Jeff Sessions Doesn’t Think Secularists Can Know the Truth

Jeff Sessions Doesn’t Think Secularists Can Know the Truth January 12, 2017

One telling moment during the confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions was an exchange with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island about Sessions’ long history of criticizing secular attorneys at the DOJ, and secularists in general. Listen to this bit of ridiculous spin:


Citing previous remarks that Sessions has made about secularism, Whitehouse asked, “Does a secular attorney have anything to fear from an Attorney General Sessions in the Department of Justice?”

Sessions answered “no” before launching into a discussion of “a little concern I have that we, as a nation, are reaching a level in which truth is not sufficiently respected, that the very ideal, the idea of truth is not believed to be real and that all of life is just a matter of your perspective and my perspective, which I think is contrary to the American heritage.” He added that the U.S. is “not a theocracy” and that “we should respect people’s views and not demand any kind of religious test for holding office.”

“And a secular person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is religious, correct?” Whitehouse asked.

“Well,” Sessions responded, “I’m not sure.”

This is actually standard Christian right “thinking,” that unless you believe in God you not only can’t understand the truth, you must not, by definition, accept that there is such a thing. This, of course, is a straw man nearly the size of Donald Trump’s ego. And it’s especially ironic that he would make such a claim given that he was nominated by a man who seems bent on breaking the land speed record for most lies per minutes and who is probably the single biggest example of someone who views truth as relative.

For Trump, truth is relative to his needs at any given moment. He’ll say one thing one minute when it suits his needs, then say the exact opposite an hour later if his needs have changed, and at no point does he ever even consider whether what he’s saying is true or not. He could not possibly consider truth and accuracy any less relevant. So clearly Sessions isn’t really concerned about truth either, he’s just using this straw man to attack those who don’t believe in God.

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