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Another Democrat Senator Questions Trump Nominee’s Religious Views

 

In confirmation hearings for Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo, Senator Corey Booker chided the Presbyterian Sunday School teacher for holding to the same view of same-sex marriage that most Americans held just a few years ago. Pompeo, you will be shocked to learn, is against it.

The senator went on to justify his marriage questions by alluding to the persecution of homosexuals in other countries. Here is a part of their exchange, according to The Federalist:

Pompeo: “My respect for every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation, is the same.”

Booker: “You’re going to be secretary of state of the United States at a time that we have an increase of hate speech and hate actions against Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Indian Americans. Hate acts are on the increase against these Americans. You’re going to be representing this country and values abroad in places where gay individuals are under untold persecution, face untold violence. Your views do matter. You’re going to be dealing with Muslim states on Muslim issues. I do not necessarily concur that you are putting forth the values of our nation when you believe there are people in our country that are perverse, and where you think that you create different categories of Americans and their obligations when it comes to condemning of violence.”

Elsewhere in his questions, Booker grilled the nominee on his view of Muslims, and on freedom of the press. Apparently unaware that monotheistic religions, by definition, deny one another’s deities; he complained about Pompeo’s comments on those who worship “other gods.”

Absent from Booker’s questioning was any mention of Christians being persecuted, in the most extreme forms, in any of the nations (many of them majority-Muslim nations) about which Booker is so concerned.

It might be understandable that Booker’s not worried about a Christian Secretary of State paying due heed to the persecution of Christians in other nations. It is, however, unfortunate that Booker sees no irony in his expressing concern about the persecution of homosexuals, and Muslims, and even journalists, while suggesting that Christians need not apply to cabinet positions.

This doesn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention. Trump appointees Amy Barrett and Russell Vought were similarly questioned about their dangerously unfashionable adherence to traditional Christian beliefs. Beliefs that were par for the course just a few years ago, and are still the norm for millions of Americans.

Let’s be clear that being asked some absurd questions at a confirmation hearing is not the same as being imprisoned or martyred for one’s faith. And, yes, the two previous nominees were confirmed. But what direction are we heading in, when Democratic Senators feel at liberty to so publicly declare widely-held religious views unacceptable? Is this the “Christian privilege” that we’ve been hearing about recently?

There are 118 comments.

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  1. Contributor

    TheSockMonkey: But what direction are we heading in, when Democratic Senators feel at liberty to so publicly declare widely-held religious views unacceptable? Is this the “Christian privilege” that we’ve been hearing about recently?

    It is an attack on freedom of religion–precisely as the Constitution meant it. They may not be throwing him in jail, but they are clearly showing discriminatory behavior. I’m sick of people who repeatedly judge people for their beliefs and thoughts; they have no right to invade Mike Pompeo’s mind. I’m disgusted at the freedom senators feel they have to make judgments against a person who lives a righteous and principled life. They should take a much closer look at their own doings. Thanks for this OP, @thesockmonkey.

    • #1
    • April 13, 2018 at 10:29 am
    • 13 likes
  2. Member

    This is all part and parcel of the left’s increasing intolerance for Christianity. Rod Dreher has a very interesting piece on whether or not Christianity is compatible with today’s liberal progressivism. For our friends on the left in the Senate it appears not. And to stay with the theme, Crisis Magazine warns that we cannot afford to forget who our enemies are. What a sad state of affairs.

    • #2
    • April 13, 2018 at 10:35 am
    • 10 likes
  3. Member

    The original, unamended Constitution contains one explicit reference to religion: the Article VI ban on religious tests for “any office or public trust under the United States.”

    The democrats want a state religion … it is called Atheism.

    • #3
    • April 13, 2018 at 10:47 am
    • 14 likes
  4. Member

    I think it’s appropriate for the nominee to simply refuse to discuss any question related to religion and ones beliefs. No nominee should want the job bad enough to allow a US senator or anyone else to badger him or her about religious beliefs. Every senator should not know better. What a sad statement of our political discourse.

    • #4
    • April 13, 2018 at 11:05 am
    • 12 likes
  5. Member

    Booker’s line of questioning is incoherent (comparing the persecution of people with same-sex attraction in Muslim countries to how people who wish to retain the meaning of the word, “marriage” might treat them? Idiotic.) and repulsive. He should be censured in the Senate.

