Incoming Democratic Congressman Shuns the Bible, Instead Opts to Use Comic Book for Swearing In


If I were an openly practicing homosexual, I probably wouldn’t want to put my hands on a Bible, either.

According to Rep.-elect Robert Garcia’s office, he was the “first immigrant and LGBTQ mayor” in the history of Long Beach and will be the first member of Congress to identify that way.

In fairness to former mayors of Long Beach, Garcia should probably say that he was the first immigrant and openly LGBTQ mayor of the city, unless he know a lot more about the personal lives of former mayor than seems reasonable.

Regardless, that seems likely to be one of the reasons Garcia will be sworn in with his hands on a number of items, none of which are Holy Scripture.

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Kudos on the Constitution — it’s nice to see that there are still a few Democrats out there who know it exists — and for the citizenship certificate as well. And the picture of his parents is fully understandable.

But Superman? Come on, dude. At least pick a hero who actually existed.

But maybe Garcia has trouble distinguishing reality from fiction. Garcia’s House website claims that he “was sworn in as a Member of the United States House of Representatives by the Speaker of the House on January 3rd, 2023,” which is clearly contra-factual. No new members of Congress can be sworn in until the House elects a speaker, which obviously didn’t happen yesterday.

Should elected officials use the Bible for their oath of office?

Los Angeles’ KTLA reported the same thing, actually — but we already know about the establishment media’s tenuous grasp on reality.

(Yes, I know — in both cases, the statements were written in advance and scheduled for publication after the swearing-in ceremony. But the fact that both Garcia’s staff and KTLA’s newsroom apparently expected the speakership election to go off without a hitch is almost as damning as if they were just lying about it.)

So I guess there’s still time for Garcia to have a change of heart and include a Bible in that list, but that wouldn’t be the way to bet. People who have committed themselves to a sinful lifestyle generally don’t like to be reminded that there are eternal consequences to those choices.

It’s not politically correct to say anymore — I’m sure I’ll get hate emails and tweets about this commentary, in fact — but homosexuality is sin. Even prominent members of the Republican Party and the Christian church often hesitate to say it, for fear of being labeled haters, but it’s just fact.

The Bible is clear. God laid down the law in the Old Testament and then confirmed it in the New.

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“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them,” reads Leviticus 20:13.

“[A]nd the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error,” Paul writes in Romans 1:27.

But then Paul also tells of the hope for such people — for all of us — in Christ:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Let me be clear: I don’t believe that Garcia is any more sinful or in need of God’s grace than I am. My sins are different than his (some of them are included in that list from what a certain former president would probably refer to as “One Corinthians”), but there’s no reason to think that God considers them any less heinous than Garcia’s.

Pretending that sin is something other than sin — “tolerating” the fact that Garcia’s behavior is dangerous and harmful to himself — is hardly loving, any more than it would be to pretend a serious alcoholic isn’t slowly killing himself with his drinking or that a woman who remains with a physically abusive spouse after receiving life-threatening beatings is somehow being wise or caring.

Those who refrain from “judging” the behavior of those who are clearly harming themselves through their repeated bad choices are not loving. They’re the actual haters: They care for themselves so much more than for others that they’re unwilling to make their lives even a little bit uncomfortable for the sake of their brothers and sisters.

For fear of being called a bad name, they’ll let their fellow man perish. That’s not only hate; it’s cowardice to boot.

The difference in my own sinful life — which, yes, has included and will undoubtedly again include instances of hate and cowardice —  is that God has chosen for no reason other than His great love to save me. His son, Jesus, died for my sins and those of anyone who would believe in Him, taking the punishment I deserve and giving me a gift of eternal life with Him that I could never have earned or deserved.

He offers the same thing to Garcia. And, if you haven’t already taken Him up on it, to you. Anyone who will turn away from their sin and ask Jesus to save them can be saved. Anyone, no matter what sins are on their permanent records. That’s why it’s called “The Good News.”

I encourage Garcia to accept that offer, just as I would encourage anyone reading these words to do so. (Anyone interested in more information about that can get some here, or reach out to me on Twitter.)

Trust me: There’s a lot more hope for all of us in the Bible than in every Superman comic ever published.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
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Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics