Politics

Democrats Root Out the Believers

Democratic senators are leading an inquisition against believers of Christianity.

Last week, several Senate Democrats attacked federal judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, over her Catholic faith during a Senate hearing. President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to serve on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) asked Barrett about her religious beliefs and if she is an "Orthodox Catholic."

"I am a Catholic, Senator Durbin," Barrett responded.

Durbin was referring to a term that Barrett used in a 1998 article she wrote. In her response, Barrett clarified that "Orthodox Catholic" was used only for lack of a better term for "observant Catholic."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) told Barrett at the hearing that it was clear "the dogma lives loudly within you." Feinstein added that Barrett's strong religious beliefs were a concern to her.

Feinstein and Durbin's offices responded to the National Review when asked to clarify their comments at the hearing.

"Professor Barrett has argued that a judge's faith should affect how they approach certain cases," Feinstein's press secretary said. "Based on this, Senator Feinstein questioned her about whether she could separate her personal views from the law, particularly regarding women's reproductive rights."

"I prefaced my remarks by saying that going into a person's religion is not the right thing to do in every circumstance. But she's been outspoken," Durbin's statement read. "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. So I think she has fashioned herself somewhat of an expert and I didn't feel uncomfortable asking that question."

Durbin and Feinstein are not the only Democratic senators who targeted Barrett's Catholic faith.

"I think your article is very plain in your perspective about the role of religion for judges, and particularly with regard to Catholic judges," Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) said.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) defended his colleagues' religious questions by saying nominees' personal and social views, referring to Barrett's religious beliefs, should be subject to scrutiny.

Back in June, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) ripped into Trump's White House deputy budget director nominee, Russell Vought, for his previous writings about Islam and his Christian faith.

In 2014, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) said in a radio interview that people who believe in "right-to-life" are not welcome in New York state because they are "extreme conservatives."

According to Pew Research Center, Trump received a majority of votes from both Protestants and Catholics in 2016.