The “Inquisition” of a Christian Nominee in New Hampshire

 

Frank Edelblut’s New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Hearing
Photo credit: Councilor Joe Kenney’s Facebook page.

Frank Edelblut is a New Hampshire businessman and former state representative who ran for governor last year. He lost the Republican primary by 800 votes to Chris Sununu, who went on to win the governorship in November. Governor Sununu has now nominated Edelblut to be the state’s Commissioner of Education. There’s only one problem (for Democrats): Edelblut is a Christian.

During a marathon seven-hour public hearing on Tuesday in Concord, Andru Volinsky, a Democrat, grilled Edelblut about his Christian faith. Volinsky is a freshman member of New Hampshire’s Executive Council, a five-member body that shares some power with the governor and which confirms the governor’s nominees.

The hearing was described as an “inquisition” by Anne Marie Banfield, an education liaison with Cornerstone Action, a New Hampshire think tank.

During the public hearing, Volinsky focused on Edelblut’s time on the board of Patrick Henry College, a Christian school. The video, provided to Breitbart News by Banfield, shows Volinsky saying, “Patrick Henry College has a required oath of faith for its agents, and I assume, as either a board member or curriculum developer, you had to sign on to that oath of faith —”

Edelblut interjected, “Well, I don’t know that I did.”

“Well, I’ll show you the website that says all of its agents have to subscribe to the oath of faith,” Volinsky responded. “And the oath of faith is tied to a biblical worldview that also requires its agents to subscribe to — and, again, I wouldn’t even begin to ask you about this if it wasn’t relevant to what we’re doing here. …The oath of faith requires you as an agent to believe in the complete entirety of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament as ‘inerrant, original autographs, and infallible.’”

New Hampshire blogger Kimberly Morin blasted Volinsky’s “bigotry” in a blog post at nhpoliticalbuzz.org, writing:

Apparently Volinsky assumed that Edelblut would somehow infuse his religious beliefs into his position as commissioner despite facts to the contrary. Volinsky was actually interrupted by the council to end his “grandstanding” and actually get to his questions. The man seemed like an angry prosecutor cross-examining an innocent man, accusing him of crimes he didn’t commit. It was truly a low moment for the Executive Council.

Late in the proceeding — after a motion to confirm Edelblut had been made and seconded — Volinsky asked whether Sununu had consulted with the state Board of Education prior to the nomination, as required by statute. The hearing was adjourned after Sununu consulted with Attorney General Joseph Foster (a Democrat appointed to a four-year term by Sununu’s predecessor, Maggie Hassan, who is now a New Hampshire senator).

State Representative Glenn Cordelli (R., Tuftonboro), who sits on the House Education Committee, said: “It was a shameful treatment of the governor’s nominee for Commissioner of Education. To grill him like a court-room defendant and question his faith was beyond the bounds of decency, and he deserves an apology.”

Republicans hold a majority on the council, so Edelblut is expected to be confirmed when the hearing is reconvened on February 15.

There are 30 comments.

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  1. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    So this is another example of Democrats’ bipartisanship I suppose.

    • #1
  2. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    The hatred drips off them like acidic alien blood eating through the fabric of society.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Which part of “no religious test” does this knucklehead not have a grip on?

    • #3
  4. Elephas Americanus Member
    Elephas Americanus
    @ElephasAmericanus

    So does this mean New Hampshire has decided to go for the “or Die” option?

    • #4
  5. Pathfinder1208 Member
    Pathfinder1208
    @Pathfinder1208

    To anyone still on the fence, you have just now seen into the not so distant future. Vote accordingly.

    • #5
  6. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    The Left’s Bill of Rights:

    Freedom of speech?    Nope.    Only speech they agree with.

    Freedom of assembly?    No again.  Only if you are protesting free speech or the police.

    Free exercise of religion?     What a hoot!!!    Of course not.    Maybe if you are Wiccan.

    Right to bear arms?     Please be serious.   Only the police … And they had better not use them!

    Right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures ?    Not a chance.     They’ve probably read this already … Or at least captured and archived it … Just because they can.

    The Founders would be horrified.

     

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It is hard to believe that New England has gone so far from its long-standing devotion to religious tolerance.

    • #7
  8. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    The Dems are the party that boo’d God.  They are the party without Christian values (gay marriage, abortion, etc).  They are the party of the atheists.  This doesn’t surprise me, though New Hampshire I would have thought wouldn’t be so hard left.  I guess i was wrong.

