“This [Senate Judiciary] Committee isn’t in the business of deciding whether the dogma lives too loudly within someone. This committee isn’t in the business of deciding which religious beliefs are good and which religious beliefs are bad and which religious beliefs are weird.
This committee isn’t in the business of deciding which religious beliefs are good and which religious beliefs are bad and which are religious beliefs are weird. I just want to say as someone who is self-consciously a Christian, we’ve got a whole bunch more really weird beliefs; forgiveness of sins, the virgin birth, resurrection from the dead, eternal life…they’re a whole bunch of really, really crazy ideas that are a lot weirder than some Catholic moms giving each other advice about parenting.”
Sen. R2K Ben Sasse
Republican – Nebraska
First, it should be known that I’m not a fan at all of Ben Sasse since he serves as the poster child of R2K in the US Senate. Sasses is joined at the hip with the Escondido West-Cal boys and shares their characteristics of smarminess and condescension. Secondly, I’m not a fan of Sasse because he believes in a hard separation of church and state as this quote reveals.
1.) Sasse says that “it (government) isn’t in the business of deciding which religious beliefs are good and which religious beliefs are bad,” and on first blush this sounds noble and even-handed, especially as it is heard in American ears. However, it is utter tripe. Think about it for a second… let’s pretend the Senate Judiciary committee has a candidates for judge that comes before it. This judicial candidate is Hindu and still believes in the ancient Hindu religious practice of Suttee where widowed wives are burned alive on the funeral pyre with their deceased husbands. Now, I don’t know about Sen. Sasse but I want my judiciary Committee to ask Justice Bavishi if he thinks this religious belief is good, bad, or weird. Call me picky. Alternatively, I might want my judiciary committee to ask Justice Abdallah if he believes with Islam that Hijra is a perfectly legitimate way to go about stealth invasion of Western Christian lands, or even if Justice Abdallah believes with his religion that it is proper to “kill the infidel.” Yet again, I might want my Judiciary Committee to ask Justice Yellowhawk if he believes, consistent with his Native American religious beliefs that smoking peyote is a perfectly acceptable way to prepare for hearing arguments before his court.
The point is that Sen. Sasse, following a long and storied tradition of idiocy on this matter is just flat out wrong. It most certainly IS the business of the Judiciary Committee to decide which religious beliefs are good and which are bad and to pretend that isn’t true is like pretending that Sasses is qualified to be a US Senator.
Honestly, on this point it is my conviction that Sen. Sasses is saying that when it comes to the public square generally and the judiciary committee particularly Jesus Christ has given up His Lordship. Christians, like Sasse, don’t have to use Christ’s standard of right and wrong and good and bad in order to measure the beliefs and belief systems of future candidates. Come come my friend Sen. Sasse how is this not treason against the Lord Jesus Christ?
2.) Now, Sen. Sasse admits he is a Christian but then turns around and says that his beliefs are crazy and weird? I find that to be really really crazy and weird of Sen. Sasse to say that. Were I Sen. Sasse’s Pastor I’d be calling the man on the carpet for referring to the beliefs of Christianity as crazy and weird.
In the same speech Sen. Sasse offered,
“Religious liberty is the basic idea that how you worship (and it) is not of the government’s business…. so, whether you worship in a mosque or a synagogue or a church, your faith or your lack of faith is not the government’s business… This is a fundamental American belief.”
1.) Sen. Sasse styled his speech as a 8th grade civics lesson, so for the sake of all 8th graders everywhere let me just say that Sasse is, once again, historically ignorant. Now, we must concede that originally the US Constitution forbid the FEDERAL government from having any business in what the states did when it come to establishment of religion in their respective states. However, it could well be the business of State governments themselves (and often was the business of state governments) to legislate on how people worshiped and you can bet the farm that there was no way in Hades that a Muslim worshiping in a Mosque or a Jew worshiping in a synagogue would have ever served in public office were many of the state constitutions required public office holders to hold Christian doctrines. So, while Sasse is right that Religious Liberty is fundamental American right in terms of the Feds not being allowed to dictate to the states, Sasse is wrong that Religious Liberty is a fundamental American right in terms of the State governments have established religions.
2.) Please note that Sasse has said that it is the government’s business to ensure that no American who’s faith requires them to exclude all other faiths is allowed to have any input in the US Government. As such Sen. Sasse is saying only those who practice the American religion that allows for all faiths in the public square can participate in the public square. Those who believe that only one true faith that excludes all other religions are not allowed in the public square and men like Sasse will make sure they can’t come in.
I don’t agree with Sasse’s #1 principle of civics. Per Sasse that makes me “un-American.” Problem is, is that this was never true of historic Americans but instead Sasse is trying to push the worn out worlview of Enlightenment Classical Liberalism. However, this worldview has died of its own excesses and Sasse isn’t bright enough to realize it. Classical Liberalism was always a myth but it was a myth that could work when the pluralism you were asking from it was restricted to various expressions of Christianity as held by those of European descent. However, Classical Liberalism, as we are seeing, cannot work in a social-order comprised of people who embrace absolutely antithetical beliefs.