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:
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