She doesn’t look bat shit crazy does she?
Well the rush is on on to replace Justice Ginsburg before her body is placed in the ground. And it has been reported that Trump’s nomination to the high court is Amy Coney Barrett.
Besides being a rock ribbed conservative, Amy is a Catholic. Six members of the current court are Catholics, if you count Neil Gorsuch who was raised a Catholic but has been seen at Episcopal services. Chief Justice John Roberts is a Catholic. If Amy is nominated and confirmed, seven of the nine justices will be Catholic or raised Catholic. The remaining two are Jewish.
All of the Catholic justices are conservatives with the exception of Sonia Sotto Mayor. Only 13 Catholic justices have been seated on the Court since 1836 and 7 or those 13 currently sit on the Court while Catholics are currently 20% of the U.S. population.
But of course religion doesn’t matter – right?
What do you think the chance of being nominated, let alone confirmed to the high court if you were an out atheist? Seems to me that atheists are the most under represented group in America. No where in government, House, Senate or Court is there an avowed atheist.
Oh well. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t particularly care about anyone’s religious beliefs although I did write a piece about snake handlers questioning their mental health.
I am firmly in the “live and let live” corner; believe what you like. It is your right as it is mine not to believe at all. I do not look down on those who follow established religions nor am I in anyone’s face about it. I live a quiet life in which religion plays no part. It wasn’t that long ago I would have been burned at the stake for my utterances.
Its just that it sees to me that the “devout” don’t feel that way and they constantly work to ensure that everyone must be forced to believe as they believe. After all, they are following “God’s Law.” Which of course I think is a pile of rubbish. No matter that there are millions who believe as I do.
Now I was raised in the Catholic culture though my mom insisted her children attend public schools. She had spent several years in a Catholic orphanage and never went to church again. I know lots of Catholics and lapsed Catholics.
Some don’t practice the faith at all. Some go to church on Easter and Christmas. Some go to church every Sunday. Some go to Mass everyday. Some have the parish priest over for dinner.
And then there are the Opus Dei types.
Amy Coney Barrett is one of those. And at her young age she could be sitting on the Court for 40 years.
The Louisiana native and Notre Dame Law graduate, a favorite among Trump’s evangelical Christian base, has said legal careers ought not to be seen as means of gaining satisfaction, prestige or money, but rather “as a means to the end of serving God”.
Her nomination is drawing attention to a secretive Catholic “covenant community” called People of Praise that counts Barrett as a member and faces claims of adhering to a “highly authoritarian” structure.
Charismatic communities emphasize the role of the Holy Spirit in the daily lives of believers. Some of their practices appear to have more in common with Pentecostal communities than with traditional Catholicism, such as speaking in tongues, healing services and prophecy.
Some conservative and progressive activists have said any discussion of Barrett’s faith is inappropriate in the context of a Senate confirmation to assess her judicial qualifications, and potentially reflects anti-Catholic bigotry. I’d buy that if those same folks would agree that a candidate’s lack of faith would not be a subject of discussion.
Other Catholic writers have said it is fair to scrutinize People of Praise because the group falls far outside mainstream Catholicism.
“Interviews with experts who have studied charismatic Christian groups such as People of Praise, and with former members of the group, plus a review of the group’s own literature, reveal an organization that appears to dominate some members’ everyday lives, in which so-called “heads” – or spiritual advisers – make big life decisions and in which members are expected to financially support one another.
Married women – such as Barrett – count their husbands as their “heads,” vow to submit to their husbands and all members are expected to donate 5% of their income to the organization.”
Her father and her husband are also members. The group emerged out of the Catholic charismatic movement of the late 1960s, which blended Catholicism and Protestant Pentecostalism – Catholics and Protestants are both members – and adopted practices like speaking in tongues. The group’s literature shows communal living is also encouraged, at least among unmarried members, as is the sharing of finances between households.
Massimo Faggioli, a historian and theologian at Villanova University, said there were “tensions” between serving as a supreme court justice, one of the final interpreters of the US constitution, and swearing an oath to an organization he said “lacks transparency and visible structures of authority that are accountable to their members, to the Roman Catholic church, and to the wider public”.
“A lot of what goes on in People of Praise is not that different than what goes on in a lot of rightwing or conservative Catholic circles,” said Heidi Schlumpf, a national correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, which reports on the church.
“Whether People of Praise rises to the level of cult, I am not in a position to make that judgment. But there is a level of secrecy that was concerning, and there was a level of reports by people who left the organization of authoritarianism that [is] concerning as well.”
Barrett served as a trustee for the Trinity School at Greenlawn, a private Catholic school affiliated with People of Praise, from 2015 to 2017. A parent handbook describes the school’s commitment to the establishment of “Christian relationships” that adhere to “scripture and Christian tradition”.
“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 handbook says, emphasizing that any sex outside of marriage – whether gay or straight – is not in keeping with “God’s plan for human sexuality”.
Students who experience same-sex attraction, the handbook says, ought not to “prematurely interpret any emotional experience as identity-defining”.
“We believe that such self-identification at a young age can lead to students being labeled based solely upon sexuality, generate distraction, create confusion, and prevent students from experiencing true freedom within the culture of the school,” the handbook says.
While the school’s objection to gay marriage and attraction is in line with mainstream Catholic teaching, the handbook also actively discourages teenage students from forming “exclusive relationships”, and asks them not to “be exclusive or give evidence of their dating relationships while at school”.
“While the handbook does not describe its objection to such relationships, one expert who asked not to be named, because they had already received online abuse for speaking critically about People of Praise, said it revealed the importance the group put on the concept of community, rather than individual relationships.”
“It’s typical of these charismatic communities that friendship is seen as a danger to the community,” the person said. “That’s normal.”
Now to my way of thinking this woman is bat shit crazy. On the other hand I believe studying theology is a total waste of time. Sort of like arguing how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. I view it as the study of myths.
Yet this woman will be making life altering decisions for all of us.
For example assume you are pro-choice. Your position does not force anyone to have an abortion, If you believe in personhood from the moment of conception and that abortion is wrong, well don’t have one. On the other hand, for those who speak in terms of zygotes and fetuses, Judge Coney Barrett would impose her view on you. God’s law even if you don’t believe in God.
And thus it is with all true believers. Regular go to Mass everyday Catholicism was not good enough for Coney Barrett. She had to join a cult.
Our new Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America believes in speaking in tongues, laying on of hands, the gift of prophecy and healing by the Holy Ghost.
All she needs to add is snake handling.