On Saturday, President Trump nominated Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney to fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court created by the long-anticipated demise of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The fact that Trump is the President has led to all kinds of rather bizarre reporting on Coney Barrett’s life and faith.
For instance, we discovered that, by adopting two Haitian orphans, Coney Barrett revealed herself to be a racist with a colonial mentality. We also learned that she was quite possibly mixed up in human trafficking because conservative and Haiti. Here is a sampling of the attacks on Coney Barrett for having the temerity actually to have a sense of humanity:
Democrats Reveal Their Initial Line of Attack Against Amy Coney Barrett, and It’s Pathetic
Hysterical Progressives Beclown Themselves by Using Their Favorite TV Series To Smear Amy Coney Barrett
Peddler of Critical Race Theory Training Hints That SCOTUS Nominee Amy Coney Barrett Has a ‘Colonizer’ Mentality
NEW LOW: Democrat Operative Suggests Amy Coney Barrett Is Involved in Human Trafficking
Democrats Push Disgustingly Insane Amy Coney Barrett Conspiracy Theory, Attack Her Children
Much less shocking were the attacks of Coney Barrett’s faith and faith practice. Coney Barrett is Roman Catholic, and she is a member of a Charismatic Catholic community called People of Praise.* (This is a good synopsis of the Charismatic movement.)
To that end, the movement has inspired a lot of stories that highlight what New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told NPR in a 2016 interview:
And I think I use religion as an example because I was raised Catholic in New Orleans. I think that the New York-based — and Washington-based too, probably — media powerhouses don’t quite get religion.
We have a fabulous religion writer, but she’s all alone. We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives. And I think we can do much, much better.
Well, Baquet was right about part of this, reporters really don’t “get” people who live their faith. He was wrong about part — they really can’t do better than they are doing because they are who they are. For instance, let’s look at this reporting on People of Praise by Politico contributing editor Adam Wren.
The school publishes a “cultural statement” laying out its views on social issues. It articulates a clear, conservative Christian set of values, including discouraging sex before marriage and cautioning students who experience same-sex attraction from “prematurely interpret[ing] any particular emotional experience as identity-defining.” It also appears to have been at odds with American law while Barrett served on the board: A version of the statement from the 2018-19 school year, provided to POLITICO by the parent of an alum, says: “the only proper place for human sexual activity is marriage, where marriage is a legal and committed relationship between one man and one woman.” “Homosexual acts” are said to be “at odds with Scripture.” A spokesman for the school said the language changed around the 2018-2019 school year, meaning it would have been in place during Barrett’s tenure as a board member from 2015 to 2017—and well after the Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges, which in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
The current version still disapproves of same-sex marriage: “We understand marriage to be a legal and committed relationship between a man and a woman and believe that the only proper place for sexual activity is within these bounds of conjugal love.” The spokesman also added that there is a new passage rejecting “any form of harassment, bullying, verbal abuse or intimidation by any member of the Trinity School community towards any other member for any reason,” including a “student’s sex, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or perceived sexuality.”
This looks like it has been cribbed from Babylon Bee.
As hard as it is for some to believe, the shocking items pointed out in Politico are drawn from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. They are not practices unique to People of Praise. They are things which ordinary, garden-variety Catholics are required to adhere to in order to be considered in communion with the Catholic Church. If you don’t agree with them you become what is technically known as a Protestant.
The fact that the US decided to throw away several millennia of Western Civilization because Anthony Kennedy did not want to offend anyone does not require anyone to agree that Obergefell was coherent or useful. It, like Roe, is. But no private citizen is under any obligation to acknowledge that abomination. Wren snarking that Catholic religious beliefs conflicts with federal law is a bit bizarre. The Catholic Church also opposes abortion, which, like homosexual marriage, has been found in the Constitution. The Church does not sanction homosexual weddings or relationships.
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” 142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
By the way, the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize heterosexual relationships that are out of wedlock, and it doesn’t allow divorce.** Neither of those positions is in consonance with family law in the United States. They aren’t relevant to much of anything because, like the rules on homosexuality, they only apply within the Catholic Church.
Rather than do a bit of research, Wren attempts to portray People of Praise as possessing decidedly weird positions, when it is actually a very orthodox Catholic community attempting to live its faith.
The attempt to disqualify Coney Barrett from serving on the Supreme Court based on her Catholic faith is little less than a direct assault on one of the founding pillars of our nation. It is shameful. It should be rejected by everyone. But it won’t.
Is the Pope Catholic? via Gary Larson’s Far Side: (rejected by his editor & not published in newspapers) pic.twitter.com/WIhtb3N8
— Pam Acmenameco (@acwzywabit) February 12, 2013
Double click the cartoon to get the punchline.
*It has been pointed out to me that People of Praise is not a recognized Catholic lay organization and that at it has non-Catholics it is actually an ecumenical group and not a Catholic one. This is true but as the group is mostly Catholic and adheres to Catholic doctrine I will continue to refer to it as a Catholic community.
**A few folks have pointed out that the Catholic Church does permit divorce in extreme cases. This is true but the divorce still does not permit remarriage. As this is a political and not a theological site, I’m comfortable with saying the Catholic Church does not permit divorce rather that saying it does and then explaining with divorce means under Catholic canon law.