by Richard A Viguerie
When the Democratic Party scrubbed the mention of God from its platform and delegates to the Democratic National Convention booed any mention of God it was clear to most movement conservatives that Democrats had become the official party of the anti-religious Left.
What was not clear then, but is crystal clear now, is just how vicious and deeply personal the Democrats’ war on professing Christians, Christian values and Christianity in general would become.*
The clearest evidence of this Democratic Party war on Christianity is the very well-organized campaign now going on to prevent professing Christians from serving in the federal government or holding Senate-confirmed federal appointments.
This campaign has already claimed one victim: Dr. Mark Green, a West Point grad, decorated Army flight surgeon and Tennessee State Senator, who was widely assumed to be the frontrunner to be the next Governor of Tennessee, but who suspended his campaign for Governor when President Donald Trump tapped him to be the next Secretary of the Army.
My friends at the Tennessee Star did a great job of documenting the lies and smears leveled at state Senator Green, but the most interesting fact revealed in their interview with Green was that many of the smears were focused on Green’s Bible-believing faith.
“…the only thing they did get correct were my views on religion,” Green told the Tennessee Star, “I am a creationist. I believe God created us in His image. I am an unapologetic Christian.”
Based on his profession of faith, the radical Left and their complicit allies in the establishment media portrayed Green as a homophobe and anti-Muslim extremist, who was unacceptable to serve as Secretary of the Army because of his Bible-believing Christian faith.
Green told the Tennessee Star he is concerned that other nominees who are Christians may suffer the same fate if the process allowing a single hold to block a nomination continues to prevail over fairness, truth and qualifications.
“We can expect the extremist Left to promote their agenda aggressively and without any regard for the truth,” Green says, “But those of Faith must stand up and fight against their destructive and dangerous agenda and vigorously defend those fellow Christians who step up to serve, or we will see our country continue to spiral out of control.
And it turns out Dr. Green’s concerns were well placed.
This past week former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders attacked Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, for his profession of Christian faith.
Russell Vought is a graduate of Wheaton College, a highly regarded evangelical Christian college in Illinois, that has a statement of faith, reaffirmed annually by its Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff, that provides a summary of biblical doctrine that defines the biblical perspective which informs a Wheaton education.
Vought once wrote an article for the online publication The Resurgent supporting that statement of faith and defending Wheaton College’s decision to terminate a professor who declared that Muslims and Christians “worship the same God.”
In defending his alma mater’s decision Vought wrote, “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…”.
Senator Sanders, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, asked Vought whether he thought the post was Islamophobic. Vought said no and attempted to defend his writing against Sanders’ repeated questions, stating, “I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith.”
After being badgered by Sanders, Vought reiterated his faith saying, “Senator, I wrote a post based on being a Christian and attending a Christian school that has a statement of faith that speaks clearly with regard to the centrality of Jesus Christ in salvation.”
Editor’s Note: See John 3:18 – Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And more generally: John 3:16-19, John 14:6, 2 John 1:9-11, Luke 12:8-9, Matthew 10:32-33, 1 John 4:2-3, Revelation 20:11-15, Revelation 21:8.
Sanders said he planned to vote against Vought, calling his views “indefensible” and “hateful.”
This attack on Vought’s Bible-based faith was supported by Michael Stone, writing at Progressive Secular Humanist, said that Sanders is “a hero for openly challenging the bigotry and prejudice of Christian extremists being nominated to serve in key government positions.”
But Far-Left Socialist Bernie Sanders isn’t the only Democrat who opposes practicing Christians serving in government.
Maryland’s Democratic Senator Chris Van Holland chimed in to support Sanders’ opposition to Vought, and Sanders and 11 other Democrats are on record opposing another Trump nominee for his faith.
In a two-page letter, 12 Senate Democrats said past statements by Roger Severino, director of the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, disqualified him to serve as President Trump’s assistant secretary of human rights at HHS.
Severino, a practicing Catholic, once wrote in support of Kim Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, Ky., who instituted a “no licenses” policy in her office after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order granting same-sex couples the right to obtain marriage licenses nationwide.
Davis’ stand against being forced to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples was hardly “extremist” or without mainstream legal and Catholic doctrinal support.
It was supported by many Christian and religious liberty organizations and by Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, who asked the court to “temper its response” and argued the laws of the state had not yet caught up with the Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage legal across the whole United States.
More importantly, Severino’s views are entirely consistent with Catholic doctrine on the subject, which Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop Richard J. Malone and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski summarized as:
Pope Francis has been very clear in affirming the truth and constant teaching of the Church that same-sex relationships cannot be considered “in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Laws that redefine marriage to deny its essential meaning are among those that Catholics must oppose, including in their application after they are passed. Such witness is always for the sake of the common good.
Severino was also attacked by Democrats for objecting to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against a Texas anti-abortion law and accused Planned Parenthood of “every trick in the book to get federal money by trying to pretend that its core business is anything but industrial-scale abortion.”
In that regard Severino was doing nothing but stating facts, and I might add, reflecting the views of his new Boss – President Donald Trump.
Signing the letter were Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
That Democrats would oppose the nominees of a Republican president is no surprise, especially in today’s hyper-partisan atmosphere – but this isn’t simple partisan politics.
Democrats understand better than establishment Republicans that personnel is policy, and that to be successful in stripping America of its Judeo-Christian constitutional and cultural foundation they must first ensure that no practicing Christians occupy positions where their values will influence policy.
The Democrats’ successful strategy to derail the nomination of Dr. Mark Green and their vicious attacks on Russell Vought and Roger Severino should alert all Christians that the war for the soul of America is entering a new phase, and if we don’t stand together to defend these good men and women who are called to public office when they are attacked, then not only will Christians be driven from government, but so will our values.
*I note for the record that there’s a good bit of evidence that a similar, but subtler, campaign is being mounted against observant Jews, but that’s a subject for another column.