This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is having trouble understanding the Constitution, and in this particular case its prohibition against a religious test for public office.
During a confirmation hearing Wednesday for a Office of Management and Budget nominee, Sanders was clearly trying to impose a religious test on a Trump administration nominee.
About halfway through the Senate Budget Committee hearing of nominee Russell Vought, Sanders asked him directly about his Christian faith. His question related to a line taken from a blog post Vought wrote in January of 2016.
“You wrote, ‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.’ Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?” Sanders asked.
“Absolutely not, senator. I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith,” Vought replied. “That post, as I stated in the questionnaire to this committee, was to defend my alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian school that has a statement of faith that includes the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation, and …”
“I apologize. Forgive me, we just don’t have a lot of time,” Sanders interrupted. “Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?”
As Vought attempted to once again explain that he was a Christian, Sanders cut him off, shouting, “I understand you are a Christian, but this country are made of people who are not just — I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?”
“As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs. I believe that as a Christian that’s how I should treat all individuals,” Vought responded.
After Vought once again refused to renounce what he wrote in the blog, Sanders said, “I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about,” adding that he would be voting against confirming the nomination.
Essentially, Sanders is insisting that anyone who believes there is only one way to salvation (which includes Muslims, by the way) are not fit to serve in public office. While trying to expose Vought as unsuitable for office, Sanders instead revealed it’s him who has an utter disrespect for our nation’s Constitution.
The fact that Vought holds orthodox Christian beliefs and has written about them publicly has no bearing on whether he is an acceptable nominee to work in the Office of Management and Budget, or any other public office for that matter.
Sanders choice to focus on Vought’s public statements regarding the Christian faith shows his staunch opposition to Christians, and should be concerning to anyone who believes in our Constitution and our nation’s heritage of religious liberty.
And to think this man could have been president.
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