Full disclosure for those who don’t already know: I’m not a Roman Catholic.
What I find really odd, as a non-Catholic, is the sudden public attacks on Catholics by people like Senators Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris, most recently by their criticism of the Knights Of Columbus. Why are they making such a big deal about this?
What they did was to harangue a judicial nominee, Brian Buescher, about his affiliation with the knights, a fraternal Catholic charity. Both of the women accused the Knights of sexism and trashed the organization for adhering to Catholic doctrine on the issues of gay marriage and abortion.
When Ben Sasse followed up with a resolution stating that it is unlawful to bar a nominee from office because of his membership in the Knights of Columbus (passed by the Senate), Hirono responded:
Sasse’s office correctly responded that Hirono’s statements were “laughably stupid.”
“@BenSasse has gone after the alt-right. [Hirono] is recklessly using the label “alt-right” to smear 2 million Catholics who volunteer in their communities,” Sasse’s communications director said on Twitter. “It’s laughably stupid, but it’s also insulting to the folks who face hate from the actual alt-right and neo-nazis.”
Then there is the attack on Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence. She is a committed Christian, and has returned to work at a Christian school where she worked when her husband was a member of Congress.
After a backlash surrounding his wife’s hiring at a Christian school that excludes LGBT students and employees, Mike Pence went on Christian TV on Thursday night to decry the criticism, saying “this criticism of Christian education in America should stop.”
“To see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us,” Pence said in the interview with Lauren Ashburn of EWTN, a cable TV network presenting Catholic-themed programming.
Pence’s interview followed coverage of second lady Karen Pence’s decision to go back to work as a teacher at Immanuel Christian School in Northern Virginia, which bans gay employees, students and the children of gay parents.
She had previously taught at the elementary school for 12 years, while Pence was an Indiana congressman.
It may surprise some, but a stand against homosexuality, bi-sexuality, gay marriage and sexual immorality, is biblically supported, and not just a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Here is the church’s statement of faith, and the parental agreement that must be signed in order for a student to be accepted:
It includes this statement:
I understand the biblical role of Immanuel Christian School is to partner with families to encourage students to be imitators of Christ. This necessarily involves the school’s understanding and belief regarding biblical morality and standards of conduct. I understand that the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school. (Lev. 20:13 and Romans 1:27.) I acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman.
My role as spiritual mentor to my children will be taken seriously.
There are some who have gone so far as to say that Mrs. Pence’s employment is a violation of the separation between church and state, although I can’t see how this could possibly be, since she is not even a government employee. Apparently Catholics (or Christians of any type) are not allowed to have religious beliefs.
To me, their call for “inclusiveness” is an approval of any and all activities that Christians consider sins, but then sin is apparently old-fashioned in today’s society.
Of course, the same beliefs are held by Moslems, but it’s okay for their religion.
Why the attacks? I think political operatives like Harris and Hirono know (or think) that they will soon be interrogating another nominee to the Supreme Court to replace RBG, and they believe that nominee will be a devout Catholic. Who, you say? Why, I think (along with lots of others) that will be Amy Coney Barrett, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Judge Barrett became something of a hero to religious conservatives last year when Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, questioned what influence the jurist’s Roman Catholic faith would have on her rulings from the bench. She was questioned in particular about a 1998 article in which she argued that Catholic judges should sometimes recuse themselves from sentencing in death penalty cases. At her confirmation hearing, she backed away from that position. A former law clerk to Justice Scalia, she served for 15 years as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.
Judge Barrett is the least experienced, and potentially most controversial of judges on President Trump’s short list. She would almost certainly be targeted for questioning about her beliefs concerning abortion, and how they would influence her decision regarding any challenges to Roe v. Wade that might come before the court. Because she would be replacing a female Justice, I think her nomination is better than an even bet.