President Donald Trump had a Hanukkah reception at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. That would've been weird enough, given that the president told an Israeli American organization Saturday that they had "no choice" to vote for him because Elizabeth Warren would "take 100% of (their) wealth away," but Trump decided to take things up a notch.
As Trump addressed the crowd before signing an executive order intended to push back against the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, he called a special guest speaker to the microphone: First Baptist Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress.
"I believe President Trump is the most pro-faith president in history," Jeffress said. "Jewish and Christian believers alike believe what God said to Abraham in Genesis 12, that God would bless those who bless Israel and he would curse those who curse Israel. I want to thank you, Mr. President, for being the kind of president who has the courage to stand up and be, when it comes to Israel, on the right side of history, but most importantly, on the right side of God."
Jeffress has not been so conciliatory toward members of the Jewish faith in the past.
"God sends good people to hell. Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism — not only do they lead people away from God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell," Jeffress said during a 2008 sermon. “Hell is going to be filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.”
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Two years later, Jeffress — who was, again, called on by the president of the United States to give remarks celebrating a Jewish holiday five feet away from a Menorah — hammered home a similar point during an interview with the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
“Islam is wrong. It is a heresy from the pit of hell. Mormonism is wrong. It is a heresy from the pit of hell,” Jeffress said. “Judaism — you can’t be saved being a Jew. You know who said that, by the way? The three greatest Jews in the New Testament: Peter, Paul and Jesus Christ. They all said Judaism won’t do it. It’s faith in Jesus Christ.”
The pastor has also tied the plight of Christians in the United States to that faced by Jews in Germany during the 1930s.
“We’re not having our heads chopped off like Christians in the Middle East by ISIS, but you’ve heard me say before, I think when you look at what happened in Germany, look, the Nazis didn’t take the Jews to the crematorium immediately," Jeffress said. "They wouldn’t have been allowed to do that by the German citizens. What the Nazis did was a program of making the Jews the object of ridicule and contempt in the eyes of the German people, and only once they had marginalized them, were they able to take away their rights."