Friday, June 09, 2017

Dangerous Demagogue And Faux Socialist Bernie Sanders Is The One Who Doesn't Understand America

In case you missed it thanks to the absolutely silly kabuki theater of the James Comey "hearings", during what would normally be a super boring and generally irrelevant event even for political junkies, i.e. a nomination hearing for the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, a position in a department that 99.9% of Americans don't even know exists, Three House Owning "Socialist" and darling of the low information voters Senator Bernie Sanders absolutely went off on nominee Russell Vought over an article on a blog that apparently disqualifies Mr. Vought from being the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. What was this horrific, disqualifying crime? Is he a child molester or someone who lights puppies on fire? Was he caught browsing hentai porn and then lying about it by saying that he was trying to prove the existence of tentacle porn to his wife? No, that was Newsweek and Vanity Fair write Kurt Eichenwald. Instead Mr Vought's thoughtcrime is that he affirmed the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life, in response to the Wheaton college kerfuffle where a professor at a Christian college claimed that Christians and Muslims worship the same God (see my notes on that here). You can read a transcript here from David French or watch the video clip if you have a strong stomach:

Senator Sanders repeatedly asks Mr. Vought about a basic Christian belief, specifically that outside of Jesus Christ all people are condemned. I wish Mr. Vought would have responded forcefully with a yes and called on Bernie Sanders right then and there to repent of his sins and turn to Christ as his Savior but I get that this is political theater. At the end of the exchange Senator Sanders caps off his virtue signaling to his leftist base by saying:

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.

Senator Sander will vote no, not because Mr. Vought is unqualified for this position, but because he holds to the orthodox, historic, central Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the only path for salvation. This means, and let me point out that I am not exaggerating here, that according to Senator Sanders millions upon millions of Americans and the majority of Americans throughout our nation's history, are considered ineligible for public office, even something as random and esoteric as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, because they hold a theological position that Senator Sanders finds offensive and "Islamophobic". I wonder how many Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Governors, dog-catchers, etc. both past and present would be arbitrarily disqualified by Senator Sanders for their religious beliefs. This is what I wrote on Facebook regarding Senator Sander's statement:

I don't much care for David French and the video seems to be gone (there is a link to a youtube clip of the pertinent parts) but the transcript is ludicrous. Let me state this is clearly and unequivocally as possible: Christianity is founded in part on the understanding that all men are condemned in their sins and only through faith in Christ are they saved. Ergo anyone who does not have faith in Christ (Muslims, Jews, Hindus, agnostics, atheists, mormons, unregenerate church attenders, etc.) are condemned. That is Christianity 101.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18)

That seems pretty clear. Sanders says "Sanders: I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about." I would simply say that Senator Bernie Sanders is the one who a) doesn't know what Christianity teaches and as such is condemned and b) Senator Sanders is voting no on a nominee as Deputy Director of the White House Office Management and Budget because that man holds to an accepted basic teaching of Christianity. In other words Bernie Sanders thinks that orthodox Christians are unfit for public office, thus eliminating millions of Americans from public office and saying that many, many Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Governors, dog catchers, past and present are unfit for public office, including people he is in the Senate with. I wonder if he would ask the same sort of questions to a fellow Jew who takes his faith seriously like Joe Lieberman? Or would he ask pointed questions about jihad to a Muslim nominee? I sort of doubt it. Bernie Sanders seems to think that people who hold orthodox Christian, beliefs that are millennia old and have no bearing on how a person would work in the Trump Administration, are a danger to America and are not "what this country is supposed to be about". I have a different view. People like Bernie Sanders are "not what this country is supposed to be about" and he and people like him who want to prohibit orthodox Christians from public office are the real danger to America.

