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. Dan J

    It's laughable that Rangell of all people would be asking wwjd

    July 9, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  2. Squigman

    Any time one of these bastards says the name of Jesus, out loud, he or she needs to be taken to task for violation of the separation of church and state. It's a good bet that the person speaking, has spoken Jesus's name for selfish purposes.

    July 9, 2011 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  3. Aaron

    He should have asked what Satan would do, then looked to Repubs for the response.

    July 9, 2011 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  4. Kate

    What crap. There should be no call for the opinion of the clergy. Religion has no place in our government. It's not that clergymen shouldn't have an opinion, but rather, why specifically call on people for their religion. And the "Moses" comment is just wrong. To Jews, Moses isn't the Jewish equivalent of Jesus. His entire argument is inappropriate for a secular conflict.

    July 9, 2011 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  5. Hank

    He might think it was deplorable to leave so much debt for your children to maintain your own lifestyle.

    July 9, 2011 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  6. colenebaker

    Currently, the cost of health care is rising at a much higher rate than inflation. Even if we were to implement your beloved single payer, at a certain point we can not afford to pay for every new treatment and technology that comes along if we want to have any semblance of an economy. If you dont have insurance you should check out "Penny Health" for information on how to get one.

    July 9, 2011 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  7. Rickk37

    I am sure Jesus would lie cheat and steal on taxes like Rangel and Gietner.....OH HERE IS AN IDEA!!!! Lets find two of the most corrupt morons from the democrats and put them in charge of both the IRS and and the House Ways and Means committie.

    July 9, 2011 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  8. independent voter

    One of Christ's greatest virtues was compassion. That is something the republicans lack yet they call themselves christians. And to those who are concerned with leaving a tax burden to future generations...here's a news flash...in surplus or deficit there will always be a tax burden. We saw a surplus during the Clinton administration and we were still required to pay taxes. We, our kids, our grandkids will always be required to pay taxes no matter what.

    July 9, 2011 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  9. Chuck

    Jesus said give 10% to Ceaser not 50%. Charlie didn't give anything and he wrote the tax code.

    July 9, 2011 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  10. The Greedy Old Pigs are phony christians

    Much as I dislike Rangel, I have to admit he has a point. Christ was about caring for the poor and those in need. The GOBPbaggers care only about helping the filthy rich (which Christ also preached against).

    Simple question for the Greedy Old Pigs (and their teatard supporters here on CNN):

    July 9, 2011 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  11. RD

    Jesus, Moses, Allah and othe spirtual leaders would say get government out of the charity business and foster an attitude of individual self responibility and respect.

    July 9, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  12. DPB

    Why is Charlie Rangel still in office or even covered by the news...perfect example of why we need term limits...

    July 9, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  13. Candy Taylor

    Jesus said you will know them by their fruits. What fruit has the GOP born? Protecting the wealthy, demonizing the poor and working class and pitting one person against another. I think everyone really knows the answer Charlie. But they want to make it all the hate and greed seem so patriot and godly.

    July 9, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  14. John Searles

    Good Man Charlie Rangel! Your heart is in the right place. The democratic party is, and will always be, the better defender of the less fortunate. But there are many good conservatives out there as well. It's just a shame that both democrats and republicans now have to depend on contributions from the wealthy and large corporations that do not always have such compassion. It seems now that most people have the attitude that "It's all about me and how much wealth I can accumulate". Christians know Christ's reply to the wealthy man who asked what he must do to follow the Lord. Money is a necessary evil but obsession over it ruins our lives and disconnects us from the very best things in life – our families.

    July 9, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  15. clarke

    Jesus would teach every one how to fish.

    July 9, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  16. mickey

    now here is a guy who made tax laws and loopholes for the rich and famous,while at the same time was caught in a finanial scandal.remember charlie when your time comes to face JESUS do you think HE is going to let you into heaven. i doubt it!

    July 9, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  17. mj

    I'm sure he would tell you to pay your taxes, Moron!

    July 9, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  18. T'sah from Virginia

    @Sue – Second thought......I sure don't want to see these Republicans there in Heaven because they will want to make sure GOD is a ONE TERM GOD and try to take over Heaven and run it the way they think it should be run........all the while trying to make GOD Fail........have they got a rude awakening........

    I could not have said it any better!!!!!

    July 9, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  19. Duane

    Charlie? Do u libs really taken his guy seriously? He a bad joke at the very best............

    July 9, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  20. Ray E. Georgia

    A man that mucked it up in the first place isn't the one to ask. People know what to do, just get Government out of the way. The best, and only thing to do is extend the Bush Tax Cuts for 10 more years, get rid of useless Regulations and things will slowly improve. But, if you are a Liberal Democrat, it is time to say, WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IN CIRCLES, SCREAM AND SHOUT.

    July 9, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  21. T'sah from Virginia

    ["What would Jesus do this weekend?”]
    He would surely NOT complain about how we overspend!
    Especially if the weak, the poor is taken care of
    What would Jesus do – He would show us much love

    ['do what you have to do – but not to the homeless,]
    [the jobless and the helpless] the weakened and depressed!
    [Not to the sick… the aging…] and others who fear
    you taking away their Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare!!

    What would Jesus do – Vote Democrat!!!!
    Yes We Can!!

    July 9, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  22. Just As I Thought

    Sue; the one's 'in Heaven will be those who have "trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior"........has nothing to do with anything anyone has or hasn't "done".........."not by works of righteousness".......but mainly what you, and sadly to say, many like you, need to understand is; Obama is NOT God, or anything close!
    How is that "hope & change working for YOU?"

    July 9, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  23. Mike

    He would do the same thing he did to the money changers, kick them all out...

    July 9, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Mike in Wylie

    Rangel is throwing a cheap shot to shame the faithful into turning the other cheek to their mugging.
    Of all people that pull the 'religion card', he is being manipulative.

    July 9, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |

    Jesus would not have created a system that traps people in government dependancy in the first place. God asks for 10% from everyone, all economic classes, to go to His work through His church. I think Jesus would figure it extremely arrogant that a government would demand 15, 20, 30% or more. Jesus complimented the widow for paying her share don't think he would be pleased that nearly half have no financial responsibility for the country. Jesus grieves over the slautering of the most innocent of human life therefore planned parenthood would be out of the budget. I am surprised this is even a question frrom someone on the left where the idea of seperation of church and state has beeen used to silence Christians when ever possible. Perhaps if welfare checks were sent in Jesus name Rangel would have a point.

    July 9, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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