Rep. Rangel Asks “What Would Jesus Do?” About Debt Ceiling

July 13, 2011  |  

By Alexis Garrett Stodghill

As Democrats and Republicans continue to argue about whether to raise the debt ceiling by August 2, Rep. Charles Rangel has offered a rather unusual means of coming to a solution. He appeared on Fox Business recently and recommended that “clergy of all faith should weigh in on the moral question” according to political tracking site Mediaite. This was in response to questions regarding Rangel’s recent comments, in which he wondered out loud “what would Jesus do” about the debt ceiling impasse.  Mediaite goes on to detail his surreal conversation with Judge Andrew Napolitano on the conservative channel:

The Judge wondered about Wrangel’s use of Jesus, “is this an honest inquiry or this a political ploy?” Yet Wrangel didn’t back down, insisting that “both sides have dug into positions that politically they can’t get out of by 2012.” Therefore, he thought it necessary for everyone to take a step back and realize what is “right.”

Wrangel’s apparent request for divine intervention was evidence to the Judge that things have become so partisan and possibly hopeless in Washington. And Wrangel responded, “there’s nothing wrong with praying.” The need for prayer was a point of agreement for Wrangel and the Judge. Yet whether it was moral for the present generation to borrow from future generations and kick the debt down the road, was something not even prayer seemed to be able to resolve between the two men.

The last time I checked, we were not living in a country run by a priesthood. The separation of church and state is still in effect. No, there is nothing wrong with praying, but it is disconcerting to see a sitting member of Congress discuss religion as a means for getting Republicans and Democrats to agree on a critical issue.

Life-threatening scenarios will unfold if we do not raise the debt ceiling. Social Security and unemployment checks might be stopped. The Unites States might default on loans, further harming our struggling economy as our credit is ruined on the international level. If the federal government shuts down because no agreement is reached, the African-American community will be deeply effected, as roughly 20% of blacks are employed by the public sector.

Prayer is a wonderful thing, but getting these warring parties to reconcile and prevent these catastrophes will take cunning political maneuvering. Things I don’t remember from the bible, unless Rangel meant “What would Judas do?”

Rep Rangel: Meditate on Jesus’ preferred actions for your life in your own private time. Please use these precious moments to make some phone calls “across the aisle,” and press for a deal. Spare America from an even worse economic nightmare. Sure, Jesus would do the “right thing,” but Democrats and Republicans have widely different views of what is right.

Democrats need to stay grounded in the material world and focus on doing what works. The fact is, the debt ceiling has been raised every time it was fiscally necessary in the history of the United States, according to Not much need for prayer in this instance, if you are looking for answers. A glance at history will do.

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