Pastor Robert Jeffress serves as an official evangelical adviser to Donald Trump. He delivered a sermon to Trump on the morning of his inauguration. But even he knows that if really wants the president to receive his message, he has to deliver it not in a church, but on Fox & Friends.
That’s what made Jeffress’ appearance on Trump’s favorite “news” show all the more terrifying this morning. On Wednesday, after Trump made his “fire and fury” comments, Jeffress released a statement that read, “In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”
Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy had a good laugh with Jeffress about his statement, saying, “You certainly gave the internet something to talk about and melt down over yesterday,” before giving the pastor a chance to make his case to the show’s most powerful viewer.
“There is a great deal of confusion among Christians when it comes to this idea of using force to topple evil,” Jeffress said, excitedly. “And I wanted to clarify that I believe the Bible, especially Romans 13, does give President Trump moral authority to use whatever force necessary, including assassination or even war to topple an evil dictator like Kim Jong Un.”
“One thing I know about President Trump, after being around him for the last two years, is this: Unlike his predecessor, when President Donald Trump draws a red line, he is not going to erase it, move away from it, or back down from it,” Jeffress added, referring to the “red line” President Obama drew in Syria and ultimately used to his diplomatic benefit. “And we ought to thank God every day we have a courageous leader like President Trump in the White House.”
Doocy made a decent attempt at pushing back against Jeffress, citing another Bible passage that reads “do not repay evil for evil,” and arguing that “some would say that flies in the face of the argument you just made.”
Unsurprisingly, Jeffress only doubled down, declaring that the Bible “never commands government to turn the other cheek or to forgive.”
On the other side of the argument, Fox & Friends religion contributor Father Jonathan Morris, speaking from a Catholic perspective, said, “As soon as you take one particular Biblical passage and use that as a justification for a very particular and complex political policy, and especially a military policy, I think you are making a big mistake.”
“It's very, very dangerous in my opinion to tell him or to tell any religious, any political leader, because you have the authority doesn't somehow mean that you don't have the obligation to be very wise and to be very prudent in your decisions,” Morris continued. “War is always a total failure of the human family. It doesn't mean that sometimes violence is not necessary to stop evil, but as soon as you say you’re justified in doing whatever you want, I think we’ve made a big mistake.”
With that, Jeffress proceeded to essentially call his debate partner a Nazi appeaser.
“I’m glad that Americans did not listen to Christian pacifists during the Second World War when Adolf Hitler was marching toward world domination or they would all be speaking German and saying ‘Heil Hitler,’” he said. “The fact is, war is never preferable, it’s never the first preference but sometimes you have to stand up and confront evil to defeat evil.”
“Well, there certainly is a lot of soul searching going on,” a smiling Doocy said in an attempt to end the segment. He then reminded viewers that President George W. Bush frequently said he “looked to God for guidance” when he was sending American troops into harm’s way.
And we all know how that turned out.