Those of us who were raised in the Christian tradition have heard the story, from Matthew 26:15, of how Judas Iscariot accepted 30 pieces of silver to lead authorities to his trusting mentor, Jesus. After doing so, he reportedly committed suicide after learning that his actions would lead to Jesus’s crucifixion (Matthew 27:1 – 10).
Most folks, even non-Christians, understand the concept of a human being feeling overcome with guilt, so the actions of Judas Iscariot make sense to us. In fact, the whole story makes sense, which is why his name has become associated with venal acts of betrayal.
Fast forward to the year 2018 and the brutal death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. According to our President, Donald Trump, we put “America first” when we accept a discount on the export of Saudi Arabian oil in exchange for quietly accepting the murder of a journalist, whose only crime was being critical of his own government. (A value we Americans hold dear in our Bill of Rights.)
Some would argue that the millions of dollars that petroleum discount represents is far more than the value of the 30 pieces of silver Judas Iscariot accepted. If that is true, then my reaction would be “so what?”
The Spirited Reasoner believes that Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hit the nail on the head when he responded to President Trump’s remarks about putting America first. According to Sen. Paul, the President is putting Saudi Arabia first.
And of course, Saudi Arabian oil.
Regardless of how much value the Saudia Arabian holiday discount would be measured in pieces of silver, it does not come close to atoning for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.