Friday, October 14, 2011

Jeffress’ bigotry hurt Perry, not Romney

Worth reading...Columnist contrasts
One of the people quoted here (not LDS) observed, "In comparing the hate-filled language of Jeffress with the words and good deeds of the Mormons we met, " Obeidallah [a comic visiting Utah] writes, "it is clear to me who is best following the teachings of Jesus Christ and truly deserves to be called a Christian."
Always nice to see some common sense out there.

Jeffress’ bigotry hurt Perry, not Romney | jeffress, perry, cult - Guest Column - Kinston Free Press
"It might shock Mr. Jeffress to learn his mega-church had its roots in a cult. Jesus and his followers were considered a cult by the Jewish community. By definition, every major religion today was — at one time or another — considered a cult.
A rogue church that hides under the guise of a traditional religion, like the Westboro Baptist Church or Jeremiah Wright’s church, could be considered a cult because they are so far outside mainstream belief. However, a religion that has 6 million members is not a cult."
And..."Texas Congressman and GOP candidate Ron Paul came to Romney’s defense over Jeffress’ comments about Mormonism. Speaking to Fox News, Paul argued that Jeffress’ remark was “unnecessary.” Paul went one step further and argued that negative campaigning shouldn’t be the focus of the GOP race. “This whole idea that the most important thing between two candidates right now is the definition of cult, trying to make it sound negative for one person to get the edge over the other – and they are encouraged by others to keep this thing going,” Paul professed.  Paul also suggested that whether Mormonism is a “cult” or not isn’t the issue that voters care about in the GOP race. “I think liberty is the issue of the day. Our Constitution is the issue of the day. And too much government – that is the issue of the day. It’s not the definition of a cult.”
Read more here:

And Jonah Goldberg - I liked this statement in the article, "
"He [Jeffress] also plays into the worst stereotypes about the Republicans as a bigoted and theocratic party for evangelical Christians alone. And that's ironic too. Because anti-Mormon prejudice is not a particularly acute problem on the right."
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that Jeffress' remarks were "very unwise and very inappropriate." "None of us should sit in judgment on someone else's religion." The Christian Post

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former Florida GOP congressman, responded strongly to Jeffress in a column for Politico.
“By assuming the Almighty’s role, Jeffress has embraced the proud tradition of Christian stalwarts like Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, and the PTL Club’s Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker,” writes Scarborough, the host of “Morning Joe.”

“Judge not that ye be not judged? Not on your life. Modern American politics as practiced by Jeffress and his ilk require that Jesus Christ be thrown under the bus with great regularity by the very same people who claim His name.”

Politics has no place in religion, Scarborough argues. “When disciples asked Jesus for the secret to eternal salvation, He didn’t mention Roman tax policy or trite temporal politics. Instead, St. Matthew tells us that Jesus declared that heaven would be filled by those believers who clothed the poor, fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty and brought hope to the hopeless.”

Republicans should disavow Jeffress, Scarborough insists. “I wonder how much longer candidates like Perry will allow modern-day Pharisees like Jeffress to do harm to the Republican Party,” he writes. “Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and Perry all exercised their right to remain silent in the face of Jeffress’ outrageous statement. What courage. But what’s new?” Newsmax
Oklahoma Daily says, "
"In fact, under the theological and scholarly definition, cults are merely offshoots of a major religion considered different enough to be in its own category. From some perspectives, evangelical Christianity could be viewed as this kind of cult. But Jeffress clearly meant the more popular definition of cult: that of a harmful, manipulative small group based around “crazy” religious beliefs that presents a real danger to its adherents. I certainly wouldn’t claim his beliefs fall under this category, but it's equally hard to see how Romney’s do.
I am not amused by the incorrect personal attack on Romney. As a person of faith, I find Jeffress’ remarks offensive. I grew up in an area with a large LDS population, and though I am not a member of the Mormon church, many of my close friends are.
I have a tough time connecting the large, diverse group of Mormons I know with Branch Davidians or Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid-drinking followers. No Mormon I know blindly follows his or her church — at least, no more than any evangelical I know. Just like most Protestant and Catholic churches, the Mormon church has many members who believe what they are told and just as many who decide their beliefs for themselves."
"Mitt Romney should send Texas pastor Robert Jeffress a gift. It could be a fruit basket, or an e-card, or a bottle of nonalcoholic scotch. Really, whatever Romney thinks is appropriate. If the Great Mormon Debate of 2011 had to happen—and it did—the candidate couldn’t ask for a better instigator..." (
The Washington Post (On Faith) Summary statement: "Does this add up to a man evangelicals can support? Absolutely - so long as they put aside Robert Jeffress’s bad theology and resist the urge towards religious tribalism. After all, where does such thinking lead? If religious tests dominate the evangelical world, candidates will have an incentive to wear the trappings of faith - even if their heart lies elsewhere.
Article 6 of the Constitution prohibits religious tests for public office. This Article may only bind the government, but it also establishes a worthy principle for its citizens. When deciding how to cast your vote, judge the man - not his church."

This post could go on and on like the song that never ends...

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