Despite having a self-professed Catholic as vice president, the Barack Obama-Joe Biden administration managed to openly attack Catholics in several ways by dismissing their beliefs as trivial and backward.
Now, with Biden as the Democrat 2020 nominee, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate, the anti-Catholic bias has not only continued, but intensified. From the assaults already waged against their faith, Catholics have a clear view of what they can expect from a Biden-Harris administration.
- Abortion on demand at any time during pregnancy:
The Catholic faith holds that life is precious and must be protected from the moment of conception to natural death.
While national leaders have praised President Donald Trump as the most pro-life president in U.S. history, Obama became the first sitting president to deliver an address to Planned Parenthood.
“God bless you,” Obama told Planned Parenthood, vowing to stand with the abortion industry giant against efforts to “turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the Twenty-first century.”
As vice president, Biden did nothing to interfere with Obama’s pro-abortion agenda, and, in fact, has ultimately continued along the same path.
While Biden professes to be a Catholic, he has promised to defend abortion rights, which the abortion industry refers to as “women’s healthcare,” and has committed to embracing the Democrat Party’s pro-abortion agenda that includes codifying Roe v. Wade, funding Planned Parenthood, and forcing American taxpayers to fund abortions through a repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
— Catharine O’Neill (@cathponeill) August 27, 2020
Despite the rhetoric in her acceptance speech that “every human being is of infinite worth,” Harris has been an ally and protector of Planned Parenthood and a supporter of abortion on demand throughout her career.
Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson affirmed in a statement that Harris has been “a steadfast champion for reproductive rights and health care,” aka abortion.
“With this selection, Joe Biden has made it clear that he is deeply committed to not only protecting reproductive rights, but also advancing and expanding them,” she said.
In fact, it was Harris who, as California attorney general, directed her office to lead the raid on Center for Medical Progress (CMP) project leader David Daleiden after CMP released undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue sales practices.
It was Harris’s office that collaborated with Planned Parenthood to produce legislation that would criminalize the CMP undercover journalists for publishing and distributing recordings of private communications with abortion providers in California.
As a senator, Harris voted against bills to protect the lives of babies who survive abortions and took to Twitter to tout her vote against a ban on abortions past the fifth month of pregnancy:
Last night, I voted NO on a bill before the Senate that would have imposed a nationwide 20-week abortion ban. Here’s why → https://t.co/khQk3FMwnc
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 30, 2018
As a Democrat candidate for president, Harris pledged not only to restrict states’ rights to pass and enact their own abortion laws, but also to block a pro-life president’s power and that of his or her administration.
“Guardrails will ensure DOJ enforces the law even under an administration that’s hostile to women’s rights — and patients and providers will have standing to sue if they don’t,” Harris’s plan stated during her campaign.
A woman’s constitutional right to an abortion is under attack. Today I announced a plan as president to block these dangerous and deadly state laws before they take effect. https://t.co/zKJtsgwQUM
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 28, 2019
Sarah Hasse, Trump 2020 assistant press secretary, said in a statement to Breitbart News that the contrast between the Obama-Biden-Harris agenda and that of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence is stark.
“While Joe Biden and Kamala Harris hope to mandate taxpayer-funded abortions, President Trump is standing up for the lives of the unborn,” she said. “Catholics across the country know we need four more years of this President protecting our religious freedoms and staunchly defending those who cannot defend themselves.”
- Abortion and contraception mandates:
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in July in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, one that upheld a Trump administration rule exempting religious groups from Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, self-professed Catholic Biden vowed to reverse protections for religious groups such as the Little Sisters.
“As disappointing as the Supreme Court’s ruling is, there is a clear path to fixing it: electing a new President who will end Donald Trump’s ceaseless attempts to gut every aspect of the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said, according to Fox News. “If I am elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling: providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions.”
The Obamacare “accommodation” Biden referred to, however, was never viewed as such by many Catholic schools and organizations. Instead, they recognized it as an accounting trick whereby completion of a certified form would merely transfer their mandate to directly provide abortion-inducing drugs to an insurance provider, who would take care of the administration of these services for the faith-based groups. In short, the “accommodation” simply ensured the abortion-inducing drugs were paid for, as the Obama-Biden administration desired, while the conscience issues of the faith-based groups remained ignored.
In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled the HHS contraceptive mandate illegal as applied to religiously-owned businesses, such as Hobby Lobby.
The mandate was inserted into Obamacare administratively by Obama’s first HHS secretary, abortion rights champion Kathleen Sebelius, who declared birth control and abortion-related services to be women’s “preventive” health care.
“It’s alarming to Catholics to see Joe Biden tout his Catholic faith and then turn around and say he would immediately go after the Little Sisters of the Poor and reinstate the rules that would force them to either violate their faith or pay crippling fines,” Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said in a statement to Breitbart News.
“Is there anything more contradictory than touting your faith while simultaneously threatening nuns who serve the elderly poor?” she asked.
- Attacks on Catholic judicial nominees:
Even sharp critics of Trump expressed horror at Harris’s treatment of Brian Buescher, one of the president’s federal judiciary nominees and a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charitable organization that collects and distributes winter coats for poor children, and provides funds and baby supplies for crisis pregnancy shelters.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Harris asked Buescher, “Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?”
“The question is embarrassing in both its ignorance and its bigotry,” wrote Michael Sean Winters at the progressive National Catholic Reporter in August.
“Whatever difficulties I have with the leadership at the K of C, they do not excuse her dismissiveness towards a religion held by millions of fellow citizens, including her new running mate,” Winters added.
