Pray for Nancy Pelosi

Just pray for her.

Pelosi’s office did not respond to’s follow-up questions regarding the speaker’s statement that she seeks to make policy in conformance with the values of the Word made flesh.

It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance
to speak fervently of the Word Made Flesh, and to understand that by his Incarnation God has ennobled all mortal flesh with a sanctity and a holiness relative to his own, and yet to consistently vote–as Nancy Pelosi did in 2003–against legislation that would have banned the most savage of abortion procedures, the so-called “partial-birth abortion.”

Let us refresh our memories for a moment about what occurs during such an abortion:

In a so-called late-term abortion, a baby is delivered vaginally, and feet first. The body and shoulders are delivered, but the infant’s head is held within the birth canal, until the doctor can slip a scissor into its skull and suction out its brains, at which point he will deliver a dead child and avoid a charge of infanticide. We are told that these abortions are necessary to spare the life or mental health of a fragile mother who may not be able to endure the physical or psychological rigors of childbirth.

The American Medical Association has quietly conceded that—as we do not live in the nineteenth or even the early twentieth century, when a cesarean section was all but a death sentence for a woman—there really is no medical reason for such an abortion. One may additionally argue that delivering a baby feet first, then shoulders, is by no means a simple or easy sort of delivery, so the dangers it purports to spare a woman are not obvious.

A vacuum or D&C abortion shreds human life within the deepest part of a woman’s body. That is awful enough to contemplate (and even Buddhists and Taoists will tell you, from a different perspective than the Christian’s, that the event leaves a lasting mark upon the woman in many ways) but partial-birth abortion plays with the notion of human life and death the way a lawyer parses language in order to live between the lines. The child living within the womb would very likely be viable if allowed to be delivered normally and to take that first breath–becoming known to us, as the babe is already known to the Creator–and so, as a lawyer contorts words and meanings, the abortion-provider twists the flesh that incarnates that known-to-God-spirit. He manipulates that flesh most unnaturally before completely dishonoring both created creature and Source by savage means.

Nancy Pelosi, who has made something of a habit of calling upon the saints and the bishops of her faith to assist her in moving her legislation, receives a 100% approval rating from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She heads a party and an ideology that routinely freaks out with paranoid cries of “theocracy! Theocracy!” whenever a conservative dares to invoke God, or discuss matters of faith, and yet she feels perfectly justified in using religious language when it suits her, or for the promulgation of her own propaganda. And neither the press nor her political tribe calls her out on it; they do not even appear to notice the incongruity of a woman speaking with eyes aglow about the Incarnation, and the Word Made Flesh, while offering unswerving support to the shredding of the tenderest and most innocent flesh.

No one asks her about it, not even those Catholic reporters and Catholic Democrats who (presumably) understand just how profoundly and regularly Catholics ponder this greatest and most humbling of mysteries: that the Creator would condescend to enflesh via his own creation, be subject to it, in order to serve and save it. We are wholly in wonder at this. This particular moment of Incarnation is one we strive to keep before our eyes daily; we ponder it in the Angelus which some of us pray at least once a day; we recall it within the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary and remember John’s Gospel at the end of Mass, after we have partaken of that very flesh, for the life of the world. “…the Word was made flesh, and set his tent with us; we have seen his glory . . . of his fullness, we all have a share, love following upon love…”

These are serious words, invoking a serious idea and deep mystification; they are not words to be hauled out and thrown into a muddle of politics, for base expediency.

Mrs. Pelosi may seem confused to some; perhaps she is. I prefer to believe that her seeming inability to stop herself from conflating her religion and her politics is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working upon her–that perhaps her photo-op-free meeting with Pope Benedict, and with her bishop (or her public communion-taking) have flicked her conscience in such a way that we are now watching a woman try to reconcile her faith and her politics in a very public manner.

One can certainly serve the World by first being faithful to the Word; the great saints have proven this time and again. But can one serve the Word by employing the wisdom and sensibilities of the Worldly, without falling into an inconsistency (and spiritual chaos) that may cast one into mortal error?

