Burgos Responds

In an incredibly obtuse response, Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee member Fredy Burgos replied to the latest call-out for his removal from party leadership.

Burgos responded on Facebook:

“As an evangelical Christian, nobody loves the Jewish people and Israel more than I. The Bible is the word of God. The Bible is a Jewish book written by Jewish prophets. Christ is a Jew. It is why we live in the most civil and tolerant nation ever, because of our Judeo-Christian culture. It is why I love it so. In politics, if all being equal, it is a preference one can make when deciding because of one’s religious believes. There are people who believe that one should not have the right to believe. For my Christian beliefs, I am being attacked by those who do not want Christians to profess their faith within our Party.

“The Republican Creed reads: ‘That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.’ Critics wish to let the public know that the creed no longer applies. I am saddened that God has been ignored and being attacked from within the Party I love. It is a major problem we have as a political party that prides itself as tolerant to God. These accusers, who write anonymously and erroneously, do not have that pride.

“The Republicans who think we have to quit the party because we’re conservative are the ones who don’t belong in the party, they shrink at the first sign of difficulty. It’s a good thing they’re not in power of anything bigger than a county or state party.

“To say that I am anti-Semitic is ignorant and wrong. The opposite is true. But perhaps it would help if critics understood that we evangelicals have a special affection for our Jewish neighbor: Because the Bible tells us that God has a special affection for them too and instructs Christians to have that same affection. I apologize if some people may have misunderstood, but it is my hope that the clarity that I have now given will end any question of my intent.

Sincerely,

Fredy Burgos

We’ve been through this drill before when Bearing Drift’s Editorial Board called for Burgos’ removal in June 2016.

“Mr. Burgos,” Bearing Drift wrote at the time, “has demonstrated a consistent, repeated pattern of behavior of saying inflammatory, bigoted things on social media. Only now, having been elected, is his world-view coming under scrutiny. Unfortunately, these comments reflect a world-view that is becoming all too common in GOP circles.”

That editorial is as relevant today as it was in 2016:

The role of a free press is to help voters hold their leaders accountable, and as the most-read center-right news outlet in Virginia, we here at Bearing Drift have long accepted this obligation.

We can’t do this alone.

We know, just as our readers know, that conservatives and the rest of our center-right coalition are not the bigoted neanderthals the left has long tried to stigmatize us as.

The idea that disagreement is a form of hate speech is a childish, amateurish, and in some circles carefully plotted strategy to silence dissent, thought, and speech.  It is precisely the opposite sort vice and viciousness that only fuels the polarization of the public square and creates instances such as these.

The truth is, conservatives come from all walks of life, economic backgrounds, races and ethnicities, differing sexual orientations and yes — many faiths.  Conservatives by intent and design demand diversity because it makes us that much stronger.  Such diversity of thought, backgrounds, and opinions are reflected in the political party most of us belong to.

So when certain party leaders play down to the expectations of the political left — especially when such ignorance goes unchallenged — not only does this reinforce certain negative stereotypes about conservatives, but it strikes at the very heart of who we are.

When we fail to highlight bad behavior from party leaders, and when the party at large tolerates this behavior?  Such silence equates to tacit acceptance.

That silence is morally unacceptable.  It is unacceptable not only because it damages the party politically, it is unacceptable because it is morally wrong to ignore injustice and do nothing.

An apology — especially one that tries to claim he was misunderstood when what he has said is clear – does not fix the damage.  For the good of the party, Mr. Burgos should step down.

We at Bearing Drift care about the conservative message.  We will continue to do our part to ensure that the fundamental, core messages of optimism and hope that have long characterized the conservative movement — messages that still bind together our entire center-right coalition — are not lost in a sea of 140 character bigotry.

That is going to take discipline and self-control on the part of our leaders, and a willingness to stand up and confront bad behavior on the part of our colleagues when they make mistakes.  Bearing Drift has done so for the last decade, and we will continue to do so not only because it speaks to the best of the conservative tradition, but because it is simply the right thing to do.

Bearing Drift continues to stand by those principles. Fredy Burgos should resign and, if he refuses, State Central Committee should remove him from party leadership.

Also from Bearing Drift….

GOP’s Burgos Suggests Jews Shouldn’t Run for Office — UPDATED – 2018
Virginia Republican Leadership Responds to RPV State Central Member’s Anti-Jewish Comments – 2018
Editorial: We Need Leaders Who Know When to Shut Up; Burgos Should Step Down – 2016
Elgendy: Burgos’ Comments Hostile to Inclusivity Within RPV’s State Central – 2016
Freedom of Religion Is Still In Our Constitution – 2016
Bigotry on State Central – 2017
SCC Member Kyle McDaniel Resigns from Virginia Republican Party – 2018
Stephen Spiker: Why I’m Staying in the Republican Party – 2018
Kyle McDaniel and the Virginia of 2018

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  • Turbocohen
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  • M. D. Russ

    “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
    -Article VI, US Constitution

    The Framers incorporated the ban on a religious test for public office not because they feared that one Christian sect or another would achieve a popular monopoly on public offices. Rather, they feared that a majority of religious sects might combine to ban a single religious sect, such as Jews for example.

    Fredy Burgos is proposing an unconstitutional religious test. If he were to secure a ban on Jews, what would be next? A ban on Catholics, a ban on Friends, a ban on Christian Scientists or Jehovah Witnesses?

