Townhall.com Michael Medved April 11, 2007
With the arrival of the eight day Passover Festival on Monday night, I was preparing some material for our family-reunion Seder meal (Diane and I will be together with all three of our children, plus my visiting father from Jerusalem) when I stumbled across one of the most important of all verses in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Leviticus 19:15 declares: “You shall not commit a perversion of justice: you shall not favor the poor and you shall not honor the great, with righteousness shall you judge your fellow.”
About fifteen years ago I engaged in a memorable public debate with my friend Dennis Prager in which he rightly identified this passage as perhaps the most crucial conservative verse in the whole Bible.
It should, indeed, come as a revelation and a rebuke to all liberals that Holy Scripture identifies “favoring the poor” as “a perversion of justice.”
As I argued in my recent townhall column about the essence of liberalism (posted on March 21st), the outlook of the left insists upon favoring the poor and the unfortunate—and thereby injecting unfairness and discrimination into the very core of politics and government. Favoring the poor, like favoring the rich, brings unequal treatment based on status, not actions. Justice requires rewarding good behavior, no matter its source, and discouraging and punishing bad actions, no matter who performs them.
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