Sanders’ ‘Strong Spiritual Feeling’ Influences His Public Policy, Campaign Says

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 09: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to supporters at a rally at Civic Center Park on September 9, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is driven by a “strong spiritual feeling” which influences his “approach to public policy,” according to an Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund questionnaire filled out by the presidential candidate’s campaign.

The Sanders campaign answered questions provided by the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund, which describes itself as a “statewide, non-partisan, progressive voice for people of faith and no faith protecting religious freedom, ensuring religion is not misused to discriminate, championing individual rights, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism.”

“How will your faith or values influence your views on public policy?” the questionnaire asked.

The Sanders campaign stressed that faith plays a crucial role in Sanders’ life:

Bernie is very proud of being Jewish. It is an essential part of who he is as a human being. His father’s family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust, and the treatment of Jews is fundamental to how Bernie thinks about the world in terms of ensuring that people from every background are treated with dignity, equality, and respect.

“Faith is a guiding principle in Bernie’s life. Everybody practices religion in a different way,” his campaign continued, adding that Sanders would not be running if not for his “strong religious and spiritual foundation.”

Sanders is largely driven by a “very strong spiritual feeling” when it comes to the causes he champions, like prescription drug prices and hunger in America,” his campaign added:

He believes that, as a human being, the pain that one person feels, if we have children who are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can’t afford their prescription drugs, you know what, that impacts you, that impacts him. That’s his very strong spiritual feeling, and that influences his approach to public policy.

His campaign acknowledged religion is an integral part of the fabric of the U.S. but added that the “separation of religion and state and that is something we must protect.”

“Bernie knows how dangerous it is historically for governments to enforce religion. That is not what our founding fathers wanted and they were right on this issue,” the campaign said, adding that the U.S. “must reject Trump’s path of hatred and divisiveness — and instead find the moral conviction to choose a different path, a higher path, a path of compassion, justice and love.”

The Sanders campaign also reiterated the promise to “transform this country” – language that Sanders has used in recent stump speeches.

“We must address the five central types of violence waged against black, brown and indigenous Americans: physical, political, legal, economic and environmental,” his campaign continued, putting an emphasis on guaranteeing free health care, free education, a living wage job, affordable housing, and abortion.

Despite Sanders’ emphasis on the importance of religion in his personal life, he has been under fire from faith leaders, influencers, and lawmakers after suggesting that he would support population control via expanding access to abortion during CNN’s climate change town hall last week:

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