Commentary: Rand Paul, Jack Conway need to grow up

U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul.
U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul. Jonathan Palmer/Lexington Herald Leader/MCT

The debate Sunday in Louisville between U.S. Senate candidates Jack Conway and Rand Paul was just embarrassing. Truly, revoltingly embarrassing.

Conway, the Democratic candidate, pushed Paul, the Republican candidate, to answer to antics Paul reportedly participated in during his 21/2 years at Baylor University.

Those immature capers have been reported in several media outlets as far back as August.

A recent Conway ad implied that Paul's religious views are questionable at best, which is sort of like folks calling President Barack Obama a Muslim without any evidence.

For some reason, Paul decided to use Sunday's debate to suddenly become indignant about the accusations.

Paul said Conway was attacking his religion, and he wasn't going to stand for it. He demanded an apology that he knew he wouldn't get, and he said Conway should be ashamed of himself.

All of that, however, has become par for the course in a tight political contest. It's like the bully picking on another student to take the focus off his own short comings.

There is no reason for Conway's campaign to dredge up things Paul did in college. Lord knows if folks revealed what I did in college, I'd have to hide from my children, who think I was a goodie-two-shoes.

College students sometimes do stupid things. Paul should have simply said that Conway was desperate and moved on.

But that's not what Kentucky voters got. Instead, we were treated to behavior that has caused this Senate race to become a national sideshow. The entire country saw a petulant brat announcing he was going to take his ball and go home. Conway's ad shows Paul as a college student acting immaturely. At Sunday's debate, he was an adult acting worse.

In his closing remarks, Paul, who said he is a "pro-life Christian," announced proudly to one and all that he would not turn the other cheek, despite what Jesus Christ commanded to his followers.

"I will not shake hands with someone who attacks my religion and attacks my religious beliefs," he said. "My wife, my kids, we take it personally, and I will not be associated with someone who attacks my religion."

What religion is that?

Refusing to shake hands after a political debate doesn't resemble any aspect of any Christianity I know.

In the New International Version of Matthew 5:38-39, Jesus admonishes us to be better than that.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

In Luke 6:27-29, NIV, Jesus said, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also."

To top it all, Paul's campaign released a new ad after the debate that says, "Rand Paul keeps Christ in his heart, and in the life he shares with his wife and three boys. Don't be fooled by Conway's desperate attack."

It goes on to say that Conway would "bear false witness against another man just to win an election."

I'm through.

I don't want to see or hear any more ads about how Paul behaved in college and I don't want to see any more antics from Paul that show him being as mature as a green banana.

It is simply embarrassing.

The Bible has advice for both candidates that comes from Luke 6:31: "Do to others as you would have them do to you."

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