I ran into an article on line the other day, Do You Really Have Religious Freedom If You Can’t Act on or Even Express Your Beliefs? and thought about a conversation I had with a liberal who was an athiest. I had commented about how much of a bigot Bernie Sanders was. Don’t remember the Bernie?
Bernie is pretty ignorant to think that the Muslims don’t believe the same thing. Bernie is also pretty ignorant of what it means to be Christian. But was he out of line? Now, this brought about a great conversation and allowed me to explore the double standard that often is faced.
First and foremost, what Bernie did was wrong. Whether it was his intent or not, Bernie was attacking this man for his faith – not for his ability to do the job. I felt these questions are difficult to answer. I also feel that maybe Mr. Voight could have given a better answer. Now, what Russell Voight believes has absolutely no bearing on his ability to do the job – to an extent – and is clearly a violation of the Constitution:
…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. – Article VI
The question, which Bernie did not ask was how his faith would work out in the office he was to hold. I am Christian, I believe that Christianity is the only way to salvation– specifically the belief that Christ died and rose again.
Here is where the two kingdoms theology comes in and was something that my friend couldn’t comprehend. Apparently Christians are so wrapped up in faith that they simply cannot do anything but enforce their beliefs on those who do not believe (and I blame American Evangelicalism for their proclaiming that God has ordained America to be a Christian country). The question is, will Mr. Voight only provide services and only work for the benefit of Christians or will he set his beliefs aside for the benefit of all Americans. I’m not really sure how much a budget office guy can do to force his beliefs on others in their role…but I could be wrong. It really sounds like a boring job. What is ironic, however, is that Islam historically is for the eradication of those who don’t believe in others. Yet, Christians have historically lived in co-existence with others and been the Samaritans to others.
I am not sure how religious Bernie Sanders is. I think he is just a cultural jew. Maybe he has some faith, but tolerance is not about attacking someone for their beliefs but seeking first to understand. Maybe if Bernie came right out and asked Mr. Voight how his beliefs would influence his job I’d have been happy.
Tolerance begins with understanding each other. Tolerance is a two way street. It is amazing the reaction I get when I get to talk with people who I don’t agree with and they find out that I don’t agree with yet am still their friend. I may not agree with you, I may not like what you do, but I will still love you. And I think of David Puddy….