We heard some interesting dialogue in the confirmation hearing of Russell Vought, the nominee for deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked, “You wrote, ‘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?”
“Absolutely not, Senator. I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith,” Vought replied.
Sanders ended with, “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.”
We must consider the following:
Article VI of The U.S. Constitution, “… but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
In Abington v. Schempp, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court declares “… the state may not establish a ‘religion of secularism’ in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.”
We wonder if Sanders would have asked an observant Jew (Sanders seems to be a nominal Jew) if a belief in the deity of Jesus Christ causes people to be condemned. Would he have asked an atheist if he thought all people who believe in the existence of God are fools?
Would he have inquired of a Muslim if he believed his religion is right and everyone else is wrong? Would he have asked a Muslim if he believes Muslims are justified in flying airplanes into buildings? We should note that former President Obama appointed some Muslims to office.
What does one’s belief in Muslims’ eternal destiny have to do with running the Office of Management and Budget?
Using Sanders’ logic, all Democrats are “Republiphobes” because they disagree with Republican politics. Perhaps the senator is unaware that people can disagree respectfully.
We have seen a growing belief that the First Amendment, which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” means we must oppose Christianity. We could call such people “Christophobes.” We must understand that most of our past presidents and many millions of Americans today believe much as Russell Vought believes.
Russell A. Scott