The Point: Sanders’ Religious Test

And this man could have been president! For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Senator Bernie Sanders apparently thinks Christians don’t belong in public office. As he was grilling Russel Vought during his confirmation hearing for a budget office position, he excoriated an article Vought wrote defending Wheaton College’s statement of faith.

Muslims, Vought wrote, “do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.”

Now to Sanders, this was unacceptable and Islamophobic. “Mr. Chairman,” said Sanders, “this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”

So Sanders believes that he should exclude Vought because it is unacceptable to exclude someone for their beliefs? Logic, anyone?

But the real issue here is that Christians have always believed that “no one comes to the Father except through [Jesus].” The idea that Christians with mainstream Christian beliefs have no place in government might be the most extreme thing that this extreme politician has ever said. But remember, more than 13 million Americans wanted him in the White House.

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  • jason taylor

    Of course it’s not what this country is supposed to be about. This country is not about whether or not someone has rejected Jesus Christ and is condemned. Or about whether someone says someone else has. That is beside the point. This country is about the far lower but still very good and very difficult and still unachieved goal of ensuring that people are treated justly by a law that protects all, and given liberties that all enjoy.

  • Zarm

    As near as I have been able to determine:
    The article in question was in relation to the issue of the fired professor claiming a doctrine incompatible with the college’s theology; in the article, Vought reaffirmed the Christian position.

    Based on the statements Sanders made, however, the issue of the firing was never at stake. He only objected to the statement (and belief) itself, that anyone who did not know Jesus Christ stood condemned. He first called it Islamophobic, then asked if it also applied to Jews, and (along with another senator from Massachusets, I believe), finally stating “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.”

    Per his own words, the issue of the teacher that was fired from the college was never raised; it was solely on Vought’s belief (and statement of such in an article), which Sanders objected to, that he made this statement and cast his vote based on. None of the accounts that I can find, on either side of the political aisle, seem to indicate that this is a misrepresentation of Sanders’ position. (Although there are certainly some articles that agree with the position).

    This article breaks it down nicely, along with numerous commentaries on it:

  • jason taylor

    How people feel about it is not the highest priority.

    • Phoenix1977

      Well, it actually is. You see, although it’s a long and windy road, the feelings people have can change the course of a country. American history proved that already in the past. For example, two very important names are Dr. Martin Luther King jr. and Lee Harvey Oswald. Both influenced history, for better or for worse, simply acting on their feelings. Now before there is any mistake, I don’t condone the use of firearms at all, so Lee Harvey Oswald is nothing more than an example, but we can all agree he influenced the course of the US dramatically.
      So the next president (because the civilized world already gave up on this one) can nominate new Supreme Court Justices. And they have the power to re-interpret the entire Constitution. Who is to say the First Amendment won’t be re-interpreted as well?

  • Cynthia Loudon Longabaugh

    I could not help wishing that Vought had civilly challenged Senator Sanders with his lack of logic, noting perhaps that Sanders, in his thinking, was claiming to have understanding superior to Jesus’. Or observing that Sanders was making himself the sole arbiter of acceptable truth claims.