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Mike Pence Causes Outrage With 'Christian Rabbi'

Alleged shooter appears in court in wheelchair
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2018 6:48 AM CDT
This courtroom sketch depicts Robert Gregory Bowers, who was wounded in a gun battle with police as he appeared in a wheelchair at federal court on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, in Pittsburgh.   (Dave Klug via AP)
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(Newser) – Mike Pence is taking flak for what critics say was an extremely insensitive choice of rabbi at a campaign event Monday night. The vice president invited Rabbi Loren Jacobs to the stage at the event in suburban Detroit to offer a prayer for victims of the Pittsburgh mass shooting, and Jacobs invoked "Jesus the Messiah" in his opening remarks. Jacobs practices Messianic Judaism, which Jewish leaders consider a form of Christianity, the Washington Post reports. There are more than 60 rabbis in the state directory, "and yet the only rabbi they could find to offer a prayer for the 11 Jewish victims in Pittsburgh at the Mike Pence Rally was a local Jew for Jesus rabbi? That's pathetic!" Detroit-area Rabbi Jason Miller wrote in a Facebook post. In other developments:

  • Wheelchair for court appearance. Alleged shooter Robert Bowers, who was injured in an exchange of fire with police, was in a wheelchair during a brief court appearance Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. He was ordered held without bail after the federal judge gave an overview of the 29 charges against him, some of which carry the death penalty. His next hearing will be Thursday morning. The 46-year-old also faces state murder charges. He showed no clear signs of injury during the appearance, though he didn't move very much, the New York Times reports.

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