A Catholic priest said Newsom’s billboards exhibit ‘one of the worst distortions of a Bible passage I’ve ever seen’
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in Oakland, California, on Oct. 27, 2021. (Jeff Chiu/AP Images)
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is taking flak from Christians who are offended by his multi-state billboard campaign that promotes abortion by quoting Jesus.
Last week, Newsom took to Twitter to tout the billboards his gubernatorial campaign is erecting in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and four other “anti-freedom” states where abortion is restricted or outlawed.
Some versions of the billboards, all of which urge women in such states to come to California to get abortions, advertise the state’s easily obtainable abortions by quoting Mark 12:31, where Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.”
Newsom tagged several GOP governors in his Twitter thread, including Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves. The billboards are also going up Indiana, South Carolina and South Dakota.
“The idea that Newsom is using the words of Jesus Christ, the Holy Scriptures, to promote the killing of unborn children as somehow loving and commanded by God is quite frankly disgusting,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice, in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“This is a blatant, political fundraising ploy to boost his own political profile and presidential aspirations. The people are smarter than that. It just won’t work,” Sekulow added.
Many Twitter users echoed Sekulow’s sentiment, including Matthew P. Schneider, a Roman Catholic priest who serves as adjunct professor of theology at Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, North Carolina. He described Newsom’s billboards as “one of the [worst] distortions of a Bible passage I’ve ever seen.”
“Shame on [Newsom] and his government,” Schneider said. “The most basic level of loving your neighbor as yourself is not killing your neighbor, yet that’s exactly what abortion does.”
“This is satanic,” tweeted Ryan Hilderbrand, a Roman Catholic priest from Indiana.
“Imagining the devil in his advertising office at the top of the highest skyscraper in hell giggling to himself as [Newsom] uses Jesus’ own words to support killing babies,” said Catholic Answers, a Catholic media ministry that went on in a nine-tweet thread to excoriate the Democrat governor for having “twisted” the words of the Bible.
Explaining how the verse Newsom cited was removed from the context of Jesus affirming the Old Testament command “to love the Lord your God with all your heart” as “the greatest commandment,” Catholic Answers tweeted, “No surprise here. Satan, having no imagination, can only ‘create’ by perverting the good not of his making. Likewise, it seems, for Gavin Newsom.”
“Wow … So murdering your innocent unborn child is somehow ‘loving your neighbor,’” tweeted The Christian Outlook, a Christian media outlet. “Let’s all pray for [Newsom], that he might get saved and see the value God places on every life, born and unborn.”
“Your religious beliefs have no place in our politics. Except when we want to use them to troll people we hate, that’s fine,” tweeted canon lawyer Ed Condon, who also founded Catholic publication “The Pillar.”
“‘Good Catholic’ [Newsom] is now using Bible scriptures to encourage women to come to California to abort their babies,” wrote David Giglio, a former congressional candidate who is also a Catholic. “A truly shameful display. Meanwhile, in CA crime continues to skyrocket, the cost of living is out of control, and the state can’t even keep the lights on.”
The official Twitter account of the Mississippi GOP replied to Newsom’s taunt by tweeting simply: “Hey, [Newsom]. Is your electricity back on?”
Newsom’s campaign did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment by time of publication.