Bernie Sanders Says His Campaign is Based on These Words of Jesus Christ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2015. (Getty Images/Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2015. (Getty Images/Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In an extensive interview with the editorial board of the New York Times that took place on Dec. 2, 2019, Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont spoke of his religious beliefs and noted that his campaign is based on a “major provision that Christ and religious leaders all over the world talked about.”

“I was just actually in a church in South Carolina on Sunday, and what I said is that if you look at the Bible, what is the major provision that Christ and religious leaders all over the world talked about?” said Sanders.

“Not that complicated. Do unto others as you would like them to do to you. All right?” Sanders said. “I believe that. And in many respects, that’s exactly what our campaign is based on. It is based on, on justice. I believe in justice. That is the core of what our campaign is about.”

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says (in Matthew 7:12 as translated in the New International Version):

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Kathleen Kingsbury, the deputy editorial page editor of the New York Times, asked Sanders in the interview: “For millions of Americans, the church and religion are center of their communities. Do you believe in God? Who are your spiritual advisers?”

“I am Jewish. I am proud to be Jewish,” Sanders responded.

“I was bar mitzvahed from the Kings Highway Jewish Center, a long time ago. I am not actively involved in organized religion,” he continued.

“I believe in God,” he said. “I believe in the universality of people. That what happens to you impacts me. And I certainly believe in the constitutional right of freedom of religion. And I will strongly defend that. And by the way, what that means is that we will end the Muslim ban in this country imposed by Donald Trump, because I think people in this country have the right to freely enjoy their religions and participate in religious life that interests them.”

Kingsbury then asked him: “Is there anyone that you turn to, to discuss faith or questions in spirituality?”

My wife was raised as a Catholic, holds some pretty strong feelings,” said Sanders.

When Kingsbury asked him whether he thought “that faith or spirituality will play any role in the leadership that you bring to the country,” Sanders said:

“Well, it’s a bigger — I mean, what do we mean by faith? You know, we have some right-wing guys who think that God has told them that Muslims shouldn’t come into this country or that their religion says that women can’t have access to reproduction — reproductive rights, and they’re not going to fund that or they’re not going to serve a gay couple a wedding cake. Right? That’s a religious right, you know, so it’s a big, it’s a big question.

“But I believe, you know, I was just actually in a church in South Carolina on Sunday, and what I said is that if you look at the Bible, what is the major provision that Christ and religious leaders all over the world talked about? Not that complicated. Do unto others as you would like them to do to you. All right? I believe that. And in many respects, that’s exactly what our campaign is based on. It is based on, on justice. I believe in justice. That is the core of what our campaign is about.”

 



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