March 04, 2015

The whole widow/orphan thing

While WV's deeply religious Republican legislature contemplates legislation that would make it harder for workers maimed on the job or their widows and orphans to have access to legal remedies, I decided to let my fingers go walking through the Bible. Here's what I found...and it's very incomplete.

* Exodus 22:22: “Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.”

*Deuteronomy 10: 18 “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.”

* Deuteronomy  24:17 ”Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.”

*Deuteronomy 27:19 "’Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow’." Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’"

* Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

* Isaiah 1:23 “Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.”

* Jeremiah 5:27-29: “Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich. They are fat, they are sleek, they also excel in deeds of wickedness; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper; and they do not defend the rights of the poor. Shall I not punish these people?' declares the LORD, 'On a nation such as this shall I not avenge Myself?”

* Malachi 3:5: "’So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

* James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a pattern here, although some elected officials don’t seem to have gotten the memo.

In any case, the final vote on this bill will be one to watch. And to remember.

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