Congressman Charles Rangel invoked the name of Jesus Christ in arguing that the federal government needs to increase taxes on the wealthy to pay for social spending. In a Sunday interview on Fox News, the congressman shamelessly brought God into the political conflict. Rangel stated, "You know all this is biblical... If you read your Bibles and you read the spiritual scriptures you will see that clearly that Jesus would have something to say about this debate."
These statements made by the congressman beg the question of whether the New York congressman actually believes what comes out of his own mouth, or if he is just an evil, cynical politician who would invoke the name of God for political reasons.
While no one can truly know what is in the heart of another person, Congressman Rangel either believes that God wants him to tax the rich to pay for government social programs, or he does not. And if he does believe that the Lord Almighty, the Creator of heaven and Earth, wants him to raise taxes on the wealthy so that the government can spend it on programs that are inefficient and wasteful, then Charlie is a bit off his rocker.
Anyone who has studied the Bible knows that God wants people to be charitable to each other--every Christian accepts this as part of being a Christian. The political battle being waged in Washington is not over whether the United States will be charitable towards those less fortunate; it is over how to best care for those who need society's help.
Liberal Democrats argue the easy path of simply doling out handouts, giving away free money. In terms of the old proverb, Democrats choose to give the hungry man a fish once a day. But Republicans want to teach the man to fish, and thus make him self-sufficient. Instead of just giving away free money, the Republicans argue that increasing the economy as a whole will open up more opportunities for each member of society.
Critics claim that the Liberal Democratic approach is simple, instantly gratifying, and economically unsustainable. The Republican approach, according to supporters, is much more complicated, allows for the rich to get richer, but also allows for the rest of society to benefit from the healthy economic environment. In other words, the Republicans argue that if the economy expands, there will be more jobs, more taxes for government to spend, and more for everyone.
Is it possible that Charlie Rangel has become so cynical that he would use the Lord's name in vain for political advantage? Or does he truly believe that God is on his side? What ever the truth, only he and God know.