Bob Marshall used to represent me in the Virginia House of Delegates, and that was great because he is passionate about many of the issues that matter most to me, including his support for home schooling and his opposition to abortion.

But today I was glad we moved to a neighboring district several years ago because Marshall certainly wasn’t representing my views when he said this last week:

The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children. In the Old Testament, the firstborn of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.

Marshall quickly backtracked from his “poorly chosen words.” “No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion,” he said in a statement on his Web site. “I have devoted a generation of work to defending disabled and unwanted children, and have always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents.”

But that quote is likely to follow Marshall the rest of his career — and rightly so. Marshall referenced the Bible in his comments to the Capital News Service, so here’s a reminder of what Jesus said about men’s words in Matthew 12:

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. … But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

My point isn’t that God will condemn Marshall eternally for his words because he did apologize (albeit in the “mistakes were made” way that politicians typically do). Besides, that’s not my place to suggest any more than it was for Marshall to suggest that God uses “nature” to visit the sin of the mother who aborts a child upon a future child. I’m just saying that politicians like Marshall say dumb things because in their hearts, they believe them to some extent.

The good news is that bad publicity has a way of making politicians change their hearts — and their words — once they hear how foolish they sound.

[Cross-posted at The Enlightened Redneck]

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Tags: Virginia