But Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, repeatedly cited passages from the Bible in support of a stronger crackdown on illegal immigration.Just wondering, do you think that Lamar Smith has cited those passages when Tea Party activists have urged people to not obey the new healthcare law?
"The Bible contains numerous passages that support the rule of law," he asserted. "The scriptures clearly indicate that God charges civil authorities
with preserving order, protecting citizens and punishing wrongdoers."
Smith cited, among other things, Romans 13: "Let every person be subject to governing authorities."
As you know, I have been toying with this idea of empathy, and that the lack of empathy from the right explains a lot of their policy solutions, but also reveals strong problems with their reading of the Bible. Smith addressed this
Addressing a passage from Matthew 25 about caring for "the least of these my brothers," Smith contended that it "advocates individual acts of kindness (but) does not mandate a public policy."I see this a lot from conservatives, and don't completely disagree. But I would suggest that it allows them to disconnect their business and political decisions from their church life. Through their church, they can support their food kitchen and direct aid to the poor (good things, btw), but the disconnect allows them to vote for policies that make things harder on those same poor, or even pushes more into that population. That artificial divide lacks moral consistency.
Steve King (Idiot, Iowa), also weighed in on this issue:
King noted approvingly that "in the land of the Bible the leaders of today's Israel (have) built border fences to protect their citizens from terrorists or illegal job seekers alike."On this, I hate equating Netanyahu's government with the ancient Israelites, and still think that is a faulty connection, but I was struck most by his second statement about our first moral priorities being to take care of our own. On one hand, I don't necessarily personally disagree, if, of course, I believed that Steve King or Lamar Smith wanted to actually help Americans who are poor or brown skinned. But at a broader point, and since they are quoting from the Bible here or using it as their justification, is that consistent with Christianity? Is it consistent to say that you must take care of your own first and then others? I am not sure it is.
There is a "greater and more immediate" moral obligation to take care of
U.S. citizens first, he said.