Who’s wearing the Bible belt like a badge of honor?

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2014

“She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” ~ author Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park (St. Martin’s Press, 2013)

An acquaintance of mine for whom I have a lot of respect and with whom I have deep political and philosophical differences posted a Facebook link to a blog post entitled “My God” by Rep. Mia McLeod, a Democrat member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Richland County. (For reference, she has also been known in the public realm as Mia Garrick and Mia Butler. Her web address understandably uses only miaforhouse.com). I commented on Facebook that the blog post was provocative to the point of provoking a newspaper column – this one.

Let me begin by complimenting Rep. McLeod on her ability to write clearly and powerfully. In my opinion, she could write professionally.

In her post, Rep. McLeod laments the fact that many of her colleagues in the majority of the SC legislature (read: Republicans) sent Christmas cards that included Bible verses, but in her opinion, their voting patterns just aren’t Christian.

She writes: “Must we be hypocrites about everything in this state? I mean…since we wanna wear the “Bible Belt” like a badge of honor, shouldn’t some of our actions reflect it? I was reminded that God can’t be pleased when “the majority” claims to be Christians in one breath and deliberately defies His very essence in the next…” She then reaches the verge of ridiculing the pro-life stance because, in her view, those same pro-lifers refuse to vote for enough government spending to take care of babies after they are born.

Then, after picking the scab of the Confederate flag issue and expressing embarrassment that one state official had a problem with Mandela’s violence-marred history, she starts being exactly what she claims to be criticizing in the majority: holier-than-thou. Example: “… And when I receive legislative emails from “Christian” coalitions that spew hatred for others in His name for their own political purposes, I can’t help but wonder what “God” these people serve. Surely not mine.”

Hatred? Would that perhaps be mere disagreement with someone’s stance? Currently “hatred” is a liberal Democratic code-word for opposition to two things: same-sex marriage and immigration reform. Yet when she voted for Barack Obama in the last two presidential elections, Obama did not support same-sex marriage, so by her own definition, didn’t Rep. McLeod vote for a hater to be the most powerful man in the world? To use her own words, “Must we be hypocrites about everything in this state?”

Then the blog post gets shrill: “…And “you lie!” (A not-so-subtle reference to Rep. Joe Wilson) if you even think we’re interested in accepting or supporting “anything Obama.” It just ain’t happening. No way. No how. Not here. Why? Well…according to Rep. Kris Crawford, it’s not (politically) popular for the Republican Party to even try to work with the black man in the White House. Yep, that’s good ole pure, unadulterated racism…just one of many “elephants” in the room. So tell me…where is (your) God in all of that?

Must she? That’s not just playing the race card, that’s throwing the whole deck. So disagreeing with the most leftist liberal to occupy the White House is nothing but pure racism? Tell that to conservative Republican Senator Tim Scott (who I’m sure Rep. McLeod supports?), our state’s first black US senator, and who was appointed to the post by the state’s first female governor, who is also not a WASP. Yes, there are some elephants in the room alright, and they aren’t white elephants and they sure aren’t racist either.

Back to the blog: “Saying we’re Christians is one thing. Behaving like Christians is another. Deliberately disenfranchising voters (Read: voter picture ID), denying healthcare (Read: opposing the disaster and lie that is Obamacare), equal educational and economic opportunities to certain South Carolinians, refusing to pass tougher gun laws (Fact check: Chicago murder rate) and failing to protect our state’s most vulnerable (More vulnerable than the unborn?) are just a few examples of ways in which God’s will has been preempted by power-hungry, good ole politicians who carelessly and callously hide behind His to invoke their own.

Don’t be confused. Our governor and lawmakers are much more adept at “playing God” than acting Godly.”

Somewhere from under that bus candidate Obama threw him under, Rev. Jeremiah Wright is surely smiling, for he still has at least one disciple. Did you get that – “God’s will” has been preempted by any lawmaker who is not a tax-and-spend, big government, nanny state advocate. And if you disagree with Rep. McLeod’s position on these issues, guess Who Else you’re opposing?

Do you remember where the Bible says Jesus went to the ruling party of his time, the Romans, and gave them a list of government entitlements and spending they needed to expand in order do God’s will? Me neither. Do you remember when he told his followers that paying more taxes was the key to the kingdom of heaven?

Me neither. The conservative, Biblical view of government has plenty of room for compassion and safety nets. But to bastardize the Gospel of Jesus into advocacy for higher tax revenues, gun control, and federalized health care as Rep. McLeod manages to do in her blog post is hypocrisy at its worst.

Perhaps Mia will issue a Mia Culpa on this one – right after she practices what she preaches and announces her support for Senator Tim Scott.

Will Haynie has published more than 400 oped columns as a feature columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News when it was owned by the New York Times. His niche is as a humorous conservative. Find him on Twitter at @willhaynie or email him at Haynie.will@gmail.com.

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