Perhaps nothing is more troubling to me at this time in my life than the insertion of religion into politics. Mega-Church pastors become political pundits, and it never comes to a good end. Thomas Jefferson himself wrote in 1813, “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” Robert Jeffres, appearing on Fox News, suddenly decides he’s a border security expert, and that whole thing about “suffer the children to come unto me,” well, that’s just for white protestant children.
We have an influx of children making their way to the U.S. from a number of embattled Central American countries. These are countries with grinding poverty and raging drug wars in which it is nearly impossible for children to hide from. In most of these cases, the parents are sending these children, knowing the dangers of the journey, but believing that what lies on the other side is better enough to be worth the risk.
It is stunning how today’s “godly folk” use the Christian moniker yet act in a ways diametrically the opposite of the principles announced by Christ and the behavior he exhibited if one believes the Gospel narratives. Christ’s focus was the poor and down trodden and he socialized with the outcasts of the society of his day. The main targets of Christ’s condemnation? The Pharisees who we see reincarnated in today’s conservative Christians who are best known for their hypocrisy and utter hatred towards anyone who doesn’t think, look and love like they do.
Just Robert Jeffress (R Pharisee) last week, we saw a bus load of children being sent for processing turn back by an angry mob of Tea Bag Partiers and “good christians.” (The lower-case spelling is intentional.) Notice, I said a bus load of CHILDREN. And then people like Robert Jeffress go on Faux News to spout his particular brand of hate-based religion this past Thursday. The Raw Story reports, “Texas megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress on Thursday cited Jesus Christ to Fox News as reason that the federal government should build a border fence, which he said was the most compassionate thing that could be done for immigrant children.”
The United Nations has determined, due to the gang-related drug wars raging in these countries, that these children are refugees, but Jeffress apparently thinks they are nothing more than potential liabilities sneaking into our backyard swimming pools…so we must build a fence. “What we are doing by having these unsecured borders is we are enticing children and mothers to make this dangerous journey,” the Christian leader added. “Yes, we want to show compassion to the children who are here, but the most compassionate thing we can do is secure the borders.”
Jeffress ended his interview with a religious message to the “many Christians” who watch Fox & Friends. “They’re wondering what the right thing to do is,” he noted. “Yes, Jesus loved children, but he also respected law. He said, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars.” Now this might frost my ass as much as the disregard for compassion he has shown these children. Here, when convenient for him, he demands compliance with the laws, but he has often asserted that Christian should seek exemptions to, or ignore laws they don’t like…I’m sure you can guess which laws those might be.
So, we welcome Mr. Jeffress (he doesn’t deserve to be called a Pastor) to our hall of shame as today’s Douche of the Day.