Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Louisiana Democrats Fear Catholics, Foreigners; Lie About Jindal's Writings on Religion

The Louisiana Democratic party is airing ads that accuse Republican Bobby Jindal of being anti-Christian, referencing an article he wrote in the Oxford Review in 1996. This is in keeping with the race that the state's Democrats have run so far, starting with racist attacks based on Jindal's Indian heritage.

The ad is here:

See Rothenberg and Bryan Preston at Hot Air for more information and commentary on this attack. The site that Democrats want you to visit is jindalonreligion.com.

It appears that you can find the full article from the Oxford Review at the Free Republic, here. It was published when Jindal was 25 years old. Assuming the accuracy of this transcript, Jindal does use the word 'scandalous,' as the ad claims. However, he uses it in referring to 'scandalous divisions' in the Church, which led to 'new denominations.' Contrary to the claim in the Democratic ad, there's no mention of Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, or any other denomination. Here is the relevant text:

The meaning of Scripture is not self-evident. One cannot discern its intended meaning through prayerful reading alone, for Scripture is "hard to understand" and individual misinterpretation can lead "to our own destruction" (2 Pet. 3:15-6; see also Acts 8:30-34). The Holy Spirit's guidance, acting through the Church, "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15), is necessary to avoid error since "there is no prophecy of Scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation" (2 Pet. 1:20; see also Mt. 18:17; 1 Tim. 6:3; Rev. 2:17). It is nearly impossible to derive the orthodox understanding of the Trinity, and other teachings which were disputed in the early Christian community, from Scripture alone without recourse to Church teachings. Sincerely motivated Christians studying the same texts have disagreed on the fundamentals of the faith, thereby dividing not only Protestants from Catholics, but also particular Protestant denominations from each other. Post-Reformation history does not reflect the unity and harmony of the "one flock" instituted by Christ (Jn. 10:16; see also Jn. 17:11, 17:21-23; Acts 4:32; Eph. 4:3-6, 4:13; Rom. 12:5, 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 1:10-11, 3:4, 12:12-13; Phil. 1:27, 2:2), but rather a scandalous series of divisions and new denominations, including some that can hardly be called Christian. Yet Christ would not have demanded unity without providing the necessary leadership to maintain it. The same Catholic Church which infallibly determined the canon of the Bible must be trusted to interpret her handiwork; the alternative is to trust individual Christians, burdened with, as Calvin termed it, their "utterly depraved" minds, to overcome their tendency to rationalize, their selfish desires, and other effects of original sin. The choice is between Catholicism's authoritative Magisterium and subjective interpretation which leads to anarchy and heresy. All churches follow their own traditions, but the Catholic Church claims a continuous link to the oral tradition which preceded and formed the canon of Scripture, the same apostolic (Acts 2:42) Tradition St. Paul commanded us to abide by (2 Thess. 2:15; 2 Tim. 2:2).

Note that Democrats are lying too, when they claim that Jindal called anyone -- let alone specific religions -- 'selfish,' 'depraved,' and 'heretical.' Those words are not applied to denominations; they are applied to some individual Christians. And importantly, they are not used by Jindal. He is quoting protestant reformer John Calvin (see for example, this piece on Calvin).

Indian Americans are seen by some as a 'prized minority.' I can only hope that this smear campaign by Louisiana Democrats gets national attention, so South Asians can see how Democrats lie about one of the first prominent Indian-American politicians to seek statewide office.

Updated: To add details, and note that I originally read the wrong URL for the Democrats' Jindal attack site in Bryan's HotAir post.

Update II: Captain Ed reads the same article in greater detail than I, and notes that Jindal specifically argues against Calvin's view -- the one that Democrats ascribe to him.

Update III: Kos apparently can't afford the $1.50 to actually read the article he's commenting on, and he wasn't able to find Captain Ed's refutation of the charge. Thus he lamely comments 'he wrote stuff to that effect.' Of course, if he read the piece he couldn't make that claim, so he'd probably better off ignorant.

Welcome Malkin readers and thanks Michelle, for the traffic! While you're here, check out how DailyKos proves that Pat Schroeder is wrong when she asserts that liberals are smarter than conservatives.


someguy said...

Can the LA Dems even read? That ad is despicable and completely dishonest. It ought to be pulled immmediately.

Roux said...

The Dems are desperate. Poll numbers indicate he leads with 63% of the vote. They will say or do anything. All of this from the party of compassion and diversity.

Dave R in BR said...

This isn't just about the LA governor's race and you can bet it didn't just come from the state Democratic Party.

This is a coordinated smear campaign looking towards the future. The national Democratic Party sees that Jindal is a rising star in the Republican Party with little or no baggage. If (or rather when, in my opinion) we see Bobby Jindal on a national ticket this will come up again as an allegation that will be repeated on a national level.