If you haven’t heard of Kimberly Daniels yet, you probably will. She’s a controversial Florida Democrat state representative who has proposed a bill that would put signs saying “In God We Trust” inside all Florida public schools.
The move is meant to introduce God back into the classroom in the wake of the Parkland school shooting; Daniels said that the “real thing that needs to be addressed are issues of the heart.”
It wasn’t long before the Freedom from Religion Foundation jumped on the case. See, Daniels also serves as a preacher, and some of the things she’s said from the pulpit are quite controversial. One statement in particular has caused quite a stir, as it shows her thanking God for slavery because without it she “might be somewhere in Africa worshiping a tree.”
Daniels is now running for Jacksonville City Council, and the clips are making quite a stir. In particular, her two most controversial comments — the slavery one and the one about how “you can talk about the Holocaust, but the Jews own everything” — are getting a lot of attention.
Daniels told WJAX-TV that the latter comment was taken out of context, arguing that the statement “was meant to be positive, because the Bible blesses those who bless Israel.”
As for the slavery remark, Daniels explained it by saying that “if slavery wouldn’t have happened — this awful thing — I wouldn’t be living in the greatest country we have today.”
Daniels’ religious views have previously gotten her in hot water, albeit in a more localized way. In 2017, she made the headlines when, during a Facebook Live prayer for President Donald Trump, she warned about “witches and warlocks … trying to bring confusion to this great man.”
Those are several good ways to get you kicked out of the Democrat Party in a hurry. Although anti-Semitism alone usually won’t get you the boot (after all, this is a party that almost elected Keith Ellison to be its chairman), doing it in concert with praising Israel from a Christian perspective while asking for “In God We Trust” to be put in schools and implying that African-Americans ought to take a new perspective on slavery certainly will.
Oh, yeah, and she’s pro-gun — that too.
There’s not any context in which her statement about Jews owning everything is defensible, although I get the feeling it came from a place of genuine naiveté as opposed to hatred. That isn’t to excuse it, but one not infrequently hears worse out of Democrats.
As for the slavery statement, while it may have been a blunt comment that invites controversy, there is a biblical perspective on this. It’s found in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Slavery was a horrible evil, one of the worst crimes against humanity perpetrated in the history of the world. Nobody denies that the evil continued to perpetuate itself with de jure segregation, which legally persisted for almost a century after the slaves were freed.
Yet, out of these evils, Daniels seems to sense a divine plan for herself. I’m not one to question it or question those who disagree; I’m not African-American and my ancestors avoided involuntary servitude of the most grotesque sort. She, however, sees opportunity in being in America in 2018, where she can work, speak and worship freely in the greatest country on earth — a country that has had its dark moments, to be sure, but which continues to be the shining city on the hill. She apparently doesn’t want to be seen as a victim.
Now, someone might counter with Romans 3:8-9, which posits, “Why not say — as some slanderously claim that we say– ‘Let us do evil that good may result?’ Their condemnation is just!” That’s a reasonable response. I don’t sit in judgment of the correctness of Rep. Daniels’ beliefs or whether what she said was totally inappropriate.
In fact, given their motives and the fact that the FFRF seems to paste a lot of clips of her with little to no context — including a number of videos meant to invoke contempt and ridicule upon Pentecostal believers who speak in tongues — it remains extremely difficult to judge from just a small sample size.
However, she’s clearly a firebrand who isn’t toeing any party line, and we doubt this is the last we’re going to hear about her and controversial take on current events.
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