Senator Bernie Sanders has been heavily criticised for denouncing orthodox Christian beliefs during a Senate hearing.
Sanders attacked Russell Vought, a Christian nominated to be Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, for an article he wrote last year saying that Jesus is the only means of salvation.
The former presidential nominee concluded his verbal assault on Vought by saying that his understanding of salvation meant that he was not “what this country is supposed to be about”.
In the article Vought, who studied at Wheaton College, wrote that: “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology.”
“They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son”.
Sanders, who repeatedly interrupted Vought as he tried to defend his article, accused him of being Islamophobic and claimed his beliefs were “hateful” and “indefensible”.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council (FRC), criticised Sanders’ comments as “a blatant display of religious bigotry and intolerance”.
“The American people, whether or not they are people of faith, should just say, ‘He absolutely crossed the line, it should not be tolerated, and someone in his position imposing such a reverse or religious test … should not be accepted'”.
The FRC has started a petition calling for Sanders “to apologise for his bigotry and asking his Senate colleagues to immediately pledge that they will not oppose nominees on the basis of their religious views”.
So far, it has been signed by more than 55,000 people.