Rangel: What would Jesus do on the debt talks?
July 8th, 2011
05:08 PM ET
7 years ago

Rangel: What would Jesus do on the debt talks?

Washington (CNN) - Veteran Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel made an impassioned plea to religious leaders Friday, calling on them to lobby members of Congress and the Obama administration to remember the "lesser of my brothers and sisters" during this weekend's debt negotiations.

"What would Jesus do this weekend? Or Moses. Or Allah. Or anyone else," the New York congressman said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I don't want this book (debt negotiations) closed without the clergy having an opportunity to forcefully express themselves as well as I know they can do."

Top congressional leaders and the White House have been steeped in contentious negotiations over raising the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.Treasury Department officials, along with top economists, warn that a failure to raise the limit by August 2 could lead to a global economic crisis and dire consequences for the U.S., including skyrocketing interest rates and a falling dollar.

Rangel said he was stumped as to why Washington wouldn't be "besieged by spiritual leaders saying 'do what you have to do - but not to the homeless, the jobless and the helpless. Not to the sick. And certainly not to the aging that are sick or those depending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.'"

"I have not heard from those people who have been called by God to protect the poor. I haven't heard them," he said. "The issues that are going to be discussed this weekend involve spiritual, moral issues."

And Rangel's plea to the poor and helpless? Call your religious leaders and ask, "what is Medicare all about? What is Medicaid all about? Why do
we have taxes?'"

Filed under: Charlie Rangel • Debt
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Brett, Little Rock Ar

    What?! What does it matter what a 2000 year old figure head would do on policy decisions for the 21st century? Are we bartering in gold and silver again? I know people look to Jesus as a moral compass, but for fiscal decisions why can't these politicians grow a spine with their own thoughts?

    "I don't want this book (debt negotiations) closed without the clergy having an opportunity to forcefully express themselves as well as I know they can do.

    SERIOUSLY! What would the clergy have to add to the discussions?! Are they going to magically resolve debt talks?

    July 8, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Jen06

    Well, Moses would defer to Jesus who would say ‘THOU SHALT NOT STEAL’ and ‘THE BORROWER IS SERVANT TO THE LENDER’. Allah wouldn’t do anything; he doesn’t exist.

    Soooooooo……it’s ok to get religion involved in government now? Damn Dems keep confusing me.

    Sue, Sue, Sue – are you trying to call Barry GOD?? You won't have to worry about seeing the Repubs in heaven – we'll be there but you won't.

    July 8, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. Delly

    Well. This is exactly what Jesus will do, anyone that caan be bothered to read my weak post:
    Give Unto Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar, and to God what belongs to God. The poor you will always have with you. Love your neighbour as you would love your self. Jesus was and still is the greatest mediator. He would have met some where in the middle with all these issues facing America. He would not have been Democrat or Republican, but a fair balance of the 2. Anyone who loves God and hates his brother, does not know God He says. Jesus is the greatest man and God that ever was ans still is. He is alive in our hearts not because he sought his own selfish ambitions, but because His motive was to empower God and reconcile man back to God. Great mediator!

    July 8, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. Delly

    Empower man I meant to say by reconsiling us back to God. So man can love like God loves.....Jesus came to empower us to live like God in character, not in talent only.

    July 8, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Sgt Joe

    Who cares?

    July 8, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. Robert

    He said to those who questioned taxes to "Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar."

    July 8, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Sank

    He would do something that you Rangel would never be capable of understanding. He would let you know where you came from. The land of where Cain was cast. isn't this the nature of your bearing.

    July 8, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. ED FL

    What Washington DC needs to do is get Rid of Rangels and the rest of the Rangel types that have been in DC for their life and continually bend or break the rules of integrity and honesty that NEED TO BE FOLLOWED BY POLITICIANS. If Rangels stretched the rules in real life instead of political life he would have been in custody Many Many years ago.He has set the standard for questionable behaviour in a once respected employment.

    July 8, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. Nurse Tabers

    Why isn't he in jail?

    July 8, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  10. JJinCO

    Jesus would lobby Washington just as he lobbied Rome ... meaning not at all. He came down to save the souls of men, not improve government.

