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How Attacks on Religious Liberty Brought Me Back to the Church

I grew up in the north New Jersey suburbs with parents who’d gone to Catholic school in the 1960s. They didn’t enjoy the experience, mostly from fright of the nuns, who physically abused students. They vowed never to send my brother or me to Catholic school, but we were baptized and did have to go to Sunday school—“CCD,” we called it. It was the only time I ever went to church, outside of weddings or funerals.

We weren’t practicing Catholics. I can’t ever recall us attending church services. We didn’t give things up for Lent. We ate meat on Good Friday. Basically, we were part of the Christmas and Easter club. Once all the molestation scandals broke, my parents completely gave up on the Catholic Church. I stopped going to CCD and never made confirmation.

Fast-forward about 20 years. I’ve come to this political, conservative awakening and I’m starting to question everything. I keep hearing the phrase “Judeo-Christian values.” It’s clear to me the Left is doing everything they can to attack religious people, except of course Muslims, but religion still didn’t resonate with me. Then one story in particular caught my attention and pushed me back into religion.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin, Democrats from leftist havens California and Illinois, questioned one of President Trump’s judicial nominees, Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett, who is now confirmed. The senators referenced a law review article Barrett, a practicing Catholic, had written in the ’90s.

In it she argued that if a Catholic judge believed his faith would preclude him from ruling objectively in a capital punishment case he should recuse himself in favor of another judge without such a moral conflict. In other words, Barrett was arguing that judges should avoid allowing their faith to distort their rulings on legality. Here is how the senators interpreted Barrett’s position:

‘When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,’ Feinstein said. ‘And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.’

Durbin, meanwhile, criticized Barrett’s prior use of the term ‘orthodox Catholic,’ saying it unfairly maligns Catholics who do not hold certain positions about abortion or the death penalty. ‘Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?’ he asked her outright.

Could this be more discriminatory? Could you imagine being asked about your religious beliefs during any other interview setting? I’m old enough to remember when it was considered immoral to question whether Barack Obama’s 20-year patronage at Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s radical church could have influenced his ideas. But now it’s acceptable to imply that a woman’s Catholic faith should disqualify her from serving as a judge?

 I couldn’t help but think: what are Democrats so scared of? There was only one way to find out. I had to go back to church to see what all the fuss was about.
Read more at The Federalist. 
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