WASHINGTON — Dallas megachurch pastor and one of President Donald Trump’s spiritual advisors Robert Jeffress criticized the Democratic Party’s recent hiring of a faith outreach director, saying Saturday morning that it is a “godless party” looking to an “imaginary God.”
Jeffress, the 63-year-old pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Dallas, spoke before hundreds of social conservative activists gathered for the final day of the four-day summit hosted by the nation’s leading conservative evangelical grassroots organization at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Referencing news this week that the Democrat Party hired Union Seminary Vice President Derrick Harkins to lead the party’s 2020 faith outreach efforts, Jeffress didn’t mince words about what he thought about the Democrat's attempt to appeal to faith voters.
“I am not a Republican or a Democrat so I don’t say this from a partisan perspective,” the Fox News contributor said at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference. “But the truth is that when you talk about righteousness and unrighteousness. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the Democrat Party has truly become a godless party. It is a godless party.”
Jeffress, who has long been critical about the Democratic Party’s stances on abortion and LGBT issues, pointed out that some Democratic Party delegates tried to remove God from its own party platform in 2012.
“Today, they are actively working to remove ‘so help me God’ from their oaths of office,” he stressed. “The problem runs much deeper than that. They are promoting policies and values that are completely antithetical to the Christian faith.”
“You have seen lately, in fact even this week, that the Democrats are realizing that they have a God problem in connecting with voters,” he continued. “They don’t want to completely write-off faith voters, so they have hired this week a faith outreach director.”
Speaking about Harkins, Jeffress called him a “Trump-hating pastor” that comes from a “liberal seminary that is filled with liberal professors who couldn’t find God if their life depended on it.”
“That will be their faith outreach director in an effort to connect with faith voters,” he said.
Jeffress asked the crowd if they have noticed all the “God talk” coming from many of the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates.
“Suddenly, they are all talking about God and their personal faith in God,” Jeffress said.
“Don’t be fooled by that. When they talk about God, they are not talking about the real God — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who revealed Himself in the Bible. They are not talking about the real God. These liberal Democrats are talking about an imaginary God they have created in their own minds: a god who loves abortion and hates Israel. The true God of the Bible, the real God, is a God who hates abortion and loves Israel.”
Jeffress concluded his speech by encouraging Christian conservatives to be “intolerant” and let their faith guide them in speaking up in the public square.
“I close today with these words from William Watkins in his book The New Absolutes. He says it is time for Christians to reject the new tolerance and instead become a people marked by intolerance, not intolerance that unleashes hate upon people,” Jeffress stressed. “But an intolerance that refuses to allow error to masquerade as truth any longer. An intolerance that is willing to stand up and call good, good and evil, evil.”
During the Democratic primary debate on Thursday night, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a gay Christian, took aim at religious conservatives who support the Trump administration.
Buttigieg stated that the Democratic Party doesn’t talk about God much for a “very good reason,” which is the party’s commitment to “the separation of church and state.”
But stating that the “Republican Party likes to cloak itself in the language of religion,” Buttigieg argued that the Republicans lost its ability to use “religious language again."
He urged Democrats to “call out hypocrisy when we see it,” referring to the Trump administration’s strict enforcement of immigration laws and reports of terrifying conditions facing children detained at the border.
“[F]or a party that associates itself with Christianity, to say that it is okay to suggest that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages has lost all claim to ever use religious language again,” Buttigieg said.
In his speech, Jeffress pointed out the irony in the Democrat outreach to faith voters while supporting policies that promote and further abortion in America.
“Do you think God has any feeling about the 52 million children that have been butchered in the womb through abortion since 1973?” Jeffress asked. “Do you think He has any feeling today about the 1.1 million children being murdered in the womb every year? Do you think He has any feeling about that at all?”
On Twitter, conservative Princeton University law professor Robert P. George took to Twitter to argue that Buttigieg is himself being hypocritical.
"[F]or an ambitious politician who associates himself with Christianity to say it's OK to suggest that God smiles on the division of a child into a collection of severed body parts at the hands of an abortionist, has lost all claim to be other than a hypocrite," George wrote.