    C’mon Republicans. Stand up and fight, dammit!

    • #5
    • April 13, 2018 at 11:17 am
    • 13 likes
  6. Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Booker line of questioning is incoherent (comparing the persecution of people with same-sex attraction in Muslim countries to people who wish to retain the meaning of the word, “marriage?” Idiotic.) and repulsive. He should be censured in the Senate.

    C’mon Republicans. Stand up and fight, dammit!

    Hey, c’mon WestChauv. I’m a fighter. Look how tough I am!

    • #6
    • April 13, 2018 at 11:25 am
    • 5 likes
  7. Member

    It’s not enough that same sex marriage is legal, nor that homosexuals not be mistreated or discriminated against. 

    No, you must embrace their lifestyle, their sexual habits and their public displays of both. You can’t just tolerate them, you must clean your mind of any inkling that what they do may be immoral or unnatural. Your religion must change it’s teaching to embrace their choices.

    You will think how we tell you to think or else you must be intolerant. 

    • #7
    • April 13, 2018 at 11:32 am
    • 18 likes
  8. Member

    Yes, but rejection of homosexuality isn’t really a religious belief, meaning not exclusively revealed by religion. Hijacking airplanes violates religious sensibilities too, but it’s not a religious belief per se. A belief that is purely religious is one that is not accessible by reason alone. When we say that skepticism of homosexuality is a religious belief, we are saying that it is something non-rational, and are therefore inviting the kind of political oppression we have been getting, because courts love to go on and on about “no rational basis” etc. etc…

    • #8
    • April 13, 2018 at 11:55 am
    • 5 likes
  9. Member

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    When we say that skepticism of homosexuality is a religious belief, we are saying that it is something non-rational,

    Does that mean what it sounds like, that only non rational beliefs can be religiously based? 

     I, for one, believe that G-d’s teachings are real world advice for how to get the most out of life. Completely rational wisdom, in other words. 

    Now faith and belief in G-d is another thing, but that is beyond the basic teachings on right and wrong. The ten commandments are universal human truths, even if you don’t believe in G-d. 

    • #9
    • April 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm
    • 2 likes
  10. Coolidge
    Joshua Bissey Post author

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):

    Yes, but rejection of homosexuality isn’t really a religious belief, meaning not exclusively revealed by religion. Hijacking airplanes violates religious sensibilities too, but it’s not a religious belief per se. A belief that is purely religious is one that is not accessible by reason alone. When we say that skepticism of homosexuality is a religious belief, we are saying that it is something non-rational, and are therefore inviting the kind of political oppression we have been getting, because courts love to go on and on about “no rational basis” etc. etc…

    I don’t think I make the same dichotomy between religion and reason, but I’ve been thinking along similar lines. Those of us who wanted to preserve a factual view of marriage should have avoided any pragmatic, moral, or religious arguments, and just said, “No, marriage is heterosexual. That’s just what it is. You’re being absurd.”

    That being said, Booker questioned Pompeo’s views about those who worship “other gods.” Also, Booker directly asked him about whether he considers “gay sex” to be a perversion. As I’m not finding any other source for that statement by Pompeo, I’m assuming it’s from an address he gave in a church, where he quoted a famous prayer. So, for at least the third time, we have a Trump nominee being grilled by the Senate for the offense of being a Christian that believes in Christian teachings.

    Here is the address I found, from Pompeo.

    https://youtu.be/sO0opXYM52w?t=3m45s

    • #10
    • April 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm
    • 3 likes
  11. Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    The original, unamended Constitution contains one explicit reference to religion: the Article VI ban on religious tests for “any office or public trust under the United States.”

    The democrats want a state religion … it is called Atheism.

    I too have been wondering – What if a nominee for appointment were to say something like ” I refuse to answer because I regard that question as a religious test that is in violation of Article VI of the Constitution” and repeat it every time a question like that came his way? I wish that some major nominee had the wherewithal and the guts to try it.

    What if one of the Senators were to bring up Article VI in regards to another Senator’s line of questioning? Surely there must be one that could start the ball rolling!

