If you’re not deeply immersed in conservative culture, this may be the first time you’ve heard of a group called the Family Research Center, or FRC. The religious right organization is infamous for organizing against LGBTQ rights and other violations against basic human decency. Their president, Tony Perkins, has a show called Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, which often features the talking points and perspectives of FRC that they wish to distribute to their membership. And right now, they’re working as hard as they can to justify the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani ordered by Donald Trump.
An episode released on Thursday, according to Right Wing Watch, features a defense of Trump’s decision to potentially instigate an immediate war with Iran that relies heavily on scripture. Perkins interviewed David Closson, FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview, promising to explain “why America’s response to Iran was justified from a Biblical perspective.” Weird how they mostly interview other people in their organization, isn’t it?
Perkins starts by saying that he was allegedly contacted by journalists checking up on the fact that evangelical Christians were supportive of Trump’s voice, claiming these same reporters were “shocked” that he’d find support for his decision in a devout community. This doesn’t quite hold water, because Trump’s base is largely evangelical Christians. While some publications and followers in that community have turned away from Trump, a majority seem to remain unshakeable supporters.
Just like Perkins, who told the audience that scripture speaks to “every aspect of life,” and then asked Closson to speak to how starting a war that could kill thousands of people is included in that blanket statement.
“Sometimes there are compelling reasons for going to war. And all killing is tragic, but sometimes it’s necessary,” Closson said. The duo then covered the meaning of jus ad bellum, which means “the conditions under which States may resort to war or to the use of armed force in general,” according to the Red Cross. They think Trump has crossed all his “t’s” and dotted all his “i’s.”
“A lot of Christians think that the default position of Christianity is passivism, but there’s actually quite a few examples in the Bible that actually—where Jesus thinks about these issues and scripture teaches a couple examples,” said Closson, justifying violence in Christ’s name. Sounds like a Trump supporter.