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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Who would Jesus starve? GOP lawmaker uses Bible to justify SNAP cuts



House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
All phony Christians, please raise your hand
Who would Jesus starve? Step aside Pope Francis, because this Texas Republican seems to know exactly who:

One lawmaker is citing a godly reference to justify changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Tex.) recently quoted the New Testament to question the strength of current work requirements. [...]
House Republicans have historically cited the verse — “if a man will not work, he shall not eat” — as justification for cutting some adults’ SNAP benefits. Arrington referenced the verse in a discussion about increasing the work requirements for unemployed adults on the food stamp program. But critics say that advances a pernicious myth about the unemployed who receive SNAP.
The verse in question applies specifically to people who can work or otherwise contribute to society but choose not to, said theologians from several denominations who spoke to The Post. There is a perception, among some voters and lawmakers, that many adult SNAP recipients are exactly this sort of “freeloader.”
But policy experts say that is not the case. Many unemployed adults on SNAP simply cannot work, they say. Those include the mentally ill, the borderline disabled and veterans.

“Local surveys of SNAP users have shown that many adults who are not working have recently been released from jail,” notes the Washington Post, “or are homeless, veterans, noncustodial parents, people with undiagnosed mental illnesses and teenagers aging out of the foster care system.” Basically, vulnerable Americans who need the help the most. This is a matter of humanity, dignity, and compassion, because it could be any one of us one day.

But that still hasn’t stopped phony Christians like Arrington from using Jesus to oppose everything from marriage equality to affordable health care, despite the fact that Jesus never once condemned gays or asked a leper for a copay. And when you look at what Jesus actually did say about the hungry, that same New Testament is pretty clear: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” 

But it’s poor people who are the lazy moochers, right? Certainly not popular vote losers who spend every single weekend at a golf club at the expense of American taxpayers.

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