    • #8
  9. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Manny (View Comment):
    The Dems are the party that boo’d God. They are the party without Christian values (gay marriage, abortion, etc). They are the party of the atheists. This doesn’t surprise me, though New Hampshire I would have thought wouldn’t be so hard left. I guess i was wrong.

    It’s the Massachusetts transplants I reckon.

    • #9
  10. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Just another example of those tolerant, inclusive leftists showing that they have absolutely no understanding of the terminology they constantly misuse.
    They will defend to your death your right to agree with them on absolutely every issue as long as you are diligent to keep up with their constantly changing standards.

    These people are dangerous to your Life, Liberty and Property.

    • #10
  11. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Max Ledoux: There’s only one problem (for Democrats): Edelblut is a Christian.

    Do you know why liberals don’t do this to Muslim nominees?  Because they may end up in a back alley somewhere with their head sawed off . . .

    Maybe Christians should start organizing and harrassing these people in their homes like the left does.  I wonder what Mr. Volinsky would do with several dozen protestors in his front yard screaming “God loves you even though you’re a dirtbag!”

    • #11
  12. Ryan M(cPherson) Member
    Ryan M(cPherson)
    @RyanM

    That is absolutely crazy.  Unsurprising, but still crazy.

    It is also infuriating.

    • #12
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Stad (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux: There’s only one problem (for Democrats): Edelblut is a Christian.

    Do you know why liberals don’t do this to Muslim nominees? Because they may end up in a back alley somewhere with their head sawed off . . .

    Maybe Christians should start organizing and harrassing these people in their homes like the left does. I wonder what Mr. Volinsky would do with several dozen protestors in his front yard screaming “God loves you even though you’re a dirtbag!”

    Too Westboro Baptist.

    • #13
  14. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Percival (View Comment):
    Which part of “no religious test” does this knucklehead not have a grip on?

    I think he reads it as the “no religion test”.

    • #14
  15. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Percival (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux: There’s only one problem (for Democrats): Edelblut is a Christian.

    Do you know why liberals don’t do this to Muslim nominees? Because they may end up in a back alley somewhere with their head sawed off . . .

    Maybe Christians should start organizing and harrassing these people in their homes like the left does. I wonder what Mr. Volinsky would do with several dozen protestors in his front yard screaming “God loves you even though you’re a dirtbag!”

    Too Westboro Baptist.

    I reject that comparison.  The Westboro Baptist people were a certifiable fringe group that called themselves “Christian”, but exhibited none of the characteristics of a people that forgive sin.  You’ve fallen for the MSM protrayal of them as representative of mainstream Christians.  Those Westboro folks are, were, and will probably be forever dirtbags.

    If you think about my suggestion, you will hopefully find that “God loves you even though you’re a dirtbag” is (IMHO) a far cry from “You soldiers will burn in Hell because you are fighting for homosexuals.”  Maybe not an exact quote from the Westboro fanatics, but close enough IIRC . . .

    My bottom line is that Christians should get “Loveingly militant.”  Another way to put it might be “Kill them with kindness”, because (to me) there is nothing un-Christian about fighting back, especially for survival.

    • #15
  16. Arjay Member
    Arjay
    @

    MarciN (View Comment):
    It is hard to believe that New England has gone so far from its long-standing devotion to religious tolerance.

    Unfortunately, that ship sailed a while ago.

    • #16
  17. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Arjay (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    It is hard to believe that New England has gone so far from its long-standing devotion to religious tolerance.

    Unfortunately, that ship sailed a while ago.

    Yeah, but NH was always a bit more independent minded than the rest of New England. Now, however . . . well see comment #4

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Stad (View Comment):
    My bottom line is that Christians should get “Loveingly militant.” Another way to put it might be “Kill them with kindness”, because (to me) there is nothing un-Christian about fighting back, especially for survival.

    “Lovingly militant” is good, but standing outside his house calling him a dirtbag is creepy. A candlelit prayer vigil, maybe, but no chanting, no shouting.

    • #18
  19. Richard T. Taylor Inactive
    Richard T. Taylor
    @RichardTTaylor

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    Just another example of those tolerant, inclusive leftists showing that they have absolutely no understanding of the terminology they constantly misuse.
    They will defend to your death your right to agree with them on absolutely every issue as long as you are diligent to keep up with their constantly changing standards.

