Politicians quoting Scripture are roughly analogous to Olympic gold medalists singing the national anthem. We have all witnessed occasions when these erstwhile winners and heroes embarrassed themselves as they stumbled through the words.
The lesson should be clear: Do not attempt to quote or sing along unless you know the words. In the case of the politicians, unless you know the Word.
Regardless of the lessons from a vast number of politicians who have proved their biblical illiteracy before a national audience, President Joe Biden goes spelunking through Scripture and his memory bank to find something to prop up his argument of the day. As pointed out by A. J. Berkovitz in his article “(Mis)Quoting Scripture in American Politics,” Biden has confused songs with Scripture in the process.
Presidents have long invoked Scripture to advance their political agendas. Former President Donald Trump’s reference to “Two Corinthians” made some Christians squirm; however, he never claimed to be biblically literate.
Unlike Trump, Biden publicly prides himself on regularly attending Mass and reciting the rosary. Yet he continually misappropriates the Word of God he claims to know so well.
Biden once stated that “loving God and loving others are at the very foundation of my faith” and that “my Catholic faith drilled into me a core truth — that every person on earth is equal in rights and dignity.”
Later, in an address in Atlanta, he self-righteously urged support for the weakening of voting requirements as if it were part of a holy quest to “hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate.” This is an egregious misapplication of biblical teaching.
Many Christian leaders are fed up. They believe Biden’s use of biblical references to defend his platform is more than a reach. It is an outrage. His recent statements about Democrats’ proposed election reform are deliberately deceptive. In leveraging Scripture to advance his political agenda, he spits in the face of the principles upon which our nation was founded.
The Hispanic population of the U.S., which is predominantly Roman Catholic, would take issue with Biden’s misuse of Scripture and his identification with the Catholic faith. Hispanic Christian leader Rev. Samuel Rodriguez believes some of Biden’s policies directly violate fundamental human rights, as provided in Scripture.
Commenting on the fact that people must produce proof of vaccination and photo identification to enter Washington, D.C., restaurants and yet are not required to provide photo identification to vote in U.S. elections, Rodriguez said, “The absurdity is breathtaking. It is racist for white, elite liberals to believe that people of color are incapable of providing identification to vote. It is reprehensible to continue to racialize every aspect of American politics in order to advance other political agendas.”
To rake Holy Scripture in search of words that will prove your point has a name: “eisegesis.” The opposite is “exegesis,” which involves reading Scripture to find the truth. One is conforming Scripture to human ideas; the other is conforming human ideas to scriptural standards.
At My Faith Votes, we take the Bible seriously. That means we do not manipulate it to support our political aims. We use it to relay God’s Truth.
As Christians, we have an opportunity to bring our faith forward and influence our communities and our nation for good. We cannot stand idly by as a public servant abuses our Holy Scriptures to deceive a nation. When a politician masquerades as one of the faithful and tosses Scripture into a word salad deceiving the populace, it is not just poor exegesis — it is reprehensible.
Christians value the Word, and we know our nation thrives when we elect leaders who do the same. We, the people, must reject attempts by any politician to hijack Scripture for political gain.
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