Democrats’ Favorite Biblical Passage: Matthew 25

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On Wednesday night at the DNC, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren drew attention to a New Testament passage that has had increasing significance for the Democratic Party: the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25. “ ‘In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,’ ” she said, quoting Jesus. “The passage teaches about God in each of us,” she continued, “that we are bound to each other, and we are called to act — not to sit, not to wait — but to act, all of us together.”

The Bible passage became popular among Democrats in 2008, when strategist Mara Vanderslice founded the Matthew 25 Network, a grassroots PAC designed to organize the Christian left for Obama. Since then, Democrats have used Jesus’ message of caring for the poor to connect with evangelicals on issues ranging from environmentalism to the economy.

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“Ms. Warren, like Democrats throughout the week, embodied the faith of the Democratic Party for the nation to see and hear,” explains Democratic consultant Burns Strider. “She showcased the compassion, authenticity and comfort of articulating the shared American values Democrats largely derive from a faith in God.”

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Warren’s speech also aligned with efforts of the Democratic National Committee’s faith-outreach team. At a convention panel earlier on Wednesday, speakers stressed that the Affordable Care Act exemplifies the President’s concern for the poor. “Elizabeth Warren’s terrific speech last night reaffirmed the vision she shares with President Obama that every American deserves the opportunity to reach our fullest God-given potential,” DNC deputy director of faith outreach Joshua Dickson says. “Her inclusion of Matthew 25: 40 was another reminder of the important role people of faith and faith traditions continue to play in the Democratic Party and reflects the core value that she and the President share.”