    These people are dangerous to your Life, Liberty and Property.

    These instances always lead me to the words of Hillaire Belloc.  As a Catholic in Britain he was asked such things and replied

    “If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative.”

    • #19
  20. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Percival (View Comment):
    A candlelit prayer vigil, maybe, but no chanting, no shouting.

    I agree.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Let us know if he ever gets that apology, Max. Right.

    • #21
  22. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Max L., thanks for posting this.

    • #22
  23. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Max,

    One more reason why the Supreme Court nominee is of supreme importance.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #23
  24. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Max,

    I think this subject deserves a longer look. First, I stand by my above comment. Everyone should make sure to let anybody even close to power know that you like the President’s pick for Supreme Court 100%. However, it is the very title of your piece that stimulates me also to the longer look.

    When Anne Marie Banfield calls this an Inquisition this means much more to me than you might think. Jews during the middle ages were often forced by the Inquisition to debate Christians. There were opinions given by leading Jewish authorities that studying certain philosophical ideas would be appropriate for these circumstances as the Inquisition would be using these as a pretext. However, by the time of the Enlightenment, Jewish authorities explicitly felt that the time of the Inquisition was over. They no longer felt that kind of a threat from the Christian community. Thus, they ceased to authorize the study of the philosophical ideas by Jews.

    I have argued that both Marxism and Fascism constituted a Secular Inquisition. The Holocaust itself could be far better understood in light of this. I have made the case that the study of certain philosophical ideas are necessary for even an Orthodox Jew because of this threat. Imagine if you would that instead of Mr. Edelblut sitting in that chair it was an Orthodox Jew. There would be plenty of ammunition for the inquisitor. If this can be done to Mr. Edelblut, a member of a very large percentage religious group, what could be done to those who are members of a tiny minority?

    The wisdom of the first enumerated right in the Bill of Rights is very great. Not only may Congress not establish a state religion, it may not use the state to prevent people’s free exercise of religion. The 20th Century provided gruesome examples of ignoring the free exercise clause. The mistake should not be made again.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #24
  25. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    I would have responded, “You seem to be suggesting that my faith disqualifies me. Can you outline how you think it does so?”

    • #25
  26. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    MarciN (View Comment):
    It is hard to believe that New England has gone so far from its long-standing devotion to religious tolerance.

    Huh?  When was New England noted for its religious toleration? The Pilgrims went there to get away from Holland’s religious tolerance.

    In fact, colonial communities were often intolerant of religious minorities and would not allow them the freedom to follow their own beliefs or conduct their own worship services. In most colonies, even voting and other political rights were restricted to members of a certain church group. Roman Catholics and Jews were not allowed to vote in most colonies. Puritans in New England denied citizenship to Quakers and others…

    New Hampshire and other states passed laws until the mid-1800s that kept non-Protestants from holding public office. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and several other states declared official churches.

    Source

    Haters gonna hate; Puritans gonna Puritan. They’ve just switched gods.

    • #26
  27. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    The Dems are the party that boo’d God. They are the party without Christian values (gay marriage, abortion, etc). They are the party of the atheists. This doesn’t surprise me, though New Hampshire I would have thought wouldn’t be so hard left. I guess i was wrong.

    It’s the Massachusetts transplants I reckon.

    Probably so.

    • #27
  28. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    James Gawron (View Comment):  …
    The wisdom of the first enumerated right in the Bill of Rights is very great. Not only may Congress not establish a state religion, it may not use the state to prevent people’s free exercise of religion.  …

    Of course, if you are in a blue state, your state supreme court can establish a religion, and the U.S. Supreme Court will permit this.

    • #28
  29. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Edelblut was confirmed 3-2 today along party lines:

    http://www.unionleader.com/Frank_Edelblut_confirmed_as_NH_education_commissioner

    • #29
  30. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Edelblut was confirmed 3-2 today along party lines:

    http://www.unionleader.com/Frank_Edelblut_confirmed_as_NH_education_commissioner

    Max,

    Alls well that ends well.

    Reminds me of the basic script for most of the Jewish Holidays. They tried to kill us, they couldn’t, so let’s eat. Mazel Tov for Mr. Edelblut’s confirmation.

    Thanks for the heads up Max.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #30

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