“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,” he opined. “How tragically this prayer cancels out the prayer of Jesus himself. The political church prays, ‘Make America great again!’ Jesus prayed, ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’”
DALLAS, Texas — A well-known megachurch leader and Trump supporter says that those who have been critical of last Saturday’s choir performance of a song based on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan are “evangelical gnats” who are just upset that Trump won the election.
“They are absolutely nothing but evangelical gnats who are looking for any excuse to nibble at the president,” Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas told the Christian Post this week. “If you take these critics’ argument to their logical end, then Christians need to quit saying the Pledge of Allegiance.”
As previously reported, the song, which had been written by the church’s former music minister, Gary Moore, was performed by the Southern Baptist choir during Saturday’s “Celebrate Freedom” rally in the nation’s capital. The event was co-sponsored by Jeffress’ congregation and featured a message from the president.
“Americans from ev’ry corner of this blessed land/Come together with one voice/Help us take a stand/Following the vision to make her proud and grand/And make America great again,” the choir sang out.
The brief tune followed a rendition of “Break Every Chain,” led by Leo Day, the dean of the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The song speaks of the power in the name of Jesus.
“Make America Great Again” is now licensed by the worship music resource group Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) for other churches and religious gatherings to sing.
While the song was received with applause and cheers from those present, some who viewed the video footage of the performance expressed concern.
“It seems innocent enough. Indeed, if it were just another little ditty to whistle on Independence Day, it would be fairly innocuous,” wrote Jonathan Aigner for Patheos. “The problem is that it has been adopted by a significant portion of the evangelical church. It’s their mantra, their creed, and their prayer, and they shout it out with nationalistic fervor.”