Monday, June 12, 2017

A new low on violating religious freedom in the USA

I read in dismay this past week about a powerful senator indicating he would vote no for Russell Vought, President Donald Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, because of his Christian Faith. Bernie Sanders challenged Vought's belief that those who reject Jesus Christ are "condemned" as being racist and Islamaphobic.  Sanders indicated that Vought was not qualified for this government post because of his belief that those who did not believe in Jesus were "condemned".

As I read more about the questioning, the more upset I got. This senator had taken political correctness to a new low, way past the realm of politics.  He has insulted all authentic followers of Jesus, claiming that their faith is dangerous to the country. Sanders said Vought's belief is "indefensible, hateful, Islamophobic, and an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world."

The idea that our faith is racist is indefensible. All of Christianity rests on Jesus' statement, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but through me," The crux of Christian doctrine is that everyone falls short of God's standard for salvation. (Romans 3:23).  The Gospel is that God's son, Jesus, came to this earth to pay the price for our sin so that we would have a way to be reconciled and receive salvation through Jesus Christ.  Our faith is built on this truth and millions of Christians live their lives so that others will come to the life giving relationship with Jesus Christ. Our motivation is out of love for our neighbors and respect for every human being created in the image of God.

It is hard to believe that a former candidate for president would take this kind of position.  To say that this Christian belief is somehow racist, hateful and dangerous is in itself extremely dangerous. You can certainly have your own views on theology but when you as a government office holder representing the people including millions of Christians, decide which theology is correct and make it some kind of litmus test for public office, you have crossed the line.  This is indeed a violation of Vought's first amendment right of freedom of religion and threatens all Christians and people of all faith's religious rights.

Perhaps this is just another sign of the end times.  But I promise it will not deter my faith and my desire to share the Good News of the Gospel to those who do not have a relationship with Jesus.

One of the few things you can do to voice your disapproval of Sanders' action is to sign The Family Research Council's petition drive stating “Our Constitution guarantees there will be no religious litmus test. Americans should never be forced to choose between their faith and public service.”

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