Colmon Elridge, the chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, prompted backlash during Christian Holy Week after he compared Republicans to Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus to death.
“In the Christian scripture, today is Maundy Thursday. On the evening of this day, Jesus gave his most explicit commandment to love one another as he loved us. It is also the evening that Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver,” Elridge tweeted Thursday evening, the day before Good Friday.
“As the modern day Pharisees (extreme GOP) seek to criminalize the humanity of others, excusing their own sins while abusing the law & scriptures to harm so many, often for the 30 pieces (millions) of silver to fill their campaign coffers, remember this . . . ,” he continued. “The Pharisees are not the victors. Their victory lasted 3 days & it took 3 days for them to be delegated to eternal villainy.
“To Black & Brown folk, to Women & Girls, to the LGBTQIA community, to the Educators under attack, no weapon formed against you shall prosper. The greatest commandment, love, is exactly our sword & shield,” he wrote.
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Kiss of Judas, 14th century fresco by the Master Trecentesco of Sacro Specol. Upper Church of Sacro Speco Monastery, Subiaco. Italy, 14th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images) (DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Elridge’s comments drew swift condemnation from Kentucky Republican Party spokesman Sean Southard, who said they were “unacceptable” and demanded an apology.
“While many Kentuckians spend this week in quiet and somber reflection on the message of Easter, the message from the chairman of the Kentucky Democrat Party is to compare Kentucky Republicans to Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus and handed him over for his cruxifixction,” Southard said in a statement.
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The Kentucky Republican Party demanded that Gov. Andy Beshear (pictured) answer for Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Colmon Elridge, who compared Republicans to Judas Iscariot during Christian Holy Week. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
“Is this the tone Andy Beshear expects of the chairman he praised in 2020? Is this what Andy Beshear means by ‘Team Kentucky’? It was three years ago that Andy Beshear shut down churches and used state police to intimidate Christians seeking to live out their faith, and now his party chairman is comparing anyone who disagrees with him to the man who betrayed Jesus,” he continued.
“Andy Beshear should condemn this hateful rhetoric from his party chairman – especially on Good Friday.”
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Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Colmon Elridge tweeted that Republicans are “modern day Pharisees” and compared the GOP to Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ. (Twitter)
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Eldirge responded to Southard on Twitter, writing it was time for Democrats to “fight the narrative” that they are not “people of faith.”
“Since I’ve been Chair, my faith has been attacked. The Governor’s faith has been attacked. It’s a political weapon the extreme GOP uses to have their politics serve as a proxy for God’s will. But what I know is that my God is too big to be of any political party & the attempt to do so is an attempt to make him small,” Elridge wrote.
“I’m not a Christian because I’m a Democrat. I’m a Democrat because I’m a Christian. So when my faith is being used as a weapon to justify degrading women and girls, members of the LGBTQIA community, and others, I absolutely will speak up because my faith demands it,” he continued.
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“So while the spokesperson of the extreme GOP tries this old trope once again, remember there are real victims of this continuous legislative betrayal of the commandment to love. Victims of rape and incest. Those suffering miscarriages. LGBTQIA youth & their families. Drag Queens.
“Jesus made the blind see & the lame walk, the extreme GOP’s retort this session? They took away dental, vision, and hearing for some of our most vulnerable. So here’s my proposition, stop using government and politics to dehumanize people & you won’t get called out for doing it.”