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I am surrounded by morons.

A group of 64 congressional Republicans sent a very testy letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him if the Constitution still counts for anything in this country of ours, or if it’s not OK for Senator Bernie Sanders to literally burn Christian nominees for government appointments at the stake just for stating the obvious truth that Muslims are bound for hell. They aren’t saying that Sanders is trying to impose a Judeo-Secularist Anti-Theocracy in America, which of course he is; they simply want clarification on whether Sessions thinks the Constitution’s prohibition on religious tests for office still applies after Sanders asked mean questions of a candidate for one of Donald Trump’s nominees. If you ask mean questions about religion, surely you’re applying one of those religious tests, aren’t you? Yes, this is from the same crowd that worried about whether Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim and Mitt Romney was Too Mormon to be president.

The fuss involves Sanders’s questions back in June during the confirmation of Russell Vought — nominee to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Or rather, as The Washington Times puts it, “Russell Vought, a devout Christian,” which is apparently the most relevant thing about him. Vought had published a blog post at Erick Erickson’s Internet House of Jesus and Politics in 2016, in which Vought defended Wheaton College’s firing of a professor who wore a hijab in solidarity with Muslims (who were, you may remember, being told by a presidential candidate that they don’t belong in America). To make matters worse, the professor, Larycia Hawkins, even said that “Muslims worship the same God” as Christians, which was definitely good reason to fire her (from a First Amendment point of view, sure — private religious institutions are free to be small-minded bigots).

Sanders took issue with some of the stuff Vought devoutly wrote, and here is what 64 Republicans worry is the Senator from Vermont applying a “religious test” for public office, according to the Washington Times:

In a blog for The Resurgent, Mr. Vought wrote that Muslims “do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, his Son, and they stand condemned.”

The article cited John 3:18, which reads: “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Mr. Sanders raised several questions about the blog post during the hearing and cited it as his reason for ultimately voting against Mr. Vought’s appointment.

“Do you believe—do you believe that that statement is Islamaphobic?” Mr. Sanders asked at the hearing.

“Absolutely not, senator,” Mr. Vought responded. “I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith.”

Don’t you see? It is a religious test for office, because Sanders was badgering Vought about whether he would be doing religious tests on American citizens in his government job. Oh, and whether he thinks Muslims and Jews are going to hell, which of course they are unless they get saved. Vought replied that as a Christian, “I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs,” which is awfully nice of him, but Sanders said he considered the nominee “not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about,” and said he’d be voting against Vought’s confirmation.

The wingnuttosphere exploded with stories about Bernie Sanders violating Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution, which says, it says right there, that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” And what was Bernie Sanders doing? Voting against someone who failed his religious test.

So the angry Christians of — we swear we are not making this up — the Congressional Prayer Caucus, led by that group’s co-chairs Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, are seeking clarification from Jeff Sessions as to whether we’ve just up and thrown out the Constitution in a fit of secular humanist political correctness. The letter asks Sessions for guidance:

“The free exercise of religion means the ability to practice your faith without fear of punishment by the government,” the letter reads. “The government violates that right if it determines which faith or non-faith practices are valid or which aspects of a particular faith are legitimate.”

“As such, we urge you to make clear in your forthcoming guidance that the scope and meaning of Article VI has not changed: no religious test will ever be required to serve in the government of the United States.”

Obviously, Sanders’s questions do represent a religious test, because the fact checkers at the Daily Caller said it did by questioning Vought about a “theological article” he’d written. Even The Atlantic’s religion correspondent, Emma Green, called it a “religious test,” as did Hemant Mehta, the “Friendly Atheist” at Patheos. Over at the Washington Post (which hates God), Jim Wallis, founder of the liberal Christian group Sojourners, said that at worst Sanders had conflated a public policy question — did Vought think Muslims have equal rights as Americans — with a theological one — are they going to Hell?

So shame, shame on Bernie Sanders for daring to suggest that someone who thinks Muslims are all going to hell may also have some biases in how he approaches his government job. True, as Wallis says, the discussion would have been more fruitful if it had focused on the Trump administration’s actual budget priorities, like eliminating funding for Meals on Wheels or slashing the federal safety net, which can certainly be condemned without even once citing Matthew 25:31-45, without all that “what you did for the least of these” stuff, though it adds a bit of theological oomph. And let’s hear it for the brave stand against religious tests taken by the members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus. Truly, they are blessed.

Moderator note: Yes, this story is about Bernie Sanders. Please keep comments limited to the story itself, and do not re-litigate the 2016 primary. We will be deleting comments that go there: no hating on Bernie for being the worst splitter ever, and no “Bernie woulda won because Hillary is a corporate shill!” Seriously, it is 102 Fahrenheit degrees in Boise today and we are not in the mood for that crap. Also we love you.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations and the stolen blood of the faithful. Please click the “Donate” linky below to give us the former. We have our own sources for the latter.

[Washington Times / The Resurgent / Daily Caller / Atlantic / Friendly Atheist / WaPo]

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  • Oblios_Cap
    • schmannity

      No thanks, I just ate. And don’t call me Shirley.

    • elviouslyqueer

      Those crumby remarks left me pie-eyed.

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Headline: Piss in our Time.

