January 21, 2019

Speaking truth to power: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders identifies the President of the United States as a racist.

Speaking at a NAACP rally celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in South Carolina, Senator Sanders clearly identified President Donald Trump as a racist.

Speaking at the MLK event in South Carolina Monday Sanders declared:

It gives me no pleasure to tell you that we now have a President of the United States who is a racist.

More excerpts from the speech by Sanders:

Today we talk about justice, today we talk about racism. I must tell you it gives me no pleasure to tell you that we now have a President of the United States who is a racist.

 

We have a president of the United States who has done something that no other president in modern history has done. What a president is supposed to do is bring us together. We have a president intentionally, purposely trying to divide us up by the color of our skin, by our gender, by the country we came from, by our religion.

 

Today we say to Donald Trump — We are not going back to more bigotry, discrimination and division.

During his speech Sanders also called for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote for all, declaring:

Racism is alive when the United States Supreme Court and Republican governors make it harder for people of color to vote and when they suppress the vote.

Last November Sanders made similar remarks about Trump. Speaking to Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network Sanders said:

We must be honest and straightforward and say that we have a president who is a racist, a president who is a sexist, a president who is a homophobe. A president who is a xenophobe and a president who is a religious bigot. And it gives me no joy to tell you that.

And Sanders is not the only Democrat willing to speak the plain truth that Donald Trump is a racist. Many others feel the same way. For example, earlier this month Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez identified the President as a racist during a CBS “60 Minutes” interview, declaring:

The President certainly didn’t invent racism, but he’s certainly given a voice to it and expanded it and created a platform for those things.

Bottom line: According to Senator Bernie Sanders and many others, President Donald Trump is a racist.

Bernie Sanders Calls Donald Trump A Racist While Speaking At MLK Rally (Image via Screen Grab)
Bernie Sanders Calls Donald Trump A Racist While Speaking At MLK Rally (Image via Screen Grab)
June 8, 2017

American Hero: Bernie Sanders attacks a Trump nominee for being a dangerous Christian extremist who claims non-Christians are condemned to Hell.

Sanders, the former 2016 presidential candidate and Senator from Vermont, went to town on Russell Vought, Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, for statements Vought made condemning Muslims.

Newsweek reports Sanders criticized Vought for an article he penned for The Resurgent in January 2016. In it, Vought 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.

Sanders challenged Vought’s obnoxious claim, calling it: “indefensible, it is hateful and Islamophobic, and an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.”

Sanders asked Vought about his anti-Muslim views, and asked Vought if his anti-Muslim remarks were “Islamophobic.”

Vought responded by saying that he is “a Christian,” as if “being a Christian” is an acceptable justification for being Islamophobic.

As Vought continued to dodge the senator’s questions, the conversation grew heated. At one point Sanders raised his voice while calling out the repugnant nature of Vought’s evasion and bigotry:

Sanders: I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America, I really don’t know, probably a couple million. Are you suggesting that all of those people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?

Vought: Senator, I am a Christian—

Sanders: I understand that you are a Christian. But this country is made up of people who are not just—I understand that Christianity is the majority religion. But there are other people who have 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?

As one might expect, many Christians were angry that Sanders had dared to call out the vile and repugnant views of Vought, and by extension, those Christians who think like him.

Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore and Evangelist Franklin Graham both issued statements condemning Sanders for speaking the truth about the dangers of Christian extremism.

Even reasonable people are finding fault with Sanders. Writing for Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta says:

Bernie Sanders Was Wrong to Challenge a Christian Nominee’s Theology

Mehta, like other critics, suggest that Sanders violated Article 6 of the Constitution, which says there shall be no religious test for any office.

To be fair, Mehta, and the Christian extremists outraged that Sanders would challenge Vought’s religious bigotry, have a point in suggesting Sanders may have been out of line by questioning Vought’s theology.

However, it can also be argued that Vought’s published remarks condemning Muslims, and in essence all other non-Christians, are relevant, and germane, to his ability to serve the interests of the U.S. Constitution, and all citizens, regardless of religious superstitions, or lack thereof.

Remember, Trump nominee Vought is essentially arguing by implication that all non-Christians are in effect second class citizens, and not equal to Christians.

In addition, suggesting all or most Christians harbor a similar bigotry and prejudice in no way justifies or mitigates said bigotry and prejudice.

Responding to the outrage, a spokesman for Sanders said:

In a democratic society, founded on the principle of religious freedom, we can all disagree over issues, but racism and bigotry—condemning an entire group of people because of their faith—cannot be part of any public policy.

