Ben Sasse is now Nebraska's GOP nominee for the United States Senate. As Think Progress notes, Nebraska is a solid red state that backed Romney over Obama by "a massive 21 point margin in 2012." In other words, he's a shoo-in to win in November.
And as a U.S. Senator, conservative candidate Ben Sasse is promising to fight for the proposition that “[g]overnment cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances.”
Here’s a screenshot from Ben Sasse’s own website stating as much:
And you thought the Supreme Court's decisions were a threat to democracy as we once knew it? Most of us (hopefully) still believe that so-called "religious liberty" nomatterwhatanyonesayssotherepfft! does not trump law.
His proposed rule — that government cannot require someone to act counter to their religious beliefs “under any circumstances” — would mean that literally any law could be ignored by someone who held a religious belief counter to that law.
This guy won the primary. Think about that. This. Guy. Won. The. Primary. That should make America's skin crawl.
So, according to Mr. Freedom, if someone's religion promotes discrimination against another person's religion or sexual orientation or race or gender or belief, that's cool by him. Really? What about the discriminatee's rights?
By his standards, if a person of the I Hate People Different Than Me religious affiliation didn't like gay individuals, because they were, you know, icky and gay, they could refuse service, kick them out of their establishment, or even kill them. And they would be justified. In the name of religion.
If an I Hate People Different Than Me-ist didn't approve of inter-racial marriage, they could try to imprison or execute couples and be immune from prosecution. In the name of religion.
Under Sasse’s formulation of religious liberty, a person who killed his own sister because he believed he was under a religious obligation to do so would be immune from prosecution for murder.
Legalized bigotry and racism, Ben Sasse? This is how you'd "act in accordance with your conscience"? What conscience?
Is this part of that new and improved outreach the GOP has been touting?
Someone's faith, their beliefs (keyword: beliefs) should not supersede our legal system, or common sense, or mutual respect, or equal rights, or our ethical standards. Period.
ThinkProgress contacted the Sasse campaign to offer them an opportunity to clarify whether the candidate truly believes that any practice, including “stoning adulterers or putting to death those who work on the Sabbath” should be allowed if it is justified by a religious belief. As of this writing, we have not received a response.