Bow­ing to Bernie’s sec­u­lar gods

An Or­tho­dox Chris­tian’s re­li­gious be­liefs put him at odds with the Ver­mont se­na­tor

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By Robert Knight Robert Knight is a se­nior fel­low for the Amer­i­can Civil Rights Union.

An ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­change took place this past week amid the hys­te­ria sur­round­ing former FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey’s im­pend­ing tes­ti­mony the next day be­fore Congress. Sen. Bernie San­ders, the Ver­mont so­cial­ist who came close to deny­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion for the pres­i­dency, essen­tially ruled out pub­lic ser­vice by Chris­tians.

Yes, he did. If you think this is an ex­ag­ger­a­tion, read on. The se­na­tor’s newly im­posed and un­con­sti­tu­tional re­li­gious test for pub­lic of­fice (see Ar­ti­cle VI) emerged dur­ing a hear­ing for Rus­sell Vought, Pres­i­dent Trump’s nom­i­nee to be deputy di­rec­tor of the White House Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get.

Ref­er­enc­ing an ar­ti­cle that Mr. Vought had writ­ten for a Chris­tian publi­ca­tion in which he had stated that Mus­lims “do not know God be­cause they have re­jected Je­sus Christ, His Son, and they stand con­demned,” Mr. San­ders asked Mr. Vought, “Do you be­lieve that that state­ment is Is­lam­o­pho­bic?”

Mr. Vought replied, “Ab­so­lutely not, Se­na­tor. I’m a Chris­tian, and I be­lieve in a Chris­tian set of prin­ci­ples based on my faith.” He fur­ther ex­plained that he was de­fend­ing the be­liefs held by his alma mater, Wheaton Col­lege. Mr. San­ders then pressed him re­peat­edly about whether he thought Mus­lims were “con­demned” and fol­lowed by ask­ing if Jews were sim­i­larly “con­demned” and fi­nally, “do you think that peo­ple who are not Chris­tians are go­ing to be con­demned?”

With­out delv­ing into bedrock Chris­tian the­ol­ogy con­cern­ing sal­va­tion, Mr. Vought re­sponded to the thrust of Mr. San­ders’ in­quiry, which was about how he would con­duct him­self as a pub­lic of­fi­cial:

“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.”

Not good enough for Sen. San­ders. He can smell a con­spir­acy a mile away un­less it’s some­thing the Demo­cratic Party cooked up about Rus­sians hid­ing in a closet at the Trump cam­paign head­quar­ters.

“I would sim­ply say, Mr. Chair­man, that this nom­i­nee is re­ally not some­one who this coun­try is sup­posed to be about. I will vote no,” Mr. San­ders in­toned, thus “con­demn­ing” the nom­i­nee and mil­lions of Bible-be­liev­ing Chris­tians to what­ever Siberian hell­hole they should be sent.

The San­ders com­ments at the Bud­get Com­mit­tee hear­ing are a snap­shot of the to­tal­i­tar­ian left’s view of the rest of Amer­ica: Bow to our sec­u­lar gods or else. Em­brace moral rel­a­tivism or else. Your ac­cept­abil­ity de­pends on how closely you cleave to the Left’s pet views on a range of top­ics. The ex­cep­tion ap­pears to be how they treat Is­lam. Can you pic­ture Mr. San­ders ask­ing a Mus­lim nom­i­nee, “Do you be­lieve that peo­ple who re­ject Al­lah are ‘in­fi­dels’?” Don’t hold your breath.

“Vought ex­pressed en­tirely or­tho­dox Chris­tian be­liefs,” wrote David French at Na­tional Re­view. “There is noth­ing ‘ex­treme’ about his state­ments, and they mir­ror the state­ments of faith of count­less Chris­tian churches and schools across the land. Are these be­liev­ers also not fit for pub­lic of­fice?”

Well, yes, as a mat­ter of pro­gres­sive dogma. And if we ap­ply this retroac­tively, which the left in­creas­ingly does to trash Amer­ica’s founders, then Scrip­ture-quot­ing Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton, the fa­ther of our coun­try, would cer­tainly fail the San­ders re­li­gious test. It wouldn’t mat­ter that our first pres­i­dent wrote to the Jewish com­mu­nity of New­port, Rhode Is­land on Au­gust 18, 1790, to re­as­sure them that they would be safe and free in Amer­ica:

“Hap­pily the Govern­ment of the United States gives to big­otry no sanc­tion, to per­se­cu­tion no as­sis­tance ... All pos­sess alike lib­erty of con­science and im­mu­ni­ties of cit­i­zen­ship.” Then he quoted Micah 4:4, as­sur­ing them that, “ev­ery one shall sit in safety un­der his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

I know, I know. Wash­ing­ton owned slaves, so we must dis­count the grand ex­per­i­ment that he un­leashed which led ir­re­vo­ca­bly to the abo­li­tion of slav­ery in Amer­ica and the great­est ex­pan­sion of hu­man lib­erty in his­tory. But what’s he done for us lately?

In their zeal to cleanse Amer­ica of its her­itage and moral foun­da­tions, left­ists like Mr. San­ders are get­ting ever bolder. Their ar­ro­gance knows no bounds, as Chris­tian blog­ger Lee Duigon deftly de­scribes:

“Those who wish to be as gods la­bor to force the rest of us to ex­alt them as all-wise, in­fal­li­ble, and the one and only source of right­eous­ness. They ex­plic­itly deny that there is any truth but what­ever they can im­pose on oth­ers. They erase his­tory, cre­at­ing mass am­ne­sia. They in­vent new pro­nouns to erase the fact that there are but two sexes. They take good words, like ‘truth,’ ‘jus­tice,’ and ‘love,’ and warp their mean­ings to fit in with their po­lit­i­cal agenda. And in the ser­vice of yet an­other idol, ‘di­ver­sity,’ they in­sist on uni­for­mity of thought.”

So, who’s good enough for Sen. San­ders? Per­haps he can find a wor­thy can­di­date some­where in his bath­room mir­ror.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY HUNTER

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