President Donald Trump hasn’t even announced his Supreme Court nominee yet, but that hasn’t stopped liberals from directing anti-Catholic bigotry at a leading candidate, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Barrett is no stranger to having liberals target her for her religious beliefs. During Barrett’s confirmation hearings for her current post at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, grilled Barrett on her religious views, suggesting they would compromise her ability to fairly rule as a judge.

“The dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”

The comments smacked loudly of Democrats trying to impose a religious test on a nominee for federal office.

Now that the stakes are higher, the attacks are becoming even more vicious.

In the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Newsweek published an article about Barrett’s reported affiliation with the group People of Praise. The article was originally headlined, “How Amy Coney Barrett’s People of Praise group inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’”

This was, of course, false. The publication failed to retract the story, but as part of an embarrassing correction, the editors posted a note at the bottom explaining that the book’s author, Margaret Atwood, never mentioned the group as an inspiration. Newsweek changed its headline to “How Charismatic Catholic Groups Like Amy Coney Barrett’s People of Praise Inspired ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’”

Despite the editor’s note, the Handmaid’s Tale narrative took off with liberals across social media and was pushed by other publications — which is exactly what Newsweek’s editors were taking into account when they failed to do their duty to the truth and retract the story.

Reuters also ran its own hit piece on the group People of Praise, which was tweeted out under the wire service’s official account as, “Handmaid’s Tale? U.S. Supreme Court candidate’s religious community under scrutiny.”

Similar lines of attack proliferated on social media.

This should not even need to be said, but it is the height of absurdity to suggest that Barrett, a mom of seven, top of her law school class, clerk for the Supreme Court, widely respected Notre Dame law professor, and appellate judge, somehow supports or accepts the subjugation of women.

Critics have also seized on a line from a decades-old law review article she co-authored: “We believe that Catholic judges (if they are faithful to the teaching of their church) are morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty.”

There are two problems with this criticism. First, it hardly seems apt to judge a federal judge’s worldview based on an article she was asked to co-author by her professor as a third-year law student. Second, far from suggesting that Catholic judges put their faith before the law, the article actually explored whether judges who are devout Catholics faced a sufficient conflict in overseeing capital cases that they ought to recuse themselves.

The conclusion of the article states, “Judges cannot — nor should they try to — align our legal system with the Church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge.”

In her 2017 confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit, Barrett explained that as the junior partner in the law review essay’s authorship, it did not fully reflect her beliefs, and since it was written, her views have been further informed by decades of legal experience.

She said, however, that she stood by the essay’s conclusion. As she put it, “If there is ever a conflict between a judge’s personal conviction and a judge’s duty under the rule of law, that it is never, ever permissible for that judge to follow their personal convictions in a decision of a case rather than what the law requires.”

In the end, Barrett might not even be the nominee. But in preemptively disparaging her faith, liberals have already shown their hand. They hope to turn this nomination, and by extension the coming election, into a Holy War. Their fundamentalist dogma of wokeness has become their basis for launching a religious conflict — an anti-Christian crusade.

It is, of course, despicable, but Democrats also ought to ask themselves whether it is wise. At a moment when they fear that Trump is making inroads with Black and Hispanic voters — he only needs to win a slightly larger minority of them to crush Democratic hopes — is this really how Democrats wish to treat the millions of their own voters who believe in Christ, share Judeo-Christian ideas about right and wrong, pray to God, and belong to communities of worship?

The Washington Examiner

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