Talking Points

Marjorie Taylor Greene's glib anti-immigrant theology

Has Marjorie Taylor Greene even read the Bible?

She certainly has some opinions about it. The notorious Republican congresswoman from Georgia recently gave an interview in which she asserted that American church groups that assist migrant refugees are "not adhering to the teachings of Christ" but instead are the result of "Satan's controlling the church."

"The church is not doing its job, and it's not adhering to the teachings of Christ, and it's not adhering to what the word of God says we're supposed to do and how we're supposed to live," Greene said. Sure, those teachings include the command to love one another, she said, "but their definition of what love one another means, means destroying our laws. It means completely perverting what our Constitution says. It means taking unreal advantage of the American taxpayer." If groups like Catholic Charities took a tougher stance against immigration, "loving one another would have the true meaning and not the perversion and the twisted lie that they're making it to be."

Now I've been fallen away from the church a few years, but I definitely remember that among Christ's teachings is the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story about a man who showed mercy on a traveler who had been beaten by robbers. 

And I remember this from the Gospel of Matthew:

Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"  The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Listen: There's nothing more tedious than a non-Christian citing Biblical chapter and verse to Christians, but Greene cited the "teachings of Christ" and these (if you're a believer) are the teachings of Christ. It's not clear what other actual teachings she's referring to other than her own intense feelings about the Constitution and immigration. That's not the same thing. 

This would be little more than a minor theological debate if not for the fact Christianity ostensibly guides one of our major political parties. So it matters. Greene is not the first or last person to filter their religion through the prism of their own personal and political preferences. I'm probably doing it right here. But Greene's comments have all the hallmarks of a glib Biblical illiteracy that she brandishes as a cudgel against "the least of these." We'd all be better off if Christian nationalism was actually more Christian.