Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Clueless Bashing

Add this to the list of general cluelessness of Democratic leadership when dealing with matters of faith:

Mike Branhom of the Associated Press reports that John Kerry is trying the new Democratic strategy of "speaking to people of faith" by trying to bash Republicans with the Bible:

ORLANDO -- Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who lost this crucial swing state in November, sounded Friday as if he were still stumping for Florida's votes. The Massachusetts senator, at a National Head Start Association conference to tout his plan to provide health care for uninsured children, hammered on familiar themes of values and unity while repeatedly criticizing the Bush administration and Republican leaders in Congress. "I went back and reread the whole New Testament the other day. Nowhere in the three-year ministry of Jesus Christ did I find a suggestion at all, ever, anywhere, in any way whatsover, that you ought to take the money from the poor, the opportunities from the poor and give them to the rich people," Kerry said.

Now, I don't object to the senator giving as well as he got, but he's so remarkably inept about it.

Let's check out the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-­30:

His lord answered and said unto him, "Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundantly: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:14­30). (empasis mine)

Now this is a hard parable to hear. It upsets our preconceived ideas about what a fair God would do and say. But the parable is not about fairness; it's about justice.

Whether you believe the Bible or not, the existence of this rather well-known parable shows Mr. Kerry's rereading of "the whole New Testament the other day," to be at best shallow and cursory, and at worst a rhetorical falsehood.

Perhaps you would argue that Joe Blow's only brush with the Bible was seeing it on a stand in Grandma's house or in a drawer in a motel room, but if the target of Mr. Kerry's remarks were "people of faith," he has (speaking as one of those people) failed again.

UPDATE--James Taranto at OpinionJournal.com's Best of the Web (fourth item down) notes a flood of people pointing to this parable in refutation of Kerry's remarks. He also notes Jesus' anoiting at Bethany in John 12:1-8 can be taken as inconsistant with Kerry's remarks.

3 comments:

TooterTurtle said...

Apparently Mr.Kerry skipped over the story of the Rich Young Ruler (hmmmm...any similarities there???) story, where Jesus loved the man for his good heart, and asked him to go and sell EVERYTHING he had, Give It To The Poor, and leave it all behind.

WhidbeyIslander said...

No, what Kerry said was:

"Nowhere in the three-year ministry of Jesus Christ did I find a suggestion at all, ever, anywhere, in any way whatsover, that you ought to take the money from the poor, the opportunities from the poor and give them to the rich people."

I'm sure that The Senator would be glad to take any amount of money from rich people and filter it through the special-interest sieve of Washington and allow what remains to go to "the poor."

What I'm saying is that his statement contradicts the plain meaning of the text he cites; and this shows he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Taleena said...

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