Some Republican politicians this year, having lost the moral high ground on fiscal and economic issues after wallowing in the mud of political corruption are, ironically, wrapping themselves more than ever in the rhetoric of values. The commonly used theme is that the United States is a “Christian nation” and that the US legal system is based on “Judeo-Christian values.” Lately I’m left wondering if some of these folks don’t need a refresher course in exactly what Judeo-Christian values are.
- Hillel the Elder, one of the most important figures in the development of modern Judaism, summed up the Jewish law thus:
What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Law; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
- Jesus Christ, inarguably the most important figure in Christianity, summed things up thus:
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
This is the Law and the Prophets…The rest is explanation…almost like they met in the Temple or something.
When it comes to public discourse and public policy, it’s hard to reconcile the most basic premise of both Jewish and Christian values with the actions of these “values” politicians when it comes to personal matters either. As if political corruption weren’t enough, there’s case after case where these Christians might want to pay more attention to the words of Christ:
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Whether it’s divorcing your wife of 30 plus years to marry a lobbyist and claiming to be a defender traditional marriage by voting to incorporate bigotry into the Constitution, touting family values while carrying on with prostitutes or keeping kids in foster care or worse rather than let them be adopted into loving homes, Republican politicians would do well to stick with economic conservatism if they can’t walk the walk of “Judeo-Christian values” in their own lives. If they want to improve the moral fabric of the nation, then they should lead by example, instead of trying to use the blunt instrument of government to remove specks from their brother’s eyes. If they could simply recommit themselves to the “values” of limited government and sound fiscal policy, that would do far more to strengthen families than providing example after example of hypocrisy and deceit.