The party that thought Sarah Palin and binders would solve their problems with women now thinks that Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) can cure what ails them with Latinos. For their unpopularity with the nation’s fastest growing group of new voters could easily, within the next few decades, destroy their hopes of ever winning the White House.
Depending on when you checked his official website, you know that Rubio’s parents either fled Castro in Cuba or emigrated to the U.S. before anyone had ever heard of Castro. But he doesn’t need his son to speak Spanish for him and he’s young enough to talk 80s rap music.
And that’s what Rubio was doing with Esquire’s Michael Hainey when the interviewer suddenly asked Rubio how old the world is. (Spoiler: It’s not 6,000 years old.)
Rubio’s answer? “I’m not a scientist, man.”
He then went on to spout some neo-creationist babble that made it clear that he wasn’t going to bow to Big Science.
A few weeks later, after Rubio recognized that he was quickly being Palinized, the senator decided that he would rather be Romneyized and split the baby on the creationist debate. He revised his answer:
There is no scientific debate on the age of the Earth, it’s established pretty definitively, it’s at least 4.5 billion years old. I’m not a theologian either. To the extent that there is any kind of debate about the age of the Earth scientifically, I’m not in a position really to mediate that.
But he then went on to say that, “Science has given us insight into when he did it and how he did it. The more science learns, the more I’m convinced that God is real.”
So he acknowledges there is such a thing as science but wants you know he has the faith to completely disregard it. Reassuring!
Guess what else Marco Rubio is convinced of? When asked if homosexuality is a sin, he said:
That’s what the Bible teaches and that’s what faith teaches. But it also teaches that there are a bunch of other sins that are no less. For example, it teaches that lying is a sin. It teaches that disrespecting your parents is a sin. It teaches that stealing is a sin. It teaches that coveting your neighbor and what your neighbor has is a sin. So there isn’t a person in this room that isn’t guilty of sin. So, I don’t go around pointing fingers in that regard.
I’m responsible for my salvation and I’m responsible for my family’s, and for inculcating in my family what our faith teaches, and they’ll become adults and decide how they want to apply that in life. As a policy maker, I could just tell you that I’m informed by my faith. And my faith informs me in who I am as a person — but not as a way to pass judgment on people.
To distill his point: Gays were just born into a lifestyle that makes falling in love as sinful as lying or coveting.
But I’m not judging.
The classic “I’m not judging you; God is” defense is politicized version of “Hate the sin; love the sinner.”
But in Rubio’s case it should be, “Hate the sin; legislate against the sinner.”
Whenever he’s been given a chance to, Marco Rubio has employed his religious bias to deny gay people basic rights—including the right to marry, adopt children, serve in the military or not be fired for being homosexual.
Unlike Mitt Romney, Rubio doesn’t support writing bigotry against gay couples into law. He calls it a states’ rights issue (unlike medical marijuana, which he opposes regardless of what a state wants). But Rubio recorded robocalls to help defeat state marriage equality measures in Maryland, Washington and Maine.
You can check out this flow chart to see how tortured your reading of the Bible has to be to come up with justifications for homophobia. But you’re probably pretty familiar with this kind of hypocrisy.
Rubio—like most “conservatives” in this country—is a Hometown Buffet Christian.
He skips right past the Prophets and Jesus’ actual words, which continually mention the moral obligations of the rich, and heaps on extra servings of the parts of the Bible that can be used to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.
I don’t mind Marco Rubio judging anyone’s lifestyle. That’s much better that using his flimsy reading of the Bible to decide which rights I should enjoy and which rights I’m only entitled to if I convey myself to his imaginary vision of what the Bible says I should do.
In Timothy, Paul says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”
Is a woman talking or teaching a sin—like lying or coveting a neighbor’s wife? Is that what Rubio is going to say next?
No, because it’s not politically convenient. Rubio may not be a scientist or a theologian. But he’s definitely a politician.
And until politicians admit that the only holy document they need to worry about interpolating is the Constitution, “God” will be used to deny people rights. And that is a much greater sin to liberty than “judgment.”
For even greater than my freedom to practice my religion is my freedom from your warped version of whatever you think your religion is.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File