Archbishop Chaput: Amy Coney Barrett Is a ‘Nightmare’ for Progressives

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trumps nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, is shown while meeting with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (Erin Scott/Pool via AP)
Erin Scott/Pool via AP

The indomitable Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has called out the left for its rabid attacks on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, arguing that believing Catholics are not “extremists.”

“Barrett’s life story suggests that she actually believes and seeks to live what her Catholic faith teaches,” Chaput noted in an essay this week in First Things. “Worse, she has a superb intellect, a deep grasp of the law, and an excellent record as a jurist.”

“In other words, she’s a nightmare for a certain kind of political tribe,” he observes.

Some in our political class now view with suspicion “Catholics who are more than merely ‘nominal’ in their faith,” he said.

In the eyes of the Democrat party, it’s not being a member of the Catholic Church that’s the problem, he noted. “If you’re photographed piously with your rosary beads at prayer—even better.”

But if you are a Catholic who actually believes and tries to practice what the Church teaches, that makes you dangerous, he suggests.

“In Bill Maher’s immortal words, a woman like Amy Coney Barrett, whatever her professional credentials, is just ‘a [expletive] nut,’” Chaput writes.

The archbishop makes mention of the hostile, anti-Catholic grilling that Barrett was subjected to by Sen. Dianne Feinstein three years ago, when the senator famously declared that “the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern.”

While Feinstein’s anti-Catholicism is particularly crass, he observes, it is hardly unusual.

“Disdain for vigorous religious convictions, especially the Catholic kind, is a virus that’s going around. It seems to infect a number of Democratic senators, including Sen. Kamala Harris,” he noted, in reference to Harris’ assault on another judicial appointee for his membership in the Knights of Columbus.

Painting “dissenting Catholics as ‘mainstream Americans’ and believing Catholics as ‘extremists’ — now a common and thoroughly dishonest culture war technique — is a particular affront to the free exercise of religion,” Chaput declared.

The archbishop is not alone in his concern over the growing anti-Catholic hostility of the Democrat party.

Earlier this week, Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote that “anti-Catholicism is engulfing the Biden camp,” referring in particular to Nikitha Rai, Deputy Data Director for the Biden campaign, who has argued that “Barrett’s Catholic beliefs should bar her from serving.”

When Rai was asked whether Barrett’s positions on marriage and sexuality were not the “standard position” for any orthodox Catholic, Rai answered, “Unfortunately, yes.”

In Rai’s mind, “any person of faith who holds to biblical teachings on marriage and sexuality is intolerant and should be barred from serving on the Supreme Court,” Donohue noted.

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