May 29, 2013 by David K. Sutton
Republicans Behaving Badly: Tennessee Representative Uses Bible To Justify Starvation
In the never-ending chronicles of Republicans behaving badly, Tennessee Representative Stephen Fincher uses a Bible quote as his shield. I guess in Fincher’s warped mind he is absolved of any guilt because he is only carrying out the wishes of God. I mean, it’s printed in the Bible. It’s supposed to be the word of God. And it’s REALLY old! And it’s written in English no less!
Salon — In recent moves by Congress to slash $4.1 billion or more from food stamps (otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) over the next 10 years, Fincher quoted from 2 Thessalonians 3:10:
“For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.”
Fincher used this line to prove his point that lazy poor people shouldn’t be depending on the government to feed them. Of course, Fincher and his fellows are worried because SNAP rolls have swelled by 70% since the financial collapse back in 2008, causing the government to spend $80 billion* to feed poor people. But instead of curbing the bankers’ economy-destroying ways or ending their corporate welfare, they seek to take it out of the stomachs of poor people.
And he abuses the Bible to make his point.
I gotta tell ya, I’m not all that worried about misinterpretations and “abuses” of the Bible. The reason we know Fincher is wrong has nothing to do with the Bible. We know he’s wrong, and we don’t need a book to back it up, because we do not derive our morals from a book. In fact, forget about morals. I dislike the word. I’m more concerned with ethics.
We construct our code of ethics from our own innate sense of right and wrong. And because of this, there is no book to hide behind. If you are behaving badly…if you propose treating fellow human beings poorly — it is of your own accord. Forget about God. Bypass the Bible. There’s nothing to hide behind.
If you think it’s a good idea to judge people you don’t know and condemn them for actions for which you offer no proof, then your inner sense of right and wrong is in desperate need of calibration.