As I predicted last week, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett would be spared another round of anti-Catholic commentary by senate Democrats. From what was said over the weekend, my assessment was correct.
Indeed, Rep. Nancy Pelosi affirmed that it “doesn’t matter what her faith is.” Sen. Dick Durbin, who made anti-Catholic remarks when Barrett was being considered for an appellate post in 2017, said this time around, “I’m going to be extremely careful.”
It is clear that the Democrats got burned for their bigotry three years ago and are not prepared to go down that road again, at least not in an ostentatious way (look for oblique attacks on her faith). That does not mean, however, that their surrogates in the media and activist organizations will restrain themselves. In fact, they are on the loose again.
Organizations that are either expressly atheistic or are wholly secular are, of course, ripping Barrett’s Catholicism. American Atheists and Americans United for Separation of Church and State issued news releases arguing that Barrett’s commitment to religious liberty means she will discriminate against LGBTQ people.
Freedom From Religion Foundation contends that Barrett would “complete the Christian Nationalist takeover of the high court for more than a generation.” Similarly, the American Humanist Association maintains that Barrett would be the sixth Catholic on the Supreme Court, a red flag; her reported membership in a charismatic Christian group was deemed “particularly concerning.”
The Daily Kos ran two articles hammering Barrett. One called her a “religious extremist,” and the other said she is “primed and ready to substitute the Church’s particular teaching [on abortion] as the only true religious position on the matter.” (Notice abortion was not framed as a biological issue.)
Left-wing activist Katie Hill, who runs a political action committee, said questions about Barrett’s religion are fair game: we need to know if she “will impose her faith on the American people.” (The way secularists impose their beliefs in education?)
Elizabeth Bruenig used her New York Times column to state that Barrett’s nomination has “renewed attention to a fundamental conflict, centuries underway, between Catholicism and the American ethos.” (This is a polite way of wondering if practicing Catholics—in the 21st century—can be good Americans.)
Mother Jones ran a piece that was long on innuendo and short on facts calling attention to Barrett’s alleged membership in a Christian charismatic group. Bill Maher sounded the alarms saying Barrett was “really, really Catholic.” Imagine someone saying Ruth Bader Ginsburg was “really, really Jewish”—everyone would know what that means.
MSNBC’s Joy Reid was more forthright on this issue, leading Megyn Kelly to condemn her “bigoted attacks on Catholics.” Ron Charles of the Washington Post, and Lindy Ki, a Biden delegate, raised questions about Barrett’s respect for separation of church and state (they have it backwards—respect for the autonomy of religious organizations is the pressing issue).
First prize goes to David Atkins of the Washington Monthly. “In reality, there is no anti-Catholic bias against Barrett from the left.” Looks like the secular dogma lives loudly within him.
The Trump campaign was doing more than blowing political smoke when it said that Biden should end his silence about the anti-Catholic attacks on Barrett. He should. If a Muslim Supreme Court nominee were the target of bigotry stemming from Republicans or conservatives, he would surely condemn it.
I am happy to say that I have been contacted by New York City Councilman and Pentecostal minister Reuben Diaz Sr., and Rabbi Aryeh Spero, both of whom have pledged to condemn anti-Catholics. Too bad Biden, a professed Catholic, can’t do the same. However, if he did, he would have to start by condemning his running mate.