23 November 2014

Fox News loses Scripture Showdown with President Obama

In his recent immigration speech, President Obama referred to scripture, saying:
Scripture tells us, we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger. We were strangers once, too.
Which is an accurate statement of Commandment 88:
Thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Exodus 23:9
And which also, of course, upset the true believers at Fox News. Here is what they had to say about it at Fox and Friends:

Steve Doocy began by saying:

So there the president of the United States in Cross Hall at the White House invoking scriptures, which I believe have to do with feeding the poor and hungry, and nothing about visas.
But Mr. Doocy's belief here is incorrect. The president's reference was nearly a direct quote of Exodus 23:9, which says nothing at all about feeding the poor and hungry, but rather how "strangers" ("immigrants" in The Common English Bible) should be treated. The Bible commands believers not to oppress immigrants. And that seems relevant to the immigration and visa policy debate.

Then came Elizabeth Hasselback, who began quoting scripture herself, challenging the president to a "Scripture Showdown" (begins at about 1:54):

I'm just saying, Proverbs 11:14, since we are in a scripture showdown: Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Proverbs 12:15

From which, I guess, we are supposed to conclude that President Obama is a fool for not taking the advice of congressional Republicans. (Seems like a risky thing to say in light of Jesus's words in Matthew 5:22.)

And finally, Tucker Carlson said (2:48) this:

But to quote scripture? That is totally out of bounds -- that is just out of bounds!

Which is really interesting, since less than 48 hours earlier, Fox News complained that President Obama didn't quote the Bible enough. Now, when he quotes the Bible in his speech on immigration, it "is totally out of bounds."

Of course, I (more or less) agree with Mr. Carlson here. It is out of bounds. The Bible is worse than useless as a guide to government and public policy (or anything else). In this case, the president referred to one of the Bible's few good commandments. But what if he decided to impose Commandment 87 instead of 88?

Not even Fox News would go along with that one!


Stephen said...

Excellent analysis, Steve! I wish you could go on Faux News ("We deceive, you believe") as a commentator. Actually, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy's dead dog. But thanks for keeping their hypothetical feet to the fire!

Every time I hear Obama quoting scripture, I throw up in the back of my throat a bit. I know it's his speech writers' doing, but it sounds like pandering to me, and I wish he could rise above it.
Steve Weeks

Pecos B said...

If Obama wants to quote the Old Testament of Exodus 23:9 comparing America with the Israelites to not oppress strangers, that's fine. However, somebody should have brought to his attention Exodus 23:17 "Three items in the year all thy males shall appear before the LORD God." If Obama wants us to follow verse 9 above we should also follow verse 17. Perhaps the President by following the edicts of the OT should become an Orthodox Jew and make our country the second Israel so we can open our borders to the world just like Israel does.