We all have our own views on separation of church and state.  Some people think that the Constitution simply forbids the establishment of a Church of America.  Others hold that any hint of religious principle must be excluded from the public arena.  Where does Senator Bernie Sanders stand, and how does it affect his official actions?

Although I am by no means an expert in matters of religion, based on a recent Senate hearing, I think I know enough to assert that Senator Sanders knows just enough about Christian doctrine (and in my opinion, about any religion, including his own) to be dangerous, both to others and to himself.  He recently put his ignorance on public display in a confirmation process.

Russell Vought is the nominee for the post of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  He is an openly declared Christian.  Does that make him unfit, or ineligible, to serve?

Bernie Sanders seems to think so.  In a recent Senate hearing, Sanders was openly hostile in his questioning of Vought.  In my layman’s opinion, he went far beyond the bounds of the law in doing so.

The Constitution is clear on two points regarding the mixing of religion and politics.  It states that, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust. . .” and, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  [Respectively, Article VI and Amendment 1]

One might think that that would settle the matter, but for progressive liberals (i.e. socialists, Marxists and their fellow travelers) it does not.

Sanders might legitimately have questioned Vought in terms of whether his religious beliefs might compel him to unconstitutionally discriminate against people who disagree with him on matters of religion.  That would have been fair.  Instead, Sanders grilled Vought on a particular, and controversial, point of Christian theology, the question of, who goes to heaven or hell — a question which has nothing to do with the issue which Sanders could have addressed, and to which he should have restricted his interrogation.

This is no place for a sermon, of course and so I will not pontificate on the matter beyond what little is necessary to illuminate the subject in terms of politics.  I do so, because the question has arisen before, and will surely impose itself again in matters of governance.

Concerning the point which Sanders emphasized, there is a very wide array of personal interpretations.  Even members of the same religion, indeed the same congregation, seated side by side in the pew, can sharply disagree.  That is well and proper.  What is improper is to take just one interpretation, and then to hold it out as evidence that all members of a religion — or of all religious people in general — are bigots, and should be excluded from holding public office.  That is what Sanders seemed to be strongly implying.

For the under-informed, it is very easy to misinterpret Christian doctrine.  Ann Coulter once made a remark about her Christian beliefs that, to probably ninety percent of those who attend church, was well understood as a teaching about God’s love for, and mercy toward, all people.  That teaching involves being perfected by God.  Many on the left, however, immediately took this to mean that Coulter considers herself to be personally perfect, that is, flawless, in every way.

It does not mean that, nor did she, but out of context, it may sound like that at first.

Which brings us to the question Sanders dwelt upon in his official capacity, the question of, who goes to heaven, and who goes into eternal hellfire.  Whom does God send to Hell?

Certainly, there are those Christians who teach that, in order to avoid Hell, one must be a tithing member of their particular church, and furthermore, must scrupulously avoid any activity which their church teaches is a sin.  Plus, there is a lot of fine print to be careful about.

In reality, however, few of us (and yes, I am a self-declared follower of Jesus) believe that.  Instead, we believe all the teachings, not just some, and we put them into the context of each other.  That context eliminates unreasonable tendencies, for example toward violence.  “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”

It is a common theme in many Sunday sermons that God does not send anyone to Hell.  No one.  It is taught that people who go to Hell choose to go there.  They knowingly, deliberately and persistently reject the free gift of God’s unconditional love.  They inoculate themselves against His mercy.  As a result, they spend eternity in spiritual starvation — a self-imposed starvation.

Why anyone would ever do such a thing is not a subject matter for this venue, but again, it is a matter of taking all of the teachings in context.

If we do not do so, then we open ourselves up to accusing all Jews of massacring innocent babies, all Christians of destroying the planet, and all Moslems of being terrorists.  Thus, we have the accusations against Jews of persecuting the Palestinians, Christians of forcing their beliefs on others, and the absurd accusation that President Trump hates all Moslems.

Russell Vought can believe what he will.  Perhaps he considers me to be an irredeemable deplorable, condemned to eternal hellfire.  So what, if he does?  My only concern is that he believes in the Constitution to which he pledged fealty, with his hand on the Bible, and that he performs his duties lawfully and competently.

All the other questions will finally be resolved after we die.

P.S.  I look forward to greeting Bernie in Heaven.

