The Amy Coney Barrett Hysteria, PART 2

Part I is here.

More on this disturbing (but not  surprising) unethical phenomenon:

  • The Return of Anti-Catholic Bigotry. Who saw this coming? In 1960, the attacks on John Fitzgerald Kennedy for his Catholic faith were considered—by Democrats!—the equivalent of Cro-Magnon-level bias. Founded substantially by Protestants, the U.S. once viewed Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Italy and Spain with suspicion. Historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. wrote that anti-Catholicism was “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people.”

Funny, I thought the election of JFK finished that particular bias off for good. Nobody talked about religion as an issue when Bobby Kennedy ran, or in connection with Ted Kennedy. Other than the Kennedys, how many even know that these announced candidates for the President in the past were Catholics: Eugene McCarthy, Edmund Muskie, Jerry Brown, Bruce Babbitt, Patrick Buchanan, Tom Harkin, Alan Keyes, John Kerry, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich , Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Bill de Blasio , Julián Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Beto O’Rourke…aaaaand Joe Biden.

Nobody cared, cares, or  should care. Yet in the New York Times, regular cop-ed writer Elizabeth Bruenig endorses anti-Catholic bigotry as a tool to block Barrett using  weasel words, saying attacks on Barrett based on her religion attacks may “not be entirely baseless.”  Why the shift? Why, it’s because Barrett must be stopped by “any means necessary,” and Democrats and progressives are willing to abandon any principle in that pursuit.

Incidentally, there are already a majority of Catholics on the Court: five, with Sonia Sotomayor, Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh all being raised in the Church. There were nine Catholic Justices before them, including liberal icon William Brennan, and conservative icon Antonin Scalia. Their faith was not an issue in either of their confirmation hearings.

“We’ll be saying this name a lot I’m sure because she’s a fucking nut Religion — I was right about that one too. I’m sorry, but Amy Comey [sic] Barrett, Catholic — really Catholic. I mean really, really Catholic — like speaking in tongues. Like she doesn’t believe in condoms, which is what she has in common with Trump because he doesn’t either. I remember that from Stormy Daniels.”

Professor Turley turning his intellect loose on the task of rebutting a pompous lightweight like Maher resembles asking Goethe to debate Alyssa Milano..which reminds me: the “Who’s the Boss?” star tweeted, to tens of thousands of likes and retweets, “Never before in our nation’s history has a Supreme Court Justice been nominated and installed while a presidential election is already underway.  It defies every precedent and every expectation of a nation where the people are sovereign and the rule of law reigns.” In fact, this has happened eight times before.

But I digress. Turley wrote of Maher’s rant,

Last night, Bill Maher came unglued with a attack on Judge Barrett, objecting that she is “really, really Catholic — like speaking in tongues.” The raving assault (which even bizarrely tied in Stormy Daniels) shows the triumph of rage over reason….[W]hen Ginsburg (a devout Jew) was nominated Feinstein did not object that “The dogma lives loudly in you” and commentators like Maher did not portray her as a barking religious fanatic or question whether she approves of condoms….Imagine if a conservative commentator responded to President Obama’s nomination of Kagan or Sotomayor by referring to sex with a stripper or referring to Kagan a “really, really Jewish.” To paraphrase Sen. Feinstein, “[Prejudice] lives loudly in you.

  • Turley is emerging as an Ethics Hero amid the ugliness. On his blog (and in The Hill), he took the position that Barrett is as much of a feminist as Ginsburg was, writing,

In her book, “In My Own Words,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote how feminism is a concept best captured in the song “Free to Be You and Me” by Marlo Thomas. That definition defined feminism as allowing women to decide their values without societal dictates or limits. This view sharply contrasts with some who think feminism is adhering to liberal orthodoxy. Ginsburg never believed feminism meant removing the “feet off our necks” by her brothers just to have them replaced by the feet of her sisters. Indeed, true feminism meant allowing women the freedom of choice to find their own voices and values in society. That is why this nomination of a Supreme Court justice is a testament not just to feminism but to Ginsburg.

Turley is frequently described as a “liberal professor” by the conservative media when it wants to enhance his perceived credibility when he criticizes progressives. By current standards he is simply objective, not liberal, with a keen eye for hypocrisy and double standards. He wrote regarding the President’s list of conservative jurists being considered for SCOTUS, including Barrett:

These women are highly qualified jurists who have shown the courage of their convictions. They hold records that match those of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. They are not blank slate nominees but instead conservative women who have boldly written about their views on legal theory. Many tried to put a “foot on their necks” but none succeeded. …Many seek to paint these jurists as ideologues because they consistently vote on the basis of the conservative stance. By this exact same measure, Ginsburg also would be the ideologue who had one of the lowest number of defections to the other side in major cases. In the confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse had raised this issue, asking, “When is a pattern evidence of bias?” Whitehouse noted a voting pattern by the five conservative justices who “go raiding off together.” Whitehouse described a voting pattern of the “Roberts Five” of “Republican appointees” who “go raiding off together” and “no Democratic appointee joins them.” He simply ignored the Ginsburg Four on the other side of most of those opinions. They were not viewed as ideologues by Whitehouse because they are viewed as right. In reality, despite Whitehouse’s prediction (and those of his Democratic colleagues), both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have voted repeatedly with their more liberal colleagues in major decisions.

