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Bernie Sanders slams the GOP’s Religious Right: ‘America was not intended to be a theocracy’

Directly addressing the Religious Right’s stranglehold on the modern day GOP, Bernie Sanders turned his focus towards conservatives who believe America is a “Christian nation,” saying that it’s “dangerous for governments to get too deeply involved in religion.

Directly addressing the Religious Right’s stranglehold on the modern day GOP, Bernie Sanders turned his focus towards conservatives who believe America is a “Christian nation,” saying that it’s “dangerous for governments to get too deeply involved in religion.

At a recent campaign event in Iowa, an audience member asked the Democratic presidential candidate for his thoughts on politicians who “base a lot of their legislation on their religious beliefs.”

“Religious freedom in this country is part of our Constitution, and all of us agree with that,” Sanders replied. “And you have many different religions, and people have the right, in this country, to practice the religion that they believe in.”

“But we also have a separation between religion and state,” Sanders continued. “We know how dangerous it is, historically, for governments to get deeply involved with religion… Let’s not confuse and merge religion and state. That is not what our Founding Fathers wanted, and they were right.”

Sanders is rapidly establishing himself as a candidate who will stand up for secular values, along with protected religious freedoms. In a September piece by the Religion News Service, author Lauren Markoe described the candidate as “unabashedly irreligious” and “the anti-Bible thumper.”

Sanders is the presidential contender most willing to dissociate himself from religion. Though he identifies as Jewish and by Jewish law is Jewish, he has freely acknowledged that he is not a religious person. He scored a solid zero from Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in its most recent scorecard and a 100 from the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Watch Sanders make his comments in the video below:

Featured image via Flickr

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. FRANK

    January 9, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Bernie is 100% correct that the Religious Reich are a major problem for most citizens in this country! I think it’s time to start taxing religions since they want to be so involved in government and politics! You can’t have it both ways!

  2. Carolyn Clark

    January 9, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Extreme right-wing Christians are claiming that there is a “war against Christianity” being waged in this country. To those of us of other religions and no religion at all, it looks, and has for decades, that ChrisTheir aggressiveness in using Christian values upon people of all religions, despite the fact that many religions do not share those values, is offensive and frightening. If Christians succeed in overturning the First Amendment and making Christianity the State religion of this country, it will not be long before mosques,and temples are shut down, no doubt for some manufactured excuse such as “It’s for the security of our nation.” This mustn’t happen.

  3. Tom Moe

    January 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Only the extreme are wanting a theocracy. The issue is not to get caught up in the extremes which are you can only have a theocracy or an atheistic society.

  4. Tom Moe

    January 10, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    These types of posts are doing America a dis-service as it takes the radical and presents it as the normal. Much like Rox News, rather than build bridges and bringing understanding, it simply fuels fear.

  5. Dale H

    January 11, 2016 at 11:01 am

    False equivalency, Tom. Please show me examples of those promoting an ‘atheistic society’ as opposed to demanding a
    government that is secular in it’s administration of laws…..as the US Constitution requires.

  6. Tom Moe

    January 11, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Let’s discuss that one. One needs to define the word “secular.” As you know, that is not in the constitution. The 1st amendment is about not preferring one religion. It is also about administrating for the free expression of religion.
    Freedom from Religion crosses over the line and wants government to provide them with a society free from religion. One thinks that would be an atheistic society.
    Are we on the same page.

  7. Dale H

    January 11, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    No, not on the same page. Firstly the Bill of Rights IS part of the Constitution, as are all of the successive Amendments.

    Secular is implicit in NO law respecting an ESTABLISHMENT of religion. No ‘State church’, in other words.

    There is no restriction of free expression of Religious belief, save for prohibition of state sponsorship of that belief. That’s why no prayer in public schools, sanctioned by the schools..

    How would you like to hear the Muslim morning call to prayer piped in over the intercom in a public school? Right, that’s why you never will hear it.

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