On Wednesday, PJ Media posted an article about some recent reporting by the Miami Herald.
The article reports:
The Miami Herald has discovered something about Republican politicians, and boy, is it a problem. You may want to sit down for this one.
GOP politicians who are Christians use scripture in their speeches.
The article explains the incident that it regards as a problem:
I know. You’re not really shocked or appalled, but this information came as news to the Miami Herald’s Ana Ceballos, particularly when it comes to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who Ceballos’ article says is “playing with fire.”
The reporter goes all the way back to February to cite a speech DeSantis made at Hillsdale College to make her point.
“Put on the full armor of God. Stand firm against the left’s schemes. You will face flaming arrows, but if you have the shield of faith, you will overcome them, and in Florida we walk the line here,” DeSantis said in his speech. “And I can tell you this, I have only begun to fight.”
Now, I wince a little bit at DeSantis using “the left” where the apostle Paul talks about the devil in Ephesians 6:10-18, but I get his point. The left is engaging in a hard push for policies that violate Judeo-Christian morality in many ways, and believers need to engage many of the same weapons of spiritual warfare — prayer, faith, devotion to God’s Word — to aid in combatting these assaults.
But, as Ceballo points out, this is problematic because there’s a slim chance that an extremely small fringe of people might take the spiritual warfare talk literally.
“[DeSantis] and other Republicans on the campaign trail are blending elements of Christianity with being American and portraying their battle against their political opponents as one between good and evil,” Ceballos states. “Those dynamics have some political observers and religious leaders worrying that such rhetoric could become dangerous, as it could mobilize fringe groups who could be prone to violence in an attempt to have the government recognize their beliefs.”
There is a precedent for political leaders quoting the Bible in speeches. Abraham Lincoln said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” That is a direct Biblical quote.
The article notes:
Politicians as diverse as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan have invoked the Bible and Christian faith. Does this make them “Christian nationalists”? Did fringe mobs leap into action from these speeches and statements?
The other thing that Ceballos and her sources miss — or ignore — is that Democrats use scripture, speak in churches, and invoke Christianity all the time. Was it “Christian nationalism” when Hillary Clinton spoke in an African American church and co-opted a black dialect to say that she was “no ways tired” of fighting? Is it “playing with fire” for Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi to invoke their Catholicism, which they often do, or for Stacey Abrams to mention that she’s the daughter of pastors, which she does all the time? Is the fact that Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) is a pastor who fights for unbiblical policies an issue?
Christians need to make sure they hang on to their First Amendment rights. Those rights are under attack.