To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Observercast

Open Letter To Sen.-Elect Lankford

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Sharon MartinRev. Lankford, I was dismayed to hear you say that you would govern according to Biblical principals. You have every right to live your life according to those principals, so long as you don’t hurt anyone, because our Constitution guarantees it. But don’t forget that your constituents are Christians, Buddhists, atheists, Hindus, Muslims, pagans. Their rights are also guaranteed.

Moreover, I don’t think you intend to follow all the biblical principles, just the ones you choose. You said your first order of business is to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Jesus told us to heal the sick. The best way to do that is to make sure that every single one of us has access to quality, affordable healthcare.

One in five of your constituents live in poverty, many of them working a minimum wage job or two, yet you don’t support an increase in the minimum wage.

One in six children go to bed hungry every night. You want to gut the social safety net. Jesus weeps.

You want to balance the budget on the backs of your constituents when, in fact, it could be balanced if we’d just quit fighting and funding wars. War make a few people wealthy but leaves little to care for the taxpayers. And my Bible says, “Thou shalt not kill.”

If it is wrong to kill, it is wrong to kill. It doesn’t say you have a pass to kill your enemies. It doesn’t give us permission take out those who aren’t Christians.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not purely biblical either. I seldom turn the other cheek. I believe in a strong national defense, but armed offense is a sin.

I’m not one of those who moans about how much money we spend on foreign aid. I just think the foreign aid should be spent on projects that help people.

We are right to fight Ebola. We are right to build wells. We are right to send aid in times of national tragedies. We can make more friends helping others in time of need than we ever will by dropping bombs on them. And it costs less. And friends make us safer than enemies do.

Jesus drove the moneylenders out of the temple. Jesus brought his message of peace to the people. Jesus told his followers to pay their taxes, to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s.

I have been told by those who have met you that you are a good man. Your decency and the U.S. Constitution are all you need to legislate. Anything else violates our Constitutional rights.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

20 COMMENTS

  1. We elected the man. This means we elected the whole man, including his ideas on how to govern. I don’t wish to have an ecclesiastical government, but I do want to have laws that honor Christ, which allow for the MOST amount of freedom that won’t violate other people’s right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If Langford starts violating other peoples Constitutional rights then he would be subject to impeachment. As a God-fearing man, I doubt he will.

    Where do we get most of the principles found in the Constitution? From Christian scripture.

    Even though it is fashionable to say that the framers of the US Constitution were not Christians, for the most part, that’s untrue. Most were Christians, ALL were God-fearing men. And I know it’s fashionable to ask a person to box up their belief system for only their personal life, but that is ridiculously unrealistic. We elected the whole man, we should be glad he has an ethical standard, even if you don’t agree with his politics.

    Also, Obamacare is causing impoverished people to suffer ever more than they do now. Liberal policies ARE religious policies when the government is your god.

    • What a wonderful letter Ms. Martin. And I totally agree. Mr. St. Denis is a member of the new age Christian who picks and chooses what he wants from the Bible and the Constitution. Freedom of Religion for example. To many that has come to mean freedom to practice Christianity and nothing else. As far as the Affordable Health Care Act goes, they deny that this has help to make health care available to millions of people who, a year ago did not have any. While they go on and on about running this country with Christian values, there is an open war on the poor, the homeless, the sick and the gay community. Jesus teaches in the Bible to love one another. Help on another. No where does Jesus tell us to hate. This constant push for Christianity in government, the finger pointing, the judging, is what is destroying organized religion in this country. How sad this country has become to lash out at those in need and then call ourselves a Christian nation. We are far from it. Mr. Lankford wants to balance the budget using the Book of Nehemiah. Perhaps Mr. Lankford should look at the teachings in the New Testament and do as Jesus tells us to do.

