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Romney criticizes Robert Jeffress ahead of Jerusalem embassy opening

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Jeffress has also been open about his beliefs on Islam and homosexuality.

“Is Islam just another way to worship God? Let me say this without any hesitation: Islam is a false religion that is based on a false book that was written by a false prophet,” he said on Oct. 9, according to his church’s website. “If you sincerely follow the tenets of Islam, then you will end up in hell when you die.”

He has also espoused a conservative line on homosexuality, saying the “New Testament also prohibits homosexual marriage.”

Jeffress added: “By upholding God’s pattern for sexuality — a man and a woman in a marriage relationship — Jesus automatically condemned any deviation from that pattern.”

Image: A worker hangs a sign showing directions to the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
A worker hangs a road sign show the directions to the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on May 7.RONEN ZVULUN / Reuters, file

Jeffress isn’t the only conservative evangelical leader to be on hand for Monday’s embassy ceremony, which will include around 800 guests. Rev. John Hagee, the founder of influential evangelical Christians United for Israel and a pastor from San Antonio, was also scheduled to deliver a closing blessing at the ceremony.

American evangelicals surged onto the political scene in 1980 by helping to elect President Ronald Reagan. In 2016, around 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump. As evangelicals grew more prominent domestically, their ties to the Israeli political establishment strengthened.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been embraced by Christian Zionists who believe the establishment of the state of Israel is proof of God keeping his promises and a step toward the second coming of Christ.

Many European nations who oppose the decision are expected to skip event surrounding the embassy move.

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Biden brings closing message to historically red Georgia

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Joe Biden on Tuesday made his first visit of the 2020 election cycle to the battleground state of Georgia, delivering a closing argument centered around his criticism of President Donald Trump and his goal of seeking to “heal our nation.”

Speaking in Warm Springs, Georgia, Biden took aim at Trump’s responses to the dual public health and economic crises caused by Covid-19, as well as the protests for racial justice seen across the nation this year.

“These are all historic, painful crises. The insidious virus. Economic anguish. Systemic discrimination. Any one of them could have rocked a nation,” Biden said.

When it came to addressing systemic racism, he referred to the protests as a “cry for justice from communities that have long had the knee of injustice on their neck” and vowed “a new wave of justice in America.”

Biden’s events marked his first visit of the 2020 election cycle to Georgia, a state no Democratic presidential candidate has carried since 1992 but where Democrats have been making inroads.

Just a week ahead of Election Day, polls in the key Southern battleground show a tight race. The latest Real Clear Politics polling average in the state shows Biden trailing Trump by just 0.4 percentage points, while they have each led three of the last six polls in the state tracked by NBC News.

To win the state, Biden will need to carry large numbers of the state’s Black voters and large numbers of white suburbanites and white women, political strategists said.

Early voting in the state has already reached historic levels, with ballots cast there thus far already accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total ballots cast in the state in 2016.

In his address, Biden attempted to draw stark contrasts with Trump on how he’d govern if elected, saying he will be “a president who’s in it not for himself, but for others. A president who doesn’t divide us — but unites us. A president who appeals not to the worst in us — but to the best.”

“A president who cares less about his TV ratings — and more about the American people. A president who looks not to settle scores — but to find solutions. A president guided not by wishful thinking — but by science, reason and fact,” he added.

He also drew heavily upon the symbolism of the location of his speech, making frequent reference to the fact that Franklin D. Roosevelt had a retreat in Warm Springs where he sought treatments for polio.

“Warm Springs is a good place to talk about hope and healing. This is where Franklin Roosevelt came to use the therapeutic waters to rebuild himself,” Biden noted.

Later Tuesday, Biden will hold a drive-in rally in Atlanta. His running mate, Kamala Harris, visited the state Friday.



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Nicola Sturgeon faces BACKLASH over Covid Levels system – new regions risk strict lockdown

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NICOLA Sturgeon has faced a backlash from MSPs after unveiling a new tier system of restrictions which are set to come into force next week.

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Judge rejects Justice Department bid to defend Trump in defamation case

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A federal judge in New York has ruled that a libel suit filed against President Trump by E. Jean Carroll cannot be dismissed and rejected the Department of Justice’s bid to defend him in the case. NBC’s Pete Williams has details.

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