I’ve posted on the anti-constitutional antics of Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin, Mazie Hirono, Corey Booker and Kamala Harris in viewing the possession of orthodox Catholic beliefs as a disqualification for office. While Dianne Feinstein’s “the dogma lives loudly in you” has become the most famous…
…the most egregious and bizarre incident was Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono grilling federal district court nominee Brian Buescher about his membership in the Catholic fraternal organization Knights of Columbus. (Full disclosure, I’m a member of another Catholic organization, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and we work closely with the Knights of Columbus organization in my parish.)
In a clever bit of theater, Senator Ben Sasse introduced a “sense of the Senate” (don’t laugh) resolution saying that consideration of membership in the Knights of Columbus was a violation of the prohibition against religious tests in the US Constitution.
Read the resolution here:
All Americans can & should support @BenSasse' resolution calling out & condemning the anti-American religious bigotry shown by @KamalaHarris and @maziehirono against a nominee for district court simply because he's a member of the Knights of Columbus. https://t.co/yOiF3bwmeP
— Marshall Power Locke (@MarshallLocke) January 16, 2019
Yesterday, the US Senate unanimously passed the resolution.
A few thoughts here.
Having Mazie Hirono publicly repudiate her own conduct was sweet.
It is sad that some US senators view adhering faithfully to your religion as a legitimate cause for disqualifying judicial nominees.
The singling out of Knights of Columbus makes the resolution more of a stunt or an epic troll than any sort of principled act. Amy Coney Barrett, for instance, was not a member of the Knights of Columbus and Sasse’s resolution, by pointing to a single group rather than the larger issue, does nothing to make questioning her membership in a lay Catholic religious community off limits.
I don’t think that Sasse’s effort is going to embarrass or cow into submission a ferocious bigot like Hirono and I’ve a concern that this resolution trivializes what is happening in the Senate.
In many ways, having Democrat senators openly engage in bigotry was more useful than having them use their imaginations and disguise their bigotry behind sham policy discussions.
As shown by the hysteria over Karen Pence deciding to teach part-time at a private Christian school, we’ve literally reached the point where public adherence to orthodox Christianity is viewed as an existential threat to the national secular religion of “tolerance.” I’m not terribly sanguine about how this will play out. Not very long ago a military chaplain was threatened with court-martial because he refused to hold a marriage retreat that contained “same-sex” couples. As Archbishop Charles Chaput said:
My point is this: Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God.
We are at that point where evil, tarted up in the shabby robe of tolerance, has decided it is strong enough to destroy Truth. And I don’t know that it’s wrong. And I don’t know that Sasse helped all that much.