Read this editorial carefully. It’s a brief but brilliant lecture on how politicians shouldn’t selectively quote Scripture to make a cheap political point.
The target of this opinion from the Beaumont Enterprise is the lame-duck Texas governor, Rick Perry, who told the Washington Post that Scripture tells us there always will be poor folks. As the Enterprise noted, Perry’s comment to the Post is just another way of saying “What’s the use?” in helping the poor.
The editorial also notes that Jesus possibly was referring to an Old Testament reference that calls on us to reach out and help the poor whenever possible.
Conservatives and liberals alike have this annoying habit of turning to the Holy Word and cherry-picking passages, taking them out context, and turning them into their political ammunition to fire at their adversaries. Conservatives use the Bible to argue against gay rights, abortion rights and whether to teach evolution in public schools. Liberals use the Bible to argue for helping the poor.
I’ve always been leery of those who keep citing Scripture — Old and New Testament alike. It’s always good to examine all of what Jesus told his followers or what the prophets were saying many centuries before Jesus Christ’s birth.
Gov. Perry’s misuse of a biblical statement is just one more example that we must not follow.