President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett is a devout Catholic. Obviously, that does not affect their eligibility to join the court. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is a devout Catholic. Judge Sonia Sotomayor is Catholic, as are four Conservatives currently on trial: Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh. It is hard to say that Catholics which make up around 23 percent of Americansface discrimination in being appointed to the Supreme Court (although, if elected, Biden would only be the second Catholic President in our history). I grew up Catholic (and still a much derided “cafeteria Catholic”) and grew up sensitive to anti-Catholic prejudice.
The questions about Barrett’s religious beliefs are not that. They come from their long membership in the small, charismatic Christian sect People of Praise in South Bend, India. Although it is open to all Christian denominations, an estimated 90 percent of the 1,800 members are Catholic. the Jesuit magazine America reported this weekand added, “The group also tends to be at least politically conservative,” in a 2018 interview with the South Bend TribuneBarrett’s hometown paper, the group’s current “coordinator” Craig Lent, affirmed that People of Praise is against abortion, gay rights and marriage equality, believing that “men are leaders of their families but that they should be” servants “. “How Jesus Christ was.” Even so, Lent insisted that the group “stay out of politics,” the newspaper reported.
(Barrett and Trump did not mention the religious controversy at their nomination ceremony on Saturday night, but the nominee did speak of her husband, Jesse, as their “partner” rather than their leader.)
Still, many conservatives and even some liberals argue that Barrett’s religious views should be banned. Writing for the Boston public radio site WBURIn an article entitled, “It’s 2020. Stop Talking About Amy Coney Barrett’s” devout “Catholicism.” Eileen McNamara argues“Let’s leave their religion out, shall we?” McNamara blames Democrats for examining Barrett’s religious views in the 2017 hearings for her nomination in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, specifically targeting Senate Justice Democratic leader Dianne Feinstein of California.
Feinstein phrased her questions awkwardly at best – another reason why I wish she had retired in 2018 instead of running again. “You have a long history of believing that your religious beliefs should prevail,” Feinstein told Barrett. “The dogma lives loudly in you.” (I don’t even know what that means; it reminds me The exorcist.)
Barrett’s religious beliefs themselves would not matter if we did not have enough evidence that they influence their legal beliefs. And it’s important to note that People of Praise is far more restrictive than Catholicism. The group has received exaggerated and unfair coverage – while traditionally referring to male community leaders as “heads” and their female colleagues as “maids”, it has not inspired Margaret Atwoods The story of the maid (To be on the safe side, “Maid” was changed to “Leader” after the Hulu hit debut.) Cult pundits say it’s not a cult. If you check out his facebook pageMost of the posts are inspiring stories of charity and grace. In addition: At the events after Covid, people will make, distribute and wear masks!
However, it cannot be denied that the group is against abortion and gay marriage, and excludes LGBT people from membership. Trinity South Bend School, where Barrett served on the board for several years, teaches male and female students separately and prohibits dating. In 2017 The New York Times reported While the group members confirmed that Barrett and her husband were part of People of Praise – in fact, both fathers were leaders – she did not disclose their membership on Senate confirmation documents. In the meantime, links they mentioned in the group’s magazine Vine and branches– Some newer ones, after that Times– disappeared from his website.
Why did even liberals insist that Barrett’s eccentric religious views be banned in appointing SCOTUS? “It cannot be said that our beliefs affect politics, law, and the common good on the one hand, and expect no questions to be answered on the other,” said Cathleen Kaveny, professor of law and theology at Boston College. told America in 2017. Catholic scholar Massimo Faggioli wrote in Politico that Barrett’s association with People of Praise should be at the fore when discussing their qualifications, given the group’s “highly authoritarian internal structure” which, according to many reports, requires a “covenant” between members and God. But in slateMolly Olmstead warns that Conservatives have already set a trap for Democrats who raise questions about Barrett’s membership of the People of Praise. If they go there, she argues, “the right has his answer already ready to go.”
But what’s new? Law is based on a culture of complaint, and SCOTUS battles are no different. Clarence Thomas complained of “high-tech lynching” when asked about real charges of sexual harassment in the workplace, and Brett Kavanaugh’s angry, almost tearful disapproval of credible (albeit long ago) attempted sexual assault charges brought him also a confirmation. Trump is currently accusing Biden’s eventual victory, which most polls show, was the result of rampant fraud – an obvious lie – and threats not to leave the presidency. They do that.
Still, I understand why people feel it is risky to represent Barrett’s religious views – especially given the Democrats botched them three years ago. There is already a lot of evidence on file without investigating her relationship with People of Praise. She signed an open letter to the Catholic bishops 2015 Support of traditional gender hierarchy and rejection of abortion and marriage equality. She has declared abortion “always immoral” and routinely characterized the law as wrong Roe v. calf established it. As my colleague Elie Mystal wrote this weekend, “Barrett has spoken out against abortion rights in general, and roe In particular, more than any other person I was nominated for the Supreme Court after that 1973 decision. ”
She is also, as Mystal argues, a hypocrite. She has written that Catholic judges who believe that their church’s teachings on the death penalty should be withdrawn from death penalty cases, however, go to great lengths to get involved in abortion cases. If she believes that her religious beliefs would prevent her from impartially enforcing secular capital punishment law, then why can’t she admit that they do the same when it comes to the established right of women to make their own health choices? (At her confirmation hearings, she appeared to be backtracking on her proposal to withdraw from death penalty cases.)
Still, as a Catholic, I find it insulting to see Barrett’s extremist beliefs equated with either Catholicism or the views of American Catholics. We support a woman’s right to vote in most cases. An overwhelming majority support contraceptionand Catholics are slightly more likely than other Americans to support marriage equality. Most American Catholics support gender equality and reject the notion that man is the “head” of the family. (Not even Pope Francis preaches thatalthough he is against abortion, contraception, and the ordination of women.)
Even as a Catholic, I find it difficult to reconcile Barrett’s conservative morals with her decision to accept a nomination for a three-time-married adulterer who is credibly accused of being molested or assaulted by a dozen or two women. I also question the morality and integrity of the judiciary of anyone who would agree to be nominated by someone who has anything but said they expect the Supreme Court to be on their side in the event of election fraud. If Barrett does not want to withdraw on issues of abortion, or now apparently the death penalty, she should be urged to withdraw when the matter of Trump’s presidency comes before her as justice. I doubt she would, but the Democrats should grill her on this moral issue anyway.