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Good overview of how it came to this, Jack. I’m a retired United Methodist minister and have a little 100-page book out, The View From Down in Poordom: Reflections on Scriptures Addressing Poverty, I wrote largely in response to this kind of twisted theological mentality. In fact I write extensively about these very kinds of hypocritical politicians who are forever doing violence to the scriptures like “the poor will always be with you” and “those who don’t work don’t eat” (I have a whole chapter on that one). They do this by their biblical cherry picking — taking scriptures horrifically out of context and distorting the meanings to fit their self-serving political and personal agendas. I cite the example of the 13 Republican farmers in the House of Reps who voted to slash food-stamp funding while in the 2012 Farm Bill for ten years. All 13 of them extended the ten-year farm subsidies that put

money in their own pockets. The Jesus who chased the moneychangers out of the temple with a whip (without striking anybody, by the way) and thundered “Woe to you hypocrites!” repeatedly was the Prince of Peace. But Dorothy Sayers — the great British mystery writer who was a fierce theologian on the side — one said it so well: “Whatever the peace of Jesus, it was not a peace of amiable indifference.”

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