Not everyone is particularly worried about nuclear war.
In fact, after one of President Donald Trump’s more recent outbursts about North Korea and “fire and fury,” at least one evangelical responded with open glee.
For Robert Jeffress—the pastor of 13,000 member megachurch First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, the host of the daily radio program Pathway to Victory, and a member of President Trump’s evangelical advisory board—nuclear war can’t come soon enough.
“God has given Trump authority to take Kim Jong-un,” Jeffress’ statement read in part, as he went on to say he is “heartened to see that our president…will not tolerate any threat against the American people.”
“When President Trump draws a red line, he will not erase it, move it, or back away from it,” Jeffress added. “Thank God for a president who is serious about protecting our country.”
The Washington Post notes Jeffress has long been a Trump supporter, first becoming convinced Trump would win the president election after the two shared cheeseburgers from Wendy’s in Iowa. Jeffress has repeatedly vocalized his belief God chose Trump, and has invoked that belief as a justification for a wide range of policies that could be at best described as human rights violations waiting to happen, including the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Fortunately, not all Christians are quite as war-happy as Jeffress. In fact, there was quite an outcry on Twitter.
As Elizabeth Bruenig put it,
“Not that any pastor in the country withholding their assent would do anything, but to lend God’s name to it is to put your soul at hazard“. Or as Thack Dyson tweeted, “The good pastor must be referring to Ares, the god of war in Greek mythology, certainly not the God of the Trinity.”
As activist Art Laffin said,
“Nuclear weapons are immoral, illegal, anti-God, anti-life, anti-creation, and have no right to exist.”
He went on to say that spending on nuclear weapons is “direct theft from the poor,” and added “If the U.S. is to ever truly lead the way to real disarmament, it must first repent for the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then and only then can the U.S. legitimately ask other nuclear nations to disarm.”
Since then, Trump hasn’t provoked North Korea quite as regularly, but it still seems rather more likely that he’d risk nuclear war than not.