Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, a fellow at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, asserted in two recent podcast interviews that civil government must be grounded in the “objective” truth of the Bible and Christian definitions of justice, morality, and family, and claimed that “the progressive left” is a “domestically grown enemy” that is trying to destroy “ordered society” and “create chaos.”
In an interview with CBN’s David Brody last Friday, Ellis charged that progressives “are trying fundamentally to transform America into a post-modern culture that denies objective truth, that denies that there’s any morality, and certainly that denies God.”
She made similar comments on a Falkirk podcast released June 3, decrying “what we’re seeing in this postmodern society that has given up the accurate, objective definitions of truth, of justice, of morality.” She said that anarchists are out to destroy “these three institutions that God has ordained: the church government, the civil government, the family government.”
When Brody asked Ellis what kind of “utopia” that “antifa and the folks behind it want,” she began talking about “The Communist Manifesto” and went on to charge that “their ultimate utopia and goal is the fundamental transformation of society to end up in a totalitarian and communist socialist regime.” Remarkably, she portrayed Democratic governors’ COVID-19-related public health restrictions as evidence of that totalitarian worldview:
And so they want to break down all of the institutions and the pillars of a morally upright law and order civil society to have absolute chaos. And so this is the ultimate goal of reality for them, is the complete reliance on a communist government that is absolutely not founded on any sort of moral virtue. And so when you look at these riots and when you look at even the Democrat-led cities and governors who have imposed these tyrannical orders, it’s remarkable to me that we’re seeing in these cities, examples of tyranny and anarchy simultaneously. And this is leading to the ultimate end that they want to perpetuate, which is the complete breakdown of a legitimate society.
Brody asked Ellis about the persistence of racism and policy brutality, which he said God views as evil. Ellis began her answer by questioning the premise that there is systemic racism in America:
Absolutely. And, you know, the question really is, you know, as Joe Biden articulated, you know, ‘We have to combat a systematic racism in America.’ Well, that presumes that we have systematic racism.
Ellis said that she shares protesters’ outrage about what happened to George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, and compared his murder to the availability of abortion:
I share their outrage at what happened to George Floyd, what happens when there are instances of brutality based on race. That’s the same thing as sexism. It’s the same thing as ageism—you know, as treating the unborn child as not as valuable in dignity and worth as a human being.
And she insisted Christianity is the only way to ensure equality:
The truth of all of this is that the Christian worldview is the only explanation that gets us to genuine equality, which is the fact that all humans, regardless of race, gender, age, any of our immutable characteristics, all of us are human beings made in the image of God and as such, have inherent dignity, value, and worth.
We will never genuinely combat racism or any of these constructs in society unless we get to the root of the worldview, which is to make sure that we are approaching this with truth, with biblical truth, and not with all of these false ideologies.
On the Falkirk podcast, Ellis charged that the “progressive left” is a “domestically grown enemy” that wants to “create chaos”:
And for the progressive left, their entire goal for America is transformation. They don’t want a constitutional republic that maintains that ordered liberty, that maintains the freedom and the presumption that our rights are our own. They want to say, ‘We will give you privilege, how we define it,’ and how they define privilege is to say, ‘We will allow you to exercise certain freedoms when, where, and how we deem acceptable and permissible.’
And so, then they will charge all of these loaded terms to divide us, like racism, like identity politics, like all of these different politically charged ideas. And again, this is why it’s so important to see all of this as the whole and understand that they are doing this purposefully to create chaos and to have the breakdown of all of the institutions that are paramount to an ordered society, which includes the church, the civil government, and the family.
And so, when they are purposefully taking these terms, and they’re redefining them, and they’re defining them in a way that ultimately is meaningless, that leads to the breakdown of a moral society, and that’s their intent, is the true transformation. And so, this is what our Founding Fathers talked about when they talked about enemies, both foreign and domestic. This is a domestically grown enemy, and it’s the enemy of self-government and liberty and ordered society.
On Brody’s podcast, Ellis claimed that what Thomas Jefferson “actually meant by separation of church and state” was that “civil government doesn’t compel you to believe in God, doesn’t compel you to attend church—that’s part of our liberty and freedom.” But she said that “the civil government and the church government are both founded on this understanding that moral truth is objective, and it’s part of the universality of the existence of humans as we share our common experience that is ordained by God, and for his own sovereign purposes he has created the reality that we are privileged to live in.”
Later in the podcast, she declared, “And so we have to make sure, David, that we aren’t participating in this idea of separation of church and state,” insisting that “the truth, the fundamental truth and the definition coming from God, our Creator of our rights, of our civil liberties, and of moral truth, and virtue and compassion and society begins and ends with the Gospel message.”
Brody responded by criticizing what he called “the social justice folks out there, the left-wing Christians is what they’re also called,” complaining that “folks on the left” have turned social justice into the Gospel. “They’re going to talk about social justice all day, they’re going to talk about Jesus and compassion and guess what? Great, Jesus was all about compassion. However, it was not the Gospel. The Gospel was all about Jesus dying for our sins and giving us a path to Heaven and salvation and to believe in him. That’s the Gospel. Compassion, social justice, is not the Gospel.”
Brody’s rhetoric was reminiscent of that used by Christian fundamentalists who reject and denounce efforts by some church leaders to focus congregational or denominational efforts on social justice, racial injustice, and racial reconciliation. Some have even called social justice activism “evil.”
On the Falkirk podcast, Ellis similarly warned against the church “borrowing” ideas from secular society:
So, we have to, as the church and as Christians, we have to make sure that we aren’t borrowing from the secular society. And we’re not allowing those ideas to infiltrate our lives and our church, but rather it needs to be the opposite. The church is the one that is supposed to go into the world and teach the Gospel. We are the ones that should be defining the narrative, we should be defining the terms we should be saying, we have the only true definition of justice, because God himself is the divine lawgiver, and he himself has defined justice. It’s not open for redefinition. You know what else isn’t open for redefinition? Basically, everything else—the church, marriage, family, all of this has been defined already by God. It is not open for redefinition.