Bottom line: Bernie Sanders is a hero for openly challenging the bigotry and prejudice of Christian extremists being nominated to serve in key government positions.  

Bernie Sanders Blasts Trump Nominee For Being A Christian Extremist (Image via Screen Grab)
Bernie Sanders Blasts Trump Nominee For Being A Christian Extremist (Image via Screen Grab)
February 4, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders knows that “religious freedom” is often used to try and legitimize discrimination and bigotry.

Sanders issued a tweet earlier this week making clear he was aware that Republicans often use the phrase “religious freedom” to try and justify and legitimize the bigotry and hatred of many conservative Christians.

On Friday Sanders tweeted the following:

(We cannot sanction racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination under the guise of “religious freedom.”)

Sanders is correct. Religious freedom is often used by Republicans to justify and legitimize the “racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination” engaged in by conservative Christians.

In fact, almost always, so-called “religious freedom” laws are expressly designed to to make it possible for Christian extremists to demean members of the LGBT community and promote discrimination against same sex couples.

However, if enacted, religious freedom laws would often have the consequence of allowing religious conservatives to discriminate against not only the LGBT population, but also single mothers, divorcees, mixed race couples, and anyone who has had sex outside of marriage.

Sanders rejection of bigotry and discrimination in the name of religious freedom is nothing new. On the 2016 campaign trail Sanders was a consistent critic of the so-called “family values” Republicans often invoke.

For example, while speaking out for women and gays, then presidential candidate Bernie Sanders condemned so-called Republican “family values” while appearing on ABC’s “The View.” On the program Sanders explained what Republicans really mean when they speak of family values:

Look, when Republicans talk about family values, this is what they’re saying: Their family values is that no woman in America should have the right to control their body. Their family values are that if you’re gay, you should not have the right to marry. That’s their family values.

Bottom line: Bernie Sanders knows that “religious freedom” is often Republican code for the justification, normalization, and legalization of conservative Christian bigotry.

(Image via Twitter)
(Image via Twitter)
May 5, 2016

A Trump-loving tow truck driver says God told him to leave a disabled motorist stranded on the Interstate because she supports Bernie Sanders.

South Carolina tow truck driver Ken Shupe said “the Lord” told him to abandon the disabled woman that he came to assist after an accident:

Something came over me, I think the Lord came to me, and he just said get in the truck and leave. And when I got in my truck, you know, I was so proud, because I felt like I finally drew a line in the sand and stood up for what I believed.

Shupe, a 51-year-old from Travelers Rest, South Carolina, said:

I’m a conservative Christian. I’ve just drawn a line in the sand. I’m not going to associate or conduct business with them (Bernie Sanders supporters).

The motorist, 25-year-old Cassandra McWade, recalls the encounter with Shupe:

He said, ‘I can’t tow you … you’re a Bernie supporter.’ I was like, ‘Wait, are you serious? You’re kidding me.’

McWade, who has a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker on the rear fender of her Toyota Camry and another sign supporting Sanders in her rear window, is legally disabled, and said the experience was “terrifying.” She says despite having a handicapped placard hanging on her mirror Shupe simply abandoned her on the Interstate.

After being confronted by the media, Shupe says that he’s pleased with what he did, and says he would do it all again:

I stand by my decision, and I would do it again today if the opportunity presented itself.

Can you feel the Christian love?

Watch this video report posted online by WLOS-TV:

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
March 14, 2016

Toxic Christian privilege; obnoxious antisemitism: another day with Donald Trump.

In an obnoxious display of anti-semitism the opening speaker at a Trump rally calls on Bernie Sanders to convert to Christianity.

Opening a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina this morning, pastor and televangelist Mark Burns warmed up the rowdy Trump crowd by urging Sen. Bernie Sanders to become a Christian.

Displaying an obnoxious insensitivity typical of Trump supporters, the South Carolina televangelist told audience members at Lenoir-Rhyne University as they waited on a Q&A session with Trump and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that Sanders was an atheist and needed to convert to Christianity.

At the rally, Pastor Burns declared:

Bernie Sanders, who doesn’t believe in God, how in the world (are) we going to let Bernie — I mean, really?

Bernie’s got to get saved, Bernie’s got to meet Jesus. He’s got to have a coming to Jesus meeting.

As one might expect, the Trump crowd cheered.

