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Tony Perkins / Sep. 25, 2020

The Attacks on Judge Barrett's Faith Are Despicable and Must Be Condemned

With President Trump scheduled to announce his Supreme Court nominee by the end of the week, the Left's opposition playbook for the prospective nominee is being opened for all to see.

With President Trump scheduled to announce his Supreme Court nominee by the end of the week, the Left’s opposition playbook for the prospective nominee is being opened for all to see. One of the leading contenders for the court vacancy is Amy Coney Barrett, currently serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She is a favorite among many religious conservatives, and given the growing attacks on religious expression, fervently desire to put a strong originalist justice on the court. Barrett has been attacked by the Left not only for her position on judicial interpretation but for something far more personal — and protected — under that same Constitution: her Christian, specifically Catholic, faith.

For starters, Newsweek published a factually incorrect article titled “How Charismatic Catholic Groups Like Amy Coney Barrett’s People of Praise Inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’” connecting People of Praise to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale. An ABC News article on the topic quoted Andrew Seidel, an activist with the Freedom from Religion Foundation, who doubled down in the smear campaign against Barrett: “There are serious and deep concerns about Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s affiliation with People of Praise …”

Article VI of the Constitution clearly forbids disqualifying someone from serving in public office due to their religious convictions, where it reads that “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” This pesky little line from our Constitution, however, hasn’t stopped the Left from attacking Barrett. During a now-infamous 2017 hearing, the committee’s ranking Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein, told Barrett that “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”

Barrett shot down the accusation that her faith would dictate her decisions as a judge. “I see no conflict between having a sincerely held faith and duties as a judge,” she said. “I would never impose my own personal convictions upon the law.”

Judge Barrett clearly understands her duty will be to decide the cases before her. In her own words, “I think one of the great traditions in this country is that judges participate in the law, participate in the decision of cases and rule even when they disagree with the outcome.”

Another one of the great traditions in this country is the right to freely live out one’s faith; religious liberty is the very first right enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Anti-Christian bigotry is no new phenomenon on the radical Left, but it has become more and more pervasive in recent years as the Christian faith has been pushed out of public life. Contrary to those busy smearing her, Judge Barrett would make an excellent Supreme Court Justice due to her intellect, disposition, ability, and proven commitment to the Constitution of the United States. These qualities should determine whether she is qualified for the position — not what the Left is now focused on.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who will preside over the confirmation hearing, echoed this sentiment last night at the Values Voters Summit when he told me: “People of faith, your faith may be subject to a lot of questioning. It’s OK to be a religious conservative. It’s OK to be on the Supreme Court if you’re a religious conservative. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure the person nominated will apply the law to the facts and put their personal beliefs aside. We’re not going to tolerate a country where you’re punished for your faith.”

“Religious differences abound in America,” Graham said, “but I am very much aware of the fact that if it’s somebody of faith and they attack the person for being faithful,” he is prepared for a “fight.”

Graham went on to assure us that he “will make sure the nominee is tested but not abused,” at the upcoming hearing, “if Democrats try to destroy this conservative nominee, they do so at their own peril.”

Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.), another member of the Judiciary Committee, echoed Graham’s defense, calling the campaigns against Barrett’s faith “ugly smears” that reflect “anti-Catholic bigotry.”

Exactly right. People of all faiths should stand together against the Left when it attacks a woman as accomplished as Amy Coney Barrett for the simple fact of her Catholic religious beliefs. Last time I checked, being Christian and Catholic is not a crime. It must not become one on our watch.

Originally published here.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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