Why did former FBI director James Comey quote the biblical prophet Amos on the day Michael Flynn flipped?
By Henry H. Bucher, Jr., Faculty in Humanities, Austin College
Dec 6, 2017
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Amos said he was not a prophet, but he did speak truth to power and had keen insight into what daily signs meant for suffering people. He owned enough flocks to be involved in the local marketplaces some 750 years BCE when Judah was prospering. He saw how merchants cheated. He noticed how the wealthy obtained favors, took kickbacks, and got wealthier as the poor became poorer. Amos called it “an evil time”(5:13).

 Long before President Trump fired James Comey, he had been raised in a Roman Catholic home but later joined the United Methodist Church and taught Sunday School. He was influenced by Reinhold Niebuhr, a leading US intellectual who had taught at Union Theological Seminary and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. Comey had read many of Niebuhr’s books and his seminary thesis was on Niebuhr. Comey even tweeted under the late (1971)Niebuhr’s name until he was outed by journalists who then called him a “Twitter prophet.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also favored Amos and quoted him often, including in his “I have a dream…” speech. Amos is probably the most quoted of all Hebrew “prophets” and will continue to be cited as an ancient exposer of the most controversial and intractable issue over the millennia—the growing gap between the rich and the poor. One power the poor have always had (in a real democracy) is that they have always greatly outnumbered the rich. Another ally of the poor is that a few of the rich have read and understood Amos, and they know that money is not the root of all evil; but the love of money is!

Was James Comey quoting Amos to suggest that the oldest socio-politico-economic issue in history is still with us? Or was he hinting that the President of the greatest democracy in history will be unmasked as a blatant liar? Or was he suggesting that both may be true? Do we have a case of a “Twitter prophet” versus a “Twitter president”? We shall soon know if  …” justice roll{s} down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24).