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When asked for his thoughts on teen environmentalist Greta Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations, Matt Bevin said she was “remarkably ill-informed.” Matt Stone, Louisville Courier Journal

Thursday was national “Bring your Bible to School Day,” and in preparation for that, Gov. Matt Bevin took to the internet to tell students that they should stick their King James versions in their book bags and carry it around with them all day.

Don’t kid yourself.

This is all about evangelizing.

The governor of Kentucky, on his official Facebook page, encouraged kids from kindergarten to college to push their religions on Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists and non-believers.

“Bring it. Share it with others. If you have an extra Bible, bring it and share it with somebody who maybe doesn’t have one, maybe has never read this book,” he urged kids.

In a nation that has tried to build a wall between church and state, it is totally inappropriate for a governor to use state resources to urge children to try to convert those he sees as heretics and heathens. But he had one pretty good idea.

Background: Bevin touts ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ on Thursday

“Read your Bible,” he says in the video that was filmed behind his desk in the governor’s office.

The governor, himself, should do just that.

Because, if he did he might denounce the ads that are being run across the state on his behalf that accuse Democrat Andy Beshear of supporting sanctuary cities and twisting his position on transgender girls’ participation in school sports.

Beshear has said neither of those things, and allowing those ads to run and not disavow them seems to violate the spirit of the ninth commandment — “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

He ought to focus pretty intently on the book of Matthew, Chapter 25, in which Jesus urges his followers to take care of the poor, the sick and the stranger, all of whom have not fared well under his leadership or the leadership of President Donald Trump.

Bevin has sought to slash the expanded Medicaid that was put in place by former Gov. Steve Beshear, cut taxes for the wealthy all the while slashing government programs and supported Trump’s harsh treatment of immigrants.

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So, what did Jesus say about all this?

He banished to hell those who turned their backs on the most vulnerable.

“‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me,” Jesus told his followers.

Then, of course, there is the way Bevin treats others.

He has suggested teachers are thugs. He has blamed them for children being abused or taking poison. He has called anyone who questions him names. He has lobbed charges of corruption at people with little or no evidence.

All of these things would seem to violate the golden rule in Matthew, Chapter 7; and turns on its ear the charge in John, Chapter 8, when Christ says that those without sin should cast the first stone.  

I’d be tempted to mention here Matthew, Chapter 5, where Christ tells his followers not to resist an evil person, and that if they are slapped on their right cheek that they should then turn the other cheek — but to cite that would suggest that the teachers and others he denigrates are evil.

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They are not.

And there is accountability.

In Luke, Chapter 12, Jesus tells us that to whom much is given, much will be expected.

Bevin doesn’t seem to embrace this.

He has been given much, like the use of the state airplanes and helicopters, yet he has refused to be accountable.

He won’t tell the citizens of Kentucky what many of his trips on state aircraft are for. He promised as a candidate to show the people of Kentucky his tax returns, but he refused to do it after he was elected.

His office routinely doesn’t answer questions put before it and stonewalls on open records requests.

He opposes all efforts to deal with the pressing issue of climate change despite the fact that God ordered us to take care of his creation and warned in Revelation what would happen if we didn’t. 

“The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great — and for destroying those who destroy the earth,” it says in Chapter 11. 

With any luck, Bevin took some time Thursday to read up.

Oh, and he may want to lay off those flights to political events on Sundays. We wouldn’t want him to violate the fourth commandment and all.

And maybe ixnay on idolatry, the worship of Trump, too.

Joseph Gerth can be reached at 502-582-4702 or by email at jgerth@courierjournal.com. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/josephg.

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