  • Empress of the Iguana People

    Awe, isn’t it adorable when Good Christians (TM) get all upset when they think a Not-Christian is somehow persecuting them. /s

    • whitroth

      Absolutely. But remember, the Puritans left England for Holland, and then the New World, all because those *evil* idolators wouldn’t let them persecute their neighbors, like Jezuz would want them to….

      • (((fka_donnie_d)))

        Like, motherfuckers were too cray-cray for Cromwell’s England. That’s kinda like being too kinky or nero’s rome.

        • Not Cromwell. He didn’t come to power until 1649. The Mayflower arrived in 1620. They were getting away from James I.

      • Rags

        And because they hated Christmas.

  • WomanInThePersistence

    Jesus wept.

  • Oblios_Cap

    Poor oppressed Christians! They’ve certainly pussyfied since the days when they accepted martyrdom willingly.

  • MynameisBlarney

    Oh for fucks sake!

  • Swampay

    “Just because I think they’re going to hell doesn’t mean I can’t treat the evil bastards with respect”

  • (((fka_donnie_d)))

    Asking a candidate for pubic office if they have a religious test is a religious test.

    It’s like they have an Orwell Brand Doublespeak Reality Distortion Filter in their heads, without ever having read 1984.

    • greyXstar

      It’s like they read it as an instruction manual.

      • (((fka_donnie_d)))

        It’s a cookbook!

  • TJ Barke

    NOT LETTING CHRISTIANS OPPRESS NON BELIEVERS IS THE REAL OPPRESSION!

  • Michael Smith

    Ah, yes, the old evangelical trick of claiming they are actually fighting against a theocracy in this country – an atheist, humanist, secularist theocracy that seeks to outlaw Christianity!!

    So when they seek to ensure that a candidate or nominee possess Christian values, I guess they implicitly imposing a religious test as well.

    • The Wanderer

      I love trying to get a straight answer to the question “If atheists don’t think any god exists, how can they be wanting to set up a theocracy?”

    • Rags

      Folks are free to impose a religious test; gummint ain’t.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Yet another example of Congress turning water into whine.

    • Reminds me of a joke!

      WHAT DID THE GRAPE SAY WHEN SOMEONE STEPPED ON HIM FOR HIS STRONGLY HELD CHRISTIAN BELIEFS?

      • elviouslyqueer

        You’re op-Pressing me?

      • The Wanderer

        “I’m going to whine!”

      • schmannity

        This is the last time I shop at Hobby Lobby?

      • Little Lulu Ω

        “Something something raisin something!”

  • h4rr4r

    “The government violates that right if it determines which faith or non-faith practices are valid or which aspects of a particular faith are legitimate.”

    I agree, which is why of course they will no longer oppose abortions as my faith demands women have control over their own bodies, right?

    • jodyleek

      “If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”
      – Gloria Steinem

    • shivaskeeper

      The Satanic Temple argued that one in court with reference to a mandatory three day wait. The case was eventually tossed because the woman in question ended up getting the abortion anyway and no longer had standing IIRC.

      Basically they couldn’t prove the religious exemption they were asking for. I’m sure it will be attempted again though.

      • h4rr4r

        What do you mean prove?

        “government violates that right if it determines which faith or non-faith practices are valid “

        Seems to say to me that even trying to determine violates that right.

        • shivaskeeper

          Prove that the 72 hour wait was a violation of their religious beliefs.

          • h4rr4r

            How do you prove something like that?

            Clearly it is a violation to even tries to make that determination.

          • shivaskeeper

            That was the point of the suit.

  • greyXstar

    I hate these people.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    Congressional Prayer Caucus:

    Because
    I‘ve
    Got that
    Old
    Time
    Religion
    Y‘all

  • Carpe Vagenda

    So the religious practice Bernie is imposing a litmus test on for public service is imposing a litmus test on religious practices for public service?

    Really?

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      By Jove, you’ve solved it!

    • A litmus test is a handy thing if you don’t want to kill all the fishies in your aquarium.

      • h4rr4r

        Test strips are terrible, at least use drop tests.

      • Kiri the Unicorn

        Dissolved ammonia is the biggest problem.

  • memzilla Ω
    • msanthropesmr

      They were thieves and semetic. They don’t count.

      • Jesus was Semitic, too.

        • Khavrinen

          News to most ‘Murican Christianistas.

          Or, more likely, “FAKE NEWS!!11elebenty!”

    • georgiaburning

      Just shows the value of competent marketing communications people, even 2000 years ago

  • WotsAllThisThen

    It’s discriminatory to not hire someone because they fire people based on religion. The religious test clause clearly states you have to hire Christians.

  • Covfefe

    Seems to me that what Bernie was trying to get at was whether our man Russ would apply a religious test while managing and budgeting.

  • msanthropesmr

    We all know who to blame. It’s definitely Susan Sarandon.

    • Amy!

      How could that be? Last time I saw her, she and this other chick were heading for the Grand Canyon.

  • memzilla Ω
    • The Wanderer

      I hear that he also comparison shops to find the best deals.

    • The Green Bastard

      Now you know how Jesus Saves.

      • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

        Go to Costco and get those loaves and fishes in bulk. You never know what else you’ll find that you didn’t know you “needed” And also they are unionized.

