The shooting at a GOP baseball practice in Alexandria has some right-wing bomb throwers suddenly calling for a softening of the rhetoric. Of course it’s a welcome response, but notable because it’s coming from people like Ted Nugent, who once challenged Hillary Clinton to “suck” on his machine gun.
The message of Texas mega-church pastor Robert Jeffress doesn’t use the violent imagery that Nugent prefers, it’s just more apocalyptic. In the wake of the shooting, Jeffress tweeted that it’s “time to stop [the] demonization of public officials. Now is the time to stop provoking our nation to conflict.” Jeffress, along with other right-wing figures, was flying high on the fact that the shooter was a confirmed “liberal.”
In the tweet, he included a link to his blog post lamenting the shooting carried out by self-avowed Bernie Sanders supporter and Trump-hater James Hodgkinson, who wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and three other victims. Hodgkinson was later killed by police.
Jeffress laid the blame squarely on “mainstream media, our universities,” and “Hollywood” — all common code words in right-wing circles for the left. “Now is the time to tone it all down, embrace real tolerance, report objectively, and stop provoking our nation to conflict,” Jeffress wrote.
But as The Huffington Post alluded to earlier this month, a guy who attacks modern day politicians as being harbingers of the End Times should probably check himself. HuffPo’s David Moye pointed to a passage in Jeffress’ 2104 book, where he said former President Obama, although not the Antichrist, was a sign of things to come.
From Jeffress’ book, Perfect Ending:
For the first time in history a president of our country has openly proposed altering one of society’s (not to mention God’s) most fundamental laws: that marriage should be between a man and a woman. While I am not suggesting that President Obama is the Antichrist, the fact that he was able to propose such a sweeping change in God’s law and still win reelection by a comfortable margin illustrates how a future world leader will be able to oppose God’s laws without any repercussions.
Michael Stone of the Progressive Secular Humanist points out that in 2012, Jeffress was a little more specific and said Obama was “paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.” He also once told former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that Obama was “hastening the end of days.”
Since Jeffress is an avowed Trump supporter, I asked him how his assessment of Obama’s passing-of-the-torch to the Antichrist holds up now that Trump is president. I’ll update this article if he replies.
Featured image via screen grab