Precinct 333

Monday, April 11, 2005

Rangel Tries To Hijack Jesus And The Pope

Anyone catch this MSNBC exchange on Thursday?

MATTHEWS: I mean, Charlie, Jesus didn‘t hang around with the swells, the rich people.

RANGEL: Well, he said the rich are going straight to hell.


MATTHEWS: Well, he did not.



MATTHEWS: He said it is harder to get through a needle‘s...


RANGEL: No. But the deal with St. Matthews and all these people are trying to get into heaven. And he said, hey, when I was hungry, you didn‘t feed me. I was thirsty. I was naked. I was sick. You didn‘t do all these—he‘s talking about food stamps, Social Security.


RANGEL: He‘s talking about taking care of those who haven‘t got. So, when it comes to moral value, my Republican friends can decide which side the pope was on.

Uh, excuse me, I don’t find the New Deal and Great Society anywhere in the Bible – Old Testament or New. I wonder if “Charlie Cardinal Rangel” would care to provide us with chapter and verse citations for Jesus’ endorsement of these programs. And while I agree with his general point that the late pope did preach a Gospel-based message of concern and compassion for the poor, that does not necessarily mean that failure to embrace the leftist social platform of the Democrats is sinful. There are many ways to help the poor, sick, and outcast – ever hear of personal charity, Charlie? I realize that means that you don’t get to appropriate the money and direct it be spent for abortion and birth control (things that John Paul II certainly opposed), but that is how society dealt with such issues for some time before Roosevelt.

And by the way, I think Peter King and Mark Foley made an excellent point on Rangel’s attempt to turn the death and burial of the pope into a political opportunity for his party.

KING: Yes, I think we can certainly debate these in another setting.

To me, I am very confident that my beliefs reflect the pope‘s, but I‘m not saying Charlie‘s don‘t. I mean, I think, as a Catholic, I try to bring my faith and my religion to views I hold. I may end up on a different side than Charlie. I believe that mine are more close than he does, but that‘s really what our country is about.
But I think, on certain lasting principles, the pope stood out. And the pope did speak out, and rather than have these debates tonight. But there are different levels of what is dogma, what is prudential judgment, what‘s informed judgment. And we can have those debates another time.

I just think what he did tell all of us was that, if you are going to make a decision, make sure it does have a moral basis for it and be secure in your own conscience.


MATTHEWS: Mark, you want to get in on this?

FOLEY: Well, I can‘t believe we‘re talking Social Security in front of the Vatican.

Indeed – I can’t believe it, either. And certainly not the night before the Pope's funeral.


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