News and Commentary

DNC Chair Quotes Scripture — To Lecture Catholic Cardinal For Criticizing Him On Abortion
Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez speaks to the audience ahead of the Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University on January 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Speaking with Jonathan Swan of Axios, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez took the step of quoting Scripture to  lecture a Catholic cardinal for criticizing him on his unflinching support for abortion. Swan asked Perez about Cardinal Timothy Dolan criticizing Perez after Perez said in 2017 that every Democrat should view a woman’s right to choose abortion as “non-negotiable.”

Dolan had said, “It saddens me and weakens the democracy millions of Americans cherish when the party that once embraced Catholics now slams the door on us.”

Perez, cherry-picking from Matthew 25, responded, Well, actually the majority of Catholics voted for Democrats in 2016. So apparently the cardinal may not understand that Matthew 25 is a pretty important teaching. And Matthew 25 says, you know, when you are hungry, I fed you. When you were naked, I provided you with clothing. When you were an immigrant, I welcomed you. I think one of the reasons why so many people are moving away from Donald Trump is that he’s abandoned all of those values.”

Swan notes, “Fact check: The Catholic vote was closely split between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016.”

Additionally, the complete parable in Matthew 25 ends with Jesus saying, “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” As John Hirschauer of National Review notes, “As for Perez’s concern for the ‘least of these’– I can hardly think of a more vulnerable human being in our society than the unborn child that his party supports killing up until the moment of birth. Something Perez might contemplate if he reads the Last Judgment parable through to its end.”

The complete parable reads:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

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.” Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink;  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in; I needed clothes and you did not clothe me; I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”

They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?”

He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.