Playing the Religious Bigotry Card, Again

As an American citizen who happens to be a practicing Roman Catholic, I am deeply offended by the Left’s willingness to engage in anti-Catholic religious bigotry.
Hugh Hewitt tells the latest story in a Friday, July 22, at 7:50 a.m. posting entitled Preparing to play the “deeply held beliefs” card: Charles Schumer’s New Test Act:

…But declarations of victory [about Supreme Court nominee John Roberts] are very premature given the obvious signs that the left is getting ready to mount a two-part campaign against [him].
Part I will be the conventional “give us the documents or we won’t vote” blather that currently blocks Bolton and in the past was used to block Miguel Estrada. This is a delaying tactic, and nothing more. [See Power Line for more on this topic.] The real assault is coming on Roberts –and his wife’s– Roman Catholicism.
It will be carefully coded, but there is no mistaking the set-up work underway to get the Demcrats’ version of the Test Act established.
Four articles have appeared in two days that set-up the nominee’s religious beliefs as a subject for conversation.
[Read the posting to get the particulars in each article.] Robert Novak’s column from August 11, 2003 provides the key history to the expected assault on John Roberts:

On May 1 in a Senate Judiciary Committee session, Schumer raised religious questions in connection with the nomination of lawyer J. Leon Holmes as district judge from Arkansas. Holmes has the support of his state’s two Democratic senators, but not Chuck Schumer. The New Yorker argued that the conservative religious views of Holmes, a devout Catholic, disqualified him because of disagreements interpreting the separation of church and state. Schumer contended that ‘religious beliefs cannot dictate government policy, even though they can infuse our values.’
That was preparation for Schumer’s opposition to Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor for the appellate bench, another conservative Catholic who is the most recent of the filibustered Bush nominees. In the Judiciary Committee June 11, Schumer said Pryor’s beliefs ‘are so well known, so deeply held that it’s very hard to believe that they’re not going to influence’ him on the bench. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, another Judiciary member, also has cited the ‘deeply held beliefs’ standard.

It is going to get ugly, and how ugly depends upon how desperate the left is, and it looks pretty desperate.

Let’s call this behavior by its real name: It is another form of religion called Liberal Fundamentalism.
And it reeks of intolerance, best explained by Richard John Neuhaus:

The conflict in American public life today then is not a conflict between morality and secularism. It is a conflict of moralities in which one moral system calls itself secular and insists that the other do likewise as the price of admission to the public arena. That insistence is in fact a demand that the other side capitulate…

And here is the full counter-argument to their attempts to enslave us with their intolerant secular religion.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Power Line continues the conversation here, a posting which highlights this editorial by Jonathan Turley and which led to discovering an updated editorial by Robert Novak.
Power Line has more as Senator Durbin, a man known in recent times for speaking only the truth! about the American military, denies what Turley wrote about in his editorial. Power Line has more here.
And be sure to check out Justin’s thoughtful comment (#3) to this posting, a comment that inspires awe as he once again shows off his remarkable gift for clarity in written communication.


Here are some previous postings which contain further suggestions for the proper role of the judiciary:
Judicial Activism: Commandeering the Public Debate & Violating the Founding Principles of America
“The Supreme Court Has Converted Itself From a Legal Institution to a Political One”
Are You an Originalist?
How Original Intent Does Not Equal Conservative Judicial Activism
The Ginsburg Precedent
Senator Schumer’s Double Standard
“Restoration of Judicial Restraint Assists the Restoration of Good Will, Because Democratic Governance Gives Everyone Their Say”
Rediscovering Proper Judicial Reasoning
Orrin Hatch: Don’t Overstate “Advise and Consent”
Senator Santorum: Judicial Activism is Destroying Traditional Morality
Relinking Constitutional Law & Jurisprudence to the Constitution
The Kelo Decision: When Private Property Rights are Eroded, Our Freedom is Diminished
Here are two examples of how the Left views the same issues:
Viewing the Supreme Court Nomination Battle From the Far Left
“We Are Going To Go To War Over This”
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Here are other postings on this site about the related issue of the judicial filibuster debate:
The Filibuster…Continued
The Injustice of Smearing A Fellow American For Political Gain
The Senate Judicial Filibuster: Power Politics & Religious Bigotry
Mac Owen’s open letter to Senator Chaffee
Senator Mitch McConnell on the Judicial Filibuster
The Foolish Fourteen: An editorial by the former Dean of BU’s Law School
A Power Line overview of the filibuster debate
Revisiting the Case for Janice Rogers Brown

