-a-Lago. And let’s not forget the findings of the January 6th commission.
To paraphrase Yogi Berra, I’m getting deja vu all over again.
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