Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance Pretty Sure God Didn’t Mean That ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ Thing

click to enlarge Mandel thinks God didn't mean everything he said - @JoshMandelOhio
Mandel thinks God didn't mean everything he said

Piety has always been required of those seeking higher office. That’s especially true in Republican primaries, which often come down to who better positions themselves as Jesus’ BFF. So it came as a shock when two leading Ohio Senate candidates brazenly defied the Word of God.

The Bible, as we know, is lathered with edicts about loving they neighbor and welcoming strangers. One might conclude it’s the overriding theme. Yet as Afghan refugees arrived in America, Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance both offered the kind of receptions usually reserved for ex-husbands.

“These planes are now being emptied into Cleveland, Toledo and other places in the heart of America,” Mandel tweeted. “To protect our kids, our communities and our Judeo-Christian way of life, we must FIGHT this with all our might.”

"This is exactly how we ended up with America-hating, Christian-hating, Jew-hating, Ilhan Omar infiltrating the U.S. government," he later added.

Though the refugees served American forces as aides and interpreters, Vance was quick to color them as terrorists, fearing they’d “destroy our own sovereignty.”

The candidates’ words seemed a clear defiling of Scripture. But both plead innocent. Their defense: God didn’t really mean the squishier parts of the Bible.

Vance claims they were merely added as window dressing in the early days of Christianity, when The Lord was desperate to expand market share. Nobody was expected to believe them.

Mandel offers a somewhat darker explanation. He says “the Vatican Deep State” secretly inserted the decrees in medieval times, part of a plot to shove harmony down everyone’s throat. That it failed is proof Our Savior has little interest in kindness.

More importantly, both assert they can’t win the Republican primary if forced to care about others. Mandel, a millionaire Beachwood lawyer, and Vance, a Yale-educated venture capitalist, are locked in a heated duel to reinvent themselves as angry, everyday working men. The road to victory, they believe, lies in claiming the mantle of Donald Trump, who favored more inspirational Biblical figures like Judas and Pontius Pilate. The former president twice won Ohio through a recipe of malevolence and cruelty. If the Good Word prevents Vance and Mandel from mimicking that strategy, there’s little chance of igniting the conservative base.

The two men grudgingly admit Afghans risked their lives to aid America. But the refugees are now destitute and homeless, with nothing more to give.

“What’s the point of friendship if there’s nothing in it for you?” Mandel asks.

Vance says the Afghans only have themselves to blame. “Had they done their due diligence, they’d know we always screw the help. This is on them.”

Though Christians might find such assertions blasphemy, evidence suggest the men may be right. In recent years, the GOP has unleashed all manner of attacks on strangers, targeting Blacks, gays, Mexicans, Muslims, women, and pretty much anyone whose name is difficult to pronounce. Not a single official has been sent to the Burning Lake of Fire.

That’s emboldened candidates to risk the Wrath of God. Mandel, a leader of the King Joffrey wing of the party, recently scheduled a photo-op where he taunted Afghan children on their way to school. Vance prefers subtler methods. In an attempt to win over moderates, he plans to buy apartment buildings housing the refugees, then evict them during a blizzard.

Pollsters say the tactics set them apart in a field of millionaires playing the role of victimized commoners. The Lord, it appears, has been sidelined.

Submits one prominent strategist: “God? Please. No one listens to Him anymore.”