      • elviouslyqueer

        God shops, but Jesus saves.

      • pat tolle

        @The Green Bastard-I’m not sure which is the better response I’ve seen both on a route I used to drive read Jesus Saves and one response was Green Stamps. the other was Moses invests.As I said ,I’m not sure which response s the best.

      • Teto85

        “Jesus Saves, and Esposito Scores on the Rebound” Old bumper sticker from 1970s Bawston.

      • sarafina

        Jesus is busy, save yourself.

    • AuntyMaude

      Jesus saves! dontcha know. And then spends like a maniac.

  • BigCSouthside

    If a belief is so important to you that you write about them, publish them, and append your name to them, they will impact your judgement. End of story

  • Even THE COWS are encouraging The Masses to massacre Christians:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1f736b6e87a22368f33547e7bf881ad35b09290abc8b34e3362f4c7705f03929.jpg

    The fukin’ COWS, man!

    • Wild Cat

      That was an old Roy Rogers ad.

      Figures an Evangelical farthole would steal from Ol’ Roy. They’d probably even deny Dale Evans birth control.

      • The Wanderer

        Roy Rogers would be looked at askance by Christianists. All that talk about him mounting Trigger and riding him, you know.

        • Kiri the Unicorn

          *goes to stand in some tall grass, rather self-consciously*

    • AuntyMaude

      That makes sense. The vast majority of cows are Hindus.

  • PubOption

    But (((Sanders))) is an (((internationalist))).

    • Beanz&Berryz

      Isn’t that just a nice way to say Jew?

      • Rags

        No. Not nice.

  • Cousin Itt de La Résistance
    • The Wanderer

      Everybody must get stoned!

  • bookish

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40533959

    Mr Podesta added: “Dude, get your head in the game. You’re representing the US at the G20.”

    • cmd resistor

      I picture PUtin reading Trump’s Podesta tweet this morning and laughing maniacally.

  • memzilla Ω
  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    Yes, because asking someone if their religion biases their non-religious work is somehow being horribly oppressive rather than trying avoid the inevitable Equal Protection Clause lawsuit.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ef404d59b41ae859d1535ff0ff45db48bf349683902fd5624e3b77918edd208.gif

    • ariel_gee_398

      As the Court moves towards thinking the Free Exercise Clause is more important than the Establishment Clause, it just might…

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson
    • lowenufc

      That is it. I am running for office and if I win I am taking my oath on either the Satanic Bible, or Clifford the Big Red Dog. Or Dune.

  • jesterpunk
    • GoutMachine

      I get the whole “increased rights for someone else = my rights are threatened” thing (in that I understand it, but that I sympathize), but for fuck’s sake I still don’t understand how Christianity is supposedly “under attack.”

      I grew up with these types – and am related to many – but I just don’t get it.

      • SweetDeeKat

        Because it’s fun to froth in righteous indignation. You don’t have to think, and it’s the rush that never ends.

      • spangled

        how dare you, after barack obama brutally murdered santa claus during his war on christmas

        • sarafina

          SANTA IS NOT DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Panika MCD

      TX can’t ban atheists from serving. Cornyn issued a binding opinion on the law when he was AG (ah, those halcyon days when he was a moderate) and the law can’t be enforced as the state will not defend it…not that people haven’t tried (and lost) to challenge those who do not clearly express a faith of any kind under the law. sometimes loser-pay is a good thing.

  • PixieThis

    My brother, a born-again-christian who has recently returned to the liberal side of things politically, said the other day, “….Jimmy Carter, the last true christian president…” Bless his heart, but….THERE IS NO RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENT TO BE A POLITICIAN! What the hell? We have a coliseum full of christians and not one damn lion!

  • anon_the_great

    Sorry Nice Christians but believing an Imaginary Friend somehow makes people better is bullshit. That us why you refuse to curb your Fundie cousins b/c deep in your heart you hope they are right: God is a Top

  • spangled

    Where does this dude’s knowledge of Islam come from? Racist facebook memes? “They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, his Son, and they stand condemned”

    Um…guy…..Muslims believe in Jesus. He’s the most mentioned person in the Quran.
    So he’s not just an islamophobe, he’s also a total idiot.

    • The Wanderer

      Jesus is venerated as a prophet, the last one before Muhammad.

      • BeatnikBob

        And Mohammed specifically dictated that Christians AND Jews were not just free of abuse, but PROTECTED as People of the Book. Lotta Muslim terrorists don’t know the Quran any better than the Falwell clan know their New Testament.

        • Trip Space-Parasite

          They could make a pretty strong case that Americans in general are a poor approximation of Christians and should not be protected.

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          stupid people are stupid all over the world

          • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

            Or, as I often remark, stupidity is ubiquitous.

        • It gets worse when you get to the ISIS nutbars who think even the wrong kind of Muslims (like Shi’ites) are infidels who need a killing.

    • GoutMachine

      Well, considering Marilyn Manson knows the Bible better than most Xtians in this country, it’s not surprising.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      That there taqueria shariah thing says they can lie for Allah you can’t believe anything they say about stuff like that.

      • GoutMachine

        Did someone say halal lamb tacos? Sign me up!

        • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

          Halal food trucks on every corner!

          • Thiazin Red

            I live in Manhattan and we have that already. Its pretty great. Rafiqui’s is still the best though.

