Do Politicians Really Read the Bible?

Invoking God to justify one’s political position is nothing new. God and Jesus have been used as justification for all kinds of atrocities to include persecutions, genocide, stealing of land,etc. Good grief! The Ku Klux Klan believes their actions of hatred are God-ordained!

In these dark days, it has become more common for politicians of all sides to quote the Bible or otherwise invoke God to justify their actions. I wonder, though, if politicians really take the time to read the Bible or any other form of sacred scripture. The Bible is a challenging book and Jesus’ message is even more challenging. His is not an easy path to follow.

I wonder what the political scenario in America would look like if politicians actually took to heart the following passages:

“Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you” (Mathew 5:44) Notice that this doesn’t say “Love your enemy unless he/she is a Democrat or Republican.” Nor does it say you have to agree with everything your enemy says. But loving your enemy would at least appear to imply respect and an absence of insults.

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners … where everyone can see them…When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly.”  (Mathew  6:5-6) This would seem to argue against publishing photos of a politician praying or being prayed over by others.

“If you call someone an idiot you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone you are in danger of the fires of hell.” (Mathew 5:22) Headlines are filled with insults being hurled back and forth. Apparently politicians believe that this quote does not apply to politics.

“You too must show love to foreigners” (Deut 10:19) The Bible is very clear about the command to treat foreigners with love and respect. One need only look across the border here in El Paso to see hundreds waiting for months with the vague hope of being welcomed here in our country.

Perhaps I am a naive idealist but I do believe that political dialogue these days would be much more productive if the politicians were to only practice what they claim to believe.