Amen

03.27.13

Hey Steve King: In the Name of Christ, Lay Off Malia and Sasha

Give me a break! Obama's former faith adviser lambasts Rep. Steve King for harping on the first daughters' vacation plans.

Dear Congressman Steve King:

Jesus, in the Gospel of Luke, has a message for you.

Today, the representative from Iowa—famous for such gems as saying that minority students “feel sorry for themselves" and comparing immigrants to “dogs”—launched another in a series of unprecedented attacks on President Obama. But this time, he picked a more personal target: the president’s two daughters, Malia and Sasha. 

King took to a conservative radio show to launch a broadside against the first daughters after Breitbart.com reported the girls’ whereabouts during their spring break trip. Rep. King agreed with a host who said that the girls going on vacation was “hard to stomach” and then went on to say that Malia and Sasha’s brief trips abroad were “the wrong image to be coming out of the White House.” 

Let’s be clear: when an outlet like Breitbart publicizes the private location of the daughters of the president of the United States, breaking all prior press precedent and Secret Service security protocol, Breitbart is putting those two girls in danger. If he were alive, I have to imagine that Andrew Breitbart, the website’s namesake and father of four young children, would not have stooped so low.

And when an elected member of the United States House of Representatives repeats those claims, spreading the girls’ whereabouts and then attacking Malia and Sasha for all to hear, he’s doing damage as well. Not to mention violating whatever sense of decorum is left in the halls of Congress.

People in politics often forget that they’re dealing with real people. Whether under a Bush or Obama or Clinton or any other administration, Republicans and Democrats have to remember that there are real fathers who sit in the White House, and real mothers as well. They have real and daily concerns for their children. The editors of Breitbart and Rep. King would not think kindly of the president, first lady, or anyone else opining on the whereabouts and spring break activities of their own children. (To be clear—anyone who begrudges a kid under tremendous scrutiny and pressure from receiving a short break abroad should really give that some thought.) These folks should extend the same courtesy to the president as well, and leave his kids out of it. 

Congressman King professes to be a fellow Christian, but is doing great disservice to the Gospel with his incivility and divisive attacks. I have to imagine that more people are driven away from the message of Christ because of his behavior than the other way around. 

Perhaps he is familiar with these words from the Gospel of Luke: “It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little children to stumble.”

Jesus’s message. Not mine.