Raskin slams ‘preposterous’ idea that Biden drug control strategy should include ‘faith’

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) sharply rebuked a suggestion from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) that President Biden’s national drug control strategy is flawed because it does not mention God or faith, calling that idea “preposterous” in a hearing Thursday. 

In a hearing examining the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s efforts to combat the overdose crisis, Raskin argued that mentioning God or faith would violate the U.S. Constitution, which specifically prohibits Congress from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

“The gentleman is somehow looking for some kind of religious test, which is explicitly forbidden in the Constitution [for] people for public office, in the drug control strategy,” Raskin said, referring to Gosar. “Surely, [faith] can make a difference in terms of people's individual lives and individual paths to recovery. People will derive sources of strength from many different places, including religious faith, including their friends and their family, including psychology and so on.”

“But the idea that our drug strategy is flawed because it doesn't put religion in the center seems to me to be preposterous,” said Raskin, the top Democrat on the House Oversight panel. 

Raskin was responding to Gosar’s criticism that the Biden administration’s drug control strategy is flawed, at least in part, because it does not mention God and faith. 

“Biden's National Drug Control Strategy is 150 pages. The words ‘God’ and ‘faith’ are not mentioned one time. People need a purpose to be happy,” Gosar said, before seeming to suggest there was a connection between greater government assistance, a lack of faith in God and a rise in drug overdoses. 

Gosar quoted Democratic long-shot presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in saying “unemployment kills,” and added, “The left offers endless benefits. In other words, dependency. Because dependent population votes for the providers of those benefits. But a human being needs a purpose — a good job, the ability to provide for a family, a belief in a creator — in order to be happy.”