If you’re a progressive politician in the United States, going to Liberty University to give a speech is a bit like walking into the metaphorical lion’s den of the far right in America. But leave it to Bernie Sanders to accept the challenge and not back down for a second.
Speaking at Liberty, which is a private Christian college in Virginia founded by Jerry Falwell, the Vermont Senator and 2016 Democratic Presidential contender was asked the following question by a student:
“Sen. Sanders, you have talked in your campaign about how it is immoral to protect the billionaire class at the expense of the most vulnerable in society — children. A majority of Christians would agree with you, but would also go further and say that children in the womb need our protection even more. How do you reconcile the two in your mind?”
To which Senator Sanders replied:
“I understand that, but I do also understand this is an area where we disagree. I do understand and I do believe that it is improper for the United States government or for state government to tell every woman in this country the very painful and difficult choice that she has to make on that issue. And I honestly don’t want to be too provocative here, but very often conservatives say, ‘Well, you know, get the government out of my life!’. I don’t want the government telling me what to do.”
Yes, the GOP loves to prate endlessly about how the best government is the one that stays out of people’s–and corporations’ lives–but then they have the audacity to tell a woman what choice (none) she will be allowed to make when it comes to her reproductive decisions. Sanders continued:
“But on this very sensitive issue on which this nation is divided, but my view is I respect absolutely a family that says, ‘No, we are not going to have an abortion,’ I understand that, I respect that. But I would hope that other people will respect the very painful and difficult choice that many women feel they have to make and don’t want the government telling them what to do.”
And then Senator Sanders said we should seek common ground in America on issues which affect children:
“But, I want to take that question a step further. Here is where I hope we have common ground. I want to tell you what was in the Republican budget that passed some months ago. When you talk about issues of children, understand the Republican budget threw 27 million people off of health care, including many children, at a time when many families cannot afford to send their kids to college. I don’t think that is a moral budget.”
Watch Senator Sanders At Liberty University
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.