    I find it highly ironic, but not surprising, that evangelical Christians, starting with Mike Huckabee, screamed from the rafters about religious freedom when Kentucky Clerk of Court Kim Davis was held in contempt of a Federal court order when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That is par for the course with evangelicals. They vigorously support and defend the Constitution–unless it conflicts with their narrowly defined and bigoted viewpoints. Then their interpretation of the Bible trumps the Constitution.

    Burgos is un-American and unfit to hold any position of political leadership.

    • Spin Cipher

      When the Constitution was ratified, the meaning of the term “religion” generally meant “true religion,” according the definition found in Webster’s 1828 Edition of the American Dictionary of the English. The Framers did not mean “religion” as the term is understood today,as an all encompassing term referring to “any system of faith and worship,” and would not have encompassed “the belief and worship of pagans and Mohammedans” ,,, “the religion of the Turks, of the Hindoos, of the Indians, etc.” as well as of the christian religion We speak of false religion as well as of true religion.”

      When the Constitution was ratified, “religion”
      generally encompassed bona fide Christian sects or denominations, which would have been considered different expressions of “true religion.” The meaning would have been understood according to the definition found in
      Webster’s 1828 Edition of the American Dictionary of the English.The
      Framers did not mean “religion” as it is understood today,to be an all encompassing reference to “any system of faith and worship,”
      and certainly would not have encompassed “non-Christian” false religions” such as the “belief and worship of pagans and Mohammedans …”

      When we superimpose a postmodern definition on terms used in the 18th Century, we risk misapplication of the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States. No Founder would have called Islam, for instance, a “true religion.”

      According to the Harvard Law Review (https://harvardlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/no_religious_test_clause.pdf)

      Article VI, Clause 3, of the Constitution contains one sentence with
      two separate provisions: the Oath Clause and the No Religious Test
      Clause.4 The Oath Clause requires that certain government officials
      be “bound by Oath or Affirmation” to support the Constitution.5 Limiting this mandate, the No Religious Test Clause then provides, “but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
      The No Religious Test Clause cannot be understood without first
      defining the term “religious Test.” The Constitution, however, provides
      no such definition. Moreover, the constitutional text permits interpretations of the No Religious Test Clause as prohibiting only those religious tests included as part of an official’s formal oath, or all religious tests regardless of whether they occur during a formal oath, or something in between. An analysis of the historical background of the clause is therefore necessary to understand its meaning.
      Historical evidence demonstrates that the Founders understood the
      clause as prohibiting the sorts of religious tests that were common in
      England and in many states at the time of ratification. History also
      shows that the Founders understood the clause as having a narrow
      purpose — namely, prohibiting the government from requiring an individual to bind himself to a religious belief or sacrament through an
      oath or affirmation in order to hold federal office. Fittingly, then, the
      Founders placed the No Religious Test Clause in the same sentence as the Oath Clause and wrote it as an explicit limitation on the scope of the government’s power under the Oath Clause.
      A. Religious Tests at the Founding
      At the Founding, England and many American states used religious
      tests to protect their established churches or preferred religions.
      In England, shortly after the restoration of the English monarchy, Parliament enacted the Test Act of 1672, which required all persons holding any public office to take an oath declaring a belief against transubstantiation in Holy Communion and to receive the sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England within three months of
      admittance to office. This test had the obvious effect of excluding
      Catholics and nearly all other non-Anglicans from holding public office. The test, therefore, was a “central feature of the establishment in England”9 because it served as a means of “secur[ing] the established church against perils from nonconformists of all denominations.”

      • M. D. Russ

        I have never encountered a more appropriate pseudonym, Spin Cipher. Spinning the Religious Test Clause by confounding it by the abuses of the Anglican Church.

        You are conveniently over-looking the fact that the reason the Framers constructed the Constitution in the first place was, i large part, to restrict and restrain the abuses of the Crown and the Anglican Church. The Religious Test Clause in the Article Vi for the same reason that the Establishment Clause is in the First Amendment. Infer what you will about the intent of the Founders, but the fact that they incorporated the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights speaks volumes about what their 18th Century purpose was, regardless how you try to parse it.

        That wasn’t even a mediocre effort at revisionism.

        • David Obermark

          But some of our citizens in the early steps of our nation condemned Thomas Jefferson because he was not Christian enough.

          I feel that “freedom of religion” allows candidates, and those who campaign for them, to express religious beliefs. You might be motivated to vote for or against the candidate based upon the ideas offered.

          • M. D. Russ

            As the expression goes, “freedom of religion is not freedom from religion.” If people want to vote for a candidate because of their affinity for his religious beliefs, there is nothing wrong with that. But dictating who can be a candidate because of their religious beliefs is unconstitutional.

          • David Obermark

            I do not see where Burgos said anyone should not be allowed to run for office beyond the inflated Bearing Drift headlines. Did you?

            I might not agree with his politics, but I will defend his right to campaign for his preferred candidate as he did.

          • M. D. Russ

            Are you stupid or drunk?

          • David Obermark

            According to the AFQT test I took to get into the Navy, I am amongst the highest percentiles on intelligence. As for drunk, not yet, but headed in that direction, lol.

          • Stephen Spiker

            He’s said as a Christian, its his duty to support Christians over non-Christians, in a race where his preferred candidate is running against someone who is Jewish.

            Notably, the John Jay quote doesn’t include any reference towards “non-Christians”. Fredy added that himself, in reference to the ongoing campaign.

          • David Obermark

            Go down south or out into dark red Midwest states and listen to Christian radio. You will hear much the same.

            Evangelicals are their preferred candidates. If the preferred candidate loses they will come around to supporting the less than preferred. They supported Donald over Hillary in the end even though he was never the preferred candidate.

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