I mean to pray for Mrs. Pelosi. I have no doubt that her identification as a Catholic is a sincere one, and I know firsthand how difficult it can be to form a conscience in the midst of sometimes pernicious influences. If she is being schooled and ravished by the Holy Spirit while also being pulled by all of her worldly attachments, then something will have to give, in God’s own time.

Meanwhile, Jay Nordlinger notes quite correctly:

Whoa, baby. [Conservatives] can’t say that — no one right of center can say that; but [Democrats] can. A curious fact about a strange place, America.

Yes. One need not have any imagination at all to realize that if a Sarah Palin or a George W. Bush, or a Chris Christie had said, “we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word,” the outcry would be swift, vast and paranoid. And if any of them had dared to “tell” the bishops “I want you to speak about it from the pulpit,” as Pelosi has done, we would be hearing a debate about tax-exemptions and the churches.

Writes Ed Morrissey:

When conservatives talk about religious values informing public policy goals, the Left shrieks about the separation of church and state and usually refers to the Right as an American Taliban. Pelosi will get a pass, however, because she uses the religious language to argue for their pet causes. It’s a good idea to capture this moment anyway, for the next time someone argues that “Christianists” are attempting a theocratic takeover of America.

Because everyone knows, only Democrats can be trusted to discuss politics from the pulpit.

Pelosi made these remarks almost a month ago. Why are we only hearing them, now?

Ann Althouse: polls for your opinion on Pelosi.

Washington Examiner
Michelle Malkin
VDH: Media double standards
Pro-Choice Mystical Rubbish
Fr. Z
Gateway Pundit

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Ellen

    I’ll pray for her tonight. I’m doing my best this year to pray for those whom I have issues with.

    She’s one of those and Oh how it hurts me to hear her say what she says, knowing her public policy. I can’t help but think of this:

    “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”

  • P. Buchta

    Religion should be kept out of politics and vise versa. Too many politicians use religious commentary to get into office. Abortion should be kept at the state level. Trying to fight Row Wade is like beating a dead horse.

  • Samwise

    Nancy Pelosi is either a very sick, unbalanced woman or …. I don’t know! But our Bishops have allowed her to openly defy them and the Church, which emboldens her to rabidly promote abortion and homosexual ‘rights’…her president just declared June the month to honor homosexuals and transgenders…this is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! And Obama wants us to honor deviant behavior…Obama, a man who does not seem to honor our country or Americans, a man who does not honor the wishes of the American people but dismisses them and pushes through his own personal agendas; Obama is a man who does not honor life, in the womb or outside of the womb…if our Bishops do not start standing up to so called ‘Catholic’ politicians who promote evil and inform them that, according to canon law, they are not permitted to receive the Eucharist, those politicians will become more and more immersed in their evil agenda and more powerful in their advocacy for these agendas. Obama won because of the Catholic vote; Catholics voted for him because many felt that if abortion was such a grave moral evil, those advocating for abortion would not have been permitted to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Recently, Pelosi instructed the Bishops to have their Priests speak from the Pulpit on behalf of immigration reform…are our Bishops bargaining with her so as not to lose federal funds…I’d rather see every ‘Catholic’ school and hospital close than continue to be in collusion with the evil agendas of Obama and Pelosi and their cohorts…let’s learn to depend on Divine Providence and each other rather than on the government…if we don’t, we will pay the price…we have already begun to pay the price…

  • Chris K

    PLEASE, will someone famous please send out a press release, thanking Ms. Pelosi for “bringing religion to the table” or somesuch, making the point that she is encouraging us to be vocal about our religious views, too. Be as facetious as possible, saying only positive things about her vile use of religion, to announce we will be saying what we want, too. When they howl, show them the Pelosi/response. Worth a try, anyhow.

  • psota

    Anchoress, I am one of Nancy Pelosi’s constituents. Pray for me, too!

  • mb

    Thank you for reminding us to pray for her – Lord, the one you love needs you!

  • mrp

    The most memorable moment that I can recall is Nancy Pelosi, in her role as Speaker of the House of Representitives, greeting Pope Benedict XVI on the White House lawn and kissing the Holy Father’s ring.

    When I saw that happen, two things struck me: The look on President Bush’s face, and the thought that the LSM will giver her a pass.

