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Cleric of the Week: Pastor Clay Smith of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church Apparently among Clerics Indifferent to Trumpists Blasphemy of Christian Ethos

By Thomas
July 6, 2024

Here is IndieDems’ understanding of how the brand of Christianity practiced by Senior Pastor Clay Smith of the Johnson Ferry Baptist Church views the words and deeds of Donald Trump:

Pastor Smith sees no threat to Christian principles posed by Trump’s calling his political opponents “vermin”—a term frequently used by Adolf Hitler.

Pastor Smith sees no threat to Christian principles posed by Trump’s saying that migrants are “animals” who are “poisoning” the country.

Pastor Smith sees no undermining of Chrisian principles when an adult human being stands up in public and mocks a handicapped person.

Pastor Smith sees no threat to Christian principles when Trump calls the persons who served time for their criminal acts during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol “hostages” and “unbelievable patriots” and says he would consider blanket pardons for some of those charged.

Pastor Smith apparently sees no connection between Jesus’ teachings and the rule of law, a basic American value that upholds the values that Jesus espoused.

Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump’s extensive track record that establish his racism. Specifically:

 Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump’s leadership of the racist birther movement against former President Barack Obama

  • Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump’s calling African countries s—tholes
  • Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump’s calling for the death penalty for five Black boys accused of raping a white woman, even after their innocence had been proven
  • Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump told minority Congresswomen to “go back where they came from.”
  • Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump, at 2024’s Conservative Political Action Conference, unleashed a torrent of his noxious bigotry toward immigrants.
  • Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump’s labeling as racists the three Black prosecutors who are trying him in separate cases
  • Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump’s saying that Black voters liked him more because he had been indicted, an unveiled appeal to the stereotype of Blacks being criminals
  • Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in the fact that Trump headed a real estate company with a history of discrimination

Pastor Smith does not believe that these words and deeds establish Trump as a racist who lives a life contrary to the teachings of Jesus, and who is unfit to hold public office in the United States.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Jesus’ teachings, or of the Commandment against bearing false witness, when Trump, in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, made up a Big Lie that two Black election workers in Georgia had attempted to illegally manipulate the counting of ballots in the 2020 election.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump and his lawyer, Rudolf Giuliani, gave media interviews to publicize the lie about the election workers.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump—in a telephone conversation with the GA Secretary of State, trying to get him to prevent Georgia's electoral vote going to Biden—made the totally false allegation that one of the women was a “professional vote-scammer and hustler.”

Pastor Smith’s Christian empathy was not aroused when Trump’s false accusations subjected the poll workers to vicious threats and harassment, including people banging on their doors, forcing them to flee their homes, and turning their lives into a living hell. Pastor Smith slept soundly every night.

Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in the fact that Trump kept the vile lie about Ruby Freeman and Wandrea Shaye Moss going for three years, until a trial exonerated the two, and the jury ordered Giuliani to pay almost $150 million in damages.

Pastor Smith unreservedly rejects any idea that Trump’s gross mistreatment and flagrant character assassination of two innocent Christians are so alien to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and to the Ten Commandments, that Trump showed himself not only unfit to be president, he showed he is unfit to be called a Christian.

 Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in the fact that in the mid-1990s, Trump sexually assaulted a woman named E. Jean Carroll, a crime two separate juries of ordinary Americans subsequently decided had happened.

(IndieDems note: For the details about the Carroll case see the original letter. Summary: Carroll at one point filed a lawsuit seeking damages for the alleged assault itself and for acts of defamation by Trump.  On May 9, 2023, a federal jury in New York found Trump liable for defamation and sexual abuse and awarded Carroll a total of $5 million in damages. Trump immediately proceeded to show what a warped, twisted, and depraved soul he really is by resuming his public insults and defamation. Carroll launched a new lawsuit. On Jan. 262024, the second jury ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million to Carroll).

Pastor Smith saw no violations of the teachings of Jesus Christ in any of Trump’s serial acts of assault, libel and slander of an innocent human being.

Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump over and over again expressing his fulsome praise for democracy-hating, murderous thugs Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, Chinese President Xi, and Hungarian strongman Orban, all of whom who have repudiated America’s basic moral and democratic values.

Pastor Smith remained silent when Trump called the Iranian proxy Hezbollah, one of the world’s worst terrorist organizations, "very smart."

Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principle in Trump’s suggestion that General Mark Milley, the highly respected former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, deserved execution.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles, or of the Commandment against lying, when Trump in 2022 took to social media to call for the termination of the Constitution in order to overturn the 2020 election and “reinstate” him to power. He based his deranged demands on his own false allegations that the 2020 election had been stolen from him.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles, or the Commandment against lying, when Trump, in an interview published on March 18, 2024, said “Jews who support Democrats hate Israel and their religion.” Pastor Smith maintained his silence after Trump’s campaign repeated his incendiary charge, declaring that “Trump is right,” and that the Democratic Party “has turned into a full-blown anti-Israel, antisemitic, pro-terrorist cabal.”

(IndieDems comment: Remarkably, very few people who call themselves Christians have criticized these beyond-outrageous remarks by the man they want to make President of the United States. Their tolerance for warped, twisted, and depraved filth from Trump is bottomless. We ask again: where is there one iota of the teachings of Jesus Christ in these words?)

Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump’s repeated remarks about U.S. service members and veterans, including calling soldiers “losers” and “suckers,” and refusing to visit their graves on a visit to Europe. (For details, see IndieDems’ original letter).

Pastor Smith sees no violation of Christian principles in Trump’s demeaning of the military service of John McCain, delivered in force during his 2016 presidential campaign. Pastor Smith remained silent about Trump’s actions following McCain’s death: after the U.S. flag flying over the White House was lowered, Trump ordered it to be restored to full height even while McCain’s memorial services were still underway.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump publicly called a woman fat.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump publicly called a woman ugly.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump publicly called a woman Miss Piggy.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump publicly called a woman bimbo.

Pastor Smith saw no violation of Christian principles when Trump publicly labeled a woman a dog.

IndieDems: Final Words

Polls show an astonishing number of Americans who call themselves Christians who believe Donald Trump is God’s chosen man to save America. A prominent political observer has, in our view, summed it up concisely and eloquently:

“The result is a religious movement steeped in fanaticism but stripped of virtue. The Christian virtues touted in the New Testament — ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control’ — have been replaced in MAGA Christianity by the very vileness the same passage warned against, including ‘hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions’ and ‘factions.’ ”

 My question to you, Pastor Smith: Based on your Christian principles, do you agree or disagree with that conclusion?

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