“This immense debt is a moral hazard,” John Boehner told a gathering of National Religious Broadcasters in February. Boehner told the audience there that he was trying to run the House of Representatives based upon Biblical principles, making the claim that he would follow the Christian religious law first, and other law second. “I’m humbled by the trust and confidence placed in me,” he told the Christian broadcasters.“Humility isn’t something you ‘do,’ of course. It’s how you live. It’s putting your faith in a gracious and sovereign God. ‘No man can serve two masters’ was the message from Matthew this morning. ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.’”
Such abstractions are easy to make, of course. It’s simple for someone to merely state that they’re going to govern according to Christian principles. It’s less simple to link those Christian principles to actual government.
For one thing, the Christian Bible itself recognizes the separation of Church and State, distinguishing between what should be given to human government (“Caesar”) and devotion that’s supposed to be given to the divine. The Bible recognizes the legitimacy of taxation, and urges its adherents to pay taxes without religious protest.
Then there’s the warning by Jesus that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it would be for a rich person to make it into Heaven. Yet, John Boehner has joined with his Republican followers in making a cult of wealth. Rather than accepting the donation unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, they pass legislation giving enormous tax cuts to America’s wealthiest people, making them even wealthier, and making it even harder for them to get into Heaven. How is it Christian to do that?
John Boehner and his supporters claim that the United States of America is a Christian nation. If that’s true, then the government of the United States of America ought to be operating according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. That’s not the path that Speaker Boehner and his supporters are urging, though.
The Gospels of the New Testament of the Christian Bible quote Jesus Christ as teaching his followers to give without expectation of anything in return. The words, “Him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again,” are attributed to Jesus in one of the Gospels. Yet, John Boehner and his Republican followers are demanding cuts in giving to those who ask for help from the government… mostly.
A conspicuous exception is given to the most wealthy Americans and to corporations. John Boehner’s Republican House of Representatives is lavishing gifts on the financial elites, even while they’re taking away from working Americans.
Boehner ought to be mindful of the consequences of such selective giving, because the meek, Jesus said, would inherit the Earth, and they just might inherit Congress too.
One final question comes to my mind. Which budget would Jesus cut: The military or Medicare?