Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Dallas megachurch recently defended his church choir for singing a song called "Make America Great Again" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on July 1 (video below).
Jeffress, who is on President Donald Trump's evangelical advisory board, compared the song to "The Star-Spangled Banner" during an interview with The Christian Post:
There is no difference in singing "Make America Great Again" than there is in singing any other patriotic song, like the "Star Spangled Banner." This song was sung at a patriotic rally at a concert hall on Saturday night, not sung in a church as a worship song on Sunday morning.
The song, which borrows Trump's campaign slogan, was written by First Baptist Dallas' former music minister Gary Moore.
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According to The Hill, the song's lyrics include: "Lift the torch of freedom all across the land / Step into the future joining hand in hand."
Trump praised the choir: "Your music honors our heroes more than words will ever do."
However, the song was criticized by religious blogger Jonathan Aigner:
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The problem is that the sentiment behind it has been adopted by a significant portion of the evangelical church. It’s not only their candidate’s campaign slogan, it’s now a part of their gospel. It’s their mantra, their creed, their prayer, and they shout it out with nationalistic fervor.
Pledging allegiance to God and to America in the same breath, melding together the kingdom of God and self, they pray a blasphemous prayer to a red, white, and blue Jesus.
Jeffress dismissed fellow believers who oppose the song in his interview with The Christian Post:
They are absolutely nothing but evangelical gnats who are looking for any excuse to nibble at the president. What we do have in President Trump is the president who has done the most to protect religious liberty of any president in America.
If you take these critics' argument to their logical end, then Christians need to quit saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
Unlike "Make America Great Again," the Pledge of Allegiance is not a campaign slogan.
Jeffress insisted: "No one is worshiping Donald Trump. What we are doing is showing respect for our president and praying God's blessings on him as he leads our nation. That is biblical and Christian to do."
Jeffress never created a song for former President Barack Obama or showed much respect. HuffPost noted in June the many times that Jeffress tried to link Obama to the anti-Christ.
Jeffress praised Trump for being "politically incorrect" to The Christian Post:
People have to understand what the president said is politically incorrect and the liberals have blasted him for suggesting that there is one God that we worship and not paying homage to Islam.
We as evangelical Christians ought to be celebrating what the president said. Again, these evangelical gnats cannot get over the fact that they called it wrong in the election and that their opinions were irrelevant to the evangelical body of believers as a whole.