          • Finnibar87

            Hummus is the new salsa.

          • Werewolf

            You’re thinking of s’chug (fiery Yemenite hot salsa).

          • Ill-Advised

            We made zhoog several years in a row. As my partner told other picnickers: “By volume, it’s mostly parsley.” True words were never more misleading.

          • sarafina

            I don’t care for hummus. I LOVE salsa.

        • weejee

          I falafel that the Congressional Prayer Caucus will burn in Halal.

      • Thiazin Red

        Would that involve either falafel or lamb gyro meat tacos? Because that sounds pretty amazing.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        Yummmm, taqueria trucks

      • sarafina

        cops can lie to get you to confess to crimes you didn’t commit

    • More mentioned than the guy who can’t be drawn in cartoons????

    • doktorzoom

      Oh, come now. They don’t believe he’s god incarnate, and that means hellfire. Simple enough.

  • Panika MCD

    so asking someone who has clearly stated a bias towards those practicing a different faith if that bias extends to the government job they are applying for and may impose a religious test on their not Senate confirmable hires is now a religious test in and of itself? that’s a new one.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      And tricky too. I’m not a religious tester. You are.

      • Panika MCD

        no religious test! no religious test! YOU’RE THE RELIGIOUS TEST!!!

        ???

        • Beanz&Berryz

          THAT’S what I meant to say

      • SeeTrain65

        “I’m not a religious tester, I’m a religious tester’s mate …”

      • mailman27

        They can all lick my religious testicles.

        • Beanz&Berryz

          Old testamenticles or new testamenticles?

    • It all strikes me as being a lot like the ol’ wingnut standby, “Libtards are the real bigots, ‘coz they won’t tolerate my intolerance!”

      • Panika MCD

        these are elected officials. they need to be a little more creative if the wingnuts are going to vote them into office on an “I R the BIGLIEST WINGNUT!” platform.

  • bongo fury

    Bernie would have…oh, never mind.

  • Mavenmaven

    Soon, when Our Leader is venerated religiously, dissenting from Trump may also be prosecuted this way.

  • schmannity

    Sure, Vought can show his butthole in Congress and 64 Congressmen laud him. Just don’t try that in a Vegan joint.

    • elviouslyqueer

      TOO SOON.

      • mailman27

        When I love these comments, sometimes I feel like I’m In Too Deep.

    • CripesAmighty

      We’re gonna get a half million miles outta that story.

  • BadKitty904

    Heaven for climate, Hell for society.

    ~ Mark Twain

    • mancityRed6

      amen.

      • BadKitty904

        I told our pastor, Joe Twitchell, that I hoped to be cremated after my death. He just looked at me and said ‘Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that, if I had your chances…”

        ~ Mark Twain

  • Lance Thrustwell

    Sigh. Sure, it’s a “religious test.” But exactly how much bigotry, hatred and discrimination can you stuff under the tarp of “religious” beliefs before it becomes legitimate to ask about them, or use them as criteria for hiring? Is it limitless?

    Maybe it is limitless, I dunno. I guess all we can do is judge people’s actions. But Mohammed on a Pogo stick, it sure seems like this bible-thumping idiot was just a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Living in a fundie rich part of California (it’s improved somewhat) I used to hear this crap all the time with people sharing their religious beliefs.
      So how can you be a good manager if you believe that gays and unmarried people who have sex and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus are bad people and are going to hell? I can’t discriminate against your religious beliefs when you might use those beliefs to discriminate against someone else?

      • Lance Thrustwell

        It is a sticky wicket. I feel conflicted – I totally see how Bernie broke the rules, and yet I also totally sympathize with his position.

  • Teto85

    If I understand the “Congressional Prayer Caucus” is asking Jeffy Sessions if Bernie’s asking a nominee if the nominee will be using a religious test is a religious test itself?

    I would say that is all fucked up, but this is a family radio program so I will just say that it is all smurfed up to avoid saying anything about the fucked up members of Clowngress and their fuckedupedness.

  • BadKitty904

    OT: Sorry to interrupt, Dok, but it is Friday, after all…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mz_EXHKGHs

    • msanthropesmr

      Do you know how to pony?

      • BadKitty904

        AND the Mashed Potato!

        • msanthropesmr

          Don’t let your backbone slip too much.

          • BadKitty904

            <– *shakes his tail-feathers*

    • proudgrampa

      Nanananananananananananana

      Nananana

      Nanananananananananananana

      Nananana

      • BadKitty904

        Bust a move!

    • mailman27

      In related news, nobody can do the “Shing-A-Ling” like I do. (And it’s probably just as well.)

      • BadKitty904

        Now, THAT one, I don’t know.

  • Crystalclear12

    So, Boise’s getting their potatoes baked today?

    • Mpeg

      Seriously, it is 102 Fahrenheit degrees in Boise today

      Dang. It’s always 102 F degrees somewhere, nowadays~

  • Crystalclear12

    Tone deaf and projecting.
    Good to see the GOP is multitasking.

  • Finnibar87

    I humbly suggest folks understand that Islam honors Jesus Christ as a prophet.

    Oh, and the Koran? It has a whole chapter devoted to Mary. In fact, the Koran mentions Mary, mother of Jesus, far more than the Bible ever does.

