[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” That’s from Shakespeare, not, as some people think, the Bible. The underlying idea is certainly true. Even the most evil ideas are justified with Biblical citations. Henry Brinton, a pastor in Fairfax, Virginia, noted that supporters of American slavery found verses that, they claimed, supported their position.
They asked who could question the Word of God when it said, “slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling” (Ephesians 6:5), or “tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect” (Titus 2:9).
Abolitionists grounded their arguments in the Bible, too. The concept of “separation of church and state” (which is quite different from the concept of religious liberty) was first invoked to get preachers to shut up their complaining about slavery.
During the Jim Crow era, segregationists pointed to the Curse of Ham as justification for keeping the so-called “races” separate. At the same time, the Good Guys, including key leaders of the civil rights movement, found support in the Bible for their cause. (Of course, that includes the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom we honored yesterday.)
Recently, Labor secretary Thomas Perez, speaking at an AFL-CIO summit, invoked the Bible to support so-called minimum wage laws, which prohibit unskilled workers from getting jobs. Perez, who wants to make the laws even more harsh, said, “This is really about biblical teachings. This is about what is taught in the Koran and what is in the Torah and what we learn about making sure we ‘do unto others.’”
President Obama recently cited the Bible in support of amnesty for illegal aliens. “The Good Book says, don’t throw stones in glass houses,” he said, “or, make sure we’re looking at the log in our eye before we are pointing out the mote in other folks’ eyes.” OK, that part about glass houses isn’t in the Bible Read all »