rebuttal to morality op/ed

Below is a response in the Anderson Independent Mail to my recent op/ed. BTW, I do recuse myself from voting on medicaid reimbursement and issues directly affecting our business. See here and here. Also, you can find the economic disclosures for Bryant Pharmacy here.

Guest column: Senator’s moral outrage, Trav Robertson, Thursday, September 29, 2011

A recent guest column from Sen. Kevin Bryant, in which he tried to justify being both a fiscal and social conservative with his interpretation of the Bible, reminded me of something my father and mother taught me while explaining the difference between dogs and humans. Rationality is man’s ability to justify any action or consequence.

I am not sure all human beings can aspire to the level of rationality. Three aspects lead me to this conclusion: His adopted role as the protector of liberty, his unpatriotic attack on the system of government he runs and his hypocrisy in setting himself up as the self-proclaimed prophet from Anderson.

Perhaps the most insidious aspect of the column is the use of religion to justify his version of class warfare and his attack on the middle class.

Using the shield of patriotism, Bryant implies that he alone has the “moral obligation” to guard freedom. Every American shares in this obligation. This moral obligation is what guides me to point that the senator should re-read Matthew 7:5, “…. First take the log our of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” His rhetoric clearly doesn’t match his governing style.

We as a community, bound by a common good, must question his use of religion to justify his attacks on our system of government as “socialist” and those who might disagree with him as the “socialist left.” My mind is not that of St. Thomas Aquinas, but lessons learned at First Presbyterian Church lead me to believe that Jesus might not appreciate the use of his word to justify hypocrisy.

By the way, the “socialist left” doesn’t control the state Senate, the House or any of the nine constitutional offices in S.C. Where were Bryant’s “moral imperatives” or “moral obligations” to the taxpayers of this state when Gov. Nikki Haley spent over $250,000 on a recent trip to Paris? Did he express any moral outrage?

I can’t recall his “moral imperative” to protect the taxpayer when he participated in a legislative process that included Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements to his pharmacy. Did this “moral imperative” guide him to sponsor legislation requiring those serving in the legislature to disclose the amount of money they or their businesses receive from Medicare and Medicaid? Did he recuse himself from all votes that related to Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements to pharmacies?

Where was this self-proclaimed prophet’s “moral obligation” to transparency when Haley failed to disclose secret payments, while a state representative, from a company that may have benefited from her votes in the General Assembly?

Bryant’s assault on programs that help the children of our state is contrary to Psalms 82:3-4, which commands us to “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy.” Would Jesus fail to provide health care to those children who can’t control the circumstances unto which they are born or help the aged whose life savings have not survived the economy that Kevin Bryant helped create and can’t seem to fix?

I dislike his repeated habit of distorting religion to use as his personal political attack weapon to justify class warfare and deprive the less fortunate of faith and hope.

Faith, in its true words, offers us hope for a better future for ourselves and for our country.

Trav Robertson Jr. is an Anderson native and a 1991 graduate of T.L. Hanna High School. He is the former deputy state treasurer for South Carolina and ran state Sen. Vincent Sheheen’s

campaign for governor.