  2. Senator Lankford said he would govern by principles he learned from Scripture. Those principles or foundational truths have broad application to all areas of life and are the Senator’s guide to make ethical decisions. This in no way means that he hopes to force all of his constituents to abide by the same Christian Faith. I would hope that all of our politicians have foundational uncompromising principles that would likewise guide them to be ethical and equitable as they defend and protect our Republic and her Constitution. Ms. Martin seems to think that following Biblical principles means one must see the world as she does. That the only way to provide access to health care for all is the ACA; that the only way out of poverty for many is an increase in minimum wage; to name a couple. She claims that the funding of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is the reason we don’t have a balanced budget, when in fact our average ANNUAL deficit under President Obama’s 6 years in office is equal to what we spent on 10 years of those wars. Ms. Martin and I agree on many of the things that are important for our Legislators to address. We just approach the issues from a different perspective. It seems that the approach of the past dozen years has not worked. Perhaps Senator Lankford should be given the opportunity to turn things around. And the Senator is indeed a good and decent man. It is precisely those Biblical principles he holds dear that have made him that, and the reason why he will be a fine Junior Senator from Our great state.

  3. I think this is a little extreme. Who are you to judge someone from one comment he made. You apparently are inside his brain, knowing everything about him. Surely you know that the only one who has the right to judge a person is the highest power of all, God. It might do you well to remember that one of our finest statesmen and presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was a very devout reader of the Bible and he never made a decision without consulting his Bible and praying for guidance. I am confident that our new United States senator will do the best he can to honor the Constitution of the United States. He was voted into that office by the people which is the way it works. Give the man a chance and quit your belly aching.

    • “Give the man a chance and quit bellyaching” – Said no Tea Bag ever when it pertains to the President. Abraham Lincoln? Getting a little ahead of yourself there, aren’t you? James Lankford is no Abraham Lincoln. O

    • It would be better if you had stopped your second sentence with: … who are we to judge. God didn’t call us into the world so we could judge each other; rather, we are here to fulfill our role as His hands, His feet, His cares for the people around us.

      Forget the politics. It’s amazing to me that some are already ‘preaching at’ the Senator-elect, rather than asking what their role might be in support of what he wants to accomplish. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything Mr. Lankford stands for, but look for where you can support instead of denigrate.

  4. I believe that Jesus’ teaching are being misrepresented here. If you can show me one place in the New Testament where Jesus Christ or any one of His apostles ever advocated any kind of government action, I will immediately become a socialist.

    What the writer is advocating is well described by Whittaker Chambers in the introduction to his autobiography “Witness” titled “A Letter to My Children” which can be foun online. He described it as man’s second oldest faith first mentioned in the garden when the serpent said, “Ye shall be as gods.”

  5. It is hard to underestimate the intelligence of Oklahoma voters when they consistently vote against their own interests. A vote for Langford was a vote for protecting the wealthy and crucifying the poor. However, Oklies voted for him. Now let’s pay the price. It will be big!

  6. Sharon, are you serious? Thou shall not kill in war? If we practice that, we might as well convert to Islam now. So funny, it is sad you think this way.

    ACA is government force. So is OASDI, and all versions of Medicare. Give unto Government so it can do YOUR charity work? Silly idea, and so sad we are going further down that slippery slope of killing off freedom.

    Please read “Free to Choose”.

  7. While I totally believe that “blessed are the peacemakers”, I must point out that “Thou shalt not kill” is from the Old Testament. But the Old Testament also tells us that when the Israelites were taking the land to which God led them, that land was already occupied. Those Israelites often fought wars at God’s direction where they were instructed to leave not even the cattle alive. When they disobeyed that command, they often found themselves in trouble. Also, OT law included such things as the right of the family of someone who had been killed to take the life of the killer. One example given in scripture is of two men working in a field when the ax-head of one of them flies off and kills the other. The family of the man killed had the right (the right, not the responsibility) to kill the man unless he could get to a city of refuge. If you are going to quote the OT, then you need to look at ALL of it.

  8. Everyone governs by a set of principles whether Biblical or not. Ms. Martin’s principle is one has “every right to live your life according to those principals, so long as you don’t hurt anyone.” By what objective standard does Martin’s principle get to govern but Lankford’s does not?

    Further, Martin claims that Lankford’s various positions violate his Biblical principles (e.g opposition to the Affordable Care Act and minimum wage) arguing that her position is actually more Biblical. Martin advocates governing by her more Biblical principles but criticizes others trying to “govern according to Biblical principals”. Her argument commits suicide.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.