"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Bernie Sanders Is a Danger to Religious Freedom

This past Wednesday, June 7, 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders angrily shouted down Russell T. Vought, President Trump's nominee for Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. One would hope the American public could watch this horrible exchange, but for some reason, our government has chosen to remove the video from the public square.

Why was Senator Sanders so angry? It seems Sen. Sanders believed Vought was unsuitable for public office because Mr. Vought believes that mercy from God is found only through faith in Jesus Christ. Someone with that kind of religious belief, says Sanders, "is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about." 

Huh?

David French of the National Review pinpoints the trouble behind Sanders religious test for public service:
This is a disgraceful and unconstitutional line of questioning from the man who came close to being the Democratic nominee for president. He’s not only imposing a religious test for public office in direct violation of Article VI of the United States Constitution, he’s gone so far as to label this decent man — who’s seeking to serve his country in a vital role — as “not someone who this country is supposed to be about.” Vought expressed entirely orthodox Christian beliefs. There is nothing “extreme” about his statements, and they mirror the statements of faith of countless Christian churches and schools across the land. Are these believers also not fit for public office? I’ve written that Christians and Muslims don’t worship the same God. I suppose that means America’s not “about” me, either.
Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford warned that Sander’s comments “dangerously close to crossing a clear constitutional line for how we evaluate qualifications for public service.”

This week I will be writing about a couple of problems we face within the Southern Baptist Convention. However, those problems pale in comparison to the outright attack against Christians, exampled by Senator Bernie Sanders.

David French rightly points out that Christians can and do believe Jesus Christ is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," and Senator Sanders job is to protect the right of orthodox Christians to believe as they see fit, without fear of punishment or exclusion from the public realm. Religious freedom,

Mr. Sanders, belongs to even those people whom you don't like.

39 comments:

Christiane said...

where to begin .....

I think my red light went off when I saw these words:
"... Mr. Vought believes that mercy from God is found only through faith in Jesus Christ "

so I went looking for WHY Bernie reacted so strongly to the selection of this particular man for important office and I found this:

"Sanders took issue with a piece Vought wrote in January 2016 about a fight at the nominee’s alma mater, Wheaton College. The Christian school had fired a political-science professor, Larycia Hawkins, for a Facebook post intended to express solidarity with Muslims. Vought disagreed with Hawkins’s post and defended the school in an article for the conservative website The Resurgent. During the hearing, Sanders repeatedly quoted one passage that he found particularly objectionable:

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.

“In my view, the statement made by Mr. Vought is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world,” Sanders told the committee during his introductory remarks. “This country, since its inception, has struggled, sometimes with great pain, to overcome discrimination of all forms … we must not go backwards.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/bernie-sanders-chris-van-hollen-russell-vought/529614/


and then I ask, how is it that a JEW defends Muslims so passionately? And then I remembered. Yes, I see it. I understand.



RRR said...

A Jew would propose that a Christian follows an incorrect theology. So would a Muslim, a Buddhist, an atheist. Does that mean they are disqualified from government office because they discriminate? If one of the world religions confess that they believe Christians are following a correct theology, it means they do not believe their own. A Sheik, Oprah, and others following a host of religions, believe that all those practicing some form of religion in an attempt to climb that proverbial mountain to its celestial summit, will reach it, but at the same time, believe their faith is the only true one. But Christ followers are singled out and considered repulsive because of their exclusiveness.

So I don't know what all the fuss is about, except that Christians are being singled out as being the most intolerant and will be persecuted because of their identity with Jesus Christ. Does that not give you a sense of confirmation? It tells me that Christ is indeed different and anti-Satan.

We can fight it, and should in an attempt to defend the integrity of our Constitution, but ultimately, this is the way it is going to be. I am a firm believer that we Jesus followers will be living during at least a portion of the Great Tribulation period prophecized and this is its birthing pains. Voices of the Martyrs says that a Christian somewhere in the world is martyred every 3 minutes because of their being identified as a follower of Jesus Christ. Bernie is a sign of the times.

Christiane said...

RR writes
"So I don't know what all the fuss is about, except that Christians are being singled out as being the most intolerant .... "

not ALL Christians, no

I think the Christian conservative right are the specific group who are seen as intolerant of the faith of Muslims, yes.

