Repugnant Religious Testing for Public Office?

Were you as shocked as I was to recently watch Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee question judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s religion, as a modern litmus test for their approval or rejection? Not all “dogma” is religious, and their liberal, progressive dogma was very apparent in their unconstitutional approach and bias toward this distinguished judicial nominee.

Rather than simply consider the professional achievements of a nominee for the federal judiciary, Democratic Senators Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin found her “controversial” and challenged her fitness to serve, mainly due to her Catholic faith. Feinstein slyly observed that “the dogma lives loudly within” the Catholic mother of seven.

History observes that anti-Catholicism is one of America’s underwritten biases. One has to wonder whether there would have been more of an outcry if Professor Barrett had faced a similar grilling from Democrats if she were a Muslim or a Jew.

All Democratic committee members appeared to rely heavily on research done and selectively provided them by a leftist, activist resource. Apparently, they carefully presented the Democratic members with only part of the religiously focused article that Professor Barrett co-wrote nearly 20 years ago, the subject of which was not selected by her but was assigned by a professor, under whom she was working.

The article, “Catholic Judges in Capital Cases,” discussed how judges with strong religious beliefs should address death penalty cases. Specifically, it related how they can recuse themselves if the law is contrary to their personal beliefs. But that never came out, did it?

The article specifically stated, “Judges can not—nor should they try to—align our legal system with the Church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge.” Yet somehow, Professor Barrett was treated by the Democratic Inquisitors as if she wanted to turn the United States into a religious society, presumably answerable to the Pope!

This is as absurd today as it was when Jack Kennedy was running as the “first Catholic” for President! This offensive religious-testing is not only illegal (Article VI, Section 3) but appears to be part of a broader effort on the left to disqualify people with strong religious views from the public square.

California Senator Feinstein’s partisan approach seemed to be of the same mentality as the discredited, leftist Southern Poverty Law Center’s current effort to brand any non-profit organization or ministry which doesn’t agree with their uber-liberal agenda as “a Hate Group.”

While I admire these senior Senators’ leadership in the area of national security, I submit that this distinguished Notre Dame Law professor deserved better from them than repugnant religious testing and Catholic bashing.

About Along The Way with Gary Curtis

Gary Curtis served for 27 years, as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California. In October 2015, Gary retired from leadership of the church’s not-for-profit media outreach, Life On The Way Communications, Inc. He continues to blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com. Gary and his wife, Alisa, live in southern California. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren.
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