Crosstalk: June 13, 2017
Roger Gannam is a constitutional attorney who serves as Assistant Vice President of Legal Affairs for Liberty Counsel. Liberty Counsel advocates on behalf of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, natural marriage and family.
The focal point of this program was a recorded segment from Wednesday June 7th, when Senator Bernie Sanders grilled Russell Vought who was being questioned by a Senate committee for appointment as Deputy Budget Director.
In a piece written by Mr. Vought for a conservative website called, The Resurgent, Senator Sanders believes that Mr. Vought denigrated American Muslims, the Muslim faith, and showed hostility toward religious pluralism. As such, Senator Sanders believes this disqualifies him for any appointment, including that of Deputy Budget Director.
In the followup, Jim asked Roger if the line of questioning taken by Senator Sanders is a direct violation of Article 6 of the Constitution because it sounds like he was presenting a religious test. In response, Roger noted that Jim is correct. The line of questioning was illegal although you don't find many cases interpreting that religious test.
Mr. Vought seemed to be saying that he'd treat all people with dignity and respect regardless of their religious views. Roger pointed out that what Mr. Vought could have said is that one stands condemned as a matter of their spiritual condition. What this means as a Christian is that others need to be loved and that we are to share the Gospel with them. That may mean even laying down our lives for them as Christ himself did.
Jim then asked Roger if what Mr. Vought wrote about Muslims is the very same thing that Muslims might say about followers of Jesus; that such followers are infidels and condemned in the eyes of Allah. Roger admitted this is a great point because if the roles had been reversed and it was a professing Muslim who was in line for a federal office, he doubts anyone would dare question a theological writing or religious statement by that individual. So it seems that it's only Christians who deserve to have their beliefs questioned in this context.
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