Democrats’ Misplaced Faith

A bizarre concession speech-turned-sermon illustrates a lot.

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Democrat, tried to rally dispirited party members in an odd speech following Tuesday’s election losses. At times, Stumbo sounded more like a preacher speaking to his flock than a politician. The primary takeaway is that Democrats have no idea how to talk about faith, and they are particularly guilty of making Christianity into nothing more than a religion about Big Government.

Memo to Democrats: Jesus wasn’t a socialist.

Perhaps Stumbo ditched his victory speech last minute for this impromptu sermon. After all, Democrats were floored that, once again, polls were so wrong. Conservatives Matt Bevin and Jenean Hampton handily won election as governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, despite being down in the polls.

Acknowledging a “bad night,” Stumbo promised a “new day” was coming. “Our message has to be reflected upon,” he exhorted. “We can’t let them miscommunicate what our core values are. We can’t let them make people believe that we are not godly people. We can’t make them believe that only Christians are Republicans and Republicans [are] therefore entitled to hold office.”

Stumbo’s sermon boiled down to this: We’re Democrats because “the Bible tells me so.”

But his ignorance and gross misinterpretation were on full display:

> “I’m gonna admit I have not read the Holy Book from front to finish like some of you probably have, but my reading of our Bible shows that the word Republican or Democrat isn’t used. And people sometimes ask me … what would Jesus have been if he were alive? Would he be a Democrat or Republican? I don’t know. Nobody knows. The Bible doesn’t tell us that, does it?

> "But I believe the Bible is a book of parables. God teaches us through lessons. We are children and this is the primer that he uses to teach us lessons. So, the lessons of our party are the lessons of the Bible.”

Here Stumbo makes a huge leap of faith and logic. His argument is essentially that God uses the Bible to teach us lessons, therefore Democrats are the Bible Party. This goes beyond clinging to religion — this is a blatant attempt to co-opt Scripture for political gain. To be fair, both parties are capable of doing that. Ohio governor and GOP presidential candidate John Kasich has used Matthew 25 to endorse expanding ObamaCare in his state.

Stumbo continued:

> “I don’t know whether Jesus would’ve been a Democrat or Republican. Nobody else does. But I know this, he was a carpenter and a teacher. And … the carpenter and teachers I know are pretty good Democrats.

> "And the other thing I know is that if in fact the Bible is a book of parables … as I believe it is, think about this: Mary did not ride an elephant into Bethlehem that night!”

In other words, Mary couldn’t have been a Republican. And Christ was a Democrat because he was a teacher.

First of all, the Bible doesn’t tell us how Mary got from Nazareth to Bethlehem, only that she traveled with her husband Joseph. Furthermore, she was complying with a government mandate to be counted in the census for the purposes of taxation. Even in Jesus’ time, the government could be heavy handed and onerous.

But neither detail is the point of the incarnation narrative, and to reduce the Bible to a political manual is simply wrong.

Stumbo wasn’t done.

> “So, you go home and you go to your church and you tell people, ‘I’m a Democrat. I’m a God-fearing Democrat. … You gonna go to church and challenge those people about values and morals and talk about the things that this party was built upon? Say yes! You can even say 'Amen’ if you want to.”

Go to church and pick a fight with a Republican! Stand up for your religious belief in the Democrat Party!

> “I’m a Democrat that believes in the principles of the Bible that became the principles of our party. That this wealth accumulation in America has to cease!”

Scripture has a lot to say about using wealth responsibly and honorably, and not a word of it has to do with taxes and government redistribution. Stumbo confessed that he hasn’t read the entire Bible, but that sure didn’t stop him from telling us that Democrats know it better than Republicans.

Stumbo finished his sermon with perhaps his most bizarre remarks of the night. He declared that Democrats were anticipating their new savior — a “lady jockey” riding on a horse called “Arkansas Traveler.” Obviously, this was an awkward reference to Hillary Clinton, who he declared will “come here to Kentucky next year and help us rebuild this party.”

Seven years after the arrival of the current false messiah, Democrats are still putting their hope in princes — er, princesses. It would be one thing if this were simply misplaced faith, but it could have disastrous consequences for the country.

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