Religious Persecution

Jan 30 2019
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Religious Persecution

 

In the Canadian province of Quebec, the license plates proudly display the provincial motto: “Je me souviens”. Translated from French, it means “I remember.”

In President Trump’s first year of office, he nominated a distinguished jurist for a federal judgeship. Her name is Amy Coney Barrett, at the time a law professor at Notre Dame University. Barrett is a conservative, consistent with the political beliefs of Trump. She is also a devout Catholic.

During the confirmation hearings, Barrett was questioned by Senator Diane Feinstein, a Democrat from California. Feinstein questioned whether Barrett’s Catholic faith would influence her decisions on the federal court. Barrett responded with a polite answer, that she would uphold the law as sworn in her oath. Incredibly, Feinstein replied “the dogma lives loudly in you, and that is a concern.”

At the same hearing, Senator Dick Durbin, another Democrat, asked “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” Civil libertarians cringed. I remember.

Another Trump nominee, Brian Buescher, who also is Catholic, faced similar questions from Democrat senators. They questioned his membership in the Knights of Columbus. Huh? They didn’t ask about the 140-year-old group’s charitable work, which amounts to over $1 billion of assistance and hundreds of millions of hours of service. Instead, they wanted answers about what they called “extreme positions” of the Knights.

They cited the Knights’ support in 2008 for California Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. They also took issue with the group’s opposition to abortion. In their view, those were “extreme” positions.

Buescher was asked if he would quit the Knights if confirmed. To his credit, he replied “If confirmed, I will abide by the Code of Conduct of United States Judges and will not affiliate with any organization in violation of the Code.” Translation: “No”. I remember.

Then there is the case of Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence. She also was attacked. CNN’s John King suggested that what Mrs Pence has done is so grievous maybe taxpayers shouldn’t fund her Secret Service protection. The ACLU says she is sending “a terrible message to students.” The Guardian sees her as a reminder of “the vice president’s dangerous bigotry.” Lady Gaga told her fans that what Mrs Pence has done confirms that she and her husband are “the worst representation of what it means to be Christian.”

What has Mrs Pence done to suffer these attacks? Well, she plans to teach art part-time at Immanuel Christian School in Virginia. It is a small private school where she has taught before. It adheres to a biblically rooted view of human sexuality, consistent with its religious beliefs.

The following provision is included in the school’s employment contract: “I understand that the term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning; the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive convenant union as delineated in Scripture.”

That compares favorably to a Democrat Senate candidate who in 2004 said “I’m a Christian, and so although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” That candidate was Barack Obama. Later, of course, he changed his mind. I remember.

Each of these folks are practicing their deeply held religious beliefs. That is their right. Every American has these same rights. Whether any of us disagree with another citizen’s beliefs is not the point. The point is, they are entitled to believe as they wish.

We all have freedom to practice any religion, or no religion at all. So says the First Amendment. Furthermore, Article VI of the Constitution prohibits religious tests for public office. Ironically, this of course includes Senators.

If the Knights of Columbus or the Catholic church or Immanuel Christian School can be targeted, who is next? Lutherans? Methodists? Jews? Who else?

This shameful conduct by Democrat senators, their media allies, and their Hollywood friends has no place in America. We the people have our rights and freedoms, guaranteed by the Constitution. Those freedoms and rights have come at a dear price. And the courts are sworn to uphold that Constitution.

When you cast your next vote, think of the religious persecution taking place in our America. Think of the Democrat senators who so blatantly ignored the religious freedoms of American citizens. I will. I remember.

 

Scott S. Kramer is Chairman of the Republican Party of Kendall County.