"Robert Jeffress" by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

Leaders of religious right balk at labeling Trump a racist

Aug 5, 2019

By David Crary

Many religious leaders have strongly condemned President Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks about minority members of Congress. Prominent figures on the religious right have not joined in, instead maintaining public silence or insisting that Trump’s tactics reflect hard-nosed politics rather than racism.

“He does not judge people by the color of their skin,” said the Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the Southern Baptist megachurch First Baptist Dallas and a frequent guest at the White House.

“He judges people on whether they support him,” Jeffress said. “If you embrace him, he’ll embrace you. If you attack him, he’ll attack you. That’s the definition of colorblind.”

Debate over Trump’s inflammatory tweets and comments has flared over the past few weeks. He told four outspoken congresswomen of color — three of them born in the U.S.–to “go back” where they came from. He also derided two black leaders — the Rev. Al Sharpton and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, of Maryland — and called the majority-black city of Baltimore a “rodent-infested mess.”

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