John Kerry, biblical scholar

John Kerry, biblical scholar

John Kerry has evidently decided that after his crushing defeat last November, partly because Christian conservatives rejected his noveau liberal Christian dance, that he needs to use Christianity as a cudgel against Republicans. Unfortunately, in his hands it is a decidedly blunt instrument and wielded clumsily.

Last Friday, speaking to the National Head Start Association in Florida, he bashed Republican policies with a reference to the New Testament.

“I went back and reread the whole New Testament the other day. Nowhere in the three-year ministry of Jesus Christ did I find a suggestion at all, ever, anywhere, in any way whatsover, that you ought to take the money from the poor, the opportunities from the poor and give them to the rich people,” Kerry said.

Nice straw man. Of course, no one is suggesting that we steal from the poor to give to the rich, nor has anyone suggested that Jesus countenanced such an idea. Even so, the suggestion that one would look in the New Testament for justification for any particular political policy is an inanity.

The Bible is not a compendium of all human knowledge and wisdom, nor has anyone suggested it should be. Other things you will not find in Scripture include: the right to abortion, approval of high tax rates, support for cloning or embryonic stem cell research, disapproval of drilling for oil in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, or my mom’s spaghetti sauce recipe.

Still, John Kerry evidently spends a lot of time reading and re-reading the Bible looking for approval of Republican platform statements. The April 2005 Limbaugh Letter includes a quote of John Kerry from a Time magazine interview:

If you go back and read the New Testament and the teaching of the Lord, nowhere in those teachings do I find Jesus talking about abortion or gays or intolerance. I find forgiveness and embracement.

Putting aside his amateur theology, biblical exegesis, and sola scriptura belief, it’s also apparent that Kerry has latched onto a theme that he thinks will play well to his audience and isn’t afraid of recycling it. But is anyone buying it? Anyone even slightly conversant with Scripture knows that his claims are ridiculous, while those who don’t take the inerrancy of Scripture seriously don’t care.

I guess Kerry’s main goal is to portray Republicans and Christian conservatives as hypocrites. Who does that appeal to? The same left-wing fringe base that couldn’t deliver the Democrats the White House or Congress last year. Good strategy there John.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli