Bernie Sanders questions religious Christian beliefs of Senate nominee, despite article VI of the Constitution. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
Not long ago, we examined Article VI of the Constitution, which prohibits the application of a religious test for office. The point of this provision is to both prevent the exclusion of religious individuals from office and to ensure good and wise citizens of every stripe can serve the country.
Recent senate confirmation hearings brought Article VI to the national stage, raising questions of religious liberty. Senator Bernie Sanders questioned nominee Russell Vought over an article in which he examined a passage from the Gospel of John, defending the exclusivity of Christ in salvation according to Vought’s Christian faith. Sanders decried Vought’s conclusion that followers of other faiths, and Islam in particular, were condemned according to Vought’s explanation of the Christian faith.
I won’t debate the theological correctness of Vought’s arguments, but it’s worth noting that at the conclusion of questioning, Senator Sanders announced he would vote against Vought, not over any professional qualification, but because, “this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.”
Senators can vote for or against executive nominees for nearly any reason, but for one to publicly question a nominee’s religious faith, pronounce it disagreeable, and withhold his vote expressly because of the nominee’s faith, makes me wonder if, in fact, the senator from Vermont may have created a religious test for office, in violation of the Constitution.
To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.