Rep. Joe Barton — the other Barton from Texas, and a wholly owned subsidiary of both the oil companies and the religious right — went on MSNBC and defended the House vote to cut funding for things like school lunch programs while preserving tax cuts for the rich and refusing to cut defense spending. And it included this exchange:
Bashir: I know you’re a long time member of the Methodist Church. Is that correct?
Barton: Yes, sir. That’s a true statement.
Bashir: How do you square your approach with the Psalm 146, where the Psalmist writes this: “He gives food to the hungry. The lord protects foreigners. He defends orphans and widows.” Isn’t this the exact opposite of the cuts being proposed by Republicans in congress?
Barton: No, the lord helps those who helps themselves…
Bashir: Which verse of scripture is that, sir?
Barton: Well, it’s uh..
Bashir: I don’t think you’ll find that in the Old or New Testament.
Barton: Well, that was taught to me by my father who is president of the United Methodist school board in Waco Texas, and Bryant, Texas.
It’s just a tired, empty platitude. And it would be one even if it wasn’t in the Bible. To use it as a justification for public policy is inane.