Honoring Rulers: Biblical Teaching vs. Crass Political Bigotry

Honoring Rulers: Biblical Teaching vs. Crass Political Bigotry March 2, 2019

Does the following statement (about President Trump) align with biblical teaching? You be the judge: “Massively Ignorant Bigot and Garrulous Buffoon-in-Chief”.

Now here is what I believe (as best I can ascertain) is the relevant biblical teaching on the topic of honoring and respecting political rulers:

1 Peter 2:17 (RSV) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor [even if pagan, anti-Christian, or persecuting: at that time, it was Nero]

Exodus 22:28 You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. [cited by St. Paul in Acts 23:5 below]

Ecclesiastes 10:20 Even in your thought, do not curse the king, . . .

Titus 3:1-2 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work, [2] to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.

James 4:11 Do not speak evil against one another, brethren. He that speaks evil against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. . . .

Acts 23:1-5 And Paul, looking intently at the council, said, “Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience up to this day.” [2] And the high priest Anani’as commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. [3] Then Paul said to him, “God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” [4] Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” [5] And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, `You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

Romans 13:1-4, 7 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. [2] Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. [3] For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, [4] for he is God’s servant for your good. . . . [7] Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

I’m not trying to get back into a certain dispute with a certain someone, or his devoted fan club (please don’t even mention his name; if you do, I’ll have to delete your comment). Rather, I’m just noting the patently obvious. I could find a hundred statements from a hundred Catholics equally disrespectful and bigoted.

One wonders why so many neglect (or are ignorant of?) this perfectly clear and non-optional scriptural teaching? All the while they claim that “conservatives” like myself are “more Republican than Catholic,” while they, of course (looking down their noses at the likes of me), pride themselves on being far more Catholic than politically liberal.

Who is more closely following biblical teaching in this respect? You be the judge.

For more along these lines, see my papers:

“How Can a Catholic Vote for Trump?!!?” [5-28-16]

Holy Scripture: Honor and Respect Political Rulers [2-2-17]

Wicked Rulers Honored (Saul, Solomon, Nero, High Priest) [11-30-17]

Good Christians Can Support Trump (Amazingly Enough)! [7-21-18]

More Biblical Evidence on Honoring Political Rulers [9-7-18]

Debate [?] on Biblical Honor of Rulers: Including Trump [11-14-18]

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(originally 5-18-17 on Facebook)

Photo credit: Trial of the Apostle Paul, by Nikolai Bodarevsky (1850-1921) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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