We all have our own views on separation of church and state.  Some people think that the Constitution simply forbids the establishment of a Church of America.  Others hold that any hint of religious principle must be excluded from the public arena.  Where does Senator Bernie Sanders stand, and how does it affect his official actions?

Although I am by no means an expert in matters of religion, based on a recent Senate hearing, I think I know enough to assert that Senator Sanders knows just enough about Christian doctrine (and in my opinion, about any religion, including his own) to be dangerous, both to others and to himself.  He recently put his ignorance on public display in a confirmation process.

Russell Vought is the nominee for the post of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  He is an openly declared Christian.  Does that make him unfit, or ineligible, to serve?

Bernie Sanders seems to think so.  In a recent Senate hearing, Sanders was openly hostile in his questioning of Vought.  In my layman’s opinion, he went far beyond the bounds of the law in doing so.

The Constitution is clear on two points regarding the mixing of religion and politics.  It states that, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust. . .” and, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  [Respectively, Article VI and Amendment 1]

One might think that that would settle the matter, but for progressive liberals (i.e. socialists, Marxists and their fellow travelers) it does not.

Sanders might legitimately have questioned Vought in terms of whether his religious beliefs might compel him to unconstitutionally discriminate against people who disagree with him on matters of religion.  That would have been fair.  Instead, Sanders grilled Vought on a particular, and controversial, point of Christian theology, the question of, who goes to heaven or hell — a question which has nothing to do with the issue which Sanders could have addressed, and to which he should have restricted his interrogation.

This is no place for a sermon, of course and so I will not pontificate on the matter beyond what little is necessary to illuminate the subject in terms of politics.  I do so, because the question has arisen before, and will surely impose itself again in matters of governance.

Concerning the point which Sanders emphasized, there is a very wide array of personal interpretations.  Even members of the same religion, indeed the same congregation, seated side by side in the pew, can sharply disagree.  That is well and proper.  What is improper is to take just one interpretation, and then to hold it out as evidence that all members of a religion — or of all religious people in general — are bigots, and should be excluded from holding public office.  That is what Sanders seemed to be strongly implying.

For the under-informed, it is very easy to misinterpret Christian doctrine.  Ann Coulter once made a remark about her Christian beliefs that, to probably ninety percent of those who attend church, was well understood as a teaching about God’s love for, and mercy toward, all people.  That teaching involves being perfected by God.  Many on the left, however, immediately took this to mean that Coulter considers herself to be personally perfect, that is, flawless, in every way.

It does not mean that, nor did she, but out of context, it may sound like that at first.

Which brings us to the question Sanders dwelt upon in his official capacity, the question of, who goes to heaven, and who goes into eternal hellfire.  Whom does God send to Hell?

Certainly, there are those Christians who teach that, in order to avoid Hell, one must be a tithing member of their particular church, and furthermore, must scrupulously avoid any activity which their church teaches is a sin.  Plus, there is a lot of fine print to be careful about.

In reality, however, few of us (and yes, I am a self-declared follower of Jesus) believe that.  Instead, we believe all the teachings, not just some, and we put them into the context of each other.  That context eliminates unreasonable tendencies, for example toward violence.  “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”

It is a common theme in many Sunday sermons that God does not send anyone to Hell.  No one.  It is taught that people who go to Hell choose to go there.  They knowingly, deliberately and persistently reject the free gift of God’s unconditional love.  They inoculate themselves against His mercy.  As a result, they spend eternity in spiritual starvation — a self-imposed starvation.

Why anyone would ever do such a thing is not a subject matter for this venue, but again, it is a matter of taking all of the teachings in context.

If we do not do so, then we open ourselves up to accusing all Jews of massacring innocent babies, all Christians of destroying the planet, and all Moslems of being terrorists.  Thus, we have the accusations against Jews of persecuting the Palestinians, Christians of forcing their beliefs on others, and the absurd accusation that President Trump hates all Moslems.

Russell Vought can believe what he will.  Perhaps he considers me to be an irredeemable deplorable, condemned to eternal hellfire.  So what, if he does?  My only concern is that he believes in the Constitution to which he pledged fealty, with his hand on the Bible, and that he performs his duties lawfully and competently.

All the other questions will finally be resolved after we die.

P.S.  I look forward to greeting Bernie in Heaven.



Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply


Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 4796 bytes) in /home/conserv/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1842