What happens is that when their feelings are expressed, the rest of Christianity sees it as intolerance, but the Christian right sees it as their duty to express their utter contempt as did Vought when he said "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."

Vought's ideas are NOT shared by millions of other Christian people, no. His words are not 'universally' seen as a Christian reflection of faith in Christ, but as something 'else', something malevolent.

And that is where it stands.

What to do? Can anything good come of this? Once Our Lord spoke of the kindness of the Samaritan whose people were reviled. Some Christians today prayed for the Muslim 'White Helmets' of Aleppo who saved lives during the time the civilians of their city were being bombed.

I think this may be fertile ground for some discussion. But people have to plow up their fallow ground and turn to the Holy Gospels for wisdom about 'the others' who are 'different', the rejected ones, and re-discover that the 'labels' don't necessarily tell of the heart God sees in any man.

Anonymous said...

I by no means agree with Bernie Sanders and his belief system. I have to wonder though, why does he act the way he does? - So I just did some research on his early life and discovered that his parents were both gone before he was out of college, and they were both Jews and he grew up hearing stories about his dad's family members dying in the holocaust.

I would imagine that Mr. Sanders has a great deal of resentment and hatred towards God and obviously being raised in a Jewish family would reject Jesus Christ for Who He Is.

He quickly joined socialistic societies in college. I would tend to wonder if this was a need to search for "love" from other a community, rather than from Christ.

So now over 50 years later, his soul filled with bitterness and hatred over the years, he now has the authority to be heard louder than he ever has been heard before. What I hear him saying is, "We need a society that accepts everyone for who they are regardless of what they do or believe - NO ONE should ever been rejected for ANYTHING." - But in Mr. Sanders mind, the only ones that "reject" others are "Christians". - so if the Christians are eliminated this his ultimate goal of "Social Utopia" could be accomplished.

Now I have no doubt that there are some very significant spiritual battles taking place in the soul of Mr. Sanders, but I do believe there are other factors that play a role in his position. So how do we change his heart?

We know that only the Holy Spirit can change his heart - but my thoughts are - I wonder how Mr. Sanders would respond if we Christians were to simply stop and tell Mr. Sanders, "We love you" - could that possibly change his mindset?

I do not know - but what I do know is that all this reciprocal "hate" he is receiving from "Christians" will definitely not change his heart or his mind.

I think we are better to pray for the Holy Spirit to change Mr. Sanders heart and we should just love on him, as Christ loves on us, despite our own rejection of Him.

Bov Allen said...

The link has been moved to here: https://www.budget.senate.gov/nomination-hearing-for-deputy-director_of-white-house-budget-office

I'm intrigued by this sentence from Sen. Sanders' opening statement, which I haven't seen widely quoted: “This country since its inception has struggled, sometimes with great pain, to overcome discrimination of all forms, whether it is racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and Islamaphobia. Over the years we have made progress to becoming a less discriminatory and more tolerant society, and we must not go backwards.”

I wonder, for the sake of argument, if it would be a "religious test" to oppose a public official on record as saying he or she believes in the Curse of Ham?

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,

I’m in shock about your “red light”. I suggest for you to read Wade’s post again and all the comments and see if your light would turn green. What do you think?

Shari England said...

Thank you. I was so hoping you would respond in blog form to this.

Anonymous said...

Since there is no other name (than Jesus) whereby we must be saved, it is pretty clear that all other religions will be considered deficient theologies by Bible believing Christians.

Of course, those of other faiths will consider us to have a deficient theology. We are entitled to freedom of speech on this, unless we are acting FOR the government. Then we may not rule someone not fit to fulfill his or her constitutional rights on the basis of their religion.

Bernie crossed a line and should be summarily fired.

Linda

Anonymous said...

I did not realize Bernie was a practicing Jew. I did not think Judaism had anything at all to do with his statement. My understanding was that he is agnostic. At least he was back in his Chicago days of rabid socialism. It was very taboo to be religious at all in that political circle.

RRR said...

Christiane writes, "I think the Christian conservative right are the specific group who are seen as intolerant of the faith of Muslims, yes."

I believe you bring a key component to the surface. You, and many others, use the label "Chrisitan conservative right" in speaking of "born again believers". Probably most people who identify themselves as being "Christian" either do not understand the basic concept of being "born again" and what Christ taught was required in order to have that event occur in their personal life. Many professing "Christians" even have disdain for those identifying themselves as having been "born again". They commonly apply to them the political label, "Christian conservative right".

