Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist slammed an appearance by an “antisemite” pastor in an ad for Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The attack came two weeks after Larry Jinks, a pastor at First Baptist Church on St. James City, appeared in a widely praised ad entitled “Results” that included a number of Floridians praising DeSantis’ leadership, particularly during the pandemic.
“You protected our right to worship together — in person,” Jinks says in the ad, standing in front of his church.
But the appearance prompted a look at other things Jinks has said on social media, where his Facebook feed frequently leans on apocalyptic rhetoric.
Jewish news outlet Forward scoured Jinks’ social media and found rhetoric they dubbed “antisemitic” in discussion of the rebuilding of the third Temple of Jerusalem.
Jinks on April 19 agreed with another commenter criticizing the construction as “blasphemy,” and wrote that “with talk of the rebuilt temple in the media now, it just confirms that we are that generation to see the Lord return.”
“It’s a shame that the Jews, who should know better, reject their own Messiah (who fullfilled everyone of their prophecies) still believe that they need sacrifices and the Temple to sacrifice them in,” Jinks wrote. “Nonetheless, because of their rejection they will move forward with that plan.”
Later, he also criticized the Pope and Catholicism, and attempts to find peace between Jews, Muslims and Christians. “This is in step with what the Pope has been pushing for. ‘Peace amongst the three main world religions.’ It seems like there’s a plan among world leaders to push this ‘Unity.’ Which is just the opposite of what Jesus taught and what Christians are supposed to do,” Jinks wrote.
“We are called to be at odds with any religion that does not acknowledge Jesus as the Prince of Peace and the only way to the Father.”
Crist’s campaign seized on language and called out DeSantis for inviting Jinks to appear in the ad.
“Governor DeSantis has consistently refused to condemn hate or extremism, including the Nazis running around our state waving flags bearing his name. So while it may be shocking, it isn’t surprising that he would spend millions of dollars in advertising to elevate an antisemite with a history of hateful speech,” said Samantha Ramirez, Crist spokesperson.
“Ron owes Florida’s Jewish communities an answer for his refusal to forcefully condemn these groups and make clear he does not want their support.”
Jinks, after first appearing in the ad, told local media he had been contacted by the DeSantis campaign after a campaign worker read through his church’s Facebook posts.
“I was happy as a supporter of the governor to do it, I was happy as a Christian to do it, and I’m happy as a Pine Islander to do it,” Jinks told the Pine Island Eagle. “I wish I could say I was tight friends with the governor, but that’s not the case.”