Bernie Sanders: “Hard To Make The Case That The United States Is Anything Resembling A Just Society”
These are the highlights of an amazing speech given today at Liberty University by Bernie Sanders. In spite of the surge he has enjoyed vs Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, I remain skeptical that he can win the nomination, let alone the election next year. I want him to win, and I think our country needs him to win, but I think the issues he is basing his campaign - too much power in the hands of the few - are why he can’t. Nevertheless, my admiration for him grows, and this speech is why.
Amos 5:24 - “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream.” Justice - treating others the way we want to be treated. Treating all people, no matter their race, their color, their stature in life with respect and with dignity.
It would be hard for anyone in this room today to make the case that the United States of America, our great country, a country which all of us love - it would be hard to make the case that we are a just society, or anything resembling a just society today.
Now put this in the context of the Bible. We are living in a time where a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension, and I’m talking about tens of billions of dollars, enough to support their families for thousands of years, with huge yachts and jet planes and tens of billions. More money than they would ever know what to do with. But at that same moment, there are millions of people in our country, let alone the rest of the world, who are struggling to feed their families, they are struggling to put a roof over their heads, and some of them are sleeping out on the streets, they are struggling to find money in order to go to a doctor when they are sick.
Now when we talk about morality, and when we talk about justice, we have to, in my view, understand that there is no justice when so few have so much, and so many have so little.
Sanders went on to say that the United States was founded on racist principals:
“I would also say that as a nation, the truth is, that a nation which in many ways was created, and I’m sorry to have to say this, from way back on racist principles, that’s a fact,” Sanders said during a Q&A following his speech. “We have come a long way as a nation.”
Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, quoted from both the Old and New testaments of the Bible during his speech. The senator acknowledged early on that there were major things students of the school, which was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, would likely disagree with him on, but that he was there to try to find common ground.
Sanders cited Matthew 7:12, a verse that refers to what is commonly referred to as the Golden Rule, and Amos 5:24: “But let justice roll on a like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”
Sanders said the election of Barack Obama in 2008 was a great step forward for America, but the country’s founding on “racist principles” and “institutional racism cries out for reform.”
Watch the whole speech here.