Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress, of First Baptist Dallas in Texas, gave a speech at the Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference in which he claimed, “When they [Democrats] 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, These liberal Democrats are talking about an imaginary god they have created in their own minds: a god who loves abortion and hates Israel.”
Jeffress, in speaking at the Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference is preaching to the choir. He is preaching to a group that already believes what he has to say and wants to hear how bad Democrats and liberals are. Jeffress spews forth propaganda that is black and white. Jeffress gives a caricature of what liberal Democrats are like.
Propaganda and caricatures are used in wartime to dehumanize fellow human beings and make it acceptable to kill them. During World War II, our American government created propaganda against the Germans and Japanese. The pictures below will give you some idea of how they were portrayed.
The Germans also had their propaganda. The picture below shows a “Jewish” puppeteer controlling the allied force leaders.
When it comes to human beings, there is no black and white. There is only nuance. Not every German supported the Nazis. Not all Japanese supported the war. Here in the United States, a country of immigrants, German-Americans and Japanese-Americans had their loyalties questioned. The reality is that some supported the Axis and some supported the Allies.
The same goes for Conservatives and Liberals. In their ongoing battle for political dominance, they paint each other as mere caricatures. Fundamentalist and Evangelicals have declared themselves in a “Cultural War” and have created their own propaganda.
Their enemies against God and Christianity are Liberals and Democrats. They create cartoons of Liberals who love abortion. Democrats that hate God and want him kicked out of the country. The reality is more nuanced. Not every Liberal supports abortion. Not every Democrat is an activist atheist. Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, Republican, are all broad caricatures. We are not sharply divided into Red and Blue; we are purple.
That is why the Fundagelical declaration of a “Cultural War” is so disturbing. War gives permission to dehumanize your opponents. In war, the end justifies the means. Even though Fundagelicals demand strict adherence to Biblical standards, they bear false witness against their neighbor. Jeffress knows that not all Democrats or Liberals support abortion. In the past, Democrats kept their faith out of politics. In this current election, Democrats are talking about their faith. Jeffress can’t dismiss Democrats as an atheist; now he has to dismiss them as worshiping a false god.
In truth, we all worship a false god. A.W. Tozer, in his book The Knowledge of the Holy, says that “The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” As imperfect and fallible human beings, we need to humbly admit that we don’t have a full and complete understanding of God. If indeed God is infinite, then we as finite creatures cannot fully comprehend Him. Jeffress, if he wished to be honest, would have to say that Democrats worship a false god, and so does he. Jeffress puts forward an equally false god. Jeffress worships a god of the cultural war. Jeffress worships a god that allows us to dehumanize our neighbors to score political points. Jeffress worships a god who wants to destroy his enemies by any means possible to win the victory. Jeffress worships a god who didn’t write, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect; therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48 NIV)
So, at best, Jeffress is just dog whistling an audience, feeding them with propaganda to feed their need to hate an enemy in a cultural war. At worst, Jeffress believes what he is saying.
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