This is my perspective. It is the "born again" followers of Christ who will elicit the most anger and persecution from the "Bernie Sanders'", not the nominal, milktoast, minimal "Christians". They tend to be very inclusive, politically correct and avoid any sort of offense by proposing to others that Jesus Christ is the "only" way to have a redeemed relationship with God.

Dale Rudiger said...

Rex Ray, Christiane is a devout Catholic and an apologist for Catholicism at many sites. Catholicism teaches that Muslims belong to the Catholic Church. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under the heading "Who Belongs to the Catholic Church": " The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are telling Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." So, you can see why Christian's red light went off.

Dale Rudiger said...

"the Muslims" not " telling Muslims."

Christiane said...

Checking in. :)

Dear Rex Ray and Dale,

How to begin (again) :)

Rex Ray, I love Wade Burleson's heart for Christ and his compassion and caring for the suffering of others. He is one of my heroes in the faith. But I think we do not agree on all things and that is okay.

Dale, thank you for trying to explain me to Rex Ray. Rex and I go way back, but you might not have known that. Rex Ray is very dear to me and boy howdy, do we not always agree, but I would go into hell itself for that dear man, and that's the truth.

I expect the way that the Mercy of God is seen may be a part of the confusion. Also, the way things are worded. And of course the current political atmosphere of Islamophobia flowering in our nation with all of its poison harming innocent Muslim American citizens, even children who are being bullied terribly.

My Catholic faith sends me to stand beside the ones being persecuted and this time, it seems to me that the fear and suffering of our Muslim citizens is real. As far as them belonging to my Church, I do see them as being included among those who worship the One God, yes. I see them in the company of Christians and Jews, within the Abrahamic faiths as believing in God the Creator.

Do I believe that Our Lord is the One who saves? Yes. But I would not limit Him as to how He accomplishes this. He will judge all men by His standards with far more justice and mercy than we can imagine. So I trust in Him.

The Muslims? Well, they are respected in my Church. So much so, that Pope Francis, when he visited the head Imam at the Blue Mosque in Turkey, asked the Imam to pray for him. Pope Francis pretty well has asked everyone he meets to pray for him, even the men in the prison he visited in the United States.

Dale, thanks again for trying to help sort this out. You didn't get it perfectly right, but you tried and I appreciate that.

Rex Ray, I am Christ-centered, but I do not try to put Him into any restrictions as to how He saves. As for all mankind, including the Muslims, I agree with the Lutheran martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this:

" The incarnate Lord makes His followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation is the ground of Christian love toward all on earth that bear the name of human."


Anonymous said...

Dale,

Is this similar to what you mean?

https://xcjournal.org/category/catholic-rules-and-regulations/

Anonymous said...

"And of course the current political atmosphere of Islamophobia flowering in our nation with all of its poison harming innocent Muslim American citizens, even children who are being bullied terribly. "

This is how you view Rex who disagrees with you, a lot? Those who disagree you are harming Muslims?

Christiane said...

Anonymous said...

"And of course the current political atmosphere of Islamophobia flowering in our nation with all of its poison harming innocent Muslim American citizens, even children who are being bullied terribly. "

This is how you view Rex who disagrees with you, a lot? Those who disagree you are harming Muslims?

Anonymous, you are the owner of your OWN words. My Catholic people are being killed by ISIS in the Middle East frequently, but I do not see those terrorists as representing Muslim people, particularly our Muslim American citizens.

Anonymous, the current political atmosphere of Islamophobia is feeding THIS kind of activity in our land:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4547014/Police-Man-hurling-racial-slurs-kills-2-injures-1-train.html

Christiane said...

By the way, ANONYMOUS, those men who came to the aid of the Muslim woman on that train in Oregon? I can see BOTH Wade AND Rex Ray coming to her aid also.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4547014/Police-Man-hurling-racial-slurs-kills-2-injures-1-train.html

RRR said...

Christiane, you use the phrase that I have heard before, "My Catholic faith".

Perhaps you can help me to understand what you mean by "Catholic" faith. I am active in a "Baptist" church, but I do not practice or identify with a "Baptist" faith. My impression is that Catholics have an entirely different association with their church and perhaps consider it as the basis for your faith. Can you add some light to this phrase, "Catholic" faith? Thanks.