    Imagine if a Republican Catholic Speaker had done the same …

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  • EW

    Pelosi gave the graduation speech at a local college a couple of weeks ago. It was interesting that she talked about praying on her decision to first run for congress. The comment went by the (very liberal) audience with no response at all, including from the excessive media present. Imagine if Palin or Bush had done such a thing…

  • PackerBronco

    You pray for her; I’ll pray for the United States.

  • Ellen

    Yes, I will. Thank you. Stunning.

  • Julie

    I would love to be able to share this and many of your blog posts on Facebook, but when I try, it only displays the First Things name instead of your specific blog entry’s title and any accompanying photo, which is more common with most magazine and news articles. Can this be changed? Thank you and kudos on your wonderful blog!

    [Not being on facebook myself, I cannot imagine why, if you click on the headline for any given post, you would not get the appropriate url. But perhaps trying creating a "tiny url" as you would for twitter; perhaps that will work -admin]

  • DeLynn


    “I prefer to believe…we are now watching a woman try to reconcile her faith and her politics in a very public manner.”

    What angst that would engender. I will, indeed, pray for her.

    [Absolutely. Someone emailed me that I was "too easy" on Pelosi. Well, I think this is much too serious for playing smashmouth. -admin]

  • dry valleys

    Anthony Blair’s policies were informed by his faith, & in fact he became a Catholic as soon as he no longer had to worry about the fact that it would have killed him at the polls. Apparently it was his faith that drove him to support Bush over Iraq.

    Now I don’t consider him to have been left-wing, but he wasn’t a conservative either, he was just objectionable in general. But I am saying that people of all political stripes get religion.

    It disconcerts me that so few people in the US Congress are self-professed atheists. Because there must be a load of them who don’t actually hold any beliefs, but they never say as much.

    Those I interact with know I am not a believer, I’ve got no idea how to pretend to be one because I’ve never had to but there ARE people in high places who do that on a regular basis. Wouldn’t Americans think more of an honest unbeliever than someone who pretends to faith?

    Well it looks as though they wouldn’t, whereas in Britain there are heathens in all parties, be they left or right. Although people like Nick Clegg can be fairly apologetic at times when they trip over themselves to say about how religion is great, which I don’t (I don’t believe in advocating & promoting beliefs I don’t personally hold- I view it as dishonest).

    So I don’t know if Pelosi is a Catholic or not, but by the looks of it she is making every effort to be one & is sincere. But I wonder about her colleagues & some of the Republicans. It isn’t a million miles away from being a closet gay, I suppose, it is equally the case of putting on a front because speaking the truth would not be widely accepted.

    [I tend to credit Pelosi with utter sincerity in her musings on faith. I believe she fully identifies with Catholicism. But it cannot be a happy fit for her, this way -admin]

  • Nancy

    We can pray for her, but she needs to be publicly excommunicated by her Bishop and the Pope or this will not stop.

    So maybe we should pray for them, too. Pray that they get some spine.

  • http://properlyplacedprayers TonyC

    We need to pray for our Bishops for fortitude for if they had courage Pelosi would not be saying the things she does. Let’s get the proper perspective here!

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  • newguy40


    I will certainly continue to pray for her.

    What I so heartily wish and pray for is that her confessor and AB of her Diocese would now reach out to her in fraternal correction and love.

    I really really believe she is struggling with her faith and her actions. She is just as clearly confused and in error.

    Now would be the time for a loving intervention from her parish and AB. How could we encourage that to happen?

  • teo matteo

    Could Speaker Pelosi be rehabilitating her ‘catholic’ reputation as she readies for retirement? Maybe getting her letter written and ready to send to the Vatican when the time comes?

  • Alice

    Pelosi did seem genuine in the video clip, which surprised me (we don’t have TV connectivity so haven’t seen her discussing religion before).

    I agree that her presentation is deeply, even wildly, dissonant with her professed values regarding abortion.

  • Mary

    I am not an American and likely have less exposure to Ms Pelosi than most of you have.

    But in earlier interviews and comments I have seen, she has appeared hard, closed and completely political. In this clip she appears relaxed, open and even glowing.