A friend on Facebook reposted that and one of his friends responded that Senator Sanders was absolutely correct and that people who held to the orthodox Christian teaching on the exclusivity of Christ are "intolerant" and "bigoted" and should be barred from public office. Broadly speaking there are a lot of people in this country who are quite willing and even eager to toss out the Constitutional protections on religious freedom and the prohibition on religious tests for public office because they think that there is nothing worse than being "intolerant" even though they ironically either don't realize how intolerant they are or they actually embrace being intolerant when they are intolerant of the "right" things. Even more ironic, the same people who whine about "Islamophobia" would likely suffer the most in a majority Muslim nation.

Even in places like The Atlantic there is some pushback, for example this from Emma Green, Bernie Sanders's Religious Test for Christians in Public Office:

It’s one thing to take issue with bigotry. It’s another to try to exclude people from office based on their theological convictions. Sanders used the term “Islamophobia” to suggest that Vought fears Muslims for who they are. But in his writing, Vought was contesting something different: He disagrees with what Muslims believe, and does not think their faith is satisfactory for salvation. Right or wrong, this is a conviction held by millions of Americans—and many Muslims might say the same thing about Christianity.

Yep. That is a solid statement even though it follows her obligatory comment earlier in the article: "The exchange shows just how tense the political environment under Trump has become." Right, because the political environment under Obama or Bush was just peaches and cream. You would think that political discourse was Canadian-level courteous until January of this year, unless of course you recall stuff like the Robert Bork nomination hearings....Also of note in her essay was the statement by Democratic Senator Christ Van Hollen, emphasis mine:

Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland defended his Democratic colleague: “I don’t think anybody was questioning anybody’s faith here,” he said. Van Hollen said it’s “irrefutable” that comments like Vought’s suggest to many that he’s condemning all people who aren’t Christians. And he asserted that Vought’s view of his faith is wrong: “I’m a Christian, but part of being a Christian, in my view, is recognizing that there are lots of ways that people can pursue their God,” Van Hollen said. “No one is questioning your faith ... It’s your comments that suggest a violation of the public trust in what will be a very important position.”

Senator, with all due respect, that is nonsense. "I'm a Christian who thinks that Christ was obviously wrong about a major point" is not really a tenable position. The term you are looking for Senator Van Hollen is not Christian, it is Universalist. At least get your terminology right please.

America is not a malleable, pick and choose proposition. This is a nation with a history and with a central governing document. One of the key principles of this nation is individual liberty. I can say what I want, I can believe what I want, I can read whatever news source I want and I can arm myself to ensure that people like Bernie Sanders can't take those rights away from me. More to the point, while I absolutely reject on theological and historic grounds the idea of America as a "Christian nation", it is without question that America was formed as a religious nation, a nation of people united by belief. Not specific beliefs like Methodist versus Baptist, but that we have religious faith and the right to exercise that faith without meddling by the government. The First Amendment is not primarily about keeping religion out of the state but the state out of religion. Bernie Sanders and his fan-boys are apparently bent on destroying that protection by making some beliefs, including some widely held beliefs, into thoughtcrimes that initially would disqualify you from public office but perhaps down the road would carry far more insidious penalties. Something else I wrote on Facebook: "Someone should clue Bernie Sanders in that 1984 was designed as a warning, not as a how-to manual.".

Senator Sanders was born into a Jewish family but make no mistake, Sander's real religion is worship of the state. The state is the highest good, the ultimate authority. People are just a means toward the end of glorifying the state. Concepts like individual liberty, freedom of religion, free expression, are obstacles to seeing the state glorified and the name of Government lifted high. I am torn in deciding if Sanders and his cronies are just historically ignorant, blinded by their own nonsensical and economically risible rhetoric or if they are simply being duplicitous in order to advance their statist agenda. Perhaps all three. Whatever the reasoning, Sander's notion of "The Government Über Alles" is the very opposite of what "this country is supposed to be about". Someone holding Christian beliefs or rejecting Christian beliefs or having no beliefs at all should not disqualify anyone from public office. Desiring to censor and marginalize people because you don't like their religious faith? Now that is something that maybe should disqualify one from public office...

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