Thursday, May 10, 2012

Idiot congressman defends denying poor children school lunches by quoting non-existent scripture

On Wednesday, MSNBC's Martin Basir invited Rep. Joe Barton to discuss an upcoming vote in the House that would slash funding for, among other things, Meals on Wheels, and school lunches for poor children. Barton, some of you may recall, was the dipshit congressman who apologized on the House floor to BP in 2010 for our ocean getting in the way of their oil.

Barton said a few interesting things, but one thing that REALLY caught my attention was when he tried to defend his callous cuts by pointing to the Bible. (Skip to 8:08)




For those of you that can't watch clips at work, here's a partial transcript:

Bashir: I know you're a long time member of the Methodist Church. Is that correct?

Barton: Yes, sir. That's a true statement.

Bashir: How do you square your approach with the Psalm 146, where the Psalmist writes this: "He gives food to the hungry. The lord protects foreigners. He defends orphans and widows."  Isn't this the exact opposite of the cuts being proposed by Republicans in congress?

Barton: No, the lord helps those who helps themselves...

Bashir:  Which verse of scripture is that, sir?


Barton: Well, it's uh..


Bashir: I don't think you'll find that in the Old or New Testament.


Barton: Well, that was taught to me by my father who is president of the United Methodist school board in Waco Texas, and Bryan, Texas. 

So Bashir quoted scripture to make his case against the Repubicans' policy, and Barton tries to defend himself by using a line, which he THOUGHT was also scripture, but actually doesn't exist in the Bible. And his father taught him that? Sounds like a pretty shitty teacher. I Wonder if his dad happens to be David Barton...

But what made that exchange worse was that here you have a guy who clearly thought that he was being clever with his rebuttal, and yet when it was made painfully apparent that he was full of shit, he remained absolutely unfazed. Not only was he not bothered by this, but he actually laughs about it ("Haha, so you mean one of the basic tenets of my religion, which I followed throughout my entire life was actually never advocated by the central figure of said religion? Boy is MY face red!")

In fairness, I suppose I can't be too hard on Barton for having no understanding of his religion, since most of his fellow Christians don't seem to have any understanding either.

Oh, and for the record, Jesus also never said that women who take contraception are sluts.



 UPDATE: Minor correction. Some readers have informed me that BP used to stand for British Petroleum, but it no longer does. It's simply BP p.l.c.

UPDATE #2:  Some readers criticized this story as being inaccurate, since they feel Barton wasn't attempting to use a Biblical argument. Really? If that was the case, the discussion would simply be as follows:

Bashir: The Bible says blah blah blah.

Barton: Well, here's a NON-Bible related rebuttal to show that this is superior to your actual Bible related argument!


Does anyone think any Republican would even REMOTELY attempt such an argument? It doesn't matter if Barton's defense comes outside the Bible, because he will not acknowledge that anyway.

Second, we don't need to speculate what Barton may have been thinking. Again, look at the exchange. He was obviously taken aback when Bashir asked him where in the Bible his quote was stated. That's why he tried to damage control by bringing up his dad and made the reference to his Church!

Come on, people. This isn't that hard.


UPDATE #3: Also, related to Update #1, I've also gotten complaints about being "xenophobic" for referring to BP as British Petroleum? Um...that wasn't my intention at all. I honestly thought that was the company's actual name. But for the record, I have absolutely no problem with the fine folks in Great Britain or most other countries for that matter. So apologies if anyone was mistakenly offended.

57 comments:

  1. Even if it WAS in the Bible...how can poor children and the infirmed help themselves?

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    Replies
    1. Having enough food in their belly so they can pay attention in class is a good start.

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    2. no then they'll be intelligent and not fall for bullshit politicians and preachers.

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  2. Well you see, we now have the Joe Barton Bible which instructs in the ways and means of the Joe Barton schism from the Methodists.

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  3. Why do people vote for this sack of shit? I live near his district but I still can't figure it out.

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  4. The White house Press Secretary made the same mistake last November.

    http://youtu.be/xATrFN-hMWU

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  5. I will give you living water is what he said to the slut. You will not thirst.

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    Replies
    1. Is that a euphemism for fellatio?

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    2. In the name of the Giggity
      And the Giggity
      and the Holy Goo
      Amen

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  6. If you are pointing out that some random person at some random time wrote EVERY SINGLE bible verse... I agree.

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  7. Then I have a perfect solution!!1

    Child labor. They can then afford to eat and we can out compete the Chinese.

    PROFIT!!1111

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  8. Joe Barton is indeed an idiot and if he's "quoting" that as scripture, then I don't think he really doing too much study of the scriptures.

    However, in an almost unrelated point (because of how far gone Barton is), I think the government should encourage citizens to support the needy around them by allowing tax write offs, cuts and credits for donating and volunteering with these services and charities. Heck, offer a government matching program for funding these services so that people take part in helping their communities and fellow man and not just rely on our broken, out of touch, corrupt government to do the good deeds for us.

    We cannot trust our government to provide everything we need and so we should not expect our government to provide everything we need. Less government, more community.