Watch the video below, relevant remarks begin at 5:28:

https://youtu.be/ocHrJI6kEiY
(Image via Twitter)
(Image via Twitter)
February 24, 2016

Declaring “we are in this together,” Bernie Sanders reaffirms his non-religious humanist stance at the CNN Democratic Town Hall.

Appearing at the CNN Democratic Town Hall on Tuesday (Feb. 23) in South Carolina, Sanders was asked to explain what he believes when it comes to religion and spirituality. In an eloquent response, Sanders said:

This is what I believe.

Every great religion in the world — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism — essentially comes down to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. What I have believed in my whole life – I believed it when I was a 22 year old kid getting arrested in Chicago fighting segregation – I’ve believed it in my whole life.

That we are in this together — not just, not words. The truth is at some level when you hurt, when your children hurt, I hurt. I hurt. And when my kids hurt, you hurt. And it’s very easy to turn our backs on kids who are hungry, or veterans who are sleeping out on the street, and we can develop a psyche, a psychology which is ‘I don’t have to worry about them; all I’m gonna worry about [is] myself; I need to make another $5 Billion.’

But I believe that what human nature is about is that everybody in this room impacts everybody else in all kinds of ways that we can’t even understand. It’s beyond intellect. It’s a spiritual, emotional thing.

So I believe that when we do the right thing, when we try to treat people with respect and dignity, when we say that that child who is hungry is my child… I think we are more human when we do that, than when we say ‘hey, this whole world , I need more and more, I don’t care about anyone else.’ That’s my religion. That’s what I believe in. And I think most people around the world, whatever their religion, their color — share that belief. That we are in it together as human beings.

In his brief soliloquy Sanders did not mention God, instead he articulated a stance most would embrace, a stance imbued with the values of secular humanism.

Indeed, Sanders has been a consistent champion of secular values, and often sounds like a humanist. Earlier this year, in an uplifting viral video, the presidential hopeful declared:

The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.

Sanders is not a Christian, and identifies as a secular Jew. Yet he is running for office in a country that is at times hyper-religious, and dominated by Christianity. Thus, for Sanders, navigating the religious question is a tricky proposition.

Yet Sanders has been remarkably consistent and effective in dealing with the religious question, defending his humanist values while explaining why he doesn’t participate in organized religion in an open yet non-offensive manner.

Bottom line: Sanders’ rejection of organized religion coupled with his promotion of humanist values is a welcome development in a political landscape that is often dominated by religious extremists.

Watch as Sanders explains what he believes when it comes to religion and spirituality –

https://youtu.be/YWnvBFwojNM
(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
February 4, 2016

Sounds like humanism: “My spirituality is that we are all in this together” –  Bernie Sanders.

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders promotes the values of humanism while discussing the intersection of his spirituality and his progressive politics during a Democratic Party town hall meeting in New Hampshire.

At one point during Wednesday’s town hall meeting CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Sanders the following question:

You’re Jewish, but you’ve said that you’re not actively involved with organized religion. What do you say to a voter out there who says— and that who sees faith as a guiding principle in their lives, and wants it to be a guiding principle for this country?

Sanders replied:

It’s a guiding principle in my life, absolutely, it is. Everybody practices religion in a different manner. To me, I would not be here tonight, I would not be running for president of the United States if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual feelings.

I believe that, as a human being, the pain that one person feels, if we have children who are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can’t afford their prescription drugs, you know what, that impacts you, that impacts me. And I worry very much about a society where some people spiritually say, it doesn’t matter to me, I got it, I don’t care about other people.

So my spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me. That’s my very strong spiritual feeling.

Sanders’ reply is at once both politically savvy and a compassionate expression of humanist values.

Sanders does not deny that he is “a man of faith” for this would be political suicide. Instead, Sanders articulates what his “very strong religious and spiritual feelings” look like. And it so happens those feelings look a lot like humanism.

Sanders is not a Christian. Yet he is running for president of a country that is at times hyper-religious, and dominated by Christianity. Thus, for Sanders, navigating the religious question is a tricky proposition.

However, Sanders has been remarkably consistent and powerful in dealing with the religion question. Recently, in a wide ranging discussion on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” host Kimmel asked Sanders if he believed in God, and if not, would that hurt his chances of being elected president:

You say you’re culturally Jewish, but you don’t feel religious. Do you believe in God and do you think that’s important to the people of the United States?

In another politically savvy yet compassionate response, Sanders answered:

I am who I am, and what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we’re all in this together. I think it is not a good thing to believe as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people.

