On today’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough said he didn’t want to bring religion into the health care debate. But he then proceeded to do just that.

He said that he’s not judging anybody, but then said that the Republican health care bill can’t be defended “morally.”

Scarborough:

“I’m sorry, don’t want to bring religion into this, but if you are a Matthew 25 Christian and you believe what Jesus says, that we will be judged on how we treat the poorest among us, then there is no legislative justification for cutting $650 billion in health benefits. And then turning around in the same bill and benefiting the richest among us $800, $850 billion.

I’m not judging anybody. I’m just saying, if Paul Ryan or somebody had asked me beforehand, I would say, you can’t do it politically, and I’m not being self-righteous here, because I’m the last person to be self-righteous, but you can’t do it morally either.

I am anything but a Christian theologian, but my understanding of Matthew 25 and the broader question of social justice in Christianity is reflected in this statement by an evangelical Christian group in its discussion of Matthew 25 [emphasis added]:

“[T]he Christian notion of social justice is different from the contemporary notion of social justice. The biblical exhortations to care for the poor are more individual than societal. In other words, each Christian is encouraged to do what he can to help the “least of these.” The basis for such biblical commands is found in the second of the greatest commandments—love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). Today’s notion of social justice replaces the individual with the government, which, through taxation and other means, redistributes wealth. This policy doesn’t encourage giving out of love, but resentment from those who see their hard-earned wealth being taken away.”