Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) claims his opposition to capital punishment stems from his understanding of the Bible. He also claims Jesus would oppose free trade and tax cuts. Brown made these remarks in yet another recently uncovered speech.
According to the senator, “[my]opposition to the death penalty is grounded in the scriptures.” He stated further, “I find this trade agreement violates the tenets of my faith and the tenets of my belief in social justice.” Where does Senator Brown derive those beliefs from? He boldly informs his listeners, “we are given the New Testament, which shares with us Christ’s teachings of social and economic justice.” Senator Brown also says, “My opposition to tax cuts for America’s most privileged adults and Head Start cuts afflicting our least privileged children follow from the teachings of Christ.”
Many sincere leaders from both political parties truly do try to follow the precepts of their faith in the public square. Sherrod Brown, however, is deceptive in his claims. Where does “scripture” oppose capital punishment? While murder–the taking of innocent human life–is clearly condemned, capital punishment is not. Sherrod Brown claims to be a Christian. However, he does not seem to have spent sufficient time understanding what the 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures and 27 books of the Christian Bible say about capital punishment. Clearly, the Bible lends its support to the death penalty.
Although Brown also claims the “teachings of Christ” inform his opposition to free trade and tax cuts, he fails to provide specific teachings or quotations from the Christian Bible to back up his claims. As one who has studied world religions extensively, I can assure you there is no such doctrine within Christianity discussing tax cuts or free trade agreements.
Sherrod Brown claims to inform his public policy decisions with his understanding of the Bible. Yet, the Bible clearly contradicts Brown’s stance on capital punishment and remains silent on free trade. The voters of Ohio deserve why Sherrod Brown tries to advance radical policies under a cloak of religiosity. Could it be that Brown has mistaken the books of Marx with the Gospel of Mark?