In yet another example of moral narcissism and the liberal inability to understand conservative positions on faith, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared that her party, the Democratic Party, does the will of God while Republicans dishonor their Creator.
Of Republicans, the Democrat congresswoman from California declared, “They pray in church on Sunday and they prey on people the rest of the week. And while we’re doing the Lord’s work, ministering to the needs of God’s creation, they are ignoring those needs which is to dishonor the God who made them.”
Perhaps emboldened by Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, Pelosi thus equated the climate alarmism and draconian regulations pushed by her party with a godly care for the environment. In doing so, she failed to understand that there are good reasons to doubt the “scientific consensus” on man-made global warming. She also failed to note that God’s care for “the least of these” can justify cutting regulations, which will unleash economic growth which helps the poor as well as the rich.
This is why Pelosi’s declaration that Republicans “prey on people” was important. By falsely equating free market policies with the kind of crony capitalism that leads to monopoly, Democrats argue that the Republican agenda enables the rich to harm the poor.
The Democrat added that “we don’t wear religion on our sleeve, but maybe we should.” When asked by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough how her party can “connect with the middle America who sometimes feel they’re looked down on because of their faith or their values,” Pelosi admitted that rural Americans “don’t think that Democrats are people of faith, when the fact is that we are.”
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 20, 2017
One Twitter user’s response to this was powerfully on-point.
— Pam Vezinat Manney (@Pam603) January 21, 2017
The problem is, many Democrat issues fly in the face of traditional Christian attitudes. The alleged misperception that Democrats are not people of faith does not emerge in a vacuum. Pressures on abortion, gay marriage, transgender issues, and dismissal of religious liberty in particular are serious problems for any Democrat outreach to traditional Christians — and conservative members of other religions.
In fact, the candidacy of Hillary Clinton — despite her alleged lifelong Methodism — set the Democrats further back in this regard.
Clinton infamously declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed” in order to make way for abortion and other forms of “reproductive health care.” These remarks against the sanctity of traditional religion in favor of “progressive” values were further confirmed by emails released by WikiLeaks, which Clinton and her team never denied to be true.
In those emails, Clinton’s campaign staff routinely mocked traditional Christian — specifically Roman Catholic — ideas and practices which arguably formed the basis for fundamental American values like federalism. But Clinton herself, in 2011, actually compared religious opposition to the LGBT agenda to “the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”
Perhaps it is not surprising, in light of these statements, that Clinton lost every single Christian demographic to Trump, according to a Barna Group study.
Democrats like Hillary Clinton need to learn that many conservatives base their opposition to abortion (which scientifically involves the killing of an individual with unique human DNA), transgender hormones and surgery (which mutilate a person’s healthy sexual organs), and homosexual marriage on religious beliefs from the Bible which arguably enjoy support from science and tradition.
Christians from the early church onward have opposed abortion and infanticide (extremely common in the ancient world), and have insisted on the good of God’s creation in human sexuality, as well as the social — and to many sacramental — importance of marriage between a man and a woman. Politics cannot change these attitudes overnight.
This does not mean, however, that Pelosi’s arguments are completely baseless. Her claims that the Republicans are dishonoring God’s creation by disagreeing with the “consensus” of climate alarmism are extremely tenuous, but whenever Democrats call for protecting the rights of the poor, they strike a deep nerve in Christian teaching.
Throughout the Old Testament, God makes known His deep concern for the poor, and his hatred of injustice which benefits the rich at their expense. On this issue, Democrats might have a claim to do the Lord’s work, and an argument with which to appeal to religious people. The problem is that their arguments are based on a faulty understanding of economics.
The best way to help the poor is to hire them, and to make the goods necessary for their survival cheaper. Economic growth, as established by free markets, lower taxes, and less regulation, is the recipe to help achieve this. That is not to say all regulation should be scrapped, and taxes are indeed necessary — but the free market has enabled a degree of prosperity unprecedented in the history of the world, and excessive taxation and regulation is holding it back.
More jobs, and cheap access to food, shelter, and education — these are the keys to uplifting the poor. Democrats seek to tighten regulations and use the government to ensure goods for people, but this actually results in scarcity. The New Deal didn’t end the Great Depression — it prolonged it.
Too many Democrats and too many Republicans are indeed “preying on people,” often by establishing connections between business and government — as President Obama did by setting up generous contracts with the notorious solar firm Solyndra. This kind of crony capitalism is inherent in the big-government policies of Democrats, and too often abetted in lesser form by Republicans. This is the injustice God decries, and it is ironic to see socialists like Bernie Sanders rightly attacking it.
This is not the way Democrats frame the “least of these” issue, however. They say they’re out for the rights of minorities, LGBT people, women, and immigrants — because these groups are all oppressed. Racial reconciliation is an important Christian value, and it was Jesus who led the church to counterculturally value women as equal to men. The church should welcome and love LGBT people, but this is not the same thing as accepting their lifestyle. Similarly with immigrants and refugees, the church has a duty to care for these people, but the government does not.
Indeed, too often it seems the government’s efforts to help allegedly oppressed people end up conflicting with the work of Christian charities (like the Little Sisters of the Poor) to actually do concrete good. Until this kind of thing stops happening, Christians will look askance at Democrat programs which undermine religious freedom.
This is not to say Republicans are guiltless. Too often they equate America with God’s chosen nation — which it is not. Nevertheless, the popular perception is correct that Democrats (and the mainstream media) are out of step when it comes to religion in a different and arguably more egregious way.
Nancy Pelosi declares that, as Democrats, “we don’t wear religion on our sleeve, but maybe we should.” She’s right — Democrats should wear religion on their sleeve to some extent, but in order to do so, they’d have to get religion first.