Tuesday, November 12, 2019

the last book I ever read (Tim Alberta's American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump, excerpt four)

from American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump by Tim Alberta:

Robert Jeffress, the prominent pastor of a Dallas megachurch, denounced Romney’s religion as a “cult” and implored evangelicals to oppose him. During an organized debate with Christian attorney (and Romney supporter) Jay Sekulow, Jeffress addressed “the hypocrisy” of church leaders who “for the last eight years of the Bush administration have been telling us how important it is to have an evangelical Christian in office who reads his Bible every day. And now suddenly these same leaders are telling us that a candidate’s faith really isn’t that important.” Jeffress added: “My fear is such a sudden U-turn is going to give people a case of voter whiplash. I think people have to decide, and Christian leaders have to decide once and for all, whether a candidate’s faith is really important.”

Jeffress continued his crusade during the 2012 campaign. A supporter of Perry for president, the pastor used an appearance at the Values Voter Summit in October 2011 to drive a wedge between Romney and evangelicals. “I just do not believe that we as conservative Christians can expect him to stand strong for the issues that are important to us,” Jeffress told reporters. “I really am not nearly as concerned about a candidate’s fiscal policy or immigration policy as I am about where they stand on biblical issues.”

(Four years later, Jeffress would become Candidate Trump’s most visible Christian disciple, appearing with the thrice-married, casino-owning candidate onstage in Texas during the heat of the GOP primary race. “I can tell you from experience, if Donald Trump is elected president of the United States we who are evangelical Christians are going to have a true friend in the White House,” he said, according to the Dallas Morning News.)

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