Michele Bachmann has been pushing a conspiracy theory against Hilary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, claiming that she is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. Most Americans probably fully expected conservatives to jump on this conspiracy and start McCarthyism-style investigations against Abedin. But Republicans such as Senator John McCain and Rep. Mike Rogers, among others, have defended Abedin.
On Sunday, yet another deep red conservative stepped up to the plate to slam Bachmann, and believe it or not, actually defended the right of Muslim Americans to practice their faith.
During a town hall event in Wisconsin, GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner responded to a constituent’s call to support Bachmann’s witchhunt by calling Bachmann’s conspiracy theory “wrong” and then went on to defend the separation of church and state and explain that the Constitution gives everyone, even non-Christians, the right to practice any faith they belong to or to practice none at all.
￼”Let me say that I do know Huma Abedin and I think that the comments that were made about her in that letter, whether or not they were taken out of context, were the wrong thing to do,” Sensenbrenner stated. “I think the Constitution in saying that there shall never be a religious test for any office of trust and profit under the United States meant that people should not be judged on the basis of their religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs. That was Thomas Jefferson that put that in the Constitution — I think he was right.”
￼The constituent then responded with a bigotry laced opinion, saying, ￼￼
“I think that there’s a political ideology that’s a concern in Islam that is concerning and that should be looked at and we should know that this person is not a threat…”
Sensenbrenner shot back. “Heidi, Heidi, Heidi, the First Amendment prohibits the government from making a distinction between what is “good religion” and what is “bad religion.” That’s none of the government’s business. Religion is a personal issue to every one of the people who lives in the United States, whether you practice a faith, how you practice a faith, whether you don’t practice a faith, whether you say you’re a member of a faith but don’t practice it, it’s none of the government’s business. And this is the whole issue of religious freedom. And that has been one of the most cherished freedoms that this country has had since it’s beginning.”
Here’s the video:
I know what you’re thinking. Has hell frozen over? This is a very conservative politician calling out Michele Bachmann and actually singing the praises of separation of church and state. Of course, Sensenbrenner was courageous to stand up for what is right. He risks being labeled a false conservative, a Republican in name only, a liberal sympathizer, and anything else the Christian right can think of. So Sensenbrenner should be defended rigorously by anyone who agrees with his words above if and when the attacks begin.
It’s exceedingly rare to hear a conservative defend real religious freedom in this country. For years, conservatives have made every effort to make us believe that the Constitution only protects the Christian faith. It’s very refreshing to finally see a conservative break from this effort to stand for truth and facts. Now if Republicans would halt their attempts to ban same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose under the guise of protecting religious liberty, true religious freedom would prevail. But for that to happen, hell really would have to freeze over.