Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Senator and nominee have a heated argument over belief that all those who do not believe in Jesus Christ are “damned.”
Bernie Sanders and Russell Vought had a heated exchange of arguments during a confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill over a religious issue. The point of contention was a piece written by Vought in January 2016 where he claimed that only Christians had the right of entry into heaven, and others like Muslims, who had rejected Christ were “damned.” Vought has been nominated by President Trump to be the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

A Christian school where Vought himself had studied fired professor Larycia Hawkins, on the grounds of a Facebook post in which she was showing solidarity towards Muslims. Vought lashed out at the Facebook post saying not only is the theology of the Muslims deficient but also they stand condemned and that they do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ. Senator Sanders wanted to know from Vought if he thought all the Muslims in America and all the non-Christians around the world including the Jews were going to be damned.

The Vermont senator condemned Vought saying, “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,” and added America has struggled throughout the years and undergone a lot of pain to overcome discrimination. He observed that views such as Vought’s would undo all the progress that the nation has made in overcoming discrimination.

Vought for his part did not feel his post was Islamophobic when asked about this by Sanders. He defended his views saying as a Christian, he is entitled to hold on to his set of beliefs. He also argued he was only stating his opinion in relation to the what happened at the school and that his opinions should not be taken out of context.

Despite criticism from many political figures who felt that Bernie Sanders was crossing his limits by initiating such an argument, the Senator defended his actions saying Vought’s post was “hateful.” He argued that in a democracy people are allowed to disagree with one another on every matter, “but racism and bigotry – condemning an entire group of people because of their faith – cannot be part of any public policy." Naturally, Sanders voted against Vought, saying he is not what America is about.

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