GOP Senate candidate claims faith trumps law

On the road to a Christian theocracy: Nebraska Republican and 2014 Senate candidate Ben Sasse claims he is justified in breaking any law that conflicts with his religious faith.

The Tea Party darling and Christian extremist is considered the heavy favorite to win retiring Republican Mike Johanns’s Senate seat this November.

The following is an excerpt from Sasse’s website:

“Ben Sasse believes that our right to the free exercise of religion is co-equal to our right to life. This is not a negotiable issue. Government cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances. He will fight for the right of all Americans to act in accordance with their conscience.”

Sasse’s political posture is frightening. His blatant theocratic stance represents a clear and present danger to the secular values upon which this nation was founded.

MSNBC reports Sasse enjoys the backing of Sen. Ted Cruz, former Gov. Sarah Palin, and other major Christian conservative heroes. While Media Matters reports Sasse enjoys support from various right wing extremists groups, including FreedomWorks, Tea Party Express, Family Research Council, and Senate Conservatives Fund.

Sasse’s claims about religious freedom are truly alarming, and demonstrate a profound failure to grasp the very essence of the U.S. Constitution. To claim that “Government cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances” is to open the door to all sorts of nefarious shenanigans.

Will fundamentalists be allowed to stone adulterers? Will faith healing parents be allowed to deny children life saving health care? Will racists be allowed to reclaim Jim Crow and slavery after consulting with the Bible?

The implications of Sasse’s cavalier and misguided claims are mind boggling. Indeed, if Sasse was to be consistent, he would have to admit that Muslims are entitled to practice Sharia law, with all its attendant horrors and potential for abuse.

Yet reading between the lines, it seems clear that when Sasse and other Christian conservatives like him say “religious freedom” what they actually mean is free to be a conservative Christian, and nothing else.

Sasse may be an ignorant fool, he may be a cynical politician, he may be both. Whatever he is, one thing is certain: Sasse is a poster boy for everything wrong with the Republican party, and by extension, the United States of America.

Sasse wears his religion on his sleeve, and he pledges to break laws and violate the U.S. Constitution to promote his version of a bronze age superstition. He is a theocrat, and he is dangerous.

Republican Senate candidate Ben Sasse

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

- (Often attributed to) Sinclair Lewis

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