Former Congressman Jason Chaffetz appeared on Fox News to talk about the celebration of Billy Graham’s life and the historic ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda yesterday and his response has triggered a bizarre reaction from critics.
Some are taking issue with his comments about the Parkland students returning to school this week, in which he said “a belief in God, in Jesus Christ” would help. Here are his full comments:
“I’m proud of the speaker and the majority leader and everybody who supported this to make it happen. Rev Graham impacted millions of lives, we need more good news, more good message, more of the good word reaching out to America. I think of those kids who went back to school today after that horrific shooting, and they need something more. They need a belief in God, in Jesus Christ. I think that would help. And this is a historic moment.”
If not the most articulate expression of why people need God in trying circumstances, it would still seem a reasonable and appropriate direction to take the interview given the discussion was about Billy Graham.
But that didn’t stop people from launching into an odd frenzy.
Progressive religion writer Jack Jenkins felt the need to point out that some of the students who survived were Jewish:
Reminder: at least five of the Parkland shooting victims were Jewish. One was a teacher who saved students’ lives by closing a door as he was shot.
(Chaffetz, for the record, is Mormon, a group Billy Graham—who he praises here—listed as a “cult” on his website until 2012) https://t.co/uhyJJcnn75
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) March 1, 2018
It is rather obvious that not every student is a Christian, and this jab seems to miss the point of Chaffetz’ remarks completely. The former Congressman appeared to be simply encouraging people, as Billy Graham would, to seek and find Jesus. He was not being harsh or mean, simply stating what he believes to be true – that more Jesus is better for everyone.
This viewpoint should not be a shocking surprise from someone who professes to be a Christian. It would be more shocking if a Christian said that less Jesus was the answer. But that didn’t stop the faux outrage machine from marching on:
Isn’t it time for Chaffetz to shut up and color?
— Sharon Hunter (@SharonH39297113) March 1, 2018
Evil speak of GOD & Jesus Christ ; it’s surprising Chaffetz knew that there is 1 ; suggesting that the children adopt the belief in their lives after being part of a great tragedy as he stand on the sidelines explain just how stupid Jason is !?!
— Dwight Winthrop (@oricalenews) March 1, 2018
4 of the students and 1 teacher were Jewish. Implying that it was because they didn't believe in Jesus? That's sick. With all due respect Mr. Chaffetz, please go fuch yourself.
— Allen Eisenberg (@aeisennberg) March 1, 2018
Jesus about Jason Chaffetz☝️ pic.twitter.com/ywgtsxGbCj
— Danielle Hill❄??️ (@gatadelafuente) March 1, 2018
The incessant mockery of those who believe the God of the universe might just be the solution we’re looking for is growing tiresome. Chaffetz issued a perfectly logical response that should be appreciated rather than mocked. What is definitely not helpful is isolating a group for their beliefs and viewpoints and trying to shame them into silence.
You can listen to the Congressman’s full comments below:
(H/T The Hill)