Senate Democrats Attack Judicial Nominee’s Catholic Faith

Senate Democrats Attack Judicial Nominee’s Catholic Faith

[Democratic senators (including “Catholic” ones) again blatantly disregard the US Constitution, in this case Article VI, Section 3: “… no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”]

Todd Starnes |Posted: Sep 07, 2017

Senate Democrats came dangerously close to crossing a constitutional line regarding religious faith during an inquisition of one of President Trump’s nominees for the federal court.

Senators grilled federal judicial nominee Amy Barrett — demanding to know how her faith would influence her decisions from the bench. Barrett is a professor at Notre Dame Law School and a devout Catholic.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), expressed grave concerns that Barrett is a Catholic in good standing.

“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, for years in this country,” Feinstein said.

It was an “Are you now or have you ever been a Catholic” moment – and it was completely disgraceful. I warned you about this kind of religious waterboarding in my book, “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) interrogated Barrett over her use of the term “orthodox Catholics” – in reference to an article she wrote on capital punishment.

“Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” Durbin asked.

“If you’re asking whether I take my faith seriously and I’m a faithful Catholic, I am,” she told the senator. “Although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge.”

Durbin, who is a Catholic, told Daily Caller News Foundation that his questions regarding Barrett’s religious beliefs were justified.

“I prefaced my remarks by saying that going into a person’s religion is not the right thing to do in every circumstance,” he said. “But she’s been outspoken. As a law school professor at Notre Dame she has taken on the tough challenge of how a person with strong religious beliefs becomes a judge and looks at American law.”

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) accused Barrett of being unfit for the bench because of her ties to Alliance Defending Freedom – an organization he called a “hate” group.

Barrett had once delivered a speech at the renowned law firm that specializes in defending religious liberty cases.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left smear machine, labeled Alliance Defending Freedom a hate group.

“As a member of Congress, Sen. Franken needs to fact-check before parroting discredited attacks by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a once-proud civil rights organization that is now a left-wing smear machine known to incite violence,” ADF president Michael Farris said in a statement. “Alliance Defending Freedom is the largest religious liberty legal advocacy organization in the world and advocates for the freedom of all people—including Sen. Franken’s constituents—to peacefully live, speak, and work consistently with their convictions without fear of government punishment.”

Last June Sen. Bernie Sanders viciously attacked the religious faith of Russell Vought, the president’s nominee to be deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Sen. Sanders deemed Vought unsuitable for office because the nominee believes that salvation is found alone through Jesus Christ. He said someone with that kind of a religious belief system is “really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”

The Vermont senator’s comments brought strong condemnation from Christians across the nation – including Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

“Senator Sanders is taking the Obama era’s religious hostility and putting it on steroids,” Perkins said.

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6 comments on “Senate Democrats Attack Judicial Nominee’s Catholic Faith

  1. Neither of the Catholic ethical teachings on the death penalty or abortion are articles of faith or require a leap of faith. They are not “beliefs” as some liberals like to imply. The Catholic moral teaching on abortion is based on Natural Law, reason, and common sense. There is a philosophical debate about the death penalty among Catholic ethicists, but the traditional Catholic position allows for it. It may come as a surprise to liberals but all Catholics are required to be orthodox Catholics. One aspect of this episode shows how the progressive modernism of Pope Francis confuses non-Catholics about what the teachings of the Catholic Church are.

    The neo-Catholic modernists of the USCCP have done a very poor job at explaining these teachings and catechizing the laity. It would be appropriate for them to issue a document explaining the principles of Natural Law and the basis in reason for Catholic moral teachings on such moral issues. You can’t expect Catholics to be informed on such issues while Catholic colleges and universities are under the anti-Catholic progressive grip of the Land O’Lakes conference agenda which de-Catholicizes the faculties. The evil of that agenda is plain to see in the confusion over this judicial nominee.

    The policy decision by some Catholic ethicists and bishops to oppose the death penalty
    derives from rational debates over the issue and is both a reasoned argument in those debates as well as an opinion in policy debates in politics. However, Catholic legislators and judges may defend the death penalty in certain situations as a deterrent. Catholic ethicists are divided in their opinions on the death penalty. There is not a “dogma” which requires Catholics to oppose all instances of the death penalty. Catholics, however, are required to oppose abortion. Liberal Catholics who support abortion are in a state of grave sin when they do so and automatically place themselves under the latae sententiae penalty of excommunication whether their modernist bishop imposes that officially or not. They violate Catholic canon law. This would include the Nancy Pelosi types. Unlike the death penalty, the abortion issue is not open for debate for Catholics.

    • HowlinglyAbsurd says:

      It would be appropriate for them [the US Catholic bishops] to issue a document explaining the principles of Natural Law and the basis in reason for Catholic moral teachings on such moral issues.