Dale Rudiger said...

Yes, both Catholicism and Islam are religions that focus on the precepts of their leaders. Muhammad on the one hand and the Magisterium on the other.

Dale Rudiger said...

What did I get wrong, Christiane?

A. You are a devout Catholic?
B. You defend Catholicism at various blogs
C. Devout Muslims are part of the Catholic Church?

Anonymous said...

Is that all you have, Christiane, to declare mass persecution and xenophobia? I believe people, even people who view Islam as oppressive and are not pro Sharia, would have come to her aid. Disagreeing with Islam and those who promote its Patriarchy and caste as benign, does not equate with "persecution". But I know the, alt left wants people to believe that. I just don't play that shame censoring speech game as in agree or you are evil. Too "Thought Reform" tactic for me. I leave you the last flowery and pious words.

Btw, Dale is too classy to mention it but you hit him below the belt after he shared a very personal story on another abuse blog. You "apologized" a while later on another unrelated thread without even relating how it came about. . So you got your punch in using his personal story he shared in good faith against him as reason for his views on Catholicism to marginalize him to other commenters. I was stunned no one called you out on it. But that is how many abuse blogs evolve. groupthink.

So done. Have at it with your alt left political posturing masquerading as Jesus which is the exact same thing you accuse others of doing.

RRR said...

Dale, you wrote, "Yes, both Catholicism and Islam are religions that focus on the precepts of their leaders."

Are you Catholic or have you formerly practiced that "faith/religion"? Your statement above coincides with my impression about Catholics, but I prefer hearing directly from a Catholic or former Catholic, who is well informed about their own belief system. That's in no way intended to cast doubt on, or question, your position, but I have always preferred to go directly to the source rather than learning solely from the perspective of outsiders, know what I mean? That has led me to have sessions with elders from many cults and world religions, but at least during those sessions, I can ask, "What do you believe and why do you believe that?"

So far, I have no reason to disagree with your proposition about Catholics, which is also that assumed by most of those in Thailand where I served, where they most often make references to those religions in their country as "Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Catholics and Christians".

I intend to eventually go to some Catholic churches to schedule time with their priests. I have a lot of questions for them.

Still hoping to hear from Christiane.

Dale Rudiger said...

RRR, I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic. I received Christ as my Savior at the end of 1990. I formally left the Catholic religion in January of 1992 from studying the Book of Colossians.

If you want to study Catholicism, I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a first step.

Anonymous said...

Once again, the right has taken a something out of context and ran with it.

The Senator was questioning a candidate, and asked the questions every other prospective official is asked :

" A public servant serves all citizens, not just the ones you agree with. Can you do that? "

Senator Sanders absolutely respects freedom of religion, not just Christianity. And that was his point.

Can we please stop stirring the pot between the parties and just all be Americans again? This is so tiresome.

Rex Ray said...


Christiane,

Sorry that I didn’t check this post and missed the many comments. I was sort of shocked and please that you said you would go to Hell for me. Now I know that was an exaggeration but it was nice anyway.

You know of course there was only one Man that went to Hell who did it for the whole world.

You wrote: “I agree with the Lutheran martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this: "The incarnate Lord makes His followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation is the ground of Christian love toward all on earth that bear the name of human."

I gave up trying to find where these words came from, but you referenced (Titus 3:4)
To know what a verse means the verses written before and after should be studied. Sometime the whole chapture should be read.

Verse 3:3-6: “…Our lives were full of envy, and we hated each other. But when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (New Living Translation)

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,

You said Senator Sanders respects freedom of religion.

Does he respect freedom to be a Republican?

One of his followers that tried to kill Republicans today didn’t think so.

RRR said...

Dale, thanks a lot for that clarification. That certainly makes you a very credible source for information pertaining to the Catholic religion. I will delve into the Catechism.

On a side note, ever know of the Father Cedric Pisegna ministries? He has a local Sunday morning TV broadcast. He seems to be a born again Catholic who continues to practice all of the Catholic rituals as a Catholic priest. Can that happen?

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

Bernie Sanders has spent his career extolling non-violence, and then he is blamed for this.

