Congressional Christians Must Wear Scarlet Crosses under Bernie Sanders Bill-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would require Christians holding public office to wear a scarlet cross to identify themselves.
False rumors that Christian office holders would have to wear a scarlet cross started with a satirical website that targets religion.
The Babylon Bee published the story under the headline, “Bernie Sanders Proposes Bill Forcing Christians Holding Public Office To Wear Scarlet Cross,” on June 10, 2017. Senator Bernie Sanders called Christians holding public office “hateful,” the story reports, and he introduced a bill requiring them to wear a visible scarlet cross at all times:
Dubbed the Hateful Bigot Identification Act, the bill would require anyone believing in salvation through Christ alone to wear the cross, in order that co-workers and citizens could immediately identify and disregard the opinions of the disgusting, backwards, religious public servants.
“We have to know who to take seriously, and who’s a dangerous threat to our society,” Sanders said as he introduced the bill on the Senate floor. “By separating Christians from the rest of us, we’ll have finally achieved the religious liberty and tolerance the founding fathers dreamed of.”
Taken out of context, some were led to believe that the story was true. The Babylon Bee disclaimer, however, states that the site is “your trusted source for Christian news satire.”
Like most works of satire, this one parodies timely events. Bernie Sanders drew criticism in June 2017 for questioning President Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Russell Vought to serve as deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) based on Vought’s religious beliefs.
Sanders took issue with an op-ed that Vought wrote in defense of Wheaton College, Vought’s alma mater, firing a professor who said that Christians and Muslims worship the same god. The Christian university said that the statement was inconsistent with the school’s Statement of Faith and Educational Purpose — and Vought agreed, writing:
“Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”
Bernie Sanders, who sits on the committee that oversaw Vought’s confirmation, pressed the incoming OMB deputy director about whether or not the statement constituted “Islamaphobia” — which widely drew criticism from political pundits.
That exchange led to satirical report by The Babylon Bee that Bernie Sanders introduced a bill requiring Christian officeholders to wear scarlet crosses.