This week, President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Russel T. Vought to be the next director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). A nomination to OMB might not seem like a big deal for religious liberty, but in this case, the president is sending a clear message to the radical, anti-Christian left. Trump will not only respect everyone’s faith, he will fight for Americans’ rights to live according to their deeply held religious beliefs.
To many, Trump is best remembered standing at the White House next to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who were so mistreated during the Obama administration. President Trump finally ended the unreasonable federal harassment of these poor nuns.
Yet due to leftist state attorneys general, the Little Sisters continue to fight (their case is now back before the Supreme Court) for their rights to live according to their faith without government intrusion. Such are the consequences of having a White House administration that does not respect religious freedoms. But President Trump will not back down. His nomination of Vought is a great example.
You might remember that Vought was viciously attacked for his Christian faith at his previous nomination hearings. Indeed, this reminds us the radical, anti-Christian left is now the mainstream of the Democratic Party, as it was Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), a front-runner for his party’s presidential nomination, who led the attack.
Sanders attacked Vought by claiming his Christian faith is fundamentally Islamophobic. The senator asked him, “You wrote, ‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they rejected Jesus Christ His Son, and they stand condemned.’ Do you believe that statement is Islamophobic?”
Vought was stunned, as was the rest of the world. He tried to humbly explain that he was indeed a Christian, and Christians believe in Jesus, but Sanders did not even want to hear him, interrupting him and going after him for his “intolerance.”
Vought tried to explain how his faith makes him look at each person as intrinsically valuable, “As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect, regardless of their religious beliefs. I believe that, as a Christian, that’s how I should treat all individuals.”
But Sen. Sanders was not interested in tolerance; he simply wanted to ridicule, not just Vought, but the Christian faith. The climax came as Sanders leaned in to say emphatically: “I understand you are a Christian, but this country is made up of people who are not just … like I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of 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?”
This is one of the only two leading candidates to be the next presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. Until just a few weeks ago, he was the undisputed leading candidate. Think of the impact of someone with such a mentality being the most powerful person in the world.
Such bigotry is not only immoral, it is unconstitutional. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” A person who does not understand this should never be president.
President Trump not only understands it, but has also made it a point to fight the enemies of the Constitution on this. He did not back down from Vought’s nomination then, despite the outrageous attacks from several senators, not just Sanders, and he sends a clear message again by nominating Vought for director of OMB.
Vought has done an excellent job as acting director of OMB. The president nominates him because of his track record and his distinguished qualifications. Before OMB, Vought spent nearly 20 years working on Capitol Hill. He served as policy director for the House Republican Conference and as budget director and then executive director of the Republican Study Committee (RSC).
Vought’s faith, no doubt, has guided him throughout his career, but it is not the reason he is nominated. President Trump fights a more significant battle than just this nomination by appointing him. He fights for the liberties of all Americans, regardless of faith. We all win with Vought at OMB.