Sen. Bernie Sanders has voted against U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee for Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget after the latter expressed his Christian belief about Muslims.
On June 7, Sen. Sanders interrogated Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget nominee Russell Vought about his Christian beliefs. Sanders talked about a controversial article published on The Resurgent in which Vought defended his alma mater Wheaton College's view on the God that Muslims and Christians worship, Julie Roys detailed.
Quoting a few lines from the article, Sanders asked Vought if the statement about Muslims being condemned because they rejected Jesus Christ was Islamophobic. The nominee answered negatively, explaining that he wrote the article to defend his alma mater's statement of faith about Jesus Christ as the only source of salvation. Vought also firmly said that his comments were based on his Christian faith.
"I understand that. I don't know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million," Sanders told Vought. "Are you suggesting that all those people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?"
This dialogue was repeated a couple of times until Sanders burst out in anger and asked once more if Vought thought that non-Christians stand condemned. In the end, the senator rejected Vought's nomination, suggesting that the latter was not fit for public office.
"I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about," said Sanders. "I will vote no."
The Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's president Russell Moore criticized Sen. Sanders over his "audacious and shockingly ignorant" comments on the Christian doctrine and the U.S. Constitution. He suggested that religious beliefs should not be the basis of one's disqualification for public office, the Christian Broadcasting Network reports.
Renowned evangelist Franklin Graham also posted a statement on his Facebook page that said Sen. Sanders was wrong and Vought was right. He then quoted a Biblical verse: "Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"