It’s about to get ugly, real ugly. The Trump Campaign’s “Catholics for Trump” group met Sunday night, girding up to fight back against what they believe will be a new form of terrorism in this country: anti-Catholic bias coming from Democrats against the president’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a devout practicing catholic.
“Instead of terrorist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan, we have a woke clan of anti-Catholic left-wing radicals that have taken control of the Democratic Party and [we] are watching anti-Catholic attacks of highly qualified nominees for the Supreme Court,” Trump Deputy Campaign Manager Justin Clark said during a Sunday evening conference call with catholic supporters of the president. “Sadly, the new radical left has embraced many of the hateful and destructive tendencies of the anti-Catholicism of the past. Catholics for Trump is co-chaired by Newt Gingrich and President Trump’s former Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
Since Amy Coney Barrett burst onto the scene in 2017, her conservative catholic faith has been singled out. During her Senate confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) suggested discomfort with her faith, boldly proclaiming that, “the dogma lives loudly within you.” She wasn’t the only one. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) brought up her faith asking, “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” Furthermore, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) called her a "Catholic judge."
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“If this isn't the imposition or application of some kind of religious test on people, I don't know what it is,” Clark told fellow Catholics on the call Sunday evening. “These are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the United States of America questioning someone about their faith.”
Meanwhile, Amy Coney Barrett’s association with, “People of Praise,” has come under considerable vitriolic attacks by the left. The community is part of a charismatic renewal movement within the Catholic Church that includes supernatural gifts referred to in the New Testament, such as gifts of healing, prophecy, and speaking in tongues, pretty standard fare for charismatic believers. It’s also been criticized for, at one point, using the term, “handmaid,” for women, a term the group later changed. A popular TV series called, “The Handmaids Tale” shows a society that forces fertile women, known as handmaids, into childbearing slavery. Liberals couldn’t resist the tie-in to the controversial show even though there wasn’t one.
"Amy Coney Barrett belongs to a radical, extreme, Christofascist cult where the women are called handmaids and the men make all the decisions," says a tweet by a woman named Sandi Bachom, whose describes herself as an, “Independent Frontline Journalist.” Plenty more nasty tweets followed. Even a Reuters News Agency headline screamed, 'Handmaid’s Tale? U.S. Supreme Court candidate’s religious community under scrutiny.'
“You're seeing headlines trying Judgeken Judge Barrett's religious beliefs to a cult or fringe group. It's disgusting,” Clark told members gathered on the Catholics for Trump phone call.
Democrats say this idea of anti-Catholic bias promoted by the Trump Campaign is hogwash with no merit whatsoever. Writing for Washington Monthly, democratic activist David Atkins says, “In reality, of course, there is no anti-Catholic bias against Barrett from the left, and the entire talking point is manufactured. No one significant in Democratic politics has made any attacks on Barrett’s Catholic faith or on Catholicism generally. Sonia Sotomayor, the last Supreme Court Justice nominated by a Democratic president, is Catholic. The 2020 Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, is a devout practicing Catholic. The Democratic Speaker of the House is Catholic. It was the Democratic Party that first elected a Catholic president, and today slightly more Catholics are Democratic voters than Republicans.”
Yet with all the criticism, past and present, of Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith on display, Joe Biden, a Catholic himself, hasn’t been heard from on the issue.
“Where is Joe Biden in all of this? Silent, he's dead silent,” Justin Clark says. Supporters of Biden like to highlight his catholic faith when it comes to overarching values of kindness, fairness and social justice and the Biden Campaign has a robust effort in that regard, far more action than Hillary Clinton ever did when running for president in 2016. But the Trump Campaign says Biden has actually been hostile toward ’s traditional Catholicism especially on the issue of abortion; from his call to reverse the Hyde Amendment (which forbids taxpayer funding of abortion) and his desire to eliminate the Mexico City Policy (which forbids taxpayer funding of abortion overseas). They also point to how the Obama Administration fought a group of nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, all the way to the United States Supreme Court in a battle over contraception.
Clark says it doesn’t stop with Biden.
“You even had Joe Biden's running mate Kamala Harris question whether being a member of the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic fraternal organization) disqualified someone from serving on the federal bench. It's, it's ridiculous. It's disgusting, and it's only ramping up.”
Catholics will be a key swing-voting bloc in 2020. The Pew Research Center shows that U.S. Catholics are evenly split when it comes to political registration. According to Pew, 48% describe themselves as Republican or lean that way; 47% identify Democrat or lean in that direction. In 2016, Trump won the overall Catholic vote, 52% to 44% over Hillary Clinton but in 2012, Barack Obama won Catholics over Mitt Romney (50%- 48%) and in 2008 over John McCain by a margin of 54% to 45%.
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