Voting largely along party lines, Republicans have pushed through a bill to cut $40 billion from food stamps over the next 10 years.
There is a time to discuss the politics of this bill. However, here I want to invite us to ponder the morality of this.
Many of the same Republicans who support this bill have opposed same-sex marriage rights based on a narrow and literal reading of the Bible.
I wonder about the selective reading of the Bible. If they are going to read the Bible literally when it comes to marriage/sexuality issues, I wonder why they do not read the bible literally when it comes to poverty issues. I wonder why they do not read the bible literally when it comes to justice issues.
What part of the Gospel according to St. Matthew did they miss, when Christ says:
25:41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand,
‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
25:42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
25:43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
25:44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
25:45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.
What you do to the “least of these”, you do onto Me.
What part of the “least of these” do these Republicans not understand?
What part of “those who are dependent on food to survive” do they not understand?
By what standard of morality do many of these Republicans count themselves as followers of Christ, when they violate the very literal ethical teachings of Christ that compels us to care for the “Least of These”?
Time for selective morality is over.
If someone claims to be religious, claims to be moral, let them stand up and be counted based on how they provide for the “least” of God’s children.
Otherwise we are left with a situation that the literal reading of scripture telling us to care for the poor is ignored, the dubious reading of sexual politics is enforced. That fails the test of consistency, fails the test of compassion, fails the test of justice, and ultimately, fails the test of Christ.
So many of the Republicans claim to take the Bible as the literal word of God. Let them open their bible to Chapter 25 of Gospel according to St. Matthew, and read the words of Christ carefully before cutting the food to the least of God’s children.