During an online town hall event on Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden estimated that 10 to 15% of Americans are “not very good people,” but “the vast majority are decent.” His words have stirred discussion online, with some saying the figure is too high, others opining that it is too low and a few others noting that none are righteous in and of themselves, as “there is none good but God.”
Biden was asked about racial unity during “The Shade Room” event moderated by actor Don Cheadle and how he would lead the country, especially African Americans.
He replied by stating that he loves people and that he understands what it is like to be mistreated as he was bullied as a child because he stuttered. Biden also outlined that in his home, it was verboten to call anyone fat, short, dumb or any sort of unkind word, even if it were true.
“I don’t want to proselytize, but I do believe we’re all God’s children for real,” Biden, a Roman Catholic, said. “I believe we’re all created equal. The problem is, are we all going to be treated equally?”
“I call every American, ask themselves, … ‘Okay, is this who we are what we’re seeing now? Is this who we want to be? Is this what would pass onto our kids and our grandkids? … Is that how we’re teaching our kids?'” Biden later stated.
He also spoke of how the words of the president matter, opining that President Trump divides the nation with his remarks, which brings out the worst in people.
“When a president stands up and divides people all the time, you’re going to get the worst of us to come out, the worst in us all to come out,” Biden remarked. “This president constantly talks about equality without lecturing, talks about and has administration that looks like the country and the rest. It changes attitudes.”
The former vice president under the Obama administration then said that the nation could do better, estimating that 10 to 15% of Americans are not good. They do not define the majority, however, he asserted.
“Do we really think this as good as we can be as a nation? I don’t think the vast majority of people think that,” he said. “There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15% of the people out there that are just not very good people, but that’s not who we are. The vast majority of people are decent. We have to appeal to that and we have to unite people, bring them together.”
Biden’s words sparked various reactions online, with some opining that his estimate was too high and others too low.
“I think the number is more like 1%, but then again I have been accused of being too optimistic,” tweeted Fox Business host Charles Payne.
“Hmmm. That translates into 33-50 million Americans,” also wrote U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
“It’s higher than that, so I don’t find this to be controversial,” remarked writer Thor Benson.
“According to the apostle Paul, Old Testament prophets and Jesus, he’s off by a mere 85%,” quipped author and artist Tom Graffagnino.
Ken Ham of the Kentucky-based Answers in Genesis pointed to Scripture to show that Biden’s statistics are way off.
“The statistic is much higher than that. It’s even higher than 50%!” he wrote. “The Bible states, ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one’ (Romans 3:10-12).”
“A man said to Jesus, ‘Good Teacher’ (Mark 10:17), and Jesus replied, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone’ (Mark 10: 18),” Ham continued. “So the real statistic on who is not good is 100%. A reminder that ‘all have sinned’ (Romans 3:23).”
“But for those of us who are Christians, God’s Word states: ‘But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).'”
Romans 3:9, 19 and 23-26 says, “What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise, for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.”
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God.”
“For there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”