‘The Filibuster Is Sinful’: Left-Wing Minister Questions Joe Manchin’s Faith
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II alongside with faith leaders, speaks outside of the St. John's Episcopal Church Lafayette Square on June 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

A left-wing activist and minister has told Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) that refusing to abolish the filibuster is a “moral contradiction” to the senator’s Christian faith, claiming that the filibuster “is sinful.”

On Monday, Rev. William J. Barber II led 200 people in a protest dubbed the “Moral March on Manchin” outside the senator’s office in Charleston. There, they read a “Letter to Senator Manchin from Moral and Religious Leaders,” which said Manchin’s support for the filibuster called into question his religious beliefs.

“As a public servant who professes a faith guided by love, justice, and mercy and who has sworn a public oath to support and defend the Constitution, your public statements about the filibuster are a moral contradiction,” the letter said. “The filibuster as it is currently being used is not just bad policy. It is sinful.”

The letter claims that “[t]he filibuster continues to block the very things our faith traditions proclaim to be just and right,” specifying only the failure to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour (thanks to eight Senate Democrats siding with the chamber’s Republicans). That follows a tweet in April that says: “By supporting the filibuster, you are either an advocate or enabler of systemic racism, voter suppression, greed, the denial of health care, and the denial of living wages. We have been working with this political sin far too long!”

The reverend didn’t specify which verse of the Bible says, “Thou shalt not filibuster,” and he didn’t say whether the filibuster was immoral the 327 times Democrats used the filibuster in 2020 — let alone when they employed it to kill protections for babies born alive during botched abortions.

But then Barber has a long history of twisting theology to fit his ideologically driven religious pronouncements.

Barber, the head of the Poor People’s Campaign, told his “Moral Monday” followers to march alongside Planned Parenthood to oppose a bill that would require abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as any other surgical center. He worked with the nation’s largest abortion provider again in Alabama against a bill that would protect most unborn life.

The moral confusion continued as Barber applauded the passage of the “Equality Act.” The Alliance Defending Freedom calls the act a “deliberate and unprecedented threat to free speech, religious freedom, and the progress that women have made toward true equal treatment under the law.” The bill would replace the religious liberties provided by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which was signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and introduced by Chuck Schumer) with an act of secular imperialism, while also denying biological women the right to privacy.

But Barber’s movement isn’t merely against things; the reverend positively endorses socialism. Barber asserted that people who believe in “the Bible must then promote socialism, because Jesus offered free healthcare, and He never charged the leper a co-pay.”

Of course, Jesus also never worked for the government, nor did the Bible ever command Christians to outsource their good deeds to impersonal federal bureaucracies. Lawrence Reed literally wrote the book comprehensively refuting the notion that Jesus was a socialist. This author has also addressed most of the more common arguments that the Bible demands government redistribution of wealth.

Opposing socialism is hardly an innovation; it is the traditional teaching of every major branch of Christianity. Socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg complained that Orthodox Christian “believers who go to church on Sundays and festivals are compelled, more and more often, to listen to … a real indictment of Socialism.” The great Baptist preacher C.H. Spurgeon warned that “socialism may yet pollute the mass of mankind.” And one of the many papal encyclicals that condemning Marxism states, “No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.”

Yet Barber sublimates his faith to his political views to such an extent that he even politicized the terrorist attack against Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) by a radical left-wing assailant. As Scalise lay in a hospital bed hovering between life and death, Barber implied that, if Scalise survived, he needed to repent of his Republicanism. While Barber told “AM Joy” that Americans should “be united” in prayer for Scalise, he continued: “All of those that were injured needed healthcare, so now will they go back to work and … preserve the Affordable Care Act, move the universal healthcare, and make sure preexisting conditions are protected? Since they could have died, will they repent of efforts to take money from Medicaid?”

“These are the serious moral questions that have to be answered,” Barber said. On the contrary: The most serious raised by Barber’s cold-blooded politicization of grief is whether the reverend is “without natural affection.”

No one who misses as many fundamental, historical, and universal doctrines of the Bible as Barber does has any businesses preaching on the finer points of applied public morality. Perhaps he should heed the words of the Bible, “Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s Word all over again” (Hebrews 5:12).

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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