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-Does Bernie Sanders Advocate a Religious Test Blocking Christians?

by Dr. D ~ June 11th, 2017

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                              (Image: Wikipedia)

Does Senator Bernie Sanders advocate a religious test that would block conservative Christians from serving in the government? Sanders’ recent comments seem to support that view when he voted to reject an administration nominee because of his historic Christian views on salvation.  From the Atlantic:

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders flirted with the boundaries of this rule during a confirmation hearing for Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. …

During the hearing, Sanders repeatedly quoted one passage that he found particularly objectionable:

     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.

     “In my view, the statement made by Mr. Vought is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world,”

Sanders told the committee during his introductory remarks. …

Later, during the question-and-answer portion of the hearing, Sanders brought this up again.

     “Do you believe that statement is Islamophobic?”

he asked Vought.

     “Absolutely not, Senator,” Vought replied.

I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith.” …

Finally in his conclusion Sanders’ seems to reject the nominee based solely upon the ‘exclusivity’ of his religious beliefs:

    “I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about,

I will vote no.”

<Read the whole article>

Read also the following articles:

In Christ Alone: Bernie Sanders Attacks Wheaton Grad’s Stance on Salvation

An Open Letter to Senator Bernie Sanders

 

Response: Since the views under question by Bernie Sanders were historic Christian teachings and not just the understandings of a single individual, Sanders’ rejection of Russell Vought stands as a condemnation of all Christians that hold historic Biblical views on salvation. It is a religious test after all and an example of what the framers of the Constitution wanted to avoid.

I believe that in this case that Sanders did not fully understand what Vought was actually referring to in the quote that bothered him so much. The passage was part of an ongoing theological conversation between conservative Christians over whether Muslims actually worshipped the same God as Christians. It is not a question with an easy answer. In his writing, Vought tied his conclusions to the historic Christian understanding of salvation coming only to those who accept Jesus Christ.

Sanders is ignorant of historic Christian teaching on salvation and divine condemnation which is all about eternal destiny in the life to come and has nothing to do with personally condemning or mistreating those of another faith in this life. In fact the teaching of Jesus is clear that we are to love and treat all people as we would like to be treated.

Does ‘secular’ Bernie even believe in a ‘life to come’ when those condemnations would be applied? Surely he understands that by the Orthodox standards in his own Jewish background divine condemnation is prescribed for those who do not follow the Torah in this life.

Obviously Sanders is also ignorant of the very fact that the daily prayers of the Muslims he is trying to support are just as exclusive if not more so and condemn Christians and Jews and all those who are not Muslim believers.

It has become fashionable among progressives to attack conservative Christian beliefs when it comes to abortion, the sexual revolution, LGBTQ issues, and Islam. In this case Bernie was putting forth the view that the nominee was not qualified for office because of his historic views on eternal life and destiny. Yet he would not even consider blocking a Muslim with similar exclusive views on future divine condemnation and eternal destiny.

This will not be the last time that a religious test will be applied to conservative Christian nominees. It was rather blatant on this occasion but look for more subtle attacks in the future.  I expect adherents of the new progressive/sexual/ LGBT belief system to call for all those who do not bow at the altar of the new ‘state religion’ (those who do not support same-sex marriage) to be disqualified for public service in the years to come.                 *Top

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3 Responses to -Does Bernie Sanders Advocate a Religious Test Blocking Christians?

  1. Brian

    The questions asked by Bernie Sanders, and his statements regarding the responses he received, earned very little attention in the mainstream media.

    Can you imagine the front page coverage that would have been generated if a conservative Republican had made analogous inquiries of an Islamic nominee?

    One of the most perniciously evil offenses that the modern American news media commits is to ‘manage’ the news, emphasizing stories that support a particular viewpoint or agenda, and ignoring events and stories that distract from that viewpoint. Of course, a member of the media will say “we have always done that- you cannot cover every news story in the USA, or in the world. You have to choose the significant ones.” However, 50 or 100 years ago, the national news mainstream media was nowhere near as monolithic as it is now, nor did it march as rigidly in lockstep, espousing a single liberal/secular viewpoint. There is no way that Evangelical Christians will ever receive favorable press coverage on any issue.

  2. Brian

    Let me add to my earlier comment– Sanders’ position is also symptomatic of a liberal, secular left that utterly has no understanding of, and no desire to understand, Christianity, and especially evangelical Christianity.

    I suspect that if you gave Sanders a multiple choice question about the basic tenets and beliefs of (evangelical) Christianity, he would fail.

    He would also fail, but he would probably do somewhat better, on an analogous questionnaire about Islam.

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