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John Kasich And Matthew 25, Revisited

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John Kasich And Matthew 25, Revisited

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This is Republican Gov. John Kasich explaining in March why he expanded coverage for Ohio’s Medicaid recipients:

The conservative movement — a big chunk of which is faith-based — seems to have never read Matthew 25. … There’s so much we have to do to clean ourselves up. … So instead of getting into the judgment, why don’t we get into the feeding the hungry and clothing the naked and helping the imprisoned and helping the lonely? That’s what we’re commanded to do.

This is Republican presidential candidate John Kasich explaining on Tuesday why he has joined more than two dozen governors who say they’ll refuse to accept any of the 10,000 Syrian refugees, many of them widows and children, to arrive in the U.S. in the next fiscal year:

“We understand these people are in trouble, but think about … us putting somebody on our street, in our town or in our country who (means) us harm. … We just got to be very careful for our friends, our neighbors, our families and our country. … Until we get a handle on where we are, we need to stop. And once we have a rational program and we can determine who it is that’s coming, then it’s another story. But for this point in time, in light of what we’re seeing in the world, it’s reasonable to stop.”

What happened to Matthew 25?

Pfft. So pre-primary.

I listen to these governors — all of whom know they have no power to defy the president and close their borders — and marvel at how readily they pander to the worst among us. I don’t know what version of the Bible they’re thumping, but I sure would like a cloud-side seat on that storied day when they try to explain themselves to you-know-who.

For me, the joking ends here.

Just a few short weeks ago, we reeled at the sight of a little boy named Aylan Kurdi. The 3-year-old Syrian Kurd tried to flee with his family from Turkey to Europe. Their boat capsized, and Aylan’s lifeless body washed ashore. His 5-year-old brother and mother drowned, too, but it is Aylan we remember because of the photographs of him that were published online and in newspapers around the world.

In the pictures, he is wearing a red shirt and shorts, lying on his stomach. His face is turned ever so slightly to his left, his arms resting palms up by his side. His was the universal pose of a busy little boy surrendering to a nap. Maybe that’s why he got to us. He was every child we’ve ever known.

On the same day that Kasich said Syrian refugees are not welcome in the state he has abandoned for his presidential race, he announced his nifty idea to fight the Islamic State group: a new agency to impose “the core Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share.” He would target China, Iran, Russia, and the Middle East.

“We need to beam messages around the world about what it means to have a Western ethic,” he said in an interview with NBC News. “It means freedom. It means opportunity. It means respect for women.”

Let’s stop right there.

Respect for women? This, from the governor who has championed some of the harshest abortion restrictions in the country.

And what about this notion of a universal set of Judeo-Christian values in the Western world?

On Wednesday, I spoke to Colin Swearingen, an assistant professor of political science at John Carroll University, near Cleveland, to talk about Kasich’s theory that we’re all just one big freedom-loving family in the West.

“The Declaration of Independence centered on liberty,” Swearingen said. “A lot of Western civilization focuses more on equality. This is a significant difference in how you set up government.”

So what does he make of Kasich’s idea?

“Well, the establishment clause certainly jumps out at you,” he said. “Was it a slip-up, or is he trying to reach out to the Iowa caucuses? In 2012, 57 percent of them were evangelicals. Maybe this is some sort of coherent strategy where Kasich sees an opening in Iowa.”

I have searched and searched my Bible, and I cannot find any holy dispensation for presidential candidates who turn away widows and orphans to help their poll numbers with people who like that sort of thing. I did, however, find last month’s Quinnipiac poll that showed Kasich trailing far behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson in his own state.

Overall, we’re seeing some interesting timing from Kasich, don’t you think?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this new interpretation of Matthew 25 works out for him.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. She is the author of two books, including …and His Lovely Wife, which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz (con.schultz@yahoo.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks at the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado, October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Connie Schultz

Connie Schultz is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicated. Schultz won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. She has also published two books: Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths -- a collection of her previously published columns -- and ...and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man, which chronicled her experiences on the campaign trail with her husband, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

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13 Comments

  1. Daniel Jones November 19, 2015

    Politics makes strange bedfellows.. in other words, the condiments (existing solely as flavor for the fat bombs that are the gentry plank) are getting their freak on.

