Pastor Robert Jeffress: Jesus Would Be Incensed That Obama Dare Link Christianity to ISIS
Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas megachurch in Texas, says Jesus Christ would be outraged by President Obama's audacity when he compared the Crusades and Inquisition to the mass slaughter being committed by the Islamic State terror group.
Jeffress joins a multitude of conservative Christian voices — the Revs. Franklin Graham, Samuel Rodriguez, The Catholic League's Bill Donohue and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins — in condemning Obama for comparing Christianity to the atrocities being committed by ISIS.
" … [L]est we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. … So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith," Obama said during his speech at the 63rd annual National Prayer Breakfast, just one day after he met with Muslim leaders whose names White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday wouldn't be release to the press at this time.
During a Friday segment on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," Jeffress was asked by host Bill O'Reilly what he thinks Jesus would say about Obama's comparison of acts committed in the name of Christianity thousands of years ago to ISIS' mass slaughter of innocents in Iraq and Syria today.
"I would imagine that Jesus would be outraged that the president would willfully mischaracterize a movement like Christianity that bears Christ's name," Jeffress asserted. "I believe that Jesus, who said that it would be better to be cast into the sea than to harm a child, would be incensed that Obama would dare link Christianity to ISIS, an organization that tortures children, buries them alive and crucifies them. I think he'd be outraged by it."
O'Reilly noted, however, that Obama wasn't necessarily making a moral equivalence comparing Christianity to Islam. But rather, was citing historical facts that happened a long time ago, which were carried out in the name of Christ when people were tortured if they refused to renounce what their captors believed was heresy.
"Let's put that in perspective," Jeffress continued. "The president mentioned the Inquisition, the Inquisition lasted for 450 years. There were 2,200 people who died — that's about five people a year. More people died on 9/11, in one day, at the hand of Muslim terrorists than during the Inquisition.
He continued: "You know, I hear people talk about Christians who commit these abortion clinic bombings, do you know how many people have died in abortion clinic bombings? A total of eight; why that's not even a good day's work for a Muslim terrorist. There've been millions of people slaughtered by Muslim extremists. What I'm saying is there's no moral equivalency."
When asked if he believes Obama knew he was slighting Christianity, Jeffress exclaimed: Absolutely!
"And let me tell you what his real goal is: his real goal was to deny the relationship between terrorism and Islam, and the way he was going to do it would be by demeaning and degrading the Christian faith. It's kind of like a verbal sleight of hand trick.
"Instead of focusing on ISIS burning people alive and burying kids, let's focus instead on these Christians and the terrible things that they've done. He knew exactly what he was doing and he should be ashamed of himself," he added.
Subsequently, the Fox News host asked Jeffress if he believes Obama knew he was going to be rebuked by those who take issue with his comments, which are perceived as attacks against Christianity at a time when his administration refuses to call ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other groups "radical Islamic terrorists;" unlike his British counterpart, Prime Minister David Cameron, who has on many occasions spoken out against the global "Islamist extremist terrorist threat."
"He (Obama) knew that and he doesn't care. People have asked me if I'm offended by what the president said. Yes, I am offended as a Christian. But as an American, I'm alarmed that we have a president who will not acknowledge the root cause of the threat that we are facing," added Jeffress, whose latest book, Countdown to the Apocalypse: Why ISIS and Ebola Are Only the Beginning, will be released on Tuesday.