Senator Bernie Sanders on Wednesday ridiculed Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), over his past remarks on Islam, The Hill reports.
Sanders specifically criticized Vought’s January 2016 article for The Resurgent, titled ‘Wheaton College and the Preservation of Theological Clarity’, where Vought wrote that “Muslims do not have a deficient theology”, and that “they do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, for which they stand condemned”.
Vought’s article was addressing a controversy over a Wheaton professor who said Christians and Muslims worship the same god.
“You 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.” Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?”, Sanders asked during a Senate Budget Committee nomination hearing on Wednesday.
“Absolutely not, Senator. I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith. That post, as I stated in the questionnaire to this committee, was to defend my alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian school that has a statement of faith that includes the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation”, Vought answered, but Sanders continued to press the nominee over another article in which he wrote that Muslims “stand condemned”.
“I understand you are a Christian, but this country are made of people who are not just — I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?”, Sanders asked again, to which Vought answered that he “just wrote a post based on being a Christian”.
Vought is the former VP of the conservative Heritage Action for America, whereas confirmation vote for his nomination remains unscheduled.