It seems like all we ever hear from the Religious Right is how important it is for our political leaders to let their faith influence their public policy decisions. But apparently that only applies when it leads politicians to support the conservative political agenda because when President Obama cites Jesus, it seems to make the Right lose their minds.
Yesterday, during the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama cited a passage from the Book of Luke to support his view that the well-off should be expected to contribute more:
And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone. And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.
But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.”
And now right-wing leaders and Republicans are outraged, with Sen. Orrin Hatch lashing out about it on the Senate floor and Rep. Phil Gingrey walking out in protest while Ralph Reed, of all people, is saying that Obama went “over the line”:
Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition said that for the president to tie his tax policy to Jesus’s teachings “is theologically threadbare and straining credulity.”
“I felt like it was over the line and not the best use of the forum,” Reed said. “It showed insufficient level of respect for what the office of the president has historically brought to that moment.”
And of course Bryan Fischer, who thinks the Bible ought to be the foundation for all our public policy, including putting animals to death, was incensed that Obama would dare to claim that the teachings of Christ support his agenda when, in fact, his agenda “is in the spirit of Joseph Stalin” and Karl Marx:
As we have said before, it is amazing President Obama even bothers to talk about his Christian faith because nothing he says will ever be acceptable for the “real” Christians in the Religious Right.