It takes a lot of mental gymnastics to make Jesus, a known pacifist, a defender of guns, but that didn’t stop Sen. Ted Cruz from trying.
The Republican twisted the Bible while in a Twitter fight with actress Alyssa Milano. (Hey, it’s 2019. Are you even the least bit surprised?)
It started with this tweet from Milano asking which Bible verse(s) supported a right to own a gun.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 1, 2019
Cruz’s response? I have your passage right here!
2/x The right to self-defense is recognized repeatedly in the Bible, eg Exodus 22:2: “If a thief is caught breaking in at night & is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.” (Note, though, verse 3 says it IS murder if during daylight (ie, not self-defense).
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 1, 2019
Writing for Religion News Service, Shane Claiborne points out the problem with Cruz’s cherry picked verse:
… Cruz quoted an obscure text from the Book of Exodus: “If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed” (Exodus 22:2). Cruz himself even conceded the next verse says if the same thing happens during daylight, it’s no longer self-defense and the law forbids it. So by Cruz’s own argument, the right to self-defense by gun ends at dawn. After that, it is murder.
It certainly is a stretch to say a verse in Exodus allowing for self-defense in the middle of the night justifies the right to own military weapons and take them into Walmart in broad daylight. But that’s where Cruz’s logic takes us.
Conveniently, Cruz ignores other verses in Exodus that talk about the moral imperative to care for foreigners and other marginalized groups in need of assistance. For a guy who receives plenty of money from the NRA, Cruz should also know that Exodus 23:8 says, “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.”
Both Cruz and Milano are set to meet in person today to hash out their differences on this issue. Will it change anything? Probably not. But an in-person discussion is surely more helpful than throwing a Bible verse at someone on Twitter.
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