Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker Host Bible Event Against Trump Supreme Court Pick
On Tuesday, three prominent senators — all likely 2020 presidential candidates — joined the Rev. Dr. William Barber in opposing President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. At the event, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) quoted the Bible in their attacks against Kavanaugh. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) did not quote the Bible, but joined with Barber, who did.
"Corporations have won 62 percent of the cases they've been in whenever they are up against workers, shareholders, people who represent the public interest," Warren declared at the press conference Tuesday afternoon. She argued that allowing Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court would violate Matthew 25, Jesus' parable of the sheep and the goats.
"It is not enough to have a good heart ... we are called to act," Warren declared. She argued that Kavanaugh's opponents are "on the moral side of history."
Sanders immediately seized on his favorite topic, the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC (2010), which ruled that for legal purposes "corporations" — people coming together in groups — are also "people" and have First Amendment rights. The case ruled that individuals can pay to promote a film expressing political speech, a basic principle that liberals claim allows billionaires to "buy elections."
"People are outraged that billionaires are buying elections," Sanders declared. "Do you know that that is a direct result of the Citizens Untied decision?" He suggested that Kavanaugh's confirmation would be a moral stain on America.
Booker agreed, declaring that conservatives are "trying to roll back civil rights, the protections against discrimination. This has nothing to do with politics, this has to do with who we are as moral beings. There is no neutral. ... You are either complicit in evil or you are fighting against it."
The Rev. Dr. William Barber, a longtime liberal activist, warned that if Kavanaugh is confirmed, "We could be facing the most regressive Supreme Court since Jim Crow. There must be a moral fight to keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court."
Warren, Booker, and Barber misused or twisted four Bible passages to fight Kavanaugh's confirmation.
1. Matthew 25.
Warren quoted Matthew 25, when Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and the goats. Jesus said the Son of Man will separate the good (sheep) from the evil (goats).
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me,'" Jesus said (Matthew 25:34-36).
He suggested that the righteous will ask when they did all these things, and He will answer "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).
This command to love and serve "the least of these" is extremely important in Christianity, but Warren warped it. She suggested that Matthew 25 isn't just a command to love and serve the poor directly, but to oppose a Supreme Court that would rule in favor of corporations rather than people.
Warren is dead wrong in her application of this verse. The Supreme Court's job isn't just to protect "people" against "corporations" — it's to apply the law justly and equitably. Sometimes an organized group of people — a "corporation" in legal terms — will be in the right, while someone Warren thinks of as an underdog will be in the wrong. In those cases, the Supreme Court should rule against the underdog.
Warren's complaint that the Court has favored corporations 62 percent of the time reveals a fundamental misunderstanding about justice that the Bible does not sanction. The Bible rightly condemns when the powerful abuse their power to oppress the poor, but it does not condemn the just ruler who punishes a lawbreaker (Romans 13) or sides with the powerful when the powerful are in the right.
The Court's job is not to twist the law to always favor the underdog. If it did so, that would be unjust.
2. Isaiah 10.
Rev. Barber turned to Isaiah 10 to condemn Kavanaugh.
"The scriptures are clear that when it comes to public policy, 'Woe unto those who legislate evil and rob the poor and women and children of their rights,'" Barber declared, paraphrasing Isaiah 10:1-2. "The scripture is clear that a nation must make sure that its laws lift the hungry, the hopeless, the poor, the sick, the naked, and the least of these, and the stranger."
Notice the sleight of hand. Barber quoted Isaiah 10 and then melded it with Matthew 25 to suggest the law needs to favor "the least of these," to "lift" them.
This is nonsense. The Bible is clear that Christians must care for the poor and the least of these, but it nowhere says that the law must "lift" the poor out of poverty.
In Isaiah 10, God is condemning lawmakers who rob the poor — He is not commanding laws to make the poor richer. It is injustice to steal wages from a poor man who has just earned them, but that does not make it justice to give money to a man just because he is poor. Indeed, that would violate the principle that "if anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
3. Psalm 23.
In his remarks, Sen. Booker quoted one line of Psalm 23, the famous psalm that begins, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Booker quoted verse 4: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
Or rather, Booker quoted the first phrase. Here's his tortured reasoning on this passage:
There’s a saying from one of the Abrahamic faiths in a psalm saying, "Yea though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death." We are walking through the valley of the shadow of death but that doesn’t say, "though I sit in the valley of the shadow of death." It doesn’t say that I’m watching on the sidelines of the valley of the shadow of death, it says I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death. I am taking agency, that I am going to make it through this crisis.
Booker twisted a psalm about God's providence in the midst of despair — "your rod and your staff, they comfort me" — and turned it into an exhortation to "walk" rather than "sit" or "watch on the sidelines" in a moral battle. God's providence in the psalm does suggest that "I am going to make it through this crisis," but the psalm is not meant as a call to action. Indeed, the psalm says God "makes me lie down in green pastures" and sets a "table before me"...
Booker has taken one of the deepest and most comforting psalms and twisted it into a banal call to action. This was so dumb and ridiculous, I couldn't help but laugh.
4. Numbers 13-14.
Booker did draw something of the right conclusion from another passage, however. He summarized Numbers 13-14, saying, "Moses sent people into the promised land — 12 folks to view what was going on, and ten of them came back saying, 'We can't meet this challenge.'"
"Joshua and Caleb saw something different," Booker declared. "Joshua and Caleb refused to surrender to fear, they refused to surrender to cynicism. We need the Joshua spirit right now. We need the Caleb spirit right now."
Joshua and Caleb did indeed trust in God to do what He promised and bring the Jews into the promised land, and their courage is to be emulated today. However, Booker suggested that opposing Kavanaugh is akin to making America a promised land — an extremely tenuous application.
In the end, these liberals are fighting tooth and nail against a judge who will remain faithful to the text and original intent of the Constitution, rather than twisting it to support a liberal agenda — as these very Democrats twisted the Bible. Here's hoping American see through the rhetoric.
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