    • BeatnikBob

      Well, that may be true, but it doesn’t fit their narrative. Fake news, thusly.

    • msanthropesmr

      Yeah, but Mary’s a chick.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Unless you conform with their dogma, and you say their magic words, it doesn’t even matter if you’re a Christian. Hillary is a devout Methodist and Obama was also a devout Christian, but unless you belong to THEIR club, you might as well be a Wiccan.

      • jesterpunk

        But Obama is a Muslim who was taught to hate America in church by Reverend White or something. Because someone that made sense to the right.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    Speaking of religious tests, when was the last time you heard a Republican stand up and declare he’s NOT a Christian and get elected?

    • bookish

      I wish they would STFU about their religion. Practice any damn thing you want, but keep it to yourself.

    • Lance Thrustwell

      Pure coincidence! I wouldn’t go looking for a pattern or anything.

    • wobbly

      Eric Cantor comes to mind.

      • FlownΩver

        And look how that turned out.

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          given that he parlayed his office and eventual majority leader position into a well paying job as a Wall Street investment banker and managed to get out before the House turned fully nutty, I’d say it turned out pretty well

  • lowenufc

    Shouldn’t Republicans fear pretty much any test? They don’t stay, they don’t like facts, and prefer their “deeply held beliefs” no matter how much they fly in the face of public opinion or truth.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      Or especially science

  • Lance Thrustwell

    Btw, speaking as a gay, transgender, black, Muslim, Republican member of ISIS, I find this post disturbing.

    • Les Appentis De la résistance

      Thrust on!

  • norcalOG

    Some news reports have noted Sessions is still very upset over news of the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg and Lee’s retreat from Gettysburg. He also wants to court martial Gen. Pickett for his failure to complete his failed charge.

    • jesterpunk

      I heard he is sending his best people to find General Sherman too.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        They should just stake out Mr Peabody and catch him at the WABAC machine

        • Mark Lungo

          Or look for the TARDIS, except the Doctor wouldn’t put up with their shit. (And I hope Peabody wouldn’t either.)

  • AuntyMaude

    Oh yeah she’s a broiler out dare, Marge.

  • Daniel Hooper

    The religious test Christian Republicans should really worried about is a test that checks how closely they follow the tenants of their religious faith, because their religours ideas and their actions often seem dramatically opposed.

    • whitroth

      Ah’d rate that a 99% failure rate, Son.

  • SayItWithWookies

    I oppose religious tests for office — but after reading five paragraphs of Vought’s tedious theological exposition on how worshiping the same god does not mean worshiping the same god, I’m inclined to make a goddamn exception.

    • Lance Thrustwell

      I looked at it too. I swear on Jehovah’s holy knickers, I have NO patience with grown-ass supposedly rational people who waste their time on that kind of Augustinian hairsplitting. Not anymore, not in the 21st goddamn century. We all should have outgrown that shit LONG ago and recognized it for the utter waste of mental energy that it is.

  • DesertedPictures

    Here’s the thing: let’s say in a alternate universe a Republican Minority had just blocked a Democratic Candidate, after asking him some questions about his views on atheism and on people that do believe in a god, used his answers to block him… Can we honestly claim that we wouldn’t at that point be angry and call it a religious test for office?

    I think Sanders acted, at least a bit problematic here….

    • Lance Thrustwell

      No doubt. I think… most here would agree with you? Maybe I’m assuming too much. But Bernie’s instincts here are understandable, is what I’m guessing most would also agree to.

      • DesertedPictures

        I do understand that. And I think I’m not the only one that would be happy if people that have certain (homophobic anti-women) religious views would simply not be able to get into office. But in the end it’s the actions and views they take in that office that matter… Because you can’t have a religious test for only one group.

    • Sakonyachen

      I think Sanders is a bit worn out for many reasons. He may have just went for the jugular like he does in debates rather than thinking ahead and asking the question in a way that the bigot couldn’t answer it as though he were being oppressed for his bigotry. I’m sure if a republican minority blocked a candidate for Atheism, they would proudly say so and everyone would move on, because even people who are Atheists, Agnostic or Anti-theists won’t make enough noise to stop the creationists from voting for the same assholes again.

    • ariel_gee_398

      If the questions asked of the atheist were, “Can you be a non-bigot towards religious people?” and “Will you do your job in a non-discriminatory manner?” and the atheist said, “Nope” that would be rejecting the person based on their inability to do the job, not because of their faith or lack thereof. And I think most of us would be fine with that.

      • marxalot

        Kim Whatshername rule.

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      I think it really depends. Did the atheist pen an article that says that people who aren’t atheist are somehow entitled to fewer protections in employment law? Have they engaged in other statements that make me, as the one interviewing them, believe they may be using their faith (or lack thereof) as a means of engaging in improper discriminatory practices?
      I think the line of questioning may have been out of bounds, sure. But the underlying sentiment is still one that I would need answered.

      • DesertedPictures

        True.

      • mailman27

        Thank you for saying it better than I was about to. It’s all about where extremism and policy lie down together.

    • subatomic

      I disagree. I think Sanders was, rightfully, trying to find out whether the nominee would try to impose his religious views from a bully pulpit so I don’t find your analogy valid.