    Reply
  2. rednekokie November 19, 2015

    Over seventy five years ago, the same words and ideas were brayed about regarding the Jewish children who were denied sanctuary from the Nazis in WWII.
    Will these insensitive and disgustingly self-perfect people never cease?
    The same Bible which he so thoroughly nit-pics states that he should love his neighbor.
    Does he not consider desperate people to be his neighbor? If he doesn’t, he is reading the wrong translation of his Bible. What a jerk!!!

    Reply
    1. Polana November 19, 2015

      “I guess surrender of USA to the Greater Israel is complete. There were times when partnership stopped at our borders and the Congress Supported the US President. Now it seems USA is a North American Colony of Greater Israel and the US President is just the Governor of the Colony and the Congress now reports to the PM of Israel.” Sharon in 2005 to GW Bush.

      Now US reports to Israel.

      I don’t care about the religion of any of the politician/candidates. I would like to hear about the issues not about who is the holiest than thou of the bunch contest. I am voting on issues like jobs, economy, peace and how to stay out of other countries borders/business/lives.

      Kasich can built/dig a moat around Ohio and import alligators from Florida or Texas and offer the refugees for lunch/dinner/supper.

      They R running scared of their own shadows.

      I believe that in 1962 (or 1963 before his assassination) JFK said before Congress “If we cannot fulfill ideas at home, we cannot expect the whole world to accept them. ”

      Typical Republican fear mongering a crass attempt to cash in on tragedy of others for their political gain – a new low for republicans.
      They belong to Hall of Shame

      If you truly want to be effective in today’s world, if you sincerely want to understand other people, it seems absolutely critical that we accept the reality that all these people out there who are different from the way we are, are just right, correct, and normal as us”

      Morris Massey PhD.

      They call themselves Christians.!! My a…………….

      Reply
  3. KDJ54 November 19, 2015

    With these folks, Biblical injunctions for stoning gays are to be taken literally, while the rest of the Bible is merely advisory, depending upon the situation. Talk about a study in situation ethics, these guys all take the cake in that regard.

    Reply
  4. Otto Greif November 19, 2015

    Thank you for reminding us why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Reply
    1. Irishgrammy November 19, 2015

      IDIOT! Thank you for REMINDING US why the world is so screwed up while small minded little men like you prove endlessly why we all are so SCREWED!

      Reply
      1. Polana November 19, 2015

        We can ship him to one of the US territories that their inhabitants have no voting rights, no citizenship but under US jurisdiction – Palau would be nice place for him.

        Reply
    2. Polana November 19, 2015

      Does your wife/girlfriend walk in a front of U??? Is she your cover in case one of the refugees come near U?? Then U R Reputaliban.

      Reply
      1. Otto Greif November 19, 2015

        You should ask them to adjust your medication.

        Reply
        1. Insinnergy November 19, 2015

          You should plead with them to give you some.

          Reply
        2. Polana November 19, 2015

          Maybe dr Carson can prescribe something for U, the same he is taking?? My meds – common sense, compassion and my purpose in life is to live not exist.
          I think Voltaire said it right on the nose ” Those who can make U believe in absurdities, can make U commit atrocities”
          Those who voted against refugees just committed atrocities and played into hands of the ones they try to defeat it.
          No wonder the world is looking at us a cowards. Talk tough and when push comes to shove – they hide,no action. Go and hide in your cave. Armageddon is coming your way.
          Even the French President – despite the tragedy -said the Syrian refugees are welcome.
          Vive La France. Dieu vous benisse. Merci beaucoup Monsieur President.
          Tout est bien qui finit bien.

          Reply
    3. Insinnergy November 19, 2015

      Stupid troll is stupid.

      Reply
  5. Wedge Shot November 19, 2015

    This guy wants to be President and one of his actions is to stop the Federal government from enforcing immigration laws. How would he stop people from coming into his state, put a wall all around it and check everyone coming in.
    Any respect I had for this guy was lost after he said he would refuse helping people who need help the most. Politics should be outlawed, it forces people to become so greedy for power they give up any semblance of humanity.

    Reply

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