MARTIN: When you think about how this president has advanced an evangelical Christian agenda, what are the ways in which evangelical Christians have been treated – or do you believe they have been treated as a persecuted minority in this country?
JEFFRESS: Well, I think there are certainly ways in which they have been marginalized. And I mean, here’s the question you have to ask yourself. I mean, why is it that, for the first 150 years of our nation’s history, prayer in schools, reading the Bible, Nativity displays – all of those things were not only allowed but they were welcomed? But then suddenly, 70 years ago, the Supreme Court decides these things are unconstitutional. I ask liberals all the time, what changed suddenly?
MARTIN: It became more religiously diverse, the country.
JEFFRESS: What did – but did the Constitution change? No. The establishment clause of the First Amendment simply says Congress cannot establish a state religion. That’s what it says. But somehow, that has been perverted and twisted into outlawing prayer and Bible-reading. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the marginalization of Christianity. And I believe that’s why evangelicals are rallying around this president who recognizes that marginalization.
The question I wanted Martin (or any reporter) to ask was:
“What do you think about a Jewish or Muslim teacher leading a Jewish or Muslim prayer in schools? If we’re going to put religion back into schools, don’t we have to let all religions in?”
(There’s a big hissy fit going around about Yoga for P.E. Also cue debates about real vs. fake religions.)