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    Replies
    1. AMEN!! People USED to help their neighbors, but Its Rare these days. We don't even know out neighbors anymore, some don't even Want to! In cities especially, I live "out of town" and I know my neighbors and they know me, we Actually Do Help Each Other!!

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    2. Ummm, doesn't the government already do that? You can already deduct charitable contributions from your federal taxes(contributions of basically any form but time).

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    3. Government is supposed to be the representation of the community incarnate. So what we need is a strong government that truly represents the people of the community. Great things can be done with government when people are represented by those without their own greedy agenda.

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    4. Hmm, let's see, poor hungry people surroundedby all of us for many years, problem getting worse. Hmmm guess this community and faith based help for these people isn't working.l.hmm who should we ask for help... Hmmm.

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    5. I agree. The government should also build schools and bridges. And it should enact laws and stuff.

      Wait, it already does all that?
      Nevvver miiind...

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    6. The government does already allow tax deductions for any charitable giving, though the amount required to make a blip is significant and it only pays off if you itemize, at least that was the case last time I did my own taxes. However I will note that this is far short from matching, as it depends on your tax bracket and is less than 35%.

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  9. I think in your transcript you mean "Bryan, Texas" instead of "Bryant". There's no T. Also, Joe Barton is an idiot and I'm ashamed to be living in a state that is partly represented by him.

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  10. Bashir should have replied with - "will the lord help me if I help myself to the contents of your wallet?"

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    Replies
    1. Love that idea! What an entrepreneur!

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  11. I've had people use that on me. My reply was simply:
    "No you idiot, that was Bejamon Franklin. He said that as an insult to sycophant Christians at the time who just think praying will solve your problems. Oh, and Franklin Hated organized religion and had no love of the Christian faoth"

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  12. “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.”
    ― Stephen Colbert

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    Replies
    1. so simple, so true, and all in one great sentence.

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  13. What is even more telling is that most "Christians" who are against women's rights and froth at the mouth fighting for embryo rights have not stepped forward to help Nadiya Suleman who should be a poster child for the non-destruction of embroyos. Yet, none of these right-I-am Christians support the kids or their families when they are in need... shouldn't they be contributing to the upkeep of this family circus since their beliefs have instigated it!

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  14. He didn't claim it was from the Bible. He claimed that it was a moral taught by his father. It is, however, hilarious that Christians so often reference this Ben Franklin quote, given that Franklin originally said it to comment that prayer and dependence on God doesn't get you anywhere on its own. Better to study for a test than spend all night praying for an A.

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  15. Unbelievable... Jesus taught that the FIRST PEOPLE you support are the orphans, and then the widows! Fucking moronic political Americanisms.

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  16. I think that religion shouldn't even be an influence in laws and acts passed by Americans...you know...because we live in a "free" country and not everyone is christian.

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  17. My grandmother used to repeat that same line - but she never claimed it was in the Bible, and I doubt that Barton's father did either. Barton just "assumed" it was from the Bible, and you know what they say happens when people "ass-u-me", lol.

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  18. Since the Bible is a bunch of bullshit made up of myths, legends and outright lies, what does it matter?

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    Replies
    1. I know you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But, do you have to be so offensive? If you don't believe...why are you even commenting???

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    2. What's so offensive about that? I didn't see anything there to be offended by ... is your faith that weak?

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  19. Apparently reading the Bible makes you more liberal!
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/october/survey-bible-reading-liberal.html
    Makes you wonder how much the Religious Right (*) read their bibles and how much they create God in their own image.
    (*) BTW that term makes me choke.
    Shalom (translation - May you be everything that God created you to be)

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  20. that's not the religious right... that's the religious wrong...

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  21. Barton: Well, that was taught to me by my father who is president of the United Methodist school board in Waco Texas, and Bryant, Texas.

    Taught to me.. I have an empty head and I just sit here and people pour ideas in and i do not read or examine the ideas, I just repeat them...and I believe the same things i was taught to believe as a child, I have not grown or changed in any way because that would take energy to read and think and that is entirely too much like work

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  22. From Wikipedia:
    The poet George Herbert published a collection of proverbs, Jacula Prudentum (1651), which included "Help thyself, and God will help thee."[6] But it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney who originated the now familiar version, "God helps those who help themselves",[7] apparently the first exact rendering of the phrase. Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, used it in his almanac in 1736 and has been widely quoted.[8] As a deist, Franklin believed in God but that God did not intervene in earth's affairs, so all responsibility was incumbent upon people.

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  23. you are stupid.children dont have a clue a bout labor laws. i could see your idea of fair 16hrs work 7 days a week no healthcare no time for family you people are just sloberyng to take addvantage.

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    Replies
    1. Well most folks that I know who actually work... Aren't far off... They typically work 60-65 hours a week... Spend 3-4 hours commuting to work... Then spend 2-3 hours at the most vegitating with their children...watching mind numbing "reality TV".... Getting fat... Oblivious to most things going on in their children's lives... Marching toward costing personally hundreds of thousands of dollars in healthcare... Since there was realistically nowhere to fit in exercise or cooking a healthy.. Non-preprepared mean...that didn't come out of a bag.

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  24. ‎19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake them before [his] disciples, and the multitude.

