Marco Rubio Is Tweeting the Most Republican Part of the Bible

Marco Rubio had a message for his almost 3 million Twitter followers on the morning of June 26: “As pet dogs go back to their vomit, so fools duplicate their folly. Proverbs 26:11.”

That a person may have been his most head-snapping, but Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida, had actually been tweeting verses like that a person because May 16. He has actually tweeted a scriptural verse almost every day ever since. Nearly all of them come from the Old Testimony, and particularly the book of Proverbs.Proverbs is noteworthy

in that is presents a fairly constant view of the world: The righteous are rewarded, and the wicked are penalized. In the understanding of Sayings, everybody gets exactly what is coming to them; behavior is directly connected to reward or punishment. This worldview has social consequences: Those who succeed in life should be more exemplary than those who have a hard time. A few of the statements in Sayings look noticeably similar

to those made by modern-day conservative policymakers. Take, for instance, Alabama representative Mo Brooks, who, arguing that poorer people need to pay more for health care, just recently stated,”Those individuals who lead excellent lives, they’re healthy.”It’s not quite a direct quote from Sayings, but it’s not too far from these:”The Lord does not let the exemplary go starving” (Prov 10:3)and”A slack hand triggers poverty, however the hand of the thorough makes abundant” (Prov 10:4). In short: Proverbs is probably the most Republican book of the whole Bible.Proverbs is actually a collection– or, more properly, a

collection of collections. A few of these sayings have extremely ancient origins, including one section that is clearly reliant on an Egyptian knowledge treatise from the second millennium BCE. Overall, however, the book was assembled rather late– and not, as tradition holds, by King Solomon– and usually handles questions of ways to live a righteous life.For example: Just this past July 5, Rubio tweeted, “They will die from lack of discipline, lost because of their terrific follow Proverbs 5:23.”Obviously it’s not all diligence and righteousness– in Proverbs, faith in God, too, will keep you away from things like poverty and failure. Back on June 16, Rubio tweeted,”Devote to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will prosper.”Other Republicans appear to have a thing for Proverbs, too. Ben Carson, throughout the last presidential project, compared himself positively to the blustery design of then-candidate Trump by pricing estimate Sayings 22:4: “By humbleness and the worry of the Lord are riches and honor and life.”Gerald Ford’s was Proverbs 3:5 -6:”Trust completely in Yahweh [the Lord], put no faith in your very own perception; in every course you take, have him in mind: He will see that your courses are smooth.”Ford repeated this when he served in the Navy during The second world war, throughout his presidency and in his swearing-in. Trump likes the idea of Sayings, even if he doesn’t know much about the text itself.Back in September 2015, Trump claimed, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, that among the scriptural verses he most appreciated was”Proverbs, the chapter’ never bend to covet.’I’ve had that thing all my life, where people are bending to envy.”This would have been a more effective citation if there were such a line anywhere in the book of Sayings.( His recruiter later informed the Washington Post, not totally persuasively, that Trump was referring to Proverbs 24:1 -2:”Be not thou envious against wicked guys, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth damage, and their lips talk of mischief.”)Sayings, obviously, is likewise simply pithy and instructional therefore has some appeal for Democrats, too. Expense Clinton used Proverbs 29:18 when accepting the election in 1992: “Where there is no vision, the people die.”But do

a glimpse at the Bible passages priced estimate past inauguration speeches, and you’ll see that Republicans, from Ford to Herbert Hoover all the method back to William McKinley, have a clear choice for the section relative to Democrats.It’s not just the Book of Sayings that political leaders have actually estimated to validate a worldview or political approach, however much squinting was required to make a connection. In April 2016, Trump referred (loosely)to Leviticus 24:19 -21 when asked exactly what his favorite Bible verse was.”So many,”he informed the AM radio host.”And some people– appearance, an eye for an eye, you can nearly state that.” He went on to discuss why:”But you understand, if you take a look at what’s occurring to our nation, I imply … And we have to be firm and need to be very strong. And we can find out a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you. “It didn’t take long for Trump to segue back into his talking points about the requirement for more American muscle: Other countries”laugh at our face, and they’re taking our tasks, they’re taking our money, they’re taking the health of our country.”There is certainly absolutely nothing wrong with a politician relying on the Bible for spiritual, ethical and moral assistance. The Bible is the foundational text of Western civilization. But concentrating exclusively on the parts of it that verify one’s own point of view is a type of confirmation bias. One might encourage Rubio to check out, and tweet, more widely: from Ecclesiastes, maybe, or from prophets such as Amos:”Because you squash on the poor and draw from them levies of grain, you have actually developed homes of stone– however you shall not live in them”(Amos 5:11). Maybe Leviticus:”When a complete stranger lives with you in your land, you will not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall enjoy him as yourself”(Lev 19:33– 34 ). Or perhaps the gospels of the New Testimony:”It is much easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is abundant to get in the Kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24/ Mark 10:25/ Luke 18:25). As for Trump’s preferred Bible verse, we need to bear in mind that Jesus later on repudiated it in the New Testament, when he said,” Ye have heard that it have actually been said,’An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: however whosoever shall smite thee on thy ideal cheek, turn to him the other also “(Matthew 5:38 -42). Nor does Proverbs represent the sole scriptural point of view on such concerns of benefit

and punishment. The entire book of Ecclesiastes is nothing less than a direct rebuke to the harsh, almost social Darwinist worldview of Proverbs: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skilled; but time and possibility take place to them all. For no one can anticipate the

time of catastrophe”(Eccl 9:11– 12). It’s always good to know that whatever your ideological persuasion, there’s a verse in the Bible just waiting to be appropriated. Or, as Ecclesiastes put it, “For every thing, there is a season.”Joel Baden(@joelbaden)is professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. More from POLITICO Publication


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