Do you remember how angry Republicans got at the very idea that people would question Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith? How dare they! How dare anyone even bring it up! Or so Republicans said, on repeat, in horrified shock. Well you know what? Republicans apply such a severe double standard here that it’s broken clean in half.
Florida Republican and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio recently tweeted a clip from a sermon by the Reverend Raphael Warnock, a Democratic Senate candidate preparing for a runoff in Georgia. Rubio added his own analysis, calling Warnock crazy and a radical:
Not shocked #Georgia Democrat Senate candidate Raphael Warnock said “You cannot serve God and the military” at the same time. These & even crazier things is what the radicals who control the Democratic party’s activist & small dollar donor base believepic.twitter.com/bQyBuKLwjb
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 18, 2020
“Not shocked #Georgia Democrat Senate candidate Raphael Warnock said ‘You cannot serve God and the military’ at the same time,” Rubio wrote. “These & even crazier things is what the radicals who control the Democratic party’s activist & small dollar donor base believe.” I’m sorry, but what happened to not criticizing people’s faith? The Republican party has so many double standards I sometimes feel like I am seeing double.
To add to all of that, Warnock’s words were actually squarely within the mainstream of American Christianity, and straight out of the Bible, an irony Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, whom Republicans love to dunk on because she’s Muslim, noticed right away:
As Omar pointed out, Warnock was preaching on Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” I remember hearing this text perched in church! This is standard Christian doctrine, and not at all controversial!
Here are the words Rubio found so objectionable, from Warnock’s sermon:
“America, nobody can serve God and the military. You can’t serve God and money. You cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve. Choose ye this day.”
It’s true, when I heard this preached this text preached in the 1990s and early 2000s, it was usually applied more to money than to other things one could serve. But here’s the thing: Republican politicians state constantly that they can’t leave their religious beliefs at home when they come to the U.S. Capitol, that their devotion to God comes before their devotion to country. Or at least, they used to say that. And that’s all Warnock is saying here as well—that you cannot, as the Bible says, serve two masters at once.
This is, I would argue, standard Christian doctrine.
But here’s the thing: even if Warnock’s comments in that sermon had been radical, why would it be acceptable to criticize him and demand an apology when it was, according to Republicans, not acceptable to ask about Amy Coney Barrett’s religious beliefs?
The double standard here stinks to high heaven. Apparently, asking conservatives the most minimal questions about the role their religious beliefs will play in their legislating or their judicial decision-making is religious persecution and thus completely inappropriate, while dissecting, criticizing, condemning, and even lying about liberal politicians’ religious beliefs is completely appropriate and everyday.
I am so sick of double standards. So heartily sick of them.
(As a quick side note, I suspect that this response to Warnock stems in part from conservatives’ belief that liberal Christians aren’t real Christians. I certainly grew up believing this! Conservative religious believers are convinced that they and they alone own Christianity, when this is simply not true. Liberal Christianity has a history and tradition that is just as long-lasting and substantial as that of conservative Christianity.)
I have a Patreon! Please support my writing!