Joe Scarborough Cites Scripture to Hit Conservatives
He and Al Sharpton decide that those who support repealing Obamacare are not Christian
On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe,” co-host Joe Scarborough discussed with Rev. Al Sharpton the men’s interpretation of Jesus’ specific instructions to provide everyone with access to health care.
After lambasting Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) for his recent comments about people having to choose to buy health insurance rather than a new iPhone, they then used a quote by Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) to denounce the sincerity of any Christian who would oppose government provided health care.
“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us.’ There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”
Marshall said, “Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us.’ There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves … The Medicaid population, which is [on] a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising.”
While co-host Mika Brzezinksi displayed shock and outrage through her facial expressions, Scarborough and Sharpton babbled on about this “complete twisting” of the Gospel.
The very mandate of Christ, they insisted, was the responsibility of His followers to provide health care and other government assistance to the poor. After accusing Marshall of twisting the Gospel, Scarborough and Sharpton themselves twisted the Gospel and message of Jesus for their own political arguments.
Scarborough insisted that anyone who ever read Matthew 25 would understand what Jesus meant by caring for “the least of these.” He went on to refer to the Good Samaritan parable and the “goats and sheep” parable. Sharpton also mentioned the story of the rich young ruler whom Jesus told to sell everything he had and follow Him, in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven — and denounced what he called “selective compassion.”
If one only read the parable of the sheep and the goats or another parable in isolation, it might be possible to misinterpret the message, or understood those who do misinterpret it. However — Jesus is not providing instruction on the treatment of the poor, but instead warning of His coming judgment on those who believe in Him as Lord and Savior (represented by sheep) and those who rejected Him (represented by goats).
His followers embraced His message of salvation, and are saved by His atonement through the cross. Their acts of service represent how they treated Jesus’ message and His messengers versus those who rejected both Jesus’ message and His messengers.
In Matthew 25, the parable of the sheep and the goats is preceded by the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the Talents. The Ten Virgins instructs Christians to be prepared for Jesus’ return, while the Parable of the Talents warns Christians to be wise stewards with the blessing of salvation. The responsibility of Christians is to tell others about the saving grace of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. The love and service Christians offer others is through the love of the Holy Spirit.
Should Christians care for “the least of these,” meaning the poor, widowed, and orphaned? Absolutely. And to a great — albeit ignored — extent, there are churches and missions around the world that do so in the name of Jesus Christ. But did Jesus teach that it is the responsibility of the government to mandate health care to all? Of course not. Is personal salvation dependent upon one’s treatment of the poor? No.
The government has no such reconciliation to offer.
Consider the thief on the cross next to Jesus who was promised paradise because of his recognition of who Jesus was — the Son of God. There are no stories of this thief helping the poor or sheltering the homeless. He was saved by his faith. Charity, grace, and love are shown by Christians not to earn salvation, but to share the Good News of the Gospel. Good works are in response to the goodness of Christ.
Regarding the argument for the “least of these” being only those who Sharpton and Scarborough deem politically acceptable — what about the unborn? What about the disabled, deformed, or unwanted? Are they also considered “the least of these”? Surely the most vulnerable in the womb deserve protection and provision for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Although Sharpton and Scarborough offered to teach a Bible class in which Sharpton could explain his reasoning for calling Jesus a refugee for his own political argument, teach compassion for the poor, and explain black history, they would likely benefit from refraining to provide their biblical interpretations. The message of Christ, His very mandate, is the need for forgiveness from sin and His provision through His own death and resurrection. The government has no such reconciliation to offer.
Katie Nations is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.