Warning! Politically Charged Post!
A little over 6 years ago I made an oath to protect the Constitution of the Untied States against any enemy, both foreign and domestic. Now I do not believe that the Constitution is an absolutely perfect framework for a government, but I do believe that it is really, really good, and it has built into it ways to adapt and change to become more perfect.
And over the past 6 years I’ve had lots of questions about that oath, and how I look at the constitution compared to how I have seen other Americans interact with it. I have found that I am more keen to a traditional view of the Constitution, taking it for its original meanings, rather than trying to contextualize and have it adapt to our current culture. I’ve also wondered how I would respond and react if the Constitution were to change during my enlistment in the Marine Corps, because suddenly I would have to face that what I had sworn an oath to had changed, and I would be responsible to defend the changed document. I struggled with this in regards to the shifting attitude towards gun legislation over the recent past. With the rise of gun violence there seemed to be a push towards more and more limits on what is available to civilians, which I see as a violation of the right guaranteed to Americans in the Second Amendment. And as I wrestled with this question, I really did have a sense of acceptance that something that I believe is really good in regards to our government (the self-protection of its citizens) could go away, in a peaceful and legal way, and I would be responsible to defend a Constitution that was no longer the one I had sworn an oath to.
That’s more of a preamble than anything else to what I’m am going to talk about now. I wanted to ensure that there was context to what I am going to say, and hopefully separate it from some of the rhetoric out there, and make it it clear that what I’m saying is coming from me the patriot, not me the Christian. (though the line meshes between the two because I hope I’m the type of patriot that a Christian ought to be)
Because this recent confirmation hearing of Russel Vought by Bernie Sanders really ruffled my feathers. And I hope, and do believe, that my feathers would be just as ruffled if the candidate was of a different faith then Christianity because than the distinction between my faith and my patriotism would be a bit more pronounced. But as it is I need to say something about their exchange, and how inappropriate Sen. Sanders was. Because Bernie went after Vought based solely on his religious beliefs. Vought had written an article that expressed his belief that salvation is through Christ alone, and that anyone without faith in Jesus Christ is condemned by God, which includes Muslims, as they have a different set of belief concerning Jesus. Sanders saw this as Islamophobic, and as a disqualifier for Vought to serve as a civil servant. He said in summery, “I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about, I will vote no.”
Sander’s used faith as the test that disqualified Vought in his eyes from holding office. That is a clear violation of Article VI of the Constitution. Which makes me view Sen. Sanders as an enemy of the Constitution. And I don’t really know what to do with that. How do I, as someone who swore an oath to protect the Constitution, defend the Constitution in this instance? Violence (which is the undergirding of that oath) is obviously the wrong choice in this instance. I knew I couldn’t just let it go though, my spirit was much too upset to not say something. So I decided to write this, and to have my voice out there, saying, “Bernie Sanders, your words and actions have violated the Constitution I have sworn to defend. I oppose you, and your use of religious tests as a qualifier for public office!”