Last month, speaking with the Washington Post, Sanders said:

I am not actively involved with organized religion.

However, Sanders continued, reinforcing his humanist stance by noting that:

… all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.

When Sanders says “all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together,” or “my spirituality is that we are all in this together” that sounds a lot like humanism.

Indeed, Sanders has been a consistent champion of secular values, and often sounds like a humanist. Earlier this year, in an uplifting viral video supporting Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, the presidential hopeful declared:

The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.

Bottom line: Sanders’ open and honest rejection of organized religion coupled with his promotion of humanist values is a welcome development in a political landscape that is often dominated by religious extremists.

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)

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January 27, 2016

Bernie Sanders defends humanist values while explaining why he doesn’t participate in organized religion.

Speaking with the Washington Post, Sanders said:

I am not actively involved with organized religion.

Sanders continued, noting that he believes in God, though not necessarily in a traditional manner:

I think everyone believes in God in their own ways. To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.

When Sanders says “all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together,” that sounds like humanism.

Earlier this month, while campaigning in Iowa, the Democratic presidential hopeful told supporters it is “dangerous for governments to get deeply involved with religion.”

When asked for his thoughts on politicians who “base a lot of their legislation on their religious beliefs” at a recent campaign event in Iowa, Sanders answered:

Religious freedom in this country is part of our Constitution, and all of us agree with that. And you have many different religions, and people have the right, in this country, to practice the religion that they believe in.

But we also have a separation between religion and state. We know how dangerous it is, historically, for governments to get deeply involved with religion… Let’s not confuse and merge religion and state. That is not what our Founding Fathers wanted, and they were right.

Last fall, Sanders artfully dodged a pointed question about believing in God by articulating a powerful vision of compassionate humanism while appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

At one point in the wide ranging discussion Kimmel asked Sanders if he believed in God, and if not, would that hurt his chances of being elected president:

You say you’re culturally Jewish, but you don’t feel religious. Do you believe in God and do you think that’s important to the people of the United States?

In a politically savvy yet compassionate response, Sanders answered:

I am who I am, and what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we’re all in this together. I think it is not a good thing to believe as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people.

Indeed, Sanders has been a consistent champion of secular values, and often sounds like a humanist. Earlier this year, in an uplifting viral video supporting Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, the presidential hopeful declared:

The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.

Bottom line: Sanders’ open and honest rejection of organized religion coupled with his promotion of humanist values is a welcome development in a political landscape that is often dominated by religious extremists.

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
January 9, 2016

Rejecting the Republican dream of a Christian theocracy, Bernie Sanders tells supporters it is “dangerous for governments to get deeply involved with religion.”

Justin Scott, an Iowan who takes his politics seriously, asked the Democratic presidential candidate for his thoughts on politicians who “base a lot of their legislation on their religious beliefs” at a recent campaign event in Iowa.

Sanders answered:

Religious freedom in this country is part of our Constitution, and all of us agree with that. And you have many different religions, and people have the right, in this country, to practice the religion that they believe in.

But we also have a separation between religion and state. We know how dangerous it is, historically, for governments to get deeply involved with religion… Let’s not confuse and merge religion and state. That is not what our Founding Fathers wanted, and they were right.

Sanders is right. The attempt by today’s Republican party to “confuse and merge religion and state” is dangerous, un-American, and a repudiation of the secular values upon which this nation was founded.

This is not the first time the progressive candidate has championed secular values. Earlier this year, in an uplifting viral video supporting Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, the presidential hopeful declared:

The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.

Sanders, the longest-serving Independent in Congressional history, is currently a U.S. Senator from Vermont, and a favorite among progressives looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Sanders is a friend to freethinkers, and the enemy of conservative Christians. Religious News Service describes Sanders as “unabashedly irreligious” and “the anti-Bible thumper,” noting:

Sanders is the presidential contender most willing to dissociate himself from religion. Though he identifies as Jewish and by Jewish law is Jewish, he has freely acknowledged that he is not a religious person. He scored a solid zero from Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in its most recent scorecard and a 100 from the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Scoring a zero from Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition is a badge of honor, and should be a ringing endorsement to the ears of every humanist, every atheist, every freethinker.

Last fall, Speaking out for women and gays, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders condemned so-called Republican “family values.”

Sanders, appearing on ABC’s “The View,” said “We have a very right-wing extremist Republicans Party” before explaining what Republicans really mean when they speak of family values:

Look, when Republicans talk about family values, this is what they’re saying: Their family values is that no woman in America should have the right to control their body. Their family values are that if you’re gay, you should not have the right to marry. That’s their family values.

