Opinion

FAITH FILE: Day Liberals Silence Christians May Be Closer Than You Think

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Mark Tapscott Executive Editor, Chief of Investigative Group

It’s right there in the Constitution. Two letters that together form a single powerful word:

The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” And Article Six clearly states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

What is so hard to understand about that word “no” for liberals like Sen. Dianne Feinstein? Congress can’t establish a religion or prohibit the exercise of another, and no religious tests are ever to be used for government offices or duties. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch-o.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein told Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”

A devout Catholic, Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Feinstein’s comment came during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s recent confirmation hearing on Barrett’s nomination.

The California Democrat didn’t come right out and explicitly declare “Prof. Barrett, you cannot be a federal judge because you are a Catholic.” But then she didn’t have to, having made it clear in a post-hearing statement that she thinks Barrett must set aside her faith if she joins the federal judicial bench.

Barrett was not the only Trump nominee to face such unconstitutional grilling. Earlier this year, Sen. Bernie Sanders attacked Russell Vought, Trump’s nominee as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Vought is a born-again evangelical Christian who, like every Christian before him for 2,000 years, believes Jesus meant it when He said in John 6:65 that “no man comes to the Father but through me.” The Vermont Socialist, who almost became the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, was horrified by Vought’s faith.

Pointing to a prior statement in which Vought said Muslims “do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned,” Sanders declared such belief “indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic.” Sanders said he would vote against Vought because “this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.”

Then Maryland’s hyper-partisan Democrat Sen. Chris Van Hollen chimed in, instructing Vought in the politically correct faith: “I’m a Christian, but part of being a Christian, in my view, is recognizing that there are lots of ways that people can pursue their God … No one is questioning your faith … It’s your comments that suggest a violation of the public trust in what will be a very important position.”

In other words, Van Hollen considers his view of what it means to be a Christian the correct one — even though it contradicts Jesus — while Vought’s view disqualifies him for public office. Van Hollen both imposed a religious test to keep Vought out of government and proclaimed what should be the “correct” answer for everybody on the test.

What liberals like Feinstein, Sanders and Van Hollen are really saying is Christians who believe Jesus is exactly what He claimed to be — the God-man who died on the cross to “take away the sin” of all who accept Him as their Lord and Savior — must check their faith at the door to public office. That’s a religious test, pure and simple, and it is blatantly unconstitutional.

And it’s a short step from telling Christians seeking public office to leave their faith at home to commanding all Christians to shut up and keep their beliefs to themselves in the public square.

That’s when liberals will turn the religion clauses of the First Amendment and Article Six upside down – You can believe anything you want as long as you keep it to yourself and don’t act on it or talk about it in public.

How long till then? Probably sooner than you think if Roy Moore becomes the junior senator from Alabama. A Southern Baptist of firm conviction, Moore became famous for twice defying liberal orthodoxy on issues involving his deepest religious convictions. He’s not one to back down.

And he won’t back down in the U.S. Senate, which guarantees a brutal and messy showdown on these issues. Liberals will not rest until they have used Moore to caricature and, they hope, silence every American Christian who dares to bring their faith to bear on the issues of the day.

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