Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress Washington Post Op Ed and His True Motivations

Needless to say we have heard a lot about the good Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas the last week.

One might pause the ask the question why. A somewhat different viewpoint ( detractors might call it cynical) on the why is done by a mega Church watchdog blog . See this post Was the Perry Endorsement and Jeffress Media Blitz Part of the FBC Dallas "Media Campaign"? .

Well that might be it I suppose. The Church's building plan is quite ambitious as you can tell from their web site.

Not that I think an aggressive building plan is something bad. In fact I rather like the fact the First Baptist of Dallas is committed to downtown and putting it's money where it's mouth is. It might have been far easier just to move to another area. However even with that post , that raises some good points, intentions are often hard to gauge. Still it's sort of worth keeping in the back of your mind. The media is sometimes one trick ponies and how Dr. Jeffress now has become the Southern Baptist booming voice on this is interesting. So let's return to him and his piece that was in the Washington Post.

He had a interesting and well very good Op-ed defending his position at the Washington Post which also can be viewed here on the First Baptist of Dallas web site at "Why A Candidate's Faith Matters" - Washington Post Op-Ed by Our Pastor .

First right out of the bat I think he hits an important point that must be stressed. He says:

....First, discussion of a candidate’s faith is permissible. Over the past several days, talk show hosts have lectured me about Article VI of the Constitution, which prohibits religious tests for public office, as if considering a candidate’s faith is somehow unconstitutional, un-American or even illegal. How ludicrous. This is a not-so-subtle attempt to eliminate through intimidation religion as a suitable criterion by which to choose a candidate. The Constitution is referring to religious litmus tests imposed by government, not by individuals...

Well he is right. If it was truly "illegal" or unconstitutional to fro voters consider religion in voting choices we would have all sort of lawsuits wanting to overturn elections because the voters made unconstitutional considerations. One does not have to agree with the good pastor that we don't want to go down that road. Is it "un American" to consider faith of a person running for office is is up to debate.

He next does what I call pick a Founding Father tactic. Every side every imaginable faction of this debate does this. Of course the problem is everyone sort of cherry picks the Founding Father they wish to quote. Further we also have a problem who the Founding Fathers should include. However he does have a point that his viewpoint would not be viewed as extreme by some.

He then says:

..Second, discussion of a candidate’s faith is relevant. During a time of rising unemployment, falling home prices and massive deficits, it is easy to relegate religion as an irrelevant topic. Yet our religious beliefs define the very essence of who we are. Any candidate who claims his religion has no influence on his decisions is either a dishonest politician or a shallow follower of his faith...

Well I can't say I disagree with that. He then hits the double standard charge big time:

...Those on the left and right have been disingenuous in suddenly claiming a candidate’s faith is off limits. Just a few months ago, David Gregory of “Meet the Press” asked candidate Michele Bachmann how her religious belief about submission to her husband would affect her performance if she were president. That was a fair question: If she had to choose between obeying her husband or obeying the Constitution, what would she do?..

To me that is one of the strongest parts of his op ed. The pot calling the kettle black as it were and he is dead on. Many conservatives like myself are sort of shaking out head at some factions of the outraged based on experience just observing the media each week. I mean goodness look how Palin was treated.

He goes on and then clarifies his position on Romney. All in all he makes some good points.

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