Church and State

Ken AshfordCongress, Foreign Affairs, GodstuffLeave a Comment

The Los Angeles Times (subscription requied) reports that evangelical programs on Capitol Hill attempt "to mold a new generation of leaders who will answer not to voters, but to God":

"Nearly every Monday for six months, as many as a dozen congressional aides — many of them aspiring politicians — have gathered over takeout dinners to mine the Bible for ancient wisdom on modern policy debates about tax rates, foreign aid, education, cloning and the Central American Free Trade Agreement."

In related news, God told Pat Robertson to violate the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" commandment.

UPDATEEzra Klein defends Robertson, I think:

I mean, sure, it’s not exactly neighborly to call for Hugo Chavez’s assassination, but neither is it necessarily un-Christian. The Bible, after all, offers no shortage of grounds on which you can put a man to death. All we need to do is catch him on one.

Think he’s ever masturbated? If so, Genesis 38:8 says he’s finished. Exodus 12:12 lets us off him if he’s ever struck another man with a deadly blow, a particularly helpful passage if we let Robertson do the deed himself with a blunt object — they can exit stage left together. I don’t know if Chavez ever hit his parents, but Exodus 21:15 finishes him if he did. Better yet, he sure seems like he was stubborn and rebellious as a kid, a juvenile heritage that we can stone him for (Deuteronomy 21:18). If Hugo’s got any friends who pray to a God other than the fearsome overlord of the Bible, we can take him down for letting them live (Deuteronomy 13:6). But screw it, we can basically throw all this out and follow Titus 1:10 which says, in essence, that there are tons of talkers and deceivers, many though not all of them Jews, who we can silence for the good of the community. I’m sure Hugo fits in that category fairly neatly.

So enough of this pious squeamishness. Compared to the Bible, Tony Soprano is an all-too-merciful wimp. Chavez has had it coming to him for a long time. But then, so has Pat, George Dubya, any number of on-air evangelists and on-pulpit preachers, your humble host, and all you sinners reading along.