Robert Jeffress, one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal evangelical Christian supporters, told a gospel music gathering in Tennessee this week, “There is no such thing as a separation of church and state in the Constitution.”
Jeffress was asked whether the Constitution mandates that public discourse be “totally secular.” Jeffress began his response by saying that the separation of church and state doesn’t exist in the Constitution and that the First Amendment was intended only to prevent the establishment of a state church that could coerce people to worship.
As he got rolling, Jeffress became more emphatic and agitated about 20th Century Supreme Court rulings on church-state separation.
“We have allowed the secularists, the atheists, the humanists to hijack our Constitution and pervert it into something our forefathers never intended,” he said.
As the audience stood and cheered, Jeffress added, “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,” he shouted, “we have a president like Donald J. Trump who understands that.”
Jeffress went on to predict Trump’s place in history:
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.
Video of Jeffress’s remarks were distributed by a public relations firm promoting the National Quartet Convention, which describes itself as “Gospel music’s largest annual event.”