Robert Jeffress (Fox News)

Fox News pastor: Churches that offer sanctuary worship a "wimpy little" Jesus "of their imagination"

"Jesus was not this wimpy little guy who walked around munching sunflower seeds and saying nice things to people"


Scott Eric Kaufman
July 13, 2015 5:14PM (UTC)

On "Fox & Friends" Sunday, Fox News religious correspondent Pastor Robert Jeffress unloaded on churches that continue to offer undocumented immigrants sanctuary in the wake of Kate Steinle's murder last week.

The Dallas pastor said that "a lot of these liberal churches that harbor illegal immigrants who are criminals say they are following the example of Jesus." The problem with that argument, Jeffress continued, is that "they are following the Jesus of their imagination rather than the Jesus of the bible."

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"Jesus was not this wimpy little guy who walked around munching sunflower seeds and saying nice things to people,” he said. “The real Jesus of the Bible said ‘render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.' That is: obey the government."

Putting aside the fact that a religious leader is calling someone else's conception of the Christian godhead "imaginary," what's significant about Jeffress' doctrinal statements is that he's demanding that Christians put aside their deeply held spiritual beliefs -- as Sean Hannity likes to call them, often in conversations with Jeffress -- and obey federal immigration law. To claim that churches have an obligation to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" in this instance, but to brazenly defy the federal government on the issue of same-sex marriage is, to put it bluntly, the very height of cherry-picking hypocrisy.

Not that he's even remotely aware of that, mind you. "Let's show compassion," Jeffress said, "but let's enforce the immigration laws and secure the borders," just like "the real Jesus" -- the one who is equally "concerned by the horrific death of Kate Steinle [and] the poverty and plight of immigrants" -- would want Americans to.

Watch the entire segment below via Fox News.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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