The first outlandish statement, that the “extreme” agendas of Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell were “a form of malpractice that borders on heresy” came from the mouth of the noted liberal Rev. William Barber. That was not all the Pro-Abortion Reverend had decided to say during his time on the soap box though. He raged against those who would pray for the President, assailing:
It is a form of theological malpractice that borders on heresy when you can p-r-a-y for a president and others when they are p-r-e-y, preying on the most vulnerable, you’re violating the most sacred principles of religion.
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Immediately following the words of the Reverend was Anand Giridharadas, NYU visiting Scholar. Giridharadas was asked by host Joy Reid why evangelical voters “so consistently voting for policies that hurt them” seemingly forgetting the pro-abortion stance of the opposing party. Having nothing to say about this he went for the more reserved route of calling all evangelicals nothing more than an interest group, saying:
This right wing evangelical movement tried to claim they're doing things on behalf of some higher calling and I think they're just revealing themselves to be another power industry in Washington like the coal industry or teachers union and treat them as any other industry jockeying for influence and accord them no moral superiority on any question.
Below is a transcript of the segment.
MSNBC's AM Joy
July 15, 2017
JOY REID: Between his entire with Pat Robertson and this picture of evangelical leaders laying hands on trump in prayer joining me the Reverend Dr. William Barber. And Reverend Barber, what do you make of this laying on of hands and this embrace of Donald Trump by the evangelical right. or the Christian right?
WILLIAM BARBER: Yeah. And this very, very, very extreme agenda by Ryan a Mcconnell, a form of malpractice that borders on heresy. When you can P-R-A-Y for a president and others while they are P-R-E-Y preying on the most vulnerable you're violating the sacred principles of religion. A text in Amos chapter 2, religious hypocrisy looks like when a nation of political leaders will buy and sell people to do anything to make money, sell the poor for a pair of shoes, grind the penniless into the dirt and shove the luckless Into the ditch. That's an actual text. A text that says when you do not care for sick you are violating the principles of God. We have this extremist Trump Republican agenda that takes health care, transfers wealth to the greedy. That's hypocrisy and sin. $700 billion Joy, you haven't seen that kind of transfer of wealth on the backs of the bodies of people since the days of slavery. Claiming to care about life but passing a bill when you know thousands will die, 22 million people, poor working people will be hurt, that is hypocrisy and sin. Passing bills, trying to pass it you know it will hurt children to disable and veterans. That is sin, hypocrisy. What leaders ought to be doing is challenging the president, challenging McConnell and challenging Ryan and challenging these senators and others, and not trying to appease them. Instead, they're acting like priests of the empire rather than prophets of God.
REID: You tweeted, you know, in response to the photo these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me signed Jesus. Anand, you stayed with us because the question I have is why are all of the evangelical voters so consistently voting for policies that hurt them when their religion that they profess, they follow so reveres and talks about caring for the poor?
ANAND GIRIDHARADAS: Not a lot of hopeful things to say about this hypocrisy but I actually want to point to something that I do think is hopeful about it. Which is that I think it liberates the rest of us because for decades, this right wing evangelical movement tried to claim they're doing things on behalf of some higher calling and I think they're just revealing themselves to be another power industry in Washington like the coal industry or teachers union and treat them as any other industry jockeying for influence and accord them no moral superiority on any question.
REID: Do you agree Reverend?
BARBER: Though I would not use the language right wing because I don't think they're right so I don't call people right that I think are wrong. I think there is a sense they've always been these, whether it was those who supported farrow or those who supported slavery who can be bought off in an attempt to use religion and hypocritical ways and I think we can't say just evangelical I'm an evangelical. But there is a group that has been using it, tied up with big business, tied up with racism, but the other side of it is, joy, we have to come back in the public square and those who believe not in left versus right have actually been too quiet. That’s why many of us went in and did civil disobedience the other day, calling on all people of faith it's time to go to D.C. And engage in prophetic action. When you have people who claim they care about family values and cutting Medicaid that will hurt poor people, engaging in policies that will cause political murder and political violence, we need to stand up and speak out and be the prophets of our generation.
REID: And you do that every day.