House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) broke her silence Tuesday after San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone banned her from taking communion due to the “grave evil she is perpetrating” on the abortion front.
And the MSNBC segment in which she unleashed her views contained theological inaccuracy, uncorroborated biblical claims, and a slew of other strange moments that unsurprisingly went unchallenged.
Pelosi, among other things, accused Cordileone of inconsistencies and seemingly charged some pro-lifers with rejecting sentiments in the Gospel of Matthew, though her exact reasoning was a bit cluttered and yet simultaneously lacking.
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The curious — and some might argue bizarre — segment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” opened Tuesday with host Joe Scarborough pondering how “disconcerting” it is to see religious leaders deny communion “over a political issue that Jesus never once mentioned in the Gospels.”
Scarborough said Christ declined to discuss abortion despite the fact it was “both a political and a philosophical issue in Ancient Greece and in Rome when Jesus was alive.”
The idea that Jesus had no position on any issue he didn’t explicitly mention in Scripture is a bit strange. The Bible is overwhelmingly clear about not committing murder and about helping the most innocent.
It’s hard to imagine how someone with biblical knowledge would miss these simple truths.
Regardless, Scarborough wasn’t done. He proceeded to offer a message about what it takes to get into heaven, focusing solely on actions, not belief in Christ, as is commanded throughout Scripture.
“[Jesus] told his disciples in Matthew 25 that we would be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven if we gave water to the thirsty, fed the hungry, clothed the poor, and brought hope to the hopeless,” Scarborough said. “We were to lead with forgiveness and love.”
Loving others is absolutely central to the Christian experience, though it is explicitly tied to the preceding command: loving God. The entirety of the New Testament hinges on Jesus’ call for people to embrace Him; Christ is the core of salvation, so speaking solely about deeds concerning eternal rewards is deeply problematic.
But don’t just take my word for it. John 3:16-18 (NIV) reads:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
After Scarborough invited Pelosi on the air following his Bible-themed monologue, she was perfectly teed up to dive right in. She mentioned Scarborough’s invocation of Matthew and offered a peculiar rebuke of some of the people “who side” with the church on abortion.
“Thank you for referencing the Gospel of Matthew, which is sort of the agenda of the church that is rejected by many who side with them on terminating a pregnancy,” Pelosi said, without really identifying what she meant.
No one on the other end asked, of course. The House speaker proceeded to seemingly lament Cordileone’s communion decision, slamming it as “not consistent with the Gospel of Matthew.”
Watch Pelosi’s reaction:
“This decision taking us to privacy and precedent is very dangerous in the lives of so many of the American people and again not consistent with the Gospel of Matthew,” she said.
Again, no one asked what she meant, permitting her flippant and unrestrained claims that faith leaders and their followers are somehow violating one of the Bible’s sacrosanct textual fixtures.
Earlier in the segment, Pelosi accused the church of not applying standards equally on other issues like the death penalty.
“I wonder about the death penalty, which I am opposed to,” Pelosi said. “So is the church, but they take no action against people who may not share their view.”
Pelosi, of course, is one of the most powerful individuals in the world. There’s a difference between holding a personal view that conflicts and literally serving as one of the people seeking to instill policies that would lead to the killing of unborn babies — but that’s a debate for another day.
Pelosi said she comes from a largely pro-life family and respects differences of opinion on the abortion front. That said, she doesn’t respect “foisting it on others.”
“What is important for women to know, and families to know, that this is not just about terminating a pregnancy,” Pelosi said. “These same people are against contraception, family planning, in vitro fertilization. It’s a blanket thing, and they use abortion as the frontman for it while they try to undo so much.”
This blanket statement, of course, is untrue of many pro-lifers who don’t take issue with these other practices. And even if it were true, the intentional taking of a human life is, without a doubt, a violation of biblical principles across the canon, not just the truths held in Matthew. And that’s why people lead with the issue: it matters.
Pelosi’s MSNBC appearance came after Cordileone announced Friday that the House speaker’s abortion views had become so concerning that he would no longer permit her to partake in communion.
“After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone wrote in a letter on the matter.
Unsurprisingly, Pelosi reportedly took communion Sunday in Washington, D.C. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has no plans to bar pro-choice politicians from taking communion.
Pray for Pelosi, our other leaders, and our nation; we need it.
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