US Embassy Opens In Jerusalem; Early Voting Begins For Runoff Elections

15 May, 2018, 03:35 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • President Trump with Pastor Robert Jeffress during the Celebrate Freedom Rally in Washington DC

Mitt Romney decried the pastor that President Trump chose for the dedication of the USA embassy in Jerusalem, calling him a "bigot" because of his comments against Mormonism and other faiths.

Jeffress, a Christian fundamentalist and one of Trump's first and most loyal religious supporters, has previously been denounced by the ADL and civil rights groups for making inflammatory statements such as, "You can't be saved by being a Jew" and "Islam is a false religious system" led by "Satan himself". "On this historic day of celebration, we need prayers of peace, hope, openness and respect".

"Most of all Israel has blessed this world by pointing us to you, the one true God, through the message of her prophets, the scriptures and the Messiah", the pastor said. Jeffress delivered a sermon at a private church service just prior to Trump's inauguration in January 2017. Critics, however, say the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital could make a region already struggling with four ongoing conflicts all the more combustible.

The move - which comes months after President Donald Trump promised to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital - has been welcomed by Israel and U.S. evangelicals, but Palestinians have condemned it. "Islam in general, those who live by the Quran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews", he told NPR, adding that about 200 million Muslims wanted to "come to America or invade Israel to crush it".

A 2008 recording from Hagee caught him proclaiming that Adolf Hitler was fulfilling God's plan to encourage Jews to return to Israel.

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Late Sunday evening, Romney tweeted that Jeffress is "a bigot" and shouldn't "be giving the prayer that opens up" the embassy. "All I'll says is those specific views that you outlined -if they're accurate reflections of what was said - wouldn't be embraced by this White House".

As Romney points out, Jeffress has been overtly anti-Muslim for years, and his anti-Semitic statements are low-key enough to give him room to deny it. "Although they may have embraced different lies, they have rejected the same truth". He called Jeffress a "religious bigot".

Jeffress responded to Romney's criticisms. I'm going to be thanking God for the strong leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, who is absolutely determined to protect Israel.

Appearing on the "Fox and Friends" television program on Monday morning, Jeffress said remarks he has made in the past about Jews and others not going to heaven merely reflect Christian doctrine. "This is another example of a promise made, promise kept".

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