Harris’s questions to Buescher also included:
“Have you ever, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women’s reproductive rights? If the answer is ‘yes,’ please explain the nature and scope of your assistance.”
“Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed marriage equality when you joined the organization?”
"His choice of Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate is further evidence of how disconnected Biden is when it comes to touting his faith in an effort to win the Catholic vote. Catholics simply can’t be so naïve as to be duped by this Cheshire Cat of a politician."
— Catharine O’Neill (@cathponeill) August 20, 2020
Michael Gerson, one of Trump’s harshest critics, wrote in January at the Washington Post, “Those who want to understand how Democrats manage to scare the hell out of vast sections of the country need look no further than the story of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and the Knights of Columbus.”
Gerson continued that Harris and her Senate colleagues attempted to force the narrative that Americans can believe what they want in private, but “can’t act on that belief in the public square.”
The comparison of this view to the United States’ long history of anti-Catholic bigotry has been disputed. Actually, it is exactly the same as this history in every important respect. A 19th-century bigot would have regarded Catholicism as fundamentally illiberal — a backward faith characterized by clerical despotism — and thus inconsistent with America’s democratic rules. The same attitude seems currently present in the U.S. Senate.
According to Fox News, Ken Blackwell, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, also called the behavior of Harris and Hirono “thuggish” and what might be expected from “third world dictators.”
Another similar incident occurred during the hearing of judiciary nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who was asked questions that suggested her Catholic faith would obstruct her ability to decide cases fairly.
The Catholic Coalition Against Religious Tests for Office specifically condemned the actions of Harris and her Democrat colleagues Sens. Chuck Schumer (NY), Richard Durbin (IL), Diane Feinstein (CA), Cory Booker (NJ), and Hirono.
“Obviously, the Democratic Party has a Catholic problem,” the coalition wrote to vulnerable incumbent Democrat senators, prior to calling upon the party to provide its “unqualified support for Article VI and the right of Catholics to hold public office.”
- Anti-Catholic school bias
In 2012, the Obama-Biden administration stood with teachers’ unions and against low-income parents choosing a private or religious school for their child’s education.
The administration’s 2013 budget eliminated funding for the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which allowed many low-income parents to afford to remove their children from failing public schools and send them to a religious or private school.
Supported by the teachers’ unions, the Biden-Harris ticket follows along with the same agenda.
“When we divert public funds to private schools, we undermine the entire public education system,” Biden tweeted in January. “We’ve got to prioritize investing in our public schools, so every kid in America gets a fair shot. That’s why I oppose vouchers #Espinoza.”
When we divert public funds to private schools, we undermine the entire public education system. We've got to prioritize investing in our public schools, so every kid in America gets a fair shot. That's why I oppose vouchers. #Espinoza
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 23, 2020
Biden referenced the school choice legal case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which was decided in June at the Supreme Court. The high court ruled states may provide tax credits to those donating to scholarship funds for religious schools.
Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal advisor for The Catholic Association, said the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling is “a welcome victory for religious freedom and countless American families.”
She observed the case illuminated how anti-Catholic bigotry has continued into the present:
Born amid the ugly anti-Catholic bigotry of the 19th Century, the Blaine amendments became vehicles for state-sponsored discrimination against all religions over the course of the 20th and 21st Centuries. This decision blots out a great stain on our history and gives today’s low-income students a chance to attend religious schools of their choice using state-endorsed private school scholarship funds.
As a presidential candidate, Harris touted her support for busing during a debate as she criticized education freedom policies. Her remarks showed her true concern is social justice activism, i.e., forcing children to be sent to schools for the purpose of integration, rather than providing all children with an education that prepares them for success in their lives.
Catholic leaders are cautioning their faithful about the seriousness of the choice ahead in the national election.
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, which defends the religious and civil rights of Catholics, said to Breitbart News that Biden’s track record on religious freedom is “abysmal.”
“He’s been in office for almost half a century,” he said. “I follow this rather carefully and I don’t know of a single piece of religious liberty legislation he’s ever penned. If he’s in favor of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, well, that’s rather deceitful because he’s now in favor of the Equality Act which, if it were passed … would literally destroy the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed under President Bill Clinton.”
Donohue, however, praised Trump for his religious liberty policy.
“We’ve never seen any administration, which could match its record, so Catholics will have to weigh all of these decisions along with many other issues,” he explained, emphasizing that not all issues are weighed equally by the Church.
“Climate change and abortion are not identical,” he said. “There are some people, including some bishops, who would like to think that they are, but they’re not.”
Her Anti-Catholic bigotry is a matter of public record.
If the more than 50 million Catholics in America want to preserve their faith and religious liberty, they can't in good conscience support this ticket.
— Catharine O’Neill (@cathponeill) August 11, 2020
McGuire also told Breitbart News in August the Biden-Harris ticket, which has lurched further leftward, is especially dangerous for Catholics.
Harris, she said, “has come to be a ringleader of the anti-Catholic bullying that increasingly defines the Democrat party.”
She has “built a career out of opposing the work and values of Catholics, harshly prosecuting a whistleblower for exposing Planned Parenthood’s criminal sale of aborted baby body parts, and supporting efforts to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their beliefs and provide employees with abortion pills,” McGuire asserted.
“One can only expect her to continue to do so in an elevated position of power,” she concluded. “It is equally disappointing to see Joe Biden tout his Catholic faith while picking as his running mate someone who has made her anti-Catholic bona fides clear.”