Despite the guest list and the hyper-partisan nature of the so-called "service" at his mega-church in Dallas, Fox's favorite wingnut Pastor Robert Jeffress insisted that the vice president's appearance this Sunday was "not political."
June 29, 2020

Despite the guest list and the hyper-partisan nature of the so-called "service" at his mega-church in Dallas, Fox's favorite wingnut Pastor Robert Jeffress insisted that the vice president's appearance this Sunday was "not political."

Pence's speech at the First Baptist Church of Dallas' Celebrate Freedom Rally was hardly free from politics, and full of praise for Dear Leader Trump, lots of flag waving and MAGA hats, and short on mentions of the pandemic or social distancing.

Jeffress joined the hosts of this Sunday's Fox & Friends prior to the start of the event, and was asked for a preview by Pete Hegseth.

HEGSETH: He will attend with pastor Robert Jeffress. Thanks for being on the show. We appreciate it. Give us a preview what you're anticipating today.

JEFFRESS: Well today, is our annual patriotic service we call Celebrate Freedom which we celebrate god's unique blessings on our country. We were honored a few years ago to have president Trump address our group when we hosted this in Washington, D.C. He did a bang-up job. And today we're looking forward to hearing from the vice president.

He'll be joined by secretary Ben Carson. Texas governor Greg Abbott will be there. Senator John Cornyn a host of other people. The only ones missing are you guys. We wish you were going to be here with us.

JENKINS: You're very kind, pastor. You're very kind. Let me ask you, when you look at the vice president's message today, there is a real sense of many Americans that the country is gone off the rails here. That there needs to be some reassuring of leadership, some hardening of our will, because of course we've been in a pandemic for as long, and now, of course, the unrest in the streets. What do you hope to that Pence says?

JEFFRESS: Well today is not a political rally. I want to make that very clear. The vice president is going to be talking about the importance of faith, personal faith. He'll be sharing about his own faith journey and he'll remind us of our Judaeo-Christian heritage as a nation.

And I really believe that the bottom line issue for all Americans, for people everywhere is our own relationship with god. And, you know, we can treat the symptoms of the problems of not having the right relationship with god, or we can talk about the new heart god promises everyone who turns to him.

And I think that's going to be the focus of the vice president today.

After assuring the Fox hosts that he and the members of his church are very concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, and that they were going to be taking precautions (even though a good deal of the congregation and the choir were not wearing masks at the event), Hegseth then opened the door for Jeffress to wrap things up by taking a shot at Joe Biden and his support among evangelicals.

HEGSETH: Pastor Jeffress, real quick, the Biden campaign, I know today's event is not political, but the Biden campaign is suggesting that maybe evangelical support, Christian support may be hedging in the former vice president's direction. What do you say about that vis-a-vis president Trump?

JEFFRESS: There is no way Joe Biden will ever attract any significant number of evangelical voters. He has been bought and paid for by Planned Parenthood, and when evangelicals begin concentrating on that after Labor Day, I told the president recently, I believe they will turn out in greater numbers to support him in 2020 even than they did in 2016.

That's not what Trump's supporters are telling Politico, who just wrote about Biden gaining support among white evangelicals in an article last week. If Pence and Trump thought they had the evangelical vote locked up, they might not be doing events like the one Pence did this Sunday in the middle of a pandemic in one of the worst states in the country for the number of rising cases of coronavirus.

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