I realize the task of a presidential primary candidate is to appeal the fringe until the nomination is secured, and then move to the middle for the general election. Even allowing for the need to throw red meat to the choir, recent comments by Rick Santorum go well past the gray zone into demagoguery.
In a CBS interview Santorum accused President Obama of having a “theology” dismissed from the Bible. He said that the president believes in “some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.” Turns out he was referring to environmentalists who, he suggested, believe that human beings should serve the earth instead of God. Mr. Santorum lumped the president in with these supposedly Godless ecophiles.
I’m grateful to progressive Mike Lux for calling Mr. Santorum’s bluff. He wants to know if Mr. Santorum is referring to the Bible used by Christians and Jews, or perhaps some other bit of holy writ.
Card-carrying evangelical Christian Jim Wallis has been asking much the question for years. Exactly what Bible is it that blames the poor for their poverty, heaps scorn upon immigrants, shows deference to rich, and urges followers of Jesus to oppose universal health care? Certainly not the Bible the rest of us Christians read. See Wallis’ book God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and Left Doesn’t Get It.
I wonder if Jim Wallis might want to revise his book title. It seems to me that people like Mike Lux do get it. Whoever is calling the shots in Mr. Santorum’s theology, I can’t find him in the Bible. Must be the Jesus I never knew.
Surely this text appears in the Bible Mr. Santorum reads: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” In my Bible, that’s Exodus 20:16 and, for good measure, Deuteronomy 5:20.
Now, there’s a theology that is in the Bible.