    • doktorzoom

      Frankly, I think so, too — had he moved the question to whether the nominee’s religious beliefs would make him treat Muslims unfairly — which Vought said he would not do — he could have moved on. But the R’s are overreacting badly.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    I’d be OK with a religious test for office as long as it’s graded on a curve…

    • JustDon’tSaySortMyBalls

      and open-book

    • whitroth

      First (and last) test: is the US a Christian nation?

      Hint: Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli, 1797, negotiated under Pres. George Fucking Washington, and *unanimously* approved by the Senate of the 5th Congress, and signed by Pres. John Adams, originalist Founding Fathers everywhere….

      • Ducksworthy

        Fake news.

  • Yr. Gma

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

    • cats530

      on a pogo stick.

  • Rags

    Believe what you want but we have the right to evaluate your actions independent of your beliefs. His actions are disqualifying: his sect membership is not relevant.

  • Bitter Scribe

    I’d be interested to know how far this guy is willing to extend his “principles.” No Jews? No Mormons? No Catholics? Missouri Synod but not Wisconsin Synod?

    Or is there a particular reason he singled out Muslims?

    • Three Finger Salute

      What I want to know is why a paper owned by the Moonies is defending an evangelical Christian.

      • Ducksworthy

        They suspect that the Rev. Moon is not really the returned Messiah he claims to be but they will not oppose him because he’s a political ally.
        Just like they’ll support Israeli fundamentalists because they’re helping bring on Armageddon and when that happens all the Jews will be cast into the lake of fire anyway. And it’s what Jeebus would have wanted.

    • marxalot

      Pastor Bob’s Itty Bitty Baptist Church, but not those splitters at Pastor Dale’s Discount Dominionist Church.

  • marxalot

    It’s heading for 112* here in the valley. Yesterday we broke a “days in a row over 105* F” record! 105* F indeed!

    • proudgrampa

      Ouch!

      Can you say “global warming”?

    • natoslug

      Yeah, we supposedly will break 62 today, as long as the breeze out there doesn’t pick up. I’m thinking it’s going to be an open all the windows, wander about naked day today.

      • OutOfOrbit

        You not nekkid already?

        • natoslug

          Getting there. I prefer to be at least somewhat dressed when the UPS guy swings by, but now that he’s gone, it’s time to swing free, sweet chariot!

  • The free exercise of religion SHOULD mean you go to prison if you try to use the power of Government to punish those whose religious beliefs differ from yours.
    http://m.quickmeme.com/img/70/70bd4d94ba52ee3508e6bf19ce422ecc0eab1369bffb7e486172d4df51e07c8a.jpg

    COUGH COUGH Congressional Prayer Caucus COUGH

  • Three Finger Salute

    They went full Nazi. You never go full Nazi.

  • SCK

    I was shocked not to see my idiot congressional representatives from TN on the list of signatories. Thank Satan I don’t live in Marsha Blackburn’s district. I think I’d kill myself if I did.

    • cats530

      Scott Des Jarlais is pretty awful too or that Diane Blech! Of course, I cannot gloat, I have the ‘delights’ of McClintock, Rohrabacher, Issa, Denham, LaMalfa and McCarthy in my state.

      • SCK

        Oh, yeah, I forgot DesJar-make me puke in my mouth-lais. Kinda like getting really drunk and eating FritoLays, and throwing them up. I’ve got Phil Roe, who’s a POS but remarkably inoffensive and under the radar.

        • Les Appentis De la résistance

          Its horrible we’re paying their salaries.

  • I’d take it seriously, if I were Bernie because the last time a group of dogmatic, ultra-conservative religious leaders went after a Jewish guy, it did not end well for the Jewish guy.

    Poor guy could no longer eat M&Ms anymore… they just kept falling through the holes in his hands.

    • Les Appentis De la résistance

      I thought the Joos were responsible for that.

      • sarafina

        It was an attempt by the Romans to pacify the populace. Messiahs were a dime a dozen then, read Reza Aslan’s ZEALOT. Of course, as always, the established religious creeps did whatever they could to keep the Romans happy.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    102 degrees? Yeah, we should cool down to that by 8 PM or so…

    • cats530

      It’s going to be 105 here in the Sacramento area, though I’m ‘lucky’ in that my little house in the foothills will only be 98 (without central air).

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        110 here- we’re about to set a record for most consecutive days over 105

        • Jukesgrrl

          I’m on my way to a thing at Flake’s Tucson office in half an hour. I’m praying we won’t have to be outside too long.

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            I thought that was Saturday

  • Marceline

    Much like the kerfuffle over CNN and HanAssholeSolo, I loathe everyone involved in this story so I have no opinion.

  • BearLeft

    Jesus, I’m fucking tired of these assholes claiming that any question of their prerogative to impose their fucking superstition on the rest of us is an abridgment of religious freedom! What’s it gonna take for these born-again motherfuckers to realize that they’re the Romans here, NOT the oppressed?!1

    • cats530

      The GOP is mostly composed of narcissistic white male supremacists who want to inflict their trailer park tin gods upon everyone else.

