Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) badgered Reverend Barry Lynn, of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, during a House committee hearing today about freedom of religion in the U.S.
“Do you believe in sharing the good news that will keep people from going to hell, consistent with Christian beliefs?” Rep. Gohmert asked Lynn, notes RawStory.com (video below).
"I wouldn't agree with your construction of what Hell is like or why one gets there, but the broader question is is yes, I'm happy to--" answered Lynn.
Rep. Gohmert interrupted, “So, you do not believe somebody would go to hell if they do not believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life?”
"I personally do not believe people go to hell if they do not believe in a set of ideas--,” Lynn tried to answer.
“No, not a set of ideas," Rep. Gohmert interrupted again. "Either you believe as a Christian that Jesus is the way, the truth or life or you don’t. And there’s nothing wrong in our country with that, there’s no crime, there’s no shame.”
Lynn then explained to Rep. Gohmert that his personal religious beliefs should not "justify the creation of public policy for everybody."
“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,” Rep. Gohmert added.
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Rep. Gohmert then claimed he was not being judgmental.
However, in the Bible, specifically John 14:6, Jesus does not mention heaven, but does say, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
At the hearing yesterday, Mat Staver, the head of the Liberty Counsel, tried to explain why he supports discrimination against gay people.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) asked Staver if it would be wrong for a wedding photographer to discriminate against a Jewish couple because of some preciously-held religious beliefs, which have been used to discriminate against gay people, reports RightWingWatch.org (video below).
However, Staver claimed repeatedly that discriminating against a Jewish person and a gay person were not the same thing.