On Tuesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) grilled a pastor who supports the separation of church and state, asking him why he did not share the “good news” that prevents non-Christians from going to hell, reported rawstory.com.
In a House Judiciary Committee hearing about religious freedom, Gohmert confronted Rev. Barry Lynn, who is the executive director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Gohmert reminded Lynn that the founding fathers and Franklin Roosevelt mentioned religion in their writings.
In response, Lynn told the committee he received the Medal of Freedom from the Roosevelt Institute for supporting freedom to worship.
“But that wasn’t awarded by Roosevelt himself?” Gohmert said, before asking Lynn if he understood the meaning of being a Christian.
“Do you believe in sharing the good news that will keep people from going to hell, consistent with Christian beliefs?” Gohmert asked.
“I wouldn’t agree with your construction of what hell is like or why one gets there,” Lynn responded.
“So you don’t believe somebody would go to hell if they do not believe Jesus in the way, the truth, the life?” Gohmert asked.
Lynn said that people would not go to hell for believing a set of ideas.
“No, not a set of ideas. Either you believe as a Christian that Jesus is on the way, the truth, or life or you don’t” Gohmert said. “And there’s nothing wrong in our country with that – there’s no crime, there’s no shame.”
“Congressman, what I believe is not necessarily what I think ought to justify the creation of public policy for everybody,” Lynn said. “For the 2,000 different religions that exist in this country, the 25 million non-believers. I’ve never been offended, I’ve never been ashamed to share my belief. When I spoke recently at an American Atheists conference, it was clear from the very beginning, the first sentence that I was a Christian minister.”
“So, the Christian belief as you see it is whatever you choose to think about Christ, whether or not you believe those words he said that nobody basically ‘goes to heaven except through me,’” Gohmert concluded.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State describes itself as a “nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans” according to The Blaze.
Gohmert has made some eyebrows raising comments in the past, saying on the house floor in May that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, proclaiming “now all of a sudden, people like me are considered haters, hate mongers, evil, which really is exactly what we’ve seen throughout history, as going back to the days of the Nazi takeover in Europe.”
[Image via huffingtonpost.com]
This post has been updated to correct a quote that was attributed to Rep. Gohmert that was actually made by Rep. Steve King