Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio started a Twitter tempest this morning by tweeting some Bible verses before 7 a.m.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid,” Rubio tweeted at 6:46 a.m., citing John 14:27, in which Jesus is speaking to his disciples.
Minutes later, Rubio quoted Proverbs 16:3-4 in a tweet: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do & your plans will succeed. The Lord works out everything for his own ends…..”
The tweets weren’t shocking to those familiar with Rubio, who often speaks of his Christian faith.
Rubio is a Roman Catholic who said in his 2012 autobiography that he attends evangelical services on “most Saturday nights” and then Catholic Mass on Sunday mornings. The John 14 passage was part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ daily online readings for Tuesday.
Many in the Twitterverse took umbrage at the quotations.
“Stand up to @realDonaldTrump & @GOP or shut up. You’re an embarrassment to the USA,” came a response to Rubio’s initial tweet from the account of @trevorstaples, who describes himself as “Husband, father, public school teacher. Proud NEA/MEA/AAEA union member.”
The Twitter account of @msbinbay responded: “Oh mother of gawd….are you kidding us? Save it for Sunday and get your ass to work….”
A “New Hampshire Dem” fretted that “overt religious quoting leaks into the public existence. Not a fan of blurring the lines between church and state.”
Esquire politics blogger Charles P. Pierce found the Bible quotes “oddly terrifying.”
Leah McElrath of the liberal Shareblue.com website tweeted that Rubio’s tweets were “unsettling.”
Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post responded to McElrath that “either he was hacked or he’s totally lost it.”
Longtime Florida reporter Marc Caputo of Politico was among those whose hair didn’t catch fire over the Rubio tweets, noting the senator is “a two-churchgoer. So not a big surprise.”
Rubio’s office didn’t respond this afternoon to an emailed request for comment.