It appears increasingly likely that President Trump will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. CBS News Senior Investigative Correspondent reports that a source told her “every signal, every indicator” indicates the president will pick Judge Barrett.
That’s why the anti-Catholic attacks against Judge Barrett have already begun. Again.
Judge Barrett is a pro-life, orthodox Catholic. After President Trump nominated her to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals back in 2017, during her confirmation hearing, Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said this about Judge Barrett’s Catholic faith:
“Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that — you know, dogma and law are two different things. And I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different. And I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”
Sen. Feinstein’s comment that “the dogma lives loudly within you” was widely criticized as an anti-Catholic remark, insinuating that Judge Barrett may not be able to do the job of a judge because of her faith.
Now that Judge Barrett is likely to be President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, several media outlets and blue checkmark Twitter personalities have ramped up this rhetoric again. The attacks focus in on Judge Barrett’s membership in the Christian group “People of Praise.”
People of Praise describes itself as a movement of Christians from many denominational backgrounds striving for “unity.”
“We read Scripture together. We share meals together. We attend each other’s baptisms and weddings and funerals. We support each other financially and materially and spiritually,” the group’s website notes.
On September 22, Reuters ran an article with the headline, “Handmaid’s Tale? U.S. Supreme Court candidate’s religious community under scrutiny.” Reuters cites Barrett’s membership in the group People of Praise as problematic.
“Some have likened People of Praise, a self-described charismatic Christian community, to the totalitarian, male-dominated society of Margaret Atwood’s novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” the article begins.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a book turned television series about repressed women living in a patriarchal society.
Reuters goes on to cite a former member of the group, who left 36 years ago, who claims People of Praise is “an abusive cult” where those who think independently are “humiliated, interrogated, shamed and shunned.”
Additionally, the media outlet Newsweek was forced to issue a correction to an article in which they claimed that People of Praise “inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’” The article asserts that the group “served as inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel.”
Yet, in a correction issued at the bottom of the article, the publication notes that Atwood, “has never specifically mentioned the group as being the inspiration for her work… Newsweek regrets the error.”
The New York Times has piled on, saying that some “worry” about Judge Barrett’s ties to People of Praise.
Alexandra DeSanctis argues on Twitter that the attacks lobbed at Judge Barrett are really just about keeping abortion legal.
“The attacks we’re already seeing on Barrett’s Catholic faith are just a bigoted way of disguising the real endgame: keeping judicially mandated abortion on demand in place at all costs,” she wrote.
On Tuesday, Senator Ben Sasse, R-Neb., blasted the attacks on Barrett’s faith.
“These ugly smears against Judge Barrett are a combination of anti-Catholic bigotry and QAnon-level stupidity. People of Praise is basically a Bible study — and just like billions of Christians around the world, Judge Barrett reads the Bible, prays, and tries to serve her community, Sen. Sasse said. “Senators should condemn this wacky McCarthyism.”
And the defense of Judge Barrett has now become bipartisan after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said on “Fox & Friend” on Wednesday, “It’s awful to bring in religion. It truly is.”
The American people will find out whether Judge Barrett will receive the president’s nod at 5PM EST on Saturday, when President Trump will officially announce his nominee from the White House.
Photo from REUTERS/MATT CASHORE/NOTRE DAME
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