     

    • #11
    • April 13, 2018 at 12:36 pm
    • 12 likes
  12. Member

    As I and the Hammer have discussed, the left freaks out when the right says that they think something is immoral because they believe in government control. It is totally possible, that a Christian can believe that homosexuality is a sin and treat homosexuals decently because that’s what Jesus what do and respect their rights because that’s what Americans should do. I recall Ben Shapiro saying to David Rubin something like, “I think homosexuality is a biblical sin but the great part of America is that you don’t have to care what I think. I’m fine with gay marriage because government is bad at everything.” 

    The left believes that they can perfectly determine good and evil and that the government should enforce it. Following leftist logic, if the CEO of Chick-fil-a doesn’t believe in gay marriage he will use his power to oppress or convert homosexuals because the left doesn’t understand the enlightenment impulse to leave people alone. The left’s fear of right-wing fascism is pure self-projection.

    • #12
    • April 13, 2018 at 4:50 pm
    • 12 likes
  13. Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Following leftist logic, if the CEO of Chick-fil-a doesn’t believe in gay marriage he will use his power to oppress or convert homosexuals because the left doesn’t understand the enlightenment impulse to leave people [the hell] alone.[!] The left’s fear of right-wing fascism is pure self-projection.

    Can I get an, “Amen!” 

    This is where I disagree with Ben, though. It isn’t that anyone should care whether same-sex relations are a “biblical sin” or not (I mean, unless you care for the person’s soul, which is another discussion altogether). It’s just very clear that same-sex “marriage” is not a societal good by virtue of the fact that it doesn’t ask for tolerance of (objectively) abnormal (outside the norm) behavior/appetites — it demands endorsement of them! That’s what marriage is — a societal validation of relationships. Once you corrupt the meaning of words like “marriage” and “husband” and “wife,” you’ve thrown open the gates to the fascist Left. Ben is wrong not to care about how our society defines marriage.

    Traditional marriage proponents could see the persecution of wrong-thinking bakers, florists, and photographers, and CEOs a mile away

    Never go full retard, and never, ever side with the Left.

    • #13
    • April 13, 2018 at 5:44 pm
    • 8 likes
  14. Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    That’s what marriage is — a societal validation of relationships. Once you corrupt the meaning of words like “marriage” and “husband” and “wife,” you’ve thrown open the gates to the fascist Left. Ben is wrong not to care about how our society defines marriage.

    Traditional marriage proponents could see the persecution of wrong-thinking bakers, florists, and photographers, and CEOs a mile away.

    It does seem like gay marriage increased illiberal pressure on people who believed in traditional morality. To be fair, Dave Rubin and many proponents of gay marriage are more than willing to leave Christian bakers alone. Gay marriage to Mr. Rubin was never about bullying people who he disagreed with.

    • #14
    • April 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm
    • 2 likes
  15. Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    That’s what marriage is — a societal validation of relationships. Once you corrupt the meaning of words like “marriage” and “husband” and “wife,” you’ve thrown open the gates to the fascist Left. Ben is wrong not to care about how our society defines marriage.

    Traditional marriage proponents could see the persecution of wrong-thinking bakers, florists, and photographers, and CEOs a mile away.

    It does seem like gay marriage increased illiberal pressure on people who believed in traditional morality. To be fair, Dave Rubin and many proponents of gay marriage are more than willing to leave Christian bakers alone. Gay marriage to Mr. Rubin was never about bullying people who he disagreed with.

    Right, but it’s the nature of the thing. If government endorses it, people will (mis)use the power of government to dominate others. 

    • #15
    • April 13, 2018 at 6:28 pm
    • 5 likes
  16. Coolidge
    TBA

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    As I and the Hammer have discussed, the left freaks out when the right says that they think something is immoral because they believe in government control. It is totally possible, that a Christian can believe that homosexuality is a sin and treat homosexuals decently because that’s what Jesus what do and respect their rights because that’s what Americans should do. I recall Ben Shapiro saying to David Rubin something like, “I think homosexuality is a biblical sin but the great part of America is that you don’t have to care what I think. I’m fine with gay marriage because government is bad at everything.”

