House Upon a Rock

I'm no Tom Delay fan, but before condemning his choice of Scripture readings at the congressional prayer breakfast, I'd least want to be sure he chose the passage he read at the congressional prayer service.

A listen to Delay's reading makes me doubt it. He opens with "a reading of the Gospel," a standard phrase for a scripture reader in a Christian service, and then as American Coprophagia notes, Delay "finishes reading, says nothing more, and sits back down. AMCOP sees this as somehow sinister, but more likely it's standard procedure for a scripture reader, who generally does not pick the text, unlike a preacher does.

As the Revealer notes, AMCOP wants an explanation.

Can we make enough noise out here in the blogosphere so that some "real" journalist will find the courage to write about it or at least ask DeLay to explain his comments?

Can we get constituents of DeLay’s (and other concerned citizens) to call or fax or email his office to ask him to explain why he chose to use scripture to taunt the flood victims in Asia?

This is a story where context means everything. This is not a speech or sermon by DeLay, but a scripture reading in a service, which was most likely planned by somebody else. A real journalist, or heck, even a fake one, would know that.

It's a fascinating selection, though. The flood connection is ill-timed, but here's the rest of it.

Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven; but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?

"Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you: depart from me, you evil doers.'"

There's a warning there to people who talk the talk and claim to be religious, but don't walk the walk. A warning, giving Rep. DeLay's ongoing ethical troubles that's very timely.

The warning comes at the end of the sermon on the Mount as well, with Jesus's admonition to love our enemies, his blessings on the poor, the meek, and the peacemakers, and this warning as well, one that all sides on the religion debates ought to listen to.

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.


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