Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders doesn’t want Bible-believing Christians to work for the government and he thinks they are anti-Muslim and anti-semitic.
In a confirmation meeting this month, Sanders voted not to nominee Russell Vought, a graduate of Wheaton College and a nominee for the White House Budget Office. Sanders, who was almost the Democrat nominee for president in 2016, grilled Vought on his Christian views and then declared him unfit for government work.
Here is a sample from that interview:
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?”
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: “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. I will vote no.”
Vought had been a professor at Wheaton, a Christian school, and he had written about conflict created by a Christian female professor who decided to wear a hijab as an act of solidarity with Muslims. After that controversy, Professor, Larycia Hawkins, left Wheaton.
U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, took issue with Sanders’ using religion as a test for government employment.
“That was a pretty chilling statement from Senator Sanders to say basically this person is not qualified to be able to serve in government,” said Lankford, an Evangelical Christian. “Article 6 of the Constitution says there is no religious test, no qualification for any officer or any person serving in the public trust. That can’t be required to say I want to know more about your religion before you get in the public setting.
“The person that he was actually interviewing is being nominated for an accounting role within the Office of Management and Budget, in an economic role.
“Basically, Senator Sanders was saying I know you’re applying for something in economics but because you’re a Christian, you can’t also then serve in government.The teachings [the nominee] was trying to say and all he was trying to quote was John 3:18. So the implication is [from Senator Sanders], you can be a Christian and serve in government as long as you don’t believe in the teachings of Jesus. And those two things are inconsistent.”
Sanders is Jewish but he has made very few statements about his own religion.