    The left believes that they can perfectly determine good and evil and that the government should enforce it. Following leftist logic, if the CEO of Chick-fil-a doesn’t believe in gay marriage he will use his power to oppress or convert homosexuals because the left doesn’t understand the enlightenment impulse to leave people alone. The left’s fear of right-wing fascism is pure self-projection.

    Solid point. 

    • #16
    • April 13, 2018 at 10:46 pm
    • Like
  17. Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Can I get an, “Amen!

    This is where I disagree with Ben, though. It isn’t that anyone should care whether same-sex relations are a “biblical sin” or not (I mean, unless you care for the person’s soul, which is another discussion altogether). It’s just very clear that same-sex “marriage” is not a societal good by virtue of the fact that it doesn’t ask for tolerance of (objectively) abnormal (outside the norm) behavior/appetites — it demands endorsement of them! That’s what marriage is — a societal validation of relationships. Once you corrupt the meaning of words like “marriage” and “husband” and “wife,” you’ve thrown open the gates to the fascist Left. Ben is wrong not to care about how our society defines marriage.

    Traditional marriage proponents could see the persecution of wrong-thinking bakers, florists, and photographers, and CEOs a mile away.

    Never go full retard, and never, ever side with the Left.

    A thousand Amens. We have caved in to the left-wing definition. SSM was sold to the children as an “equality” issue. The adults in the room said there is no such thing as SSM. Call it domestic partnership, give it equality under law, but don’t dignify it with the term “marriage”.

    • #17
    • April 14, 2018 at 3:54 am
    • 6 likes
  18. Member

    TheSockMonkey: Is this the “Christian privilege” that we’ve been hearing about recently?

    More signs of the left’s intolerance of Christianity from the New Yorker:

    Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City

    New York has taken to Chick-fil-A. One of the Manhattan locations estimates that it sells a sandwich every six seconds, and the company has announced plans to open as many as a dozen more storefronts in the city. And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism. Its headquarters, in Atlanta, is adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet. Its stores close on Sundays. Its C.E.O., Dan Cathy, has been accused of bigotry for using the company’s charitable wing to fund anti-gay causes, including groups that oppose same-sex marriage. “We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation,” he once said, “when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ ” The company has since reaffirmed its intention to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect,” but it has quietly continued to donate to anti-L.G.B.T. groups. When the first stand-alone New York location opened, in 2015, a throng of protesters appeared. When a location opened in a Queens mall, in 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a boycott. No such controversy greeted the opening of this newest outpost. Chick-fil-A’s success here is a marketing coup. Its expansion raises questions about what we expect from our fast food, and to what extent a corporation can join a community.

    • #18
    • April 14, 2018 at 5:16 am
    • 4 likes
  19. Thatcher

    Quoting from an old and little read document:

    “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust…”

     

    • #19
    • April 14, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    • 5 likes
  20. Member

    TheSockMonkey: Elsewhere in his questions, Booker grilled the nominee on his view of Muslims, and on freedom of the press. Apparently unaware that monotheistic religions, by definition, deny one another’s deities; he complained about Pompeo’s comments on those who worship “other gods.”

    Well if we can’t confirm a Christian who offends Muslims by believing they worship “other gods,” clearly we also can’t have an atheist who would even more deeply offend them by saying that belief in Allah is as absurd as belief in the “flying spaghetti monster.” Best to just agree that from now on we will only confirm Muslims to top positions at the State Department.

     

    • #20
    • April 14, 2018 at 12:09 pm
    • 7 likes
  21. Member

    TheSockMonkey (View Comment):
    Those of us who wanted to preserve a factual view of marriage should have avoided any pragmatic, moral, or religious arguments, and just said, “No, marriage is heterosexual. That’s just what it is. You’re being absurd.”

    I agree, but I’d take it a step further and say we lost the argument when we accepted the modern definitions of “heterosexual” and “homosexual.” 

    We should have just said “no, marriage is sexual.” The act that consummates a marriage is the specific type of act that has potential to reproduce the species. Granted, there are other types of non-procreative acts that can stimulate orgasm (these were once referred to as “perversions”), but these types of acts cannot consummate a marriage.