That man does not represent Bernie, or myself as a Democrat any more than that slime ball Ted Nugent represents you.

Agreed?

Dale Rudiger said...

I just looked him up at his website. Here is my take on "born again Catholics." It is a double-edged sword. I think one can be born again and be within the confines of Catholicism. I think God uses some of these folks to evangelize people out of Catholicism. I was saved when I attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar put on by some Charismatics at my parish. I remained for about a year before leaving Catholicism for good. On the other hand, I think that ministries like Pisegna's are dangerous counterfeits used to draw away people into what I consider an apostate religion. The differences between Catholicism and evangelicalism are too stark to reconcile. I think you will discover that when you study them side by side. A book that does this is "Preparing for Eternity" by Mike Gendron.

RRR said...

Thanks, Dale. I hope you are making yourself accessible to others in your church and other churches. I believe we evangelicals are entirely too ignorant regarding the Catholic Church and thus tend to have a distorted perception of it. Not that we should be hostile or disrespectful toward Catholics, but at the same time, we should not be deceived into thinking they are eternally secure, thus being outside the range of our radar screen when it comes to sharing Christ with them.

Dale Rudiger said...

We seem to have come full circle. Respect for those who hold to belief systems contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ, but loving them enough not to pretend that they are already part of the Kingdom of heaven.

Christiane said...

DALE,
could you please clarify for us if you still adhere to the doctrinal teachings of Ligonier Ministries and Alpha and Omega Ministries? Thanks.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale,

Is this similar to what you mean?

https://xcjournal.org/category/catholic-rules-and-regulations/

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,

I figured that would ‘punch your buttons ‘. :) Of course Sanders has not DIRECTLY promoted violence.

On the other hand, Wade’s latest post states: “Liberal Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders said last week, “Christians are not the ‘type of people’ that should be in government.”

Some nut could take his words and start killing Christians in government just like the person who shot school children if they said they were Christians.

John Wilkes Booth thought he would be a hero by killing Abraham Lincoln; the same with Jack Ruby and Oswald.

The latest news states the would be killer of Republicans also would have killed Present Trump.

What News shaped this mans mind?

When Trump promised to replace Obamacare, his opponents cried to high heaven that Republicans didn’t care if Americans died.

Also he could have agreed with the comedy skit of Trump’s beheading.

Dale Rudiger said...

R.C. Sproul and Jim White agree with me in two critical truths. The essential nature of the gospel and the need for defending it. We hold to justification by faith alone. It is the imputed and alien righteousness of Jesus that justifies a sinner in the sight of God. We also agree that Catholic teaching absolutely contradicts and condemns this good news. We agree on the who, what, when, why, where, and how of Jesus. Jesus is the only mediator. He is not a wafer. What He accomplished is sufficient. He accomplished this 2000 years ago at the cross and is not being sacrificed at the mass. He is at the right hand of God in heaven, and is not in the monstrance at the local Catholic Church. We agree on how Jesus saved us and why this was the only possible way.

Dale Rudiger said...

Christiane, why did you specifically ask about these two ministries?

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

I could name a number of screw-loose Republicans as well. Ted Nugent made a number of threats to Obama, and then there's the guy who shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic after being brainwashed by Fox News.
That's just for starters.

There are complete idiots in both parties.

And really, you don't want to push my buttons when it comes to politics. As a political nerd, I can take you three times around the dance floor without breaking a sweat. :)

Victorious said...

Jesus is the only mediator. He is not a wafer. What He accomplished is sufficient. He accomplished this 2000 years ago at the cross and is not being sacrificed at the mass. He is at the right hand of God in heaven, and is not in the monstrance at the local Catholic Church.

Good words, Dale. Especially important is that Jesus is the only mediator and that the sacrifice of the cross was sufficient for all time. (Heb. 10:11-12)

Dale Rudiger said...

Christiane, I think your use of the word "adhering" is informative of your paradigm. As a faithful Catholic, you are to submit your intellect in spiritual matters to the infallible teaching of the Catholic hierarchy. We evangelicals are encouraged to question human authority in spiritual matters. So, we are united in the essential gospel of Jesus Christ, but are free to disagree on secondary and tertiary doctrine. Devout Catholics have no such freedom. You are locked into "all or nothing thinking."

roth phallyka said...

I did not think Judaism had anything at all to do with his statement.


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