My ears always perk up when I hear the Bible quoted on the House floor to argue against a bill I support. Today, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) didn’t do as bad a job with Luke 11:46 as Shimkus did with his Bible quotes. The verse Pence quotes is one of Jesus’ three woes to the lawyers in Luke’s Gospel. Rep. Pence calls them ‘lawmakers’, which isn’t a good translation of the word nomikos in Luke, but neither is ‘lawyer’, the common translation. A nomikos in Luke seems to have authority to control people’s way of living Judaism. They are zealous for the Torah, and people consult them about how to follow the Law. Jesus’ woes to them in Luke 11 indicate that they have an obligation to help people follow the law and not just ‘burden’ them with things to do. The nomikoi in Luke joined the scribes and Pharisees as some of Jesus’ biggest opponents, as they had always been toward God’s prophets.
I suppose nomikoi could have made pronouncements which were legally binding, so in that sense they could be considered lawmakers. So let’s let him slide on his use of Luke 11:46. But what he says about the bill is completely wrong.
He says, ‘But there’s no dispute, the Democrat cap-and-trade bill will raise the cost of energy to every household in America, every small business, every family farm…’
‘…and it will cost millions of American jobs.’
If you are going to talk about lawmakers putting a burden on people and not lifting a finger to help them, I’m sure we can find some examples, but this isn’t one of them.
By the way…
Whether you’re much of an activist or not, you can do something to help (if you’re reading this on June 25 or June 26). Congress is getting a lot of calls right now both for and against the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The vote will likely be tomorrow. Your call could tip the balance.
Here’s what to do:
Call the Congressional Switchboard and ask to be connected to your representative. If you do not know who your representative is, click here and enter your address.
House Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
What you can say…
Please pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act, HR 2454. I am calling as a person of faith (and/or as a member of ___________ congregation in _______). This bill will help launch a clean energy future and avert the worst impacts of climate change.
UPDATE: The bill passed! It was very close. It’s heading to the Senate next.