    Who can tell what the reasons for this are? But to attribute it to political strategisms appears unfair. Maybe she genuinely has experienced a touch of the Spirit which all of us, who are all also sinners, should pray for. Yes, I will add her to my prayer list This is a glimpse of what she is or what she might be. God give her grace.

  • Last Sphere

    (P. Buchta wrote – “Religion should be kept out of politics and vise versa. Too many politicians use religious commentary to get into office.”)

    You don’t understand: For Liberals politics IS their religion. And abortion is their holy sacrament. In the mind of the liberal, politics trumps everything else. Religious beliefs must always bend to their political beliefs. This is exactly why a true Catholic cannot be a liberal and a liberal cannot be a true Catholic.

  • Larry Sheldon

    I believe a reasonable judge would find her insane this evidence alone–and I am not in anyway referring to theological positions.

  • Brian English

    “Anthony Blair’s policies were informed by his faith, & in fact he became a Catholic as soon as he no longer had to worry about the fact that it would have killed him at the polls. Apparently it was his faith that drove him to support Bush over Iraq.”

    Apparently, both you and Blair missed the statements by JP II and Cardinal Ratzinger on the Iraq War.

  • DeLynn

    [Absolutely. Someone emailed me that I was "too easy" on Pelosi. Well, I think this is much too serious for playing smashmouth. -admin]

    It is not for us to be hard on Pelosi in this case.
    I find her politics abhorrent. Her views on abortion make me ill. Here, though, she seems to be struggling with what we know to be truth. We need to pray that she finds it.

    I am not opposed to praying for those who have authority over her that if they need to make decisions about her that they will do so. That, however, is not for me to do.

  • Mary

    Apparently, both you and Blair missed the statements by JP II and Cardinal Ratzinger on the Iraq War.

    According to the Catechism, the responsibilty for deciding whether a war is just falls with the authorities who will wage it.

  • MaxedOutMama

    Uhhhh – I think you should be careful here. What exactly would we ask in prayer for Pelosi? That she be awakened to the external and objective truth of her faith? That would seem a crushing blow, and would impose a test that she seems likely to fail, which would take her deeper into error.

    She is not conflicted about her faith, as the clip clearly shows. She believes that all she is doing is consonant with it. Nancy Pelosi lives in a world of her own imagining in which external facts do not impinge, and her Catholicism is part of her own constructed world.

    Remember her 2008 statements about Catholic doctrine regarding life? And remember Cardinal Egan’s comments that it is impossible for anyone with “the slightest measure of integrity or honor” to be confused about when life begins? That pegs it. She doesn’t have any integrity or honor, because such traits require a concession that there is an external world which one does not control. Pelosi remakes her internal world to her own standards always, and her Catholicism is part of that reconstruction.

    In many ways she has the conscience of a fantasizing child. Perhaps our best prayer for her would be that she retains the ability to approach the Holy Spirit as a child would, and that the rest of us can see her as she is – a person who has refused to become an adult morally, and in that failure, a person who should serve as a reproach to our own imperfections. There are few of us who could claim that we have met all the tests of our own faith. The fact that Nancy Pelosi fails so abysmally and so shockingly should serve to wake the rest of us up to our own struggles with reality.

    Nancy Pelosi’s habit of reworking reality (and the doctrine of the church) to her own specifications is a grievous self-maiming. To obfuscate the nature of her error is no service to anyone. Instead, we should all see her for what she is – a self-made child – and pray for the Holy Spirit to find her and be with her in her retreat from reality just as we must hope and pray that the Holy Spirit attends the souls of all those children who are never born due to man’s killing of them.

    Facts are unpleasant things, but then, so was the cross. A person who cannot see facts cannot approach the cross.

    [Mama, We pray for her salvation, which is the desire of God for all of his creation. Doesn't that fact justify prayers for anyone? -admin]

  • P Buchta

    Last Sphere

    I am a liberal, and a true Catholic. I’ve always held, religion and politics do not mix. History is never kind to a country that enforces one ideological doctrine on their citizens. I realize that we are all different and have different degrees of faiths. Persuasion is far better than persecution. Hate the sin, love the sinner and fix the root of the problem not the resultant. Fix abortion through proper education. The highest rate of teen pregnancies in the US is in Mississippi. Mississippi also has the lowest HS graduation rate. Where do we go from here when we fail on halting elective late term abortions? Back to the drawing board.

