Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions is “not sure” if a secular person understand the truth as well as a religious person.
At Sessions’ confirmation hearing earlier today, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) asked the Attorney General nominee if he believes a secular person has the same understanding of the truth as a religious individual.
Well, I’m not sure.
Sessions’ answer is alarming.
— Americans United (@americansunited) January 10, 2017
As an afterthought, after saying he was “not sure” if secular people understand the truth as well as religious people, Sessions added:
We’re going to treat anybody with different views fairly and objectively.
While this nod towards fairness may placate some, the fact is Sessions is indicating that secular views are “different views” – the implication being that these secular views are different from (and inferior to) Christian views.
This is not the first time Sessions has denigrated people holding secular views. In a notorious incident last June Sessions insulted Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor for having a “secular mindset.”
At the time Sessions argued that Justice Sotomayor’s “secular mindset” was “directly contrary to the founding of our republic.” Such a remark indicates Sessions does not understand or respect the secular values upon which the nation was founded.
Writing for Huffington Post, Herb Silverman recounts the following story concerning Sessions’ religious bias, noting that Sessions equates a belief in God with telling the truth:
In 2001, Sessions rebuked then-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) for swearing in witnesses without requiring them to use the phrase “So help me God,” which is not a constitutional requirement. Sessions argued, “Ninety-five percent of the people believe in God,” as if majority rules when it comes to religious freedom. Sessions also equated swearing to God with telling the truth.
In fact, Sessions has demonstrated a profound lack of respect and understanding for the U.S. Constitution, and the secular values intrinsic to the document. In fact, Sessions has even gone so far as to claim the separation of church and state is “unconstitutional.”
Bottom line: Sessions is a dangerous Christian extremist, with little or no respect for secular Americans.
— American Atheists (@AmericanAtheist) January 10, 2017