 

 

6 thoughts on “The Amy Coney Barrett Hysteria, PART 2

  1. “Nobody cared, cares, or should care.”

    This is questionable insofar as there is a rather loud and even rather articulate ‘atheist movement’ which regards Christian belief as a disease. They are numerous and growing, and in a democracy they can gain power to determine affairs. To the degree that religious-inspired concerns inform any public official’s decision-making, is the degree they oppose it.

    Additionally, there is now an almost completely open cultural war going on between what are generally speaking two opposed camps: those who operate under a sort of post-Christian mind-frame where the shown of religious belief still expresses itself (a religious zealousness in regard to civil rights and *equality* for example) but among people who do not identify as Christian or religious as such …

    … and those who were strongly Christian, either Evangelical or Catholic who wish to *reclaim America* from the post-Christian masses.

    The Evangelicals like Bush and numerous others are also Christian Zionists which is a very strange and unlikely recent movement all in itself. Most all of vocal Evangelicals are also Christian Zionists. This must be understood to understand America’s present.

    I can think of no strong doctrine-based Catholic who has a public presence. Buchanan is a possibility. But Pope Francis is definitely not a traditionalist and is critiqued by traditional Catholics for sound reasons too complex to go into here.

    If Christian values — real, thought-through Christian values — actually meant something and were practiced, it would matter a great deal if a political leader were a practicing religious.

    But since hardly no one is, and all values are compromised, one could say that “nobody should care”. But in fact it really does mean something.

    My view is that it takes a tremendous amount of intellectual work to understand what Christianity really is. But when one understand it, one then understand why it is necessary and good that it is practiced. And what happens when it is veered away from. But we are in a declining cycle of such understanding. No one really seems to understand (or in any case they refrain from speaking about it).

  2. The Axix of Unethical Conduct (your term – and a good one) is playing this one rather deftly, I’m sad to say. Barret is not being positioned as a Catholic – she’s being positioned as a member of a weird patriarchal cult lurking in the darker corners of the Catholic Church.

    And it appears to be working, if my Facebook feed is any indication (I have a lot of friends – real friends, and people who share common interests) who are progressive. Many of them are jumping on to this crap. It’s disheartening.

    Last night, I responded to a stupid post along these lines from a person I’ve never considered a personal friend, but who is an occasionally important professional contact. She took umbrage at my attempt to explain what the Second Amendment really meant with regard to religion, and concluded by saying (paraphrase) “I’ve always considered you intelligent, and I find it disappointing that you don’t return the favor.”

    That presented a short-term dilemma, because I’ve long thought my toaster oven has more logic built into its circuitry than was built into hers. I refrained from saying so. Might need her good graces once or twice more before I retire. Bit my tongue.

    She is but one example of the power of memetics, from which the term “meme” has sprung. Most people think a meme is a picture with a caption. It’s not. The picture-with-caption is a device with a track record of producing memes, but the meme isn’t the clever graphic. The meme is the CONCEPT it presents. The Barrett-is-From-the-Cult-That Inspired-The-Handmaid’s-Tale idea is a meme; there are any number of social media graphics circulating in support of that idea. But that’s the meme.

    Heck, Jack – your whole Big Lie list consists of memes – the concept, not the graphics (or “news” items) that support that view. Memes are propaganda. They predate social media, but social media put them on steroids.

    • If the Wikipedia page for People of Praise is anything to go by, then these smears against Barrett are more horrifying than we thought. People of Praise is a perfectly mainstream Catholic organization; there’s literally nothing creepy or weird about it by Catholic standards. If Joe Biden is going to stand by and let his media friends make these attacks on Barrett without defending her, his religion is even less important to him than I thought.

      And if they’re going to go after the fact that she or her group speaks/spoke in tongues because that practice is rare in Catholicism, I can just go ahead and assume that they hate pentecostals, too. I should point out that being afraid of sincere religion for the threat it poses to State power, and only professing it so far as you can use it to your advantage to win over the rubes, is exactly the Adolf Hitler approach. For those who aren’t sure who the nazis are here.

  3. I don’t know how long people like Turley will accept a left of center label while people on the left of center continue to push them to the right.

    No one entirely agrees with everything a party stands for, hell, sometimes the contradictions in party lines means they can’t, but I’d love a post from the professor listing the policies he actually agrees with that comes from the left.

  4. Even if Bill Maher were funny…even if I agreed with him about everything he said…he’s the kind of celebrity talker that I just wouldn’t be able to stand because I don’t like to listen to people who know a great deal less than I do.

    “Really Catholic, like, speaking in tongues.” What an ignoramus. I mean that in the purest sense, as in, he really doesn’t know very many things. He’s an atheist entirely because he thinks that being atheist is what smart people do. The Pope doesn’t even speak in tongues. It’s not part of Catholicism; it’s a New Testament practice brought back to prominence mainly by Pentecostals (of which I am one,) and the pentecostal/charismatic movement has also affected pockets of Catholicism, including Judge Barrett.

    Bill Maher created his own “documentary film” (imagine me saying that in the most sarcastic tone possible please) about religion and somehow ended up not learning anything about religion. It’s like he has a force field protecting him from growing as a person.

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