  • Andy

    According to the Catechism, the responsibilty for deciding whether a war is just falls with the authorities who will wage it.

    Poppycock. If this is the sole standard, then no war is ever unjust. Look! I just went to war! I’m the person waging it, so I get to decide that it’s just!

  • Joe

    Don’t use Nancy to say, see how good I am. We are all sinners.

    That said, I am still glad I am not Nancy.

  • Last Sphere

    P Buchta

    What are your liberal beliefs and what are your “true” Catholic beliefs?

  • Last Sphere

    (P Buchta wrote – “I’ve always held, religion and politics do not mix.”)

    Utter nonsense. A true Catholic politician is a Catholic first and foremost. And as such he/she should only advance those political ideals which are true to Catholic doctrine and oppose those which are not.

  • Last Sphere

    (P Buchta wrote ” I realize that we are all different and have different degrees of faiths.”)

    As a true Catholic you should understand that there is only THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. Not all “faiths” are valid, and they are certainly not all equal. Let’s stop pretending that they are and let’s start defending the beliefs of The One True Church that Christ established.

    (“Persuasion is far better than persecution.”)

    The best “persuasion” in the world is a visible life lived through true Catholic faith.

    (“Hate the sin, love the sinner and fix the root of the problem not the resultant. Fix abortion through proper education.”)

    And what “education” would that be precisely?

  • Rita

    It is outrageous to see the Speaker of the House, and now evidently the public speaker for the Church, get pass after pass, after pass with no known accountability, consequences, or corrections from her Bishop(s) in California and Washington, DC., or Rome for that matter. This failure to act by the heirarchy, both here and in Rome, is a travesty and, actually, isn’t even fair to one who has fallen and who refuses repentance. It is all so inexcusable and simply enables wickedness. We teach what we tolerate, as casting pearls before swine. This is a shocking mocking of God, the Word, the Gospel, and certainly the Church. Her words and actions are anti-Christ, having become an open scandal of such magnitude that Rome should be informed.

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  • Dennis

    1. Listening to P it seemed that she came to several places where the most logical thing to say next was “and His name is Jesus” but she couldn’t do it – even avoiding it like she was being blocked. And I could be wrong but it sounds like she’s saying “It (notice not He) will come again.”

    Something’s definitely wrong here.

    2. PackerBronco sez: “You pray for her; I’ll pray for the United States.”

    Uh-oh – man challange time. I do both. You really gonna let me prove myself the better man that easy? C’mon. It’s not that difficult.

    [It sounds like she is saying "he will come again," to me. And that appears to be how the transcriber/reporter heard it, too-admin]

  • Manny

    “I tend to credit Pelosi with utter sincerity in her musings on faith.” -Anchoress

    No way. This is pure political expediency. A woman of her age should have made these decisions years ago. Her long political record speaks for itself and her support of abortion will never be justified by any turn around at her age now. do you now expect her to change her votes on abortion? Get real. (Sorry I don’t mean to be harsh.) I’ll say it again, it’s political expediency. No prayers from me.

  • Just_Saying

    Pelosi: “The Word… Fill it in with anything you want.”

    I don’t care how compassionate you’re trying to be, Anchoress. That statement by Pelosi has blasphemy written all over it, and is from Satan.

    The Catholic Church can pray for Pelosi’s soul, but, as newguy40, #18, suggests, it would be most compassionate for Pelosi to be excommunicated. (For some, it’s easier to get the message with a two by four. WWJD? Use the two by four.)

  • Feeney

    Yesterday a very nice woman – age 50 or so, well dressed, very pleasant – came in to the bookstore where I work and asked if she could put up a poster for a Planned Parenthood event. I began to wonder: How do these “nice” people become so oblivious to the evil that they do? I’m sure that this lady, and Nancy Pelosi, believe themselves to be nice, caring people. How do they justify the evil?

