"Senator Bernie Sanders attacks nominee Russel Vought for being Christian "
Sanders confronted Vought during the congressional hearing. The following is a transcript provided by FRC:
Sen. Sanders: "'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?"
Mr. Vought: "Absolutely not, Senator. I'm a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith...
Sanders: "...Forgive me, we just don't have a lot of time. Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?"
Vought: "Again, Senator, I'm a Christian, and I wrote that piece in accordance with the statement of faith at Wheaton College..."
Sanders: "I understand that. I don't know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million. Are you suggesting that these people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?"
Vought: "Senator, I'm a Christian..."
Sanders [shouting]: "I understand you are a Christian, but this country [is] 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?"
Vought: "Thank you for probing on that question. 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..."
Sanders: "...Do you think that's respectful of other religions?... I would simply say, Mr. Chairman that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about."
As Perkins pointed out, salvation through Jesus Christ is a core biblical tenet held by Christians for millennia.
"Yet Senator Sanders is making it clear that he believes the U.S. Senate should disqualify nominees who express this most basic biblical belief," Perkins said.
"Americans should never be forced to choose between their faith and public service. Nor should the U.S. Senate try to impose a stealth litmus test that says 'you can be religious as long as you don't actually believe or talk about what the Bible teaches.'"
After Sanders' wrapped up his rant, David French wrote a powerful rebuke of Sanders for 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," French wrote. "Are these believers also not fit for public office?"
It's a fair question and one that I posed to Sen. Sanders' office. Does he believe Christians are unfit to hold public office?
The senator's press office did not answer that question directly.
"The question at hand is not about Mr. Vought's freedom to hold certain religious beliefs," the senator's spokesman told me. "The question that concerns Sen. Sanders is whether Mr. Vought will carry out the duties of his office in a way that treats all Americans equally, even those whose beliefs he has criticized."
It was an ugly moment in American politics, but it was also an instructional moment for American Christians.
Progressives and secularists are waging a brutal assault on people of faith - and it's only gotten worse since President Trump took office. I predicted that would happen in my latest book, "The Deplorables Guide to Making America Great Again."****
People of faith must stand together and renounce anti-Christian bigots and bigotry - especially when those bigots walk the halls of Congress.