    • Jared Andrew Shoemaker Jr

      that would require a basic acceptance and knowledge of history, which like everything else of basic human knowledge Master Control rejects and so they will too and forever see themselves as the poor defenseless people that are being blamed for destruction they never cause nor crimes they never committed.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    I hope Bernie’s reserved his place in Hell. I just want to visit him from time to time from mine.

  • Nockular cavity

    Seriously, it is 102 Fahrenheit degrees in Boise today and we are not in the mood for that crap. Also we love you.

    “…but if I have to pull this car over one more time, you’re ALL going to regret it!”

  • ImpureScience
  • Gorillionaire

    Mark Walker is my congresscritter. He used to be a Southern Baptist minister, or at least that is what he says. He’s the guy who campaigned on the idea of having the Air Force bomb Mexico, to kill the babies before they grow up to come take away our jerbs. I have seen him a couple of times at events here in his district. He is not all that bright is about the kindest thing I can say about him.

    • Ducksworthy

      Isn’t “used to be a Southern Baptist minister” a euphemism for pedophile?

      • Gorillionaire

        Well, around here, at least in the little towns and rural areas, lots of nare-do-wells and useless sorts call themselves “ministers” because it is a thing that pretty much anybody with the balls or the desperation can do. If you put on a good enough show, someone will eventually give you some money. If nothing else, people will feed you and give you somewhere to hide out for awhile. It’s a pretty easy con if you can stay in character.

        • Ms.MLG on Maui

          Used to live in NC, and this is absolutely true.

        • Les Appentis De la résistance

          Plus no property tax when your house is a church.

  • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

    “Yes, this is from the same crowd that worried about whether Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim and Mitt Romney was Too Mormon to be president.”

    In all seriousness, that should have been the end to this “controversy.”

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      Instead, it turned out to be the opening salvo.

  • uniquename72

    Sanders should change his question to: “Is it your deeply held belief that the entire non-Christian population of Israel is going to burn in hell for all eternity?”

    • Ducksworthy

      And also “And the sooner the better?”

      • Bobathonic

        I think you’d get an “Amen”.

  • Werewolf

    Dear Christianist Congressweasels:

    לכו תזדיינו

  • Internet Hitler

    I love you, too, Dok.

  • Ducksworthy

    It is a known fact that all Joos want to impose Mosaic Law on the United States.

    • Augustus

      your probably a j000 t000 !!!!

  • cats530

    “as The Washington Times puts it, “Russell Vought, a devout Christian,” which is apparently the most relevant thing about him.”

    A devout Christian, eh? Sex scandal involving rent boy in 3, 2, 1 and then he’s out of the running.

  • cats530

    I did a little scratching the surface on Vought. He was Phil Gramm’s right hand man. Why are all these Bush left-overs repopulating Trump’s swamp? Anyone remember Phil and Wendy Gramm? Here is a short CV of their accomplishments:

    “The costly collapse of Enron. Not to mention WorldCom, Global Crossing, etc.

    The costly collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The costly collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, possibly Washington Mutual, etc.

    The 300 point plunge on this morning’s Wall Street stocks.

    Plummeting bank stocks in Europe.

    All, it would seem, the bastard children of Professors Phil and Wendy
    Gramm who have been so wonderfully kind to the U.S. economy. And to
    working-class Americans who are going to pay the bills to clean up the
    Phil and Wendy messes.” Daily Kos – The Legacies of Phil and Wendy Gramm

    • unclejeems

      Yep, Phil Gramm, the original legislative turtle. Never met a millionaire he didn’t like. He started out as a Democrat in the House, but his heart wasn’t in democracy. He was thrown off the Budget Committee as a Democrat, then resigned, ran as a Republican and won his seat back. Then ran for the Senate and won. This was during the 1980s, when Texas was rapidly reverting from democracy back to the kind of popular fascism its citizens enjoy today.

      By the way, his dad was a paralyzed veteran, and his mom made ends meet in large part via disabled veterans pension money, through exactly the kind of program Gramm always wanted to deny to other people. Yeah, Phil Gramm–a real charmer. Makes Dick Cheney look like Little Suzy Rainbow.

  • UnsaltedSinner

    This is a fun game. For instance, if I say that Elvis is still alive and giving concerts on Mars, that can be used against me if I’m nominated for public office in the US. But if I say that my religion says that Elvis is still alive and giving concerts on Mars, no one is allowed to bring it up.

    Great system.

    • davidhollenshead

      So you worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster ???

  • William Cook for now

    “The government violates that right if it determines which faith or non-faith practices are valid or which aspects of a particular faith are legitimate.”

    So the letter started out perfectly defending Sanders’ line of questioning? The cognitive dissonance is gaslighting me hard.

    • cats530

      Is this kind of like the GOP ‘legitimate rape’ thing?

      • William Cook for now

        If we’re talking about the same thing I think that was more a case of a Good Christian Education failing to impart any understanding of how babby is formed.

  • AnnieGetYerFun

    Clearly, Sanders is the REAL Muslim hater for bringing this up.

  • mailman27

    I’m feelin’ the Bern on this one. Senators have the right to explore if the candidate’s views are “extreme” or “outside the mainstream.”

  • Angela Ruzzo

    This is such bullshit that I can’t think of anything to say that does not involve lots of asterisks.

  • davidhollenshead

    “In a blog for The Resurgent, Mr. Vought wrote that Muslims “do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, his Son, and they stand condemned.””

