Yesterday, speaking before a gathering of pastors in Tampa, First Baptist's Robert Jeffress stopped short of endorsing a particular candidate in the presidential race. Such overt political advocacy could risk his church's tax-exempt status -- not that he has let such concerns hinder him in the past.
That doesn't mean that the nation's clergy stay out of politics. On the contrary, Jeffress urged the pastors to use their pulpit as a weapon in the political arena.
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"This is no time for God's men to be passive. It's time to stand up and push back against all the evil in our country," Jeffress said, according to an account in The Tampa Tribune.
Jeffress repeated his oft-quoted assertion that Mormonism is a cult, but it's clear from the Tribune article, and the fact that he's Robert Jeffress, that he's more concerned about a certain non-Mormon candidate.
"Tell your people that they have a choice: to cast a vote for righteousness or vote for unrighteousness."
Jeffress urged the capacity crowd at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa to use their pulpit time Sunday to stress the importance of voting for the candidate who supports the "biblical values" of the sanctity of marriage, sanctity of life and religious freedom.
Stay silent, he warned them, and you're no different than German Lutheran pastors who didn't speak out against Hitler's growing influence in the late 1930s. That lack of action led to the Holocaust, he said.
Because pursuing a pragmatic, center-left agenda is roughly the same as slaughtering six million people. Roughly.