And speaking at the conservative Christian Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, a blunt and plainspoken Sanders stated:

The views that many at Liberty University have, and I have, on a number of important issues, are very, very different. I believe in women’s rights and the right of a woman to control her own body. I believe in gay rights and gay marriage. Those are my views and it is no secret.

Currently Sanders enjoys a loyal and vocal base of support, yet it is not clear if he has the votes to beat Hillary Clinton for the nomination. However, ABC is reporting that Sanders’ popularity is making the Clinton campaign “nervous.”

(H/T Friendly Atheist –  Watch Sanders tell supporters it is “dangerous for governments to get deeply involved with religion” below. )


(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
October 28, 2015

Speaking out for women and gays, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders condemns so-called Republican “family values.”

Sanders, appearing on ABC’s “The View” on Monday, declared:

We have a very right-wing extremist Republicans Party.

Sanders explained what Republicans really mean when they speak of family values:

Look, when Republicans talk about family values, this is what they’re saying: Their family values is that no woman in America should have the right to control their body. Their family values are that if you’re gay, you should not have the right to marry. That’s their family values.

Sanders went on to contrast the GOP’s idea of family values with his own:

Mine are, if you are a mom and have a baby, you have the right to stay home with paid family and medical leave for at least three months. How’s that?

That sounds good. Paid family and medical leave sounds like true family values, unlike the so-called Republican “family values” which is ultimately code for the bigotry and prejudice that animates the conservative Christians currently dominating the GOP.

This is not the first time the presidential hopeful has challenged Republican “family values.” In a blistering assault earlier this summer, Sanders again exposed the dangerous hypocrisy of the conservative Christian base of the GOP while speaking at a rally in Littleton, New Hampshire. As the crowd at the Littleton Opera House cheered uproariously, Sanders declared:

Many of my Republican colleagues who come through New Hampshire and Iowa and so forth, they often talk about family values.

They just love families. But all of you know what they mean by family values. And what they mean by family values is that the women of this country should not have the right to control their own bodies.

I disagree.

What they mean by family values is that women are not smart enough to be able to purchase the contraceptives they need.

I disagree.

And furthermore, what they mean by family values is that our gay brothers and sisters should not be able to get married or enjoy the other benefits of the American legal system.

I disagree.

We believe in strong families, but our view’s just a little bit different than our Republican friends. When we talk about family values, what we mean is the United States should end the international embarrassment of being the only major country on Earth that does not guarantee family and medical leave to all of our families.

Sanders is a friend to freethinkers, and the enemy of conservative Christians. Religious News Service describes Sanders as “unabashedly irreligious” and “the anti-Bible thumper,” noting:

Sanders is the presidential contender most willing to dissociate himself from religion. Though he identifies as Jewish and by Jewish law is Jewish, he has freely acknowledged that he is not a religious person. He scored a solid zero from Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in its most recent scorecard and a 100 from the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Scoring a zero from Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition is a badge of honor, and should be a ringing endorsement to the ears of every humanist, every atheist, every freethinker.

Earlier this summer, in an uplifting viral video supporting Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, the presidential hopeful rejected divine intervention, declaring:

The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.

Ane earlier this month, Sanders artfully dodged a pointed question about believing in God by articulating a powerful vision of compassionate humanism while appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

At one point in the wide ranging discussion Kimmel asked Sanders if he believed in God, and if not, would that hurt his chances of being elected president:

You say you’re culturally Jewish, but you don’t feel religious. Do you believe in God and do you think that’s important to the people of the United States?

In a politically savvy yet compassionate response, Sanders answered:

I am who I am, and what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we’re all in this together. I think it is not a good thing to believe as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people.

Sanders is spot on. There can be no doubt that when Republicans use the phrase “family values” they are not talking about helping or even protecting American families. Instead, “family values” has come to represent a mean-spirited agenda fueled by religious superstition and ignorance.

The Republican agenda is one that would deny women access to birth control, to abortion, to reproductive health services; an agenda that would deny LGBT people basic rights, like the right to marry the one they love, like the right to work and earn a living without fear of discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, like the simple right to be treated equally and with dignity under the law.

Sanders, the longest-serving Independent in congressional history, is currently a U.S. Senator from Vermont, and a favorite among progressives looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

(Image via Facebook)
(Image via Facebook)

 

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