[ABOVE PHOTO CREDIT: By Rachel Malehorn]
“Whoomp! There it is!” Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has been one judge short of its full complement since the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Notorious RBG” must, by the providence of God, yield to “Victorious ACB,” although there’s arguably something wrong with public education when Supreme Court justices earn rapper-style nicknames.
Barrett’s nomination is to be applauded for many reasons. Yet the Democrat activists with bylines who write for and influence mainstream media are trying to tar the winsome intellectual as “dangerous because pious.”
To assert that dogma “lives loud” within any judge is a form of classism. If you remember that awkward phrase, it’s because Senator Diane Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, used it against Barrett in hearings for her previous nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Feinstein is not ignorant, and not without her political gifts. Her assertion knowingly and condescendingly implied that dogma should be what the determinedly secular set of movers and shakers thinks it is—an accessory. It never occurs to such people to wade into the waters of religious history. They refuse even to get their toes wet. Instead, they’re comfortable with their own reflexive disdain and so can’t see dogma as anything other than threatening. But dogma, properly understood, is a direction-finding tool—the compass of the conscience.
For those who question the Founders’ insistence on the importance of religious liberty, religious preference seems more praiseworthy than religious conviction. People whose allegiance is almost wholly to their own will-to-power exclude the people who seriously acknowledge a higher power. But it’s dogma that tells us that Jesus wasn’t kidding when, for example, John 18:36-37 records Him saying, “The reason I was born, the reason why I came into the world, is to testify to the truth,” and, “Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice.” In another defense of dogma, first-century disciples and their fellow Jews noticed that Jesus “taught as one having authority, and not like the scribes” (Mark 1:22).
Senator Feinstein, despite the genteel demeanor that contrasts vividly with other members of her caucus, has already sneered at Amy Coney Barrett’s faith. Feinstein and the politicians like her presume that Catholicism should be a “Sunday only” kind of religious faith. As Ted Cruz (R-TX) observed in a recent conversation with radio host Glenn Beck, “To Democrats, it’s OK if your faith is like country club membership. But if you actually believe the God stuff, they go after you.” Indeed they do. And yet some partisans don’t understand their anti-religious bias as the class-based bigotry it really is.