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It's Time for Morality to Guide our Politics

Kirk Bangstad

So I’ve written about how Trump has divided our nation and how our state Republican legislative majority hasn’t had the spine to stand up to the new “Party of Trump” in their choices to reject pandemic science, fight to take away our social safety net during an economic catastrophe, and amplify the ugly rhetoric of racism.

After reading about all this ugliness, I often ask myself "Don’t these guys go to church?"

I admit to not being a frequent churchgoer nor bible reader, but because it’s Sunday, I, with the help of my pastor, found some bible verses that guide me to reject the cruelty of Trump and his Wisconsin acolytes and seek a better path forward.

Mark 12:31 tells us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”

Shouldn’t that help us decide to wear masks to protect the more fragile in our communities? Shouldn’t that guide us to listen to science and accept health policy that will reduce the unnecessary death of our elderly neighbors?

Timothy 6:10 says “The love of money is the root of all evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith, and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”

Shouldn’t this inform Rob Swearingen to stop enriching himself and his campaign by aligning with foreign sulfide mining companies that can poison our rivers and lakes and the Tavern League that cares more about selling liquor than keeping people safe?

Isaiah 58:7 tells us to “share [our] food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”

And John 3:17 tells us “but whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Shouldn’t this tell Christians to reject Trump’s latest move to cancel Obamacare in the midst of a pandemic? Or McConnell’s rejection of extending economic stimulus to small business and unemployment benefits while the economy is still in free-fall? or Swearingen’s rejection of U.S. aid to Wisconsin Public Schools?

Micah 6:8 tell us to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

This one hurts. When I brought up Trump’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families and putting them in cages in a recent post, some of my neighbors in the Northwoods actually said things to the effect of “they broke the law, they deserve what they got.”

I didn’t think that sort of anger and callousness had made its way to my home. For those with that opinion, could you actually look into the eyes of a terrified child and say that to them? “Love mercy,” because life is not always black and white and there is good in everyone.

And finally, from the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:10 reads “blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

People who stick their necks out to do what they think is right are seldom rewarded. This area has been shamefully gerrymandered to the point that Republican victories are virtually guaranteed, and to fight against those odds publicly will probably lead towards public shaming and financial pain.

But we, all of us—Democrats and Republicans, have foxes in the henhouse, and they need to go. The Republican Party is no longer what it was 10 years ago before Trump, Scott Walker, Robin Vos, Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Tiffany, and Rob Swearingen twisted it into the hideous caricature it is today. They are no longer fiscally conservative, they no longer have a claim on morality or honesty, and they no longer care about their constituents.

I CERTAINLY have no authority on morality, believe me. But I’m not a hypocrite about it, and I’ll take my lumps. I know that Christianity points me in the right direction, even though I don’t always follow that direction, and I’m certain that the policies I’ve discussed above, taken by our current president and our state Republican majority, are not remotely based on the teachings of Christ.

That should matter to those who profess to be Christians, and it matters to me.

Remember that there’s a choice this November, and it's ok if your sense of morality causes you to vote for a party you’ve never voted for before.

If you agree with what I’m saying, please help me get the word out by sharing or donating to my campaign. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bangstad-for-wisconsin-assembly-34-1

Written by Kirk Bangstad on 06/28/20

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