    Perhaps Mr. Vought should be rejected for being an Ignorant Bigot, since Muslims do consider Christ to be a prophet. Muslims also believe in respecting “people of the book”, meaning Jews & Christians. I suspect that the real issue is that Muslims do not view Christ as the “son of god”.

  • President in Exile Firefly

    No snark. The sheer arrogance of someone who thinks that the Lord of All Creation gave your group his final and ultimate revelation. I mean, who do you think you are?

    • The Chosen People! Which no one should want to be, really, since god really sticks it to the people he likes, for some reason…

      • tomamitai

        For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
        And scourges every son whom He receives — Hebrews 12:6 (NKJV)

        • cleos_mom

          There’s an entire branch of the porno industry built around loving and chastening. A mink whip is about as far as I was ever willing to go with that.

      • Winn Willinger

        The “Chosen People” of the Bible were Jews. All these “Confederate Cracker Jesus Fucks” can suck it. Allahu Akbar!

        • Yes, but god has since changed his mind on the whole Jew thing. Now, god really loves himself some inbred hillbillies!

  • Kooolest G

    please god let keith ellison join the congressional “prayer” caucus. “I brought an extra rug if you guys need one!”

  • You know, I have one or two eensy-weensy problems with Mr. Sanders that I GUESS I won’t go back into, here, just because of no reason, but seriously this is really kind of dumb and stupid, even for wingnuts…

  • BrendaKay

    102 in Boise?! Stay cool… As to the story, I’m a little offended that there’s a “prayer caucus”. Doesn’t that run smack into the separation of church and state? If they want to get together and pray for my heathen soul, they better be doing in on breaks (they get plenty of days off ffs) and not spending my tax dollars writing legislation to glorify their church.

  • Kerri Burton Lafaurie

    What is it about Republicans and nailing themselves to crosses? If only they really would.

  • Iam Reading

    Religion is poison

    • akita96th

      More like a mental disease….A severe case of brain washing..Or even a virus that has no known cure..

  • Jeff Mc Donald

    I’m no Bible scholar like most of our red state congress people, but I have this vague memory of a passage in the 25th chapter of Matthew about feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and imprisoned, giving a drink to thirsty people, clothing the naked &c. If the good sister taught it right, it’s the only place Jesus says what you go to hell for. Basically, if you do those things (called works of mercy) God likes you. If you don’t, he kind of asks you to leave. Something like that…I’m paraphrasing. Anywho! I could be wrong. I’m not congressperson.

    • grayone

      I’d venture to say your “vague memory” is spot on, and puts to shame these shameless hypocrites who think their religious beliefs give them a free pass to be racist bigots.

    • Nena

      That’s the old, twisted, liberal, Catholic Bible. The Real American Bible says God helps them who help themselves, it’s the poors’ own fault they’re poors, and queers (and those who bake cakes for them) will burn in Hell.

  • Wuulf

    Morality is doing what’s right no matter what you’re told. Religion is doing what you’re told no matter what’s right.

    • Pecker Rider of Pern

      Alright Hemant, keep it in yer pants

  • fawkedifiknow

    No religious test No religious test You’re the religious test!

    • Augustus

      That phrase is so good for illustrating how reflexive his projection is… you can actually see it happening in real time.

  • Mormos

    i will not relitigate 2016, that is the past.

    Sanders 2020!

    • HazooToo

      No.

    • Old Man Yells at Cloud

      I would more than happy to relitigate 2016. What grounds do we have for suing Lil’Donnie?

      • Augustus

        AOTK

  • pixeloid

    So, you can only reject a bigot for a nomination if the bigoted things he says are in a secular context?

  • Jbrooks9

    Babies not babbies’.

    • Pecker Rider of Pern

      Good catch, bro

    • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

      it’s part of the wonkette style guide.

  • cleos_mom

    “[quoted] literally burn Christian nominees for government appointments at the stake just for stating the obvious truth that Muslims are bound for hell.”

    Literally?????????

    Please explain, Jeffy. Wasn’t a Bernie supporter but I do know that a proposed Congressional auto-da-fe would be out of character.

  • Komsumverweigerer Ron

    Y’know, if Mooslimb-hating is so central to being a Christianist, you’d think JC would have said something about it while he was around.

    • O_Hellllllllp

      As God, he could have. He could have also discussed vaccines and space exploration. However, he chose not to needlessly confuse his contemporaries with groups and concepts that didn’t yet exist.

    • O_Hellllllllp

      Btw, love your profile pic.

  • O_Hellllllllp

    I am a humiliated Wheaton grad, and the original fiasco still upsets me to the point that I cannot care what Sanders did or didn’t do regarding religious tests. Mr. Vought should be opposed, and Sanders did, so good on him.

  • Boojum

    No, this is not a religious test, unless you include a bigotry test as constituting a religious test. If you asked the prospective Surgeon General about his views on female genital mutilation, the fact that it is sometimes justified on a religious basis does not meaning you are making your decision based on his religion.

  • Zyxomma

    Love you, Dok. Sorry it’s so hot in Boise.

  • Putty

    I’d like to hear a Scientologist’s take on this issue. What say you, Pope Miscavige? Bwaah ha ha!!!1!!

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