    20 And he did eat all, and was filled: and when they took up of the fragments that remained not more than twelve crumbs.

    21 But Jesus said unto them, Fuck you; I have got mine, Jack.

    Matthew 14:19-21

    Am I doing it right?

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  25. There's another basic factual question - in terms of his dad being "President of the United Methodist School Board" - with a few exceptions (10 specifically), the United Methodist Church doesn't operate pre-collegiate schools. To say that his father was "President of the School Board" means that his father wasn't presiding over an academic institution, but more likely his dad served as a voluntary chairperson of the local church Sunday School (Christian Education) program. As a United Methodist, I can assure you that position generally doesn't require any degree of professional or theological training. (Which is possibly why confusing Ben Franklin with a quote from the Bible can happen).

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  26. How is it that the so-called Christians of the conservative party never remember to follow Matthew 25:31-46? I'm not a Christian myself, but I think Gandhi had it right when he said, "I like your Christ. But I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

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  27. Joe (BP) Barton and Rick (oops) Perry have been the laughing stock of Texas for years. I've lived her for alomst 20 years now and when some asks whee I'm from I always say Montana where I lived for 12 years. Joe and Rick are simply pathetic.

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  28. It is very upsetting when politicians mis-quotes or erroneously quotes scripture. "God helps those who help themselves" is not in scripture. If one focuses on the teachings of Jesus Christ; Jesus constantly "had compassion for the hungry crowds and fed them". His story of the sheep and the goats in Matthew is very clear. The early church "had all things in common". There was an early welfare system under the law of the Old Testament. The ten per cent tithe was given to the orphan, widow and street person, as well as to the priests. Farmers were instructed to leave a certain amount of food on their plants, so that the poor could 'glean' food during the harvest. The widow, orphan, priest and street person were invited to the harvest celebration feast.

    Most churches have amazing programs to distribute food and clothing, bikes and televisions etc, to those struggling in their own cities, and help in many other ways. Some raise money for women in Africa to receive re-constructive surgery for lips, noses, ears, and other parts of faces, cut by child soldiers.

    As a Canadian, I try not to comment on US politics. But this article really saddened me. It would be good to sees some-one with true Christian values, become elected in place of this man.
    Kind Regards.

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  30. Proverbs 19:17
    Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.

    My interpretation of this passages and the many like it is, god rewards those who help others, not the twisted view the neo-cons have twisted to give justification to their greedy and harsh rhetoric.

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  31. Luke 6:35
    But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

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  32. Hey Rep. Barton, this IS in the Bible and comes from Jesus' own mouth

    Matthew 25:41-45

    "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. 'They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

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  33. Well to be fair, BP is a foreign company coming into our territory and taking our oil, and spilling it all over our coastlines. I think it's fair to be even more pissed that another nation is taking our resources, and not have to feel xenophobic about it. Was Iran Xenophobic when BP came in and tried to take their oil?

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  34. I have always wondered if rotting empires all had similar craziness. We will probably never know about the Persian, Roman, or Mayan empires. The american empire will, at least, provide a "paper trail" for history students of the future.

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  35. Well, going by the quoted Psalm, it's pretty obvious: The Bible says that GOD will help the poor, etc, not that the government or any person should do so. But, more interestingly, it's obvious he *isn't* doing this, which proves God is a liar, and that we shouldn't trust him or anything in the book he allegedly wrote. (Analysis has shown it was written by dozens of people over the course of centuries; he just claimed credit, like William Shatner did for the Tekwar books.)

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  36. Having read the Bible many times and having heard that quote many times, I'm pretty certain that 'God helps those who help themselves' is just used so that parents can tell their kids to go f themselves.

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  37. Not all of religion is contained in Scripture. The line Barton quoted is a perfectly valid piece of dogma (as far as *that* goes), and whether it's specifically Biblical or simply part of the religion isn't so important. Rabbinical Judaism, for instance, is based on the Bible, but the Talmud contains a huge body of additional law and what can best be described as "Biblical fanfic". One could say that the Golden Rule of R. Hillel is central to Judaism, but it's not in the Bible!

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  38. Setting aside, entirely, any discussion of whether the government has a role in feeding the needy, the basic point of Psalm 146 is that God is worthy of trust and confidence, while man will always disappoint. To use this particular psalm to justify government's role in taking care of the needy is to entirely miss the point. Both Barton and Basir need remediation in scripture and logic. They both essentially talk for a living, right?

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+146&version=KJV
    http://reallysmartguys.com

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  39. So if I'm understanding these moments...bad man tries to cite Bible as source for unChristian political stance. Therefore ALL Christians are mindless hypocrites. Got it! Thanks for the superior login, reason and rationale. You guys are soon unlike these politicians. Yep!

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  40. Here are some quotes from scripture he could have used:
    2 Thessalonians 3:10 "...this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."

    Matthew 26:11 "The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me."

    Hosea 13:16 "The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open."

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  41. Petrios: Where did you get the idea that I was implying all Christians are idiots just because Barton happens to be one?

    This criticism was pretty clearly directed towards Barton, and at his fellow Bible thumping Republicans in congress.

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