    July 8, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  11. Albo58

    What a hypocritical statement from a thieving cockroach! Retire Charlie and fade into our dust bin of history!

    July 8, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. DinaK

    FREE WILL you moron! Jesus would tell each person to do whatever his/her conscience requires. Taking other people's money and goods because for a cause is not the same as each person deciding where his/her money should go. Jesus wouldn't force anyone to do anything Rangel- and what would Jesus have done with all of those real estate tax breaks you decided to take for yuorself, Rangel? Interesting on how you didn't think about what Jesus would do when you were filling out your own taxes. Liberal hypocrite.

    July 8, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. James

    He would say "give to caesar what is caesar's"! Why didn't you follow that advice??

    July 8, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  14. MikeBell

    Whoa! Now that is weird. We have social liberals asking what Jesus would do.
    Somehow that does not seem to be a genuine concern of theirs but a play upon the faithful.
    So now they're trying to shame the social conservatives into mugging others to pay for the liberal's social doctrine.
    Surely they're not pushing for a 'State Religion'.

    July 8, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. GOP = Greed Over People

    Charlie, while I appreciate your sentiment, YOU may not be the best spokesman for Jesus!

    July 8, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  16. s kel

    Im sure Jesus on the cheat Rangels past actions and really disagree with what the tea bagger "Four on the Floor" wrote on that hate ridden,wealthy driven Ryan plan.

    July 8, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  17. Mike Dallas

    "…From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. Luke 12:48b"

    Something the GOP "christians" seem to have forgotten was in the Holy Book of Fables which was the Holy Bible before the evangelicals made a mockery of it by their "christian" actions toward those less fortunate among us.

    July 8, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  18. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" economics has only left a dribbling wet spot on working Americans's shoes!

    "I have not heard from those people who have been called by God to protect the poor. I haven't heard them,"

    Nor will you, obviously, they no longer reside in this country. Sadly, the willingness on both sides to throw the sick out in the street, and as you say, not a word is raised in protest to protect them, only proves the very compassionate heart that used to be a moral compass in this country is dead and has been replaced with just a deep, black void. This is what destroyed ancient civilizations and will destroy this one as well. When allowing children and elderly to die due to basic needs not being met, with wealth all around us, can be so casually discussed as "collateral damage" to save a buck, we as a nation are truly doomed.

    Still makes me shake my head when I hear how "exceptional" we are since we are the only country to vaporize 129,000 innocent Japanese civilians in seconds. Do you really believe those decision makers will not pay?

    Many more will pay dearly, especially in Congress, for you will be judged by your actions.

    July 8, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. Mike

    Jesus was all about PERSONAL responsibility. Passing legislation that reaches into other peoples pockets to fund social programs does not score points with JC. His test is whether you reach into your own pocket or give your own blood , sweat and tears to lend a helping hand, not whether the government does it for you through taxation.

    July 8, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  20. Inrealityhere

    Amazing how liberals cry "separation of church and state" but only when it applies to everyone except themselves! Come on!

    July 9, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  21. Anthony Dyer

    Just when you think Rangel couldn't say anything more stupid, he opens his mouth.

    July 9, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  22. Inrealityhere

    Well then what do you think Jesus would do about abortion, gay marriages, no fault divorce (BTW, God hates divorce) porn, and all the other things liberals generally condone? I think He would try to save people from it all. Oh yeah, that is why He came!

    July 9, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  23. davec

    I thought Dems were big into separation of church & state...... however with all the bad things Charlie has done, he's probably been praying a lot more lately.

    July 9, 2011 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  24. Bill from GA

    Hey, 4door, don't forget the tax cuts in the ryan plan, so the rich don't have to suffer here on earth.

    It ain't easy, being rich in America. (so I hear)

    July 9, 2011 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  25. Former Democrat, now an Independent

    Rangle is a complete idiot, and unfortunately a sure sign that Democrats have alot of work to get their own affairs in order. It wont however, begin until the current set of leaders are forced out. The party has become too corrupt to be legitimate anymore.

    July 9, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
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