Willful ignorance: Robert Jeffress, Texas megachurch pastor and one of Trump’s closest spiritual advisors, claims “there is no such thing as a separation of church and state in the Constitution.”
Appearing in front of the National Quartet Convention, a gospel music gathering in Tennessee held earlier this week, Pastor Jeffress responded to a question concerning the separation of church and state. Jeffress said in part:
There is no such thing as a separation of church and state in the Constitution…
We have allowed the secularists, the atheists, the humanists to hijack our Constitution and pervert it into something our forefathers never intended.
Jeffress continued his ignorant rant by defending President Trump, and declaring “Thank God we have a president like Donald J. Trump who understands that (there is no such thing as a separation of church and state in the Constitution)”:
And I’m gonna say this. I’m gonna say this, and it may cost me some book sales, but I’m gonna say it anyway. Thank God we have a president like Donald J. Trump who understands that. I don’t like seeing my friend under attack like he is under right now, but I don’t like the prospect of what’s going to happen in America if we allow the left to seize control of this country again.
And I believe one of the great ironies of history is gonna be this: When the historians look back, they are gonna say with great surprise, that it was a secular, billionaire real estate tycoon from New York City who became the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty, and pro-Israel president in history.
In a superficial, and shallow sense, Jeffress is correct – the words “separation of church and state” are not found in the U.S. Constitution. However, Jeffress is being disingenuous and dishonest when he says “there is no such thing as a separation of church and state in the Constitution.”
In fact, there is no question that the sentiment and meaning behind the phrase “separation of church and state” is contained within the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
The actual phrase “separation of church and state” is derived from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter. The following is an excerpt from Jefferson’s famous Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association:
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
In the letter, Jefferson makes clear that the separation of church and state is contained within the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yet despite the irrefutable historical and constitutional evidence, Christian extremists like Jeffress continue to deny the separation of church and state.
Jeffress, an obviously ignorant and small-minded man, is no stranger to controversy. Last month this “good Christian” warned Jews that they and their children would be cursed by God if they voted for Democrats.
And earlier this month Jeffress made the ridiculous claim that climate change is an “imaginary crisis” because God’s rainbow means “that the polar ice caps aren’t going to melt and flood the world again.”
The stupid, it burns.
Bottom line: Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress claims “there is no such thing as a separation of church and state in the Constitution.”