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Are There “Democratic” and “Republican” Books of the Bible?

July 18 2017

Senator Marco Rubio (or his staff) is in the habit of tweeting biblical verses on a near-daily basis; lately most of these have come from the book of Proverbs. In response, a Yale Divinity School professor of Hebrew Bible penned an essay explaining that this book of Solomonic aphorisms is “the most Republican part of the Bible” and reflects “an almost social-Darwinist worldview.” Charlotte Allen points out that, in fact, Proverbs is “not all diligence and righteousness—in Proverbs, faith in God, too, will keep you away from things like poverty and failure.” Then she proceeds to have some fun at the professor’s expense:

All of this set me to wondering: if the book of Proverbs is the most Republican book in the Bible, what’s the most Democratic book? So I scoured the Good Book and came up with some candidates: . . .

The book of Ruth: “And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter” (Ruth 2:1-2).

A whole congeries of Democratic party themes here, from grabbing what you can from the rich via sky-high taxes to the welfare state (free food!) to possibly illegal immigration (what is Ruth the Moabitess doing in the land of Israel?).

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Bible, Book of Ruth, Marco Rubio, Proverbs, Religion & Holidays, U.S. Politics

Toward an Iran Policy That Looks at the Big Picture

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech outlining a new U.S. approach to the Islamic Republic. Ray Takeyh and Mark Dubowitz explain why it constitutes an important and much-needed rejection of past errors:

For too long, a peculiar consensus has suggested that it is possible to isolate the nuclear issue from all other areas of contention and resolve it in a satisfactory manner. The subsidiary [assumption] embedded in this logic is that despite the bluster of Iran’s rulers, it is governed by cautious men, who if offered sufficient incentives and soothing language would respond with pragmatism. No one embraced this notion more ardently than the former secretary of state, John Kerry, who crafted an accord whose deficiencies are apparent to all but the most hardened partisans. . . .

A regime as dangerous as the Iranian one requires no less than a comprehensive strategy to counter it. This means exploiting all of its vulnerabilities, increasing the costs of its foreign adventures, draining its economy, and aiding our allies. Most importantly, the United States must find a way of connecting itself to domestic opposition that continuously haunts the mullahs.

Washington should no longer settle for an arms-control agreement that paves Iran’s path to a bomb but rather a restrictive accord that ends its nuclear aspirations. The United States should not implore its allies to share the Middle East with Iran, as Barack Obama did, but partner with them in defeating the clerical imperialists. And most importantly, the United States should never forget that its most indispensable ally is the Iranian people.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Iran nuclear program, Mike Pompeo, U.S. Foreign policy