There are times when politics and religion collide. Currently, the flashpoint is President Joe Biden, and his administration. President Biden claims to be a “devout Catholic”, although he stands in opposite camps to the Holy Father in Rome on several points. But there is a crisis now; the baby formula shortage. The administration has known about this for months and, only now when public outrage is increasing, does he see the need to act in, what he thinks is a meaningful way.
His administration, led by Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg, has publicly stated that, according to the New York Post, “the administration acted from day one after the recall” and should not be responsible because it’s “a capitalist country. The government does not make baby formula, nor should it. Companies make formula.”
Admittedly, Secretary Buttigieg is correct that the government is not a manufacturing plant. But what he overlooks is that it is the Government’s responsibility to get food to the people, particularly the babies who are most at risk in such a shortage. As a “devout Catholic”, President Biden must have stumbled upon the Bible verses that teach about feeding the hungry.
“Then the King will say to those on his right. . . For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. . . The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25)
Scholars explain the term, “least of these”. The phrase "least of these" seems to mean "however humble" (as rendered in the New English Bible). The least of the brothers and sisters of Jesus are those persons who are vulnerable. They are the socially, psychologically or economically disadvantaged, such as the sick, the poor, the mentally and physically disabled.
Jesus cares about the needs of the poor. In fact, he identifies with their needs, for he himself was poor and, during his three years of public ministry, voluntarily homeless (cf. Matthew 8:20). Like Jesus, his followers should be concerned about the needs of the poor or underprivileged.
Forerunner Commentaries writes; When we show pity, compassion, and kindness to those in difficult straits, we are practicing the merciful attitude that God expects each of His children to exhibit at all times. Of course, He does not want us to be so soft-hearted that we become an easy mark for those who would take advantage of us, but He does want us to develop a keen sense of discernment that realizes when mercy is a better option than the strict application of rules.
Hillsdale College posts a powerful summary of this passage;
“He that does any of the above acts of kindness to these "brethren" of Christ, and because they stand in such a relation to him, even the "least" of them: though he is not an apostle, or a martyr, or a preacher of the Gospel, or has any considerable gifts and abilities for usefulness, but is a weak believer in spiritual things, as well as poor in temporal things; and though it is but to "one" of these opportunity and circumstances not allowing it to be done to more; yet as such is the humility and condescension of this great king, as to account such mean persons his brethren; such also is his grace and goodness, as to reckon every instance of kindness and respect shown to them, as done to himself in person; and will take notice of it, accept and reward it, as if it had been so done.”
Overall, President Biden uses the name of “God” in his politics and comments, but seems to stray from God’s Word when it becomes a political necessity. Unless his religious faith will weigh into his decisions, perhaps he should leave God out of his politics. To use the image of God in such a weak way moves against 2 Timothy 1:7; For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. It is time for our President to use these gifts.