If you ever wondered what pro-Nazi pastors sounded like during WWII, this right-wing Dallas pastor does an excellent impersonation.
On Sunday, Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas called out “bogus ministers” who failed to preach to their congregation about having “respect for the police.”
During an interview on Fox & Friends, Jeffress said it was the church’s God-given duty “to instill in their members respect for the police.”
The New Testament says in Romans 13:4 that law enforcement officers are ministers of God sent by God to punish evil doers,” he opined. “When you think about it, police officers are just as called by God to do what they do as pastors and priests are called by God. And I think we need to remind our members of that.
While not referencing Black Lives Matter protests over police shootings by name, Jeffress whined that was “sick and tired of so-called ministers who do nothing but sow seeds of distrust and disrespect for the police.”
Those kinds of bogus ministers need to be exposed, and need to be called out for what they’re doing,” he insisted
Neo-Conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who ate up the pastor’s words like candy, agreed that BLM has gotten “a lot of support” from clergy.
Jeffress downplayed police brutality by equating it to over zealousness by God’s blue uniformed messengers.
There are some police officers that maybe engage in overreaction,” Jeffress said, adding that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump had “the leadership to stop the downward spiral of this nation.
The megachurch pastor accused President Obama of being a large part of the problem, claiming he had “exacerbated the racial divide instead of healing.”
I’m afraid the president, just like he did with conservative Christians after the beheading by ISIS of Christians, it seemed like he wanted to blame conservative Christians in the past,” he said, “instead of putting the blame when it belongs.
The pastor then spread the dangerous lie that no one ever has anything to fear from law enforcement as long as they are always doing the right thing, a point that Philando Castile would vigorously disagree with if he were alive today.
And you know, I have to say if we would teach our children to respect law enforcement officers, they wouldn’t have anything to worry about,” Jeffress concluded. “The Bible says law enforcement officers are nothing to be feared if you do what is right.
There’s so much crazy and wrong going in that video it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the notion that the police are “ministers of God.”
That’s dead ass wrong, and you can bet your bottom dollar that every one of the founding fathers would co-sign that assessment.
The police are members of the community sworn to protect and serve the general public while upholding the laws of the land. They are no holier than you or me. And let me be clear, our police officers are not Nazis, but they have have great power given to them by their role in society – and some abuse it. Any organization with the power and authority that they have can go down that road.
But that doesn’t detract from the fantastic job the vast majority of police officers have to perform day in and day out. They run towards danger, allowing us to run from it. They see the horrors of the world that most of us will never see. They are an important line between civilization and chaos.
However, they are not above the laws they are sworn to uphold nor are police officers above showing respect for the dignity of the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve. That includes criminals, yes they are citizens too with just as many rights as you or me, even while they are being arrested or detained.
It’s our constitutional duty to preserve everyone’s rights by holding those to whom we grant power to accountable.
Making sure that officers perform their duties in a respectful manner, requires lots of training that unfortunately too many seem to lack. There is no standardized training nationwide that might teach critical skills like problem-solving, de-escalation, and cultural sensitivity.
These things are imperative for officers to serve in minority neighborhoods, especially when they don’t live in those communities or share the same culture as the residents.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with showing appreciation for law enforcement. But we must balance our admiration with healthy and constructive critique when it is called for.
We need police to be champions within our communities, and that can not happen if we never point out what they could do better or when they are simply wrong.
We have to start demanding that police officers become a more active part of the communities they serve. We need to train our police officers to focus on helping people get their lives on track instead of viewing themselves as “ministers of God sent by God to punish evil-doers.”
This is possible because there are officers already doing it.
Featured image via YouTube