     

    • #21
    • April 14, 2018 at 12:17 pm
    • 2 likes
  22. Thatcher

    Booker is a bigot plain and simple.

    • #22
    • April 14, 2018 at 12:22 pm
    • 5 likes
  23. Thatcher

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    I agree, but I’d take it a step further and say we lost the argument when we accepted the modern definitions of “heterosexual” and “homosexual.” 

    So true. Just by using the term “gay marriage”, we acknowledge such a thing is plausible, and thus homosexuals are being denied “rights” as human beings. It’s the same thing with “undocumented immigrants”. They are illegal aliens, and we on the right should always refer to them as such . . . unless some are in favor of open borders. So much for the conservative principle of rule of law . . .

    • #23
    • April 14, 2018 at 12:28 pm
    • 3 likes
  24. Member

    There was a fascinating article with the arresting title Against Heterosexuality in First Things a few years ago:

    Alasdair MacIntyre once quipped that “facts, like telescopes and wigs for gentlemen, were a seventeenth-century invention.” Something similar can be said about sexual orientation: Heterosexuals, like typewriters and urinals (also, obviously, for gentlemen), were an invention of the 1860s. Contrary to our cultural preconceptions and the lies of what has come to be called “orientation essentialism,” “straight” and “gay” are not ageless absolutes. Sexual orientation is a conceptual scheme with a history, and a dark one at that. It is a history that began far more recently than most people know, and it is one that will likely end much sooner than most people think.

    Most of our ancestors would have viewed the term (and underlying concept) of “heterosexual” as absurd and superfluous, much as most of us view the similar, recently-coined term “cisgender.”

    • #24
    • April 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm
    • 4 likes
  25. Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Booker is a bigot plain and simple.

    He’s liable to be our president in a few years.

    • #25
    • April 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm
    • 1 like
  26. Coolidge
    TBA

    Stad (View Comment):

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    I agree, but I’d take it a step further and say we lost the argument when we accepted the modern definitions of “heterosexual” and “homosexual.”

    So true. Just by using the term “gay marriage”, we acknowledge such a thing is plausible, and thus homosexuals are being denied “rights” as human beings. It’s the same thing with “undocumented immigrants”. They are illegal aliens, and we on the right should always refer to them as such . . . unless some are in favor of open borders. So much for the conservative principle of rule of law . . .

    And when someone says, ‘people can’t be illegal’, remember to say, “Sorry, I meant ‘criminal alien.'”

    • #26
    • April 14, 2018 at 2:22 pm
    • 4 likes
  27. Coolidge
    TBA

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    There was a fascinating article with the arresting title Against Heterosexuality in First Things a few years ago:

    Alasdair MacIntyre once quipped that “facts, like telescopes and wigs for gentlemen, were a seventeenth-century invention.” Something similar can be said about sexual orientation: Heterosexuals, like typewriters and urinals (also, obviously, for gentlemen), were an invention of the 1860s. Contrary to our cultural preconceptions and the lies of what has come to be called “orientation essentialism,” “straight” and “gay” are not ageless absolutes. Sexual orientation is a conceptual scheme with a history, and a dark one at that. It is a history that began far more recently than most people know, and it is one that will likely end much sooner than most people think.

    Most of our ancestors would have viewed the term (and underlying concept) of “heterosexual” as absurd and superfluous, much as most of us view the similar, recently-coined term “cisgender.”

    ‘Cisgender’ was invented because people look at you funny when you say ‘normal’ while sneering. 

    • #27
    • April 14, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    • 1 like
  28. Coolidge
    TBA

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Booker is a bigot plain and simple.

    He’s liable to be our president in a few years.

    I imagine he could out-flaw Trump. 

    • #28
    • April 14, 2018 at 2:25 pm
    • Like
  29. Member

    Corey Booker is obsessed with homosexuality because of his long relationship with T-Bone.

    • #29
    • April 14, 2018 at 3:02 pm
    • 5 likes
  30. Thatcher

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    Corey Booker is obsessed with homosexuality because of his long relationship with T-Bone.

    I was going to say that someone should ask Corey if T-Bone thinks homosexuality is a perversion. In fact, someone should ask Corey questions about T-Bone until Corey goes away.

    • #30
    • April 14, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    • 3 likes
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