Disqualified By Faith In God
Increasingly, sources here in Washington say that President Trump will nominate U.S. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. The long-experienced Kavanaugh will have broad support among conservatives, including me.
But I must admit to having a preference, among the 25 well-qualified names the President has listed, for Judge Amy Coney Barrett. This extraordinarily talented woman has served on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals since last year. She took her law degree from the University of Notre Dame and clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. She was executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. When she was nominated for the Circuit Court last, year, the entire law school faculty at Notre Dame, a wide spectrum of individuals and judicial philosophies, endorsed her.
In other words, she should be a shoo-in. But not so fast. Already liberals have unleashed a horrendous personal attack on her. Given her record, there’s no other explanation than that her “problem” is that she takes her faith seriously.
Judge Barrett is a member of a worship group at her local parish called People of Praise. Worship ministries like this one are common among Evangelicals, and over the past few decades more have appeared in the Catholic Church. These groups don’t hold any unique religious beliefs other members of their denomination don’t – they join such groups to seek God’s guidance on the big questions in their lives and to stay accountable.
For liberals, this makes her a member of a “cult” – they even compare her to a character on the dystopian cable drama The Handmaid’s Tale. One CNN guest offered the idea that any woman Trump selects should be known as “the Aunt Lydia of the Supreme Court,” the matriarch on the sci-fi series who helps the show’s theocratic men force women to serve as breeders.
My friends, at some point this is a fight we need to have. Today’s liberals are bent on making merely having religious beliefs a disqualifying stain. They seek an unconstitutional religious test for public office, and they will rely on fictional characters and false accounts to make their accusations.
If they can demonize an incredibly qualified and independent woman like Amy Coney Barrett and keep her off the Supreme Court, they can stop anyone with an iota of religious commitment from ever being named. Today’s left is secular, atheist – and ruthless. This is the same crowd, remember, that doesn’t miss a beat scorning Christianity while defending the worst patrons of radical Islam.
Losing Pride in America
Two decades ago the Gallup organization conducted its first poll on patriotism in America. The series of polls ask a sample of Americans about their level of pride in our nation. Not surprisingly, during that time the level of pride peaked in the aftermath of 9-11 as people united around our country and its leaders.
Other trends, though, are a little surprising, and they tell you a lot about the state of the nation. For many of us, pride in our country transcends the politics of the moment, but not for us all. In a new poll and analysis, Gallup has found that in 2013 the percentage of conservatives who said they were proud or extremely proud of America stood at 65%. The beginning of the second term of the most liberal President in our history had no effect on conservatives’ appreciation for America.
Look at what is happening now. The percentage of Americans who say they are “extremely proud” is at a record low – just 47%. The decline is coming among moderates – about 8%, not much beyond the margin of error – and liberals, where the difference is huge. Today, just 23% of liberals are willing to say they are extremely proud of their country. In 2013 that number stood at 51%.
Finally, Gallup found that pride in America declines with increasing education level. The more years spent in our schools, the less likely you are to think your country is special. Now, maybe this isn’t news, but it should still stun us that our schools, rather than teach the next generation to cherish liberty, do so much to coach them to despise our land.
The Banner of Blindness
Yesterday was a spectacular day of celebration for most Americans, but for some it was just a chance to ruin it for others. Visitors to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor saw their plans destroyed as protestors chose the occasion to occupy the monument and unfurl a banner calling for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Imagine you are a family that has scrimped and saved for a year to make the trip to New York for the Fourth of July, and Lady Liberty is on your itinerary. Instead, you are greeted by a cadre of misinformed and misguided protestors who shut her down for six hours, forcing law enforcement to close the island and risk their own lives and limbs to remove them.
One protestor, a Congolese woman, was arrested after resisting the 16 officers who came to rescue her, attempting to push over the ladder they used to reach her 30 or 40 feet about the Statue’s base.
The woman cited her empathy for the children in Texas (who are now, of course, covered by President Trump’s executive order ending their separation from their parents). What kind of empathy is it that destroys the Fourth of July for thousands of her fellow Americans? What kind of empathy shoves away a ladder sent to rescue her from a dangerous height? Why did she come to the United States from the Congo if we are such a terrible nation?
Why indeed do people by the millions still knock on our Golden Door? And how does she, along with so many others, still refuse to have enduring pride in this nation under God?