A couple of weeks ago at a Cleveland campaign stop, President Trump indicated that Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, was “against God,” and that if elected president, Mr. Biden will “hurt God” and “hurt the Bible.” I found the President’s rant both absurd and shocking, but it was, like so many before it, shortly driven down my stream of consciousness by Mr. Trump’s continuing torrent of malign inanities.
I am also a Catholic, albeit deeply flawed. What caused me to recall Mr. Trump’s Cleveland rant – faith-based attacks uttered by one who for all practical purposes espouses racism, has bragged about grabbing women by their private parts, has belittled the handicapped, has approved the intentional separation of children from their parents at our borders, has sought to downplay the scope and effect of a deadly virus upon our people in order to enhance his own political fortunes, and has most recently referred sympathetically to Qanon, an alt-right fringe group embracing the notion that some Democrats are Satan-worshipping pedophiles — was the following, read during one of this week’s daily Masses:
“Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves! Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep? You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered the fatlings, but the sheep you have not pastured. You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost, but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts. ….
As I live, says the Lord GOD, because my sheep have been given over to pillage, and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast, for lack of a shepherd; because my shepherds did not look after my sheep, but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep ….
I swear I am coming against these shepherds. I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep so that they may no longer pasture themselves. ….”
Ezekiel, 34: 1-5; 8; 10
Mr. Biden’s acceptance speech last night seemed to me most fundamentally that … of a caring shepherd. Notwithstanding Mr. Trump’s references to God and the Bible, I think it’s fair to assume that the President has little familiarity with the Book of Ezekiel. From his perspective, perhaps just as well.