Last Saturday, The New York Times (a former News Paper) published an article titled In Biden’s Catholic Faith, an Ascendant Liberal Christianity.
To say the least, I am very skeptical of the New York Times, especially when it pertains to Christianity. With good reason, when was the last evangelical featured that wasn’t making a case for the democratic platform? Now, according to the NYT President Biden is, “the most religiously observant commander in chief in half a century.”
According to columnist Elizabeth Diaz, Biden considers his faith ascendant because it is, “…less focused on sexual politics and more on combating poverty, climate change and racial inequality.” Biden’s ascendant faith looks a lot like the Democratic party’s 2020 platform.
It is hard to imagine that Biden is as devoted to his faith as has he would lead us to believe. Christianity has always opposed sexual immorality (1 Corinth 6:9) and has from the very beginning been an exclusive faith. (John 14:6) Biden appears to be both embracing a Christianity that is devoid of sexual morals and inclusive to the point of embracing religious leaders in other faiths.
By his own admission Biden reports to be a practicing Catholic. However, by vowing to make abortion the law of the land by executive fiat he finds him in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”
And as it pertains to the role of political authorities, as which, President Biden is the foremost political authority in the world, the Catholic Church teaches,
“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority.”
Strangely enough, Biden appears ignorant of his Church’s own teaching. Of course, the article fails to mention that according to CNN, Biden was denied communion at a Catholic Church in South Carolina in 2019. The Priest made clear the reason for his decision.
“Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that, “…as a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care, and I must do so even in the most difficult situations. I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.”
To Diaz’s credit the article does mention that Biden received criticism from Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angles, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, for Biden’s position on abortion, transgenderism, contraception, and marriage. However, Diaz doesn’t let the criticism stand before quickly dismissing it with a Tweet from the liberal archbishop, Cardinal Blasé J. Cupich of Chicago who calls Gomez’s statement, “ill-considered.” Whatever that means.
Diaz points to Biden’s use of St. Augustine’s City of God in his inaugural address as proof of Biden’s Christian moral vision for America.
“Mr. Biden quoted Augustine, “a saint in my church,” he said, who wrote that “a people was a multitude Defined by the common objects of their love.”’
Diaz quoting Eric Gregory professor of religion at Princeton (Diaz’s alma mater) explains the purpose of Biden’s reference to the City of God.
“…to open up the space for a nontheocratic way for Christians to understand what it means to be citizens in a plural society…a Christian could imagine themselves as part of a diverse America, one that is defined by these common objects of love, rather than by hate and fear or exclusion…”
What vision of America is one defined by hate, fear and exclusion? Isn’t it obvious that what the President is alluding to is that homophobia, islamophobia, transphobia, restricting abortion rights, are all visions of hate, fear and exclusion? What is missing from this new Christian Moral Vision? Could it be the Gospel itself? The idea that Christ is the only way to salvation.
What Biden fails to understand is that the City of God is about two cities that co-exist for the time being. The city of this world, that would have been Rome, and the City of God, which is Transcendent and superior to the city of the world. At times the two may converge but a Christian is always first and foremost a citizen of the City of God.
The article is clearly laying out the ground work for a new talking point that the political Left can embrace. Perhaps, their motivation is to seek the approval of the religiously inclined Never-Trumpers. What is ascending? A new, “…grassroots progressive Christian movement.” Springing up in Washington.
I’m skeptical. Using Christianity to further political ends is nothing new. And, vivisecting Christianity in the name of Social and Environmental Justice is unlikely to change the political persuasions of Russel Moore or John Piper. (Both evangelical leaders voiced their disdain for President Trump)
Diaz is really attempting to add religious justification and moral authority to the lefts socio-economic agendas than putting any real meat to the faith of President Biden.