I'm usually not one for prayer, but I have a special favor to ask.
Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas megachurch, released a statement today saying that President Trump has the moral authority to “take out” North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. I know you're very busy, so let me remind you what he said: “When it comes to how we should deal with evildoers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”
This comes the day after Trump threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea. This is clearly a provocation for starting a nuclear war, although Trump is so impulsive, erratic, and unstable that I doubt he even knows that he meant.
Even so, if Trump follows Jeffress' advice, North Korea will likely respond by launching nuclear weapons aimed at the U.S., and then the rest of the world may be engulfed in a nuclear holocaust. This will wipe out your kingdom on earth, which I assume you don't want to happen.
I don't disagree with Jeffress that Kim Jong Un is evil. On an evil scale of 1 to 10, Kim Jong Un is at least a 9.8. Trump is probably a 7.5. Jeffress doesn't have Trump's influence, so I'll give him a 7.3. (The Koch Brothers are somewhere between 7 and 8).
I don't really believe in that "eye for an eye" stuff, but I’m not a pacifist either. I wish the Allies had been able to murder Hitler before he started taking over other countries and sending Jews to concentration camps. I wouldn't even mind if someone "takes out" the North Korean dictator if I didn't think it would lead to a nuclear war. But I think it would, so I’m reluctant to ask you to help make that happen.
So here's my favor:
You're God, so I assume you know how to find out where Jeffress lives. I don't want North Korea aiming its first nuclear warhead at his church, where innocent people might be praying or meeting. But if you can't stop North Korea from launching a nuclear weapon, could you at least nudge it so it hits Pastor Jeffress' house, and then fizzles out so it doesn't explode and destroy the rest of Texas, or even the rest of Dallas? Or even Pastor Jeffress. But at least destroys his roof.
So I'm not asking you to "take out" Jeffress. But I wouldn't mind if you scared the shit out of him.
Peter Dreier is professor of politics at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books)