      They did – in a 1951 statement, God’s Law: the Measure of Man’s Conduct, issued by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, the predecessor of the current USCCCP. It is very difficult to find the text online (impossible at no-charge, easy access sites, including the USCCCP site) unless one has online privileges to a library (usually a college or university one) which subscribes to JSTOR, or one is willing to pay a fee to download a copy of statement from JSTOR. The document is also contained in one or another anthology of pastoral letters by the American bishops or statements on Catholic social teaching (especially in the US), but none of those books are available online – only in libraries (usually at a Catholic college or university).

      An article on the EWTN site (Social Teachings At Risk In The American Catholic Church: A Review and Commentary on “Changing Witness, Catholic Bishops and Public Policy, 1917-1994” by Michael Warner) quotes from the statement:

      The 1951 statement, God’s Law: the Measure of Man’s Conduct, noted that “right reason had arrived at the knowledge of the existence of God, of man’s creation by God, and of a sense of man’s dignity and freedom. These universal insights into natural law laid the foundation for family, state and society and kept them in right relation.”

      Read the complete article at on the rise and fall of natural law teaching in statements by the US Catholic bishops.

  2. [The Catholic League’s Bulldog Donohue has gone after those Democratic senators]

    Open Letters to Durbin and Feinstein

    September 7, 2017

    Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains why he is posting open letters to Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Dianne Feinstein:

    At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 6, Senator Durbin and Senator Feinstein came perilously close to applying a religious test to circuit court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Such a test is unconstitutional.

  3. It would not be surprising if the Natural Law basis of Catholic moral teachings against abortion is not taught at most Catholic colleges under modernist and non-Catholic control. But it is appalling. Until Roe v. Wade in 1973, civil law in the U.S. prohibited abortion (when a Protestant majority held sway in legislatures), so it is not a Catholic theological doctrine that has been at issue, despite the hype and bigotry by pro-abortion liberals. The conservative pro-life position is a legal critique of Roe v. Wade and judicial review by liberal activists on the Supreme Court.

    But the liberal senator from California is confused. There is a religion which demands blood sacrifices of the unborn – the religion of Satan worship. How appalling that liberal Democrats in the United States seek to impose that and to fund it with U.S. tax dollars.

  4. While Feinstein and Durbin are repugnant and acting unconstitutionally, the bottom line is that Amy Barrett allayed all of their concerns by betraying the Lord to Whom she claimed to be faithful:

    “If you’re asking whether I take my faith seriously and I’m a faithful Catholic, I am,” she told the senator. “Although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge.”

    Well, that’s the same as Scalia. Here’s Gary Potter outlining the issue with him:
    Antonin Scalia Viewed as a Liberal. (This was posted on AQ, but has since disappeared.)

    While being faithful and applying “Thou Shalt Not Kill” above the machinations of politicians who approve the killing of the unborn will result in no Catholic being approved to the courts, would it be preferable to have Catholic judges who disavow the 5th Commandment as a Commandment from the True God? Isn’t such a judge actually worse? He betrays his Lord, giving credence to the idea that men are free to make godless laws. What would Daniel say? Or St. John the Baptist?

  5. Interpreting the law as a judge or legislature does not require consultation with articles of faith or the mysteries of theology such as the divinity of Christ, the Immaculate Conception, or the relations between the three persons of the Holy Trinity as a dogma. What is at issue is the liberal senators’ misunderstanding of the nature of Catholic teaching. The teaching on abortion, as it relates to whether a murder has occurred, is not a “belief” or a mystery of theology. Up until 1973 (Roe v. Wade) there was nothing peculiarly Catholic about prohibited abortion as a matter of civil law. Since 1973 and Roe v. Wade, because Roman Catholic moral theology and Natural Law ethics (Humanae Vitae in particular) have the most elaborate expositions of the pro-life position it has been assumed by non-Catholic pro-abortion liberals and their liberal modernist neo-Catholic partners in crime that the pro-life position is some obscure theological position transcending reason. It’s not.

    The part of the Catholic teaching on abortion that relates to faith and religion has to do with being in a state of mortal sin and excommunication, facing eternal damnation for having had or performed an abortion. Regulating or prohibiting abortion is not imposing any Catholic religious doctrine concerning the disposition of someone’s soul or their need for absolution. Hence, abortion was illegal when the U.S. was predominantly a Protestant country without religious controversy. What changed was the Sexual Revolution in which a propaganda campaign was conducted by the Playboy Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation to change American attitudes toward abortion. Secular humanists decided they wanted abortion as a backup position for birth control in the new culture of sexual hedonism so lechers who followed the Playboy philosophy could have their girlfriends and mistresses abort unwanted pregnancies. This is a philosophical disagreement about procreation and conjugal relations. The Catholic Natural Law position on that issue is based on reason, common sense, and direct observation. A literate person of above-average intelligence ought to be able to grasp that (which may explain why Pelosi and Biden have trouble understanding it). The United States was not an Ultramontane Catholic monarchical theocracy before 1973 when abortion was prohibited by law.

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