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Thomas Jackson
Thomas Jackson
16 years ago

The assault on this couple’s religion is also combined with the using slanders such as homosexualism and who knows what else, probably that they donate to the BOY SCOUTS. THE CENTER OF LEFTIST FUNDAMENTALISM IS INTOLERANCE.
Nice analysis.

Luke
Luke
16 years ago

The threat of excommunication for not following the beliefs of the Church while in public office was first raised against a Democrat, John Kennedy. Bishops were then eager not to kill his chance to be the first Catholic president.
It arose again against John Kerry, but this time some bishops said any Catholic politician who was not anti-abortion was excommunicated.
It seems legitimate to wonder if Roberts himself would face a need to vote like the Church would on the Court or be excommunicated.
It’s certainly worth examining in a society which still embraces the separation of church and state rather than risk a Sharia state.
The Catholic bishops themselves put this on the table.
Frankly, the idea of a Supreme Court justice being the puppet of any religion is abhorrent.

Justin Katz
16 years ago

Broadly speaking, I agree, Luke. The problem, I suspect, will arise in how we each define “religion” for this discussion — whether as an organizational body or as an ideology. It’s an interesting bind that anti-Christians (hereafter “liberals” for convenience’s sake) have religious conservatives in. On the one hand, they object to the extra-legal influence that the Church and its beliefs might have on judicial rulings; on the other, they reject (explicitly or disingenuously) the notion that the judiciary is restricted to enforcing the law as written. So, yes, I would find “abhorrent” if the Catholic bishops (or any religious or cultural leaders) were to become the de facto judiciary of the United States of America. Unfortunately, I suspect that you don’t see much validity in the organization/ideology distinction. Furthermore, arguments such as yours imply that you won’t accept appeals to either a legalist view of judges’ role or the difference between judges and politicians. The notion of government to which I subscribe is that legislatures ought to engage in the subjective activity of making the laws, with citizens (whether religious leaders or otherwise) free to use whatever means of influence they have — the vote being primary — to encourage legislators to work toward the type of society in which those citizens would like to live. Meanwhile, the judiciary ought merely to determine how that subjective law applies objectively to disputed situations. In such a role, a judge’s religion has no relevance, and religious leaders would be incorrect (within a reasonably sane society) to leverage their influence as a political force in that branch. Liberals, however, have no problem with the judiciary’s engaging in the subjective activity of making the laws… as long as it rules according to their ideology. So, if we’re using “Sharia state” as a general… Read more »

ELC
ELC
16 years ago

The threat of excommunication for not following the beliefs of the Church while in public office was first raised against a Democrat, John Kennedy.
Really? Evidence, please.
Bishops were then eager not to kill his chance to be the first Catholic president.
It arose again against John Kerry, but this time some bishops said any Catholic politician who was not anti-abortion was excommunicated.
That is simply false.
It seems legitimate to wonder if Roberts himself would face a need to vote like the Church would on the Court or be excommunicated.
It does? To whom? You?
It’s certainly worth examining in a society which still embraces the separation of church and state rather than risk a Sharia state.
A rather clumsy attempt at a smear, that.
The Catholic bishops themselves put this on the table.
Baloney. Hypocrites mouthing one thing in the pews and another on the podium did that.
Frankly, the idea of a Supreme Court justice being the puppet of any religion is abhorrent.
I agree. Including the religion of secular humanism.

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