By Warner Todd Huston April 24, 2022 at 2:34pm
The Christian pastor attacked by Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar for singing worship songs on a plane during his return from helping refugees in Ukraine has responded to the congresswoman’s mocking and said that he had no intentions of making a political statement with his joyful song.
Pastor Jack Jensz Jr. shared his response to Omar’s attack in an interview published Wednesday by The Christian Post, saying that his singing was posted as a way for friends to follow his trip to help Ukrainian refugees in Europe.
“It was actually just a post to share with our friends and encourage our friends that have been following our journey,” Jensz told The Christian Post.
He originally posted it to his Facebook page on April 9.
Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress from Minnesota and the first Somali-American Muslim to ever become a federal lawmaker, went on the attack against the pastor in an April 16 tweet in which she seemed to hint that she thinks Muslims do not have freedom of religion in the U.S.A.
On the day before Easter, Omar captioned the video of the pastor singing, “I think my family and I should have a prayer session next time I am on a plane. How do you think it will end?”
I think my family and I should have a prayer session next time I am on a plane. How do you think it will end? pic.twitter.com/5696Erwsl5
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 17, 2022
For his part, Jensz said that he never meant anything political when he broke out in song on the plane, and he also has no desire to make Omar’s tweet a political issue.
Should Omar issue a public apology for her Twitter post?
“When [Omar] posted that, I just looked at it and I didn’t really give it too much thought. I didn’t really enter into any political debate,” Jensz added. “For us, we just came to share the love of God. We came just to reveal to people that Jesus loves them so much, and that’s our focus. Our focus wasn’t a political agenda at all.”
Jensz pointed out that he had obtained permission from the commercial flight’s pilot and crew to break out in song during the trip from Poland and added that he would never have done so without permission.
Despite Jensz’s reticence to make Omar’s tweet political, her tweet met with an avalanche of criticism with many attacking her for anti-Christian bigotry.
The criticism from Vernon Jones, a former Democrat-turned-Republican who is running for a U.S. House seat in Georgia, was typical, with his tweet reading, “Why do you hate Christians, Ilhan?”
The post also made reference to Omar’s brother, whom Ilhan is suspected of “marrying” as part of a scheme to thwart immigration laws.
Why do you hate Christians, Ilhan?
If the freedom of religion we enjoy here in America disturbs you, feel free to pack your bags and head back to Somalia, Sudan, or wherever you’re from.
Take your brother with you. https://t.co/f2FZhWruz0
— Vernon Jones For Congress (@VernonForGA) April 17, 2022
Jose Castillo, a Republican candidate running for Congress in Florida’s 9th Congressional District, also pointed out that, contrary to Omar’s hint that Muslims don’t have religious freedom in America, her family absolutely is free to pray in public.
“In America, Muslims can & do pray in public,” Castillo tweeted. “If she wants a country where Christians aren’t allowed to do the same [Omar] should go back to her own country.”
In America, Muslims can & do pray in public. If she wants a country where Christians aren’t allowed to do the same @IlhanMN should go back to her own country.
— Jose Castillo for Congress (@JoseForFlorida) April 18, 2022
Omar was born in 1982 in Somalia, a country well-known for brutal religious oppression, violence, and strife.
The future congresswoman’s family fled the country in the late 1980s after their Mogadishu home was invaded “by militia who’d come to harm us,” Omar told MSNBC last year.
Despite the backlash that her Easter weekend tweet evoked, Omar doubled down on her position by insulting those who found her tweet unsettling and bigoted.
The day after Easter, in response to a tweet saying that she had “made a point” with her initial tweet, Omar poked at her critics, tweeting, “And the original snowflakes had a complete and glorious meltdown.”
And the original snowflakes had a complete and glorious meltdown 💅 https://t.co/1t6Jq4OIWM
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 18, 2022
As to the pastor, Jensz told The Christian Post that he was shocked at the conditions he found in Europe.
“I’ve never seen anything like this!” he said of visiting the refugee camps. “Walking down the lines, you have people throwing their children at you saying, ‘Please take them,’ and they’re just filled with great fear.
“These people have driven days to get to the border. These people are leaving war-torn areas where they’ve even seen their houses bombed. They’ve had to send their sons and fathers back in to fight the war, and so it’s just so devastating.”
Not only was Omar’s attack disgusting for being posted on the eve of Christianity’s holiest day, her attack on the pastor is made even worse considering the great work he was doing to help aid the refugees from war-torn Ukraine.
Omar certainly owes this man, and America, an apology.