  • Feeney

    P Buchta: Typical liberal! He wants to fix the “root of the problem” through “proper education”. The root of the problem is original sin. How ya gonna fix that, pal? And you could educate Pelosi all you want; she would still cling to her support for abortion. You don’t understand human perversity.

  • WannabeAnglican

    I pray for Pelosi frequently . . . that God would remove her and her ilk from power and replace them with better men and women.

  • J

    If there is no strong voice rebutting pelosi, then, in the minds of millions, her stance on abortion (and many other social problems)stands as the word of the church. It is tantamount to people seeing catholics sin, go to confession, brag about being able to sin 6 days out of the week, confess, and be a good catholic; as being what a model catholic is.
    Here in MA, I have three catholic friends who are women. Two have had abortions, one advocates for abortion. All claim it is because the baby (and they all acknowledge the baby is a human being)would get in their way, it is all right to kill it. And there we have catholic women raised in the MA catholic church, according to its teachings. And no strong voice or authority, changes that.

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  • Western Chauvinist

    Sorry I’m late to the discussion, but did she say… “the Word will come again and we will have to be prepared to answer for our actions in this life and the next..” ???? Did she SAY those words? Whoa. That is frightening cognitive dissonance. Truly.

    I have a pat prayer I say whenever I’m confronted with the sinful nature of humanity, including my own… I pray for conversion to Christ. But Ms. Pelosi exhibits such serious barriers to reason and morality, I’m not quite sure HOW to pray for her. I think I’m down to “God forgive her – she knows not what she does.”

  • Gretchen

    It sure sounded like she said, “It will come again”, and twice for that matter.

    Disturbing on several levels. To see her so comfortable talking about the Word with no discernable cognizance that much of what she advocates for public policy is quite opposite to the actual teaching of the Word and the His Church, is frightening.

    One must then believe she was speaking out of political expendiency or that she is so led astray as to be in spiritual danger. Both are dangerous places to be. She is playing with fire, and it isn’t Holy Ghost fire.

    I agree with other posters who call her bishops to account for their complete lack of shepherding. It chills the heart. Prayers are certainly called for — and not just for Pelosi.

  • Brian English

    “According to the Catechism, the responsibilty for deciding whether a war is just falls with the authorities who will wage it.”

    No, the authorities have the responsibility to consider just war principles in deciding whether to go to war, but their decision does not end the discussion.

    The only reason I brought up JPII and Cardinal Ratzinger is because dry valleys was implying that Blair’s secret Catholic faith somehow compelled him to support the War in Iraq.

    That is not to say that a good Catholic could not support the War in Iraq. Cardinal Ratzinger stated on at least two occasions that his and JP II’s views on the Iraq War were their personal opinions, and that Catholics could disagree with those opinions. Whether a war is just is a prudential judgment about which there can be good faith disagreement.

  • Jeff

    I have to second or third or fourth the call for her bishop to do something. She is the third highest ranking member of the federal government. She has been playing this pseudo-Catholic game for a long time now, and now it has reached a crescendo with her claim that the public policies she seeks to further (abortion on demand being one of them) are consistent with the Second Person of the Trinity. I mean at some point it has to stop; she has to be rebuked.

  • Mia

    While I appreciate the compassionate sentiment with which this article was written, I can’t go along with the premise that somehow her conscience is bothering her or God is dealing with her heart. Pelosi butchered Scripture like the abortionists butcher babies, twisting and tearing it to mean what she wants it to mean. She will conveniently forget what she says and throw it away like yesterday’s rubbish. She is a blasphemous, conscienceless person, who will say ANYTHING to sway her audience. Ironically, she stands up there like some sort of moral icon and tries to use “Christian-speak” to prick the consciences of her audience so they’ll agree with her. She would NEVER say anything like that in front of a meeting of secular humanists or her political equals – which only sheds more light on her dishonesty.

  • Kermit

    I pray every day for almighty God to preserve and save us from Pelosi/Reid/Obama.

  • Lisa

    All I can say is that when I pray for my enemies… my life is better. What a bonus!
    (and yes, it ain’t easy)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies[b] and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    Matt 5:43-48