The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), is arguing for the release of federal prisoners amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is using God’s Word as her rationale.
In an interview with MSNBC host Joy Reid on Sunday, Pelosi was asked if future COVID-19 relief legislation will include the release of prisoners, The Blaze reports.
Pelosi offered the parable of the sheep and goats, in response.
“In our caucus, we are very devoted to the Gospel of Matthew,” Pelosi responded before quoting the allegory.
“‘When I was hungry, you fed me. When I was homeless, you sheltered me. When I was in prison, you visited me,’ and so this for us is part of our value system,” she said.
The parable, found in Matthew 25:31-46, explains how “sheep and goats” will be separated at the final judgment.
In considering the context of the parable, a contrast is noted between the sheep and the goats.
Jesus refers to the “sheep” as believers in Christ who received “eternal life.” The “goats”
are people who will receive “eternal punishment.”
Social justice advocates are known to use this parable to assert Jesus’ demand to care for those who are vulnerable or marginalized. This is the context in which the House Speaker cited the parable.
Pelosi went on to note that the House Judiciary Committee is currently working on a plan that would allow for the release of some federal prisoners “who really don’t need to be there.”
According to the New York Times, countries across the globe have turned to releasing hundreds of thousands of prisoners in an effort to protect inmates from COVID-19.
The coronavirus’ highly contagious nature coupled with prisoners’ tight quarters, places inmates at an increased risk of infection.
Last week, The Bureau of Prisons released updated guidance to determine which prisoners would be eligible for release or revised confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Politico, home confinement is being optioned as a condition for releasing inmates who have less than 18 months left of their sentence.