In the past few years there seems to have been an increase in anti-Catholic rhetoric, both in the media and in politics, which should be concerning for anyone involved in their Catholic faith who wants to serve in the public sector. In September 2017, during a confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Sen. Diane Feinstein asked the judge about the influence of her Catholic faith about making judicial decisions. Feinstein went so far as to say, about Judge’s Barret’s teaching background and life at Notre Dame University, that, “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought about for years in this country.” Feinstein was clearly hinting here at the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, making abortion legal, a ruling that Feinstein supports so vociferously that she has even called it a “super-precedent.”
About a month ago, this same religious bigotry was echoed by Sens. Maize Hirono and Kamala Harris concerning the judicial confirmation of Brian Buescher to the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska. The senators went after Mr. Buescher’s affiliation with the Knights of Columbus. Sen. Hirono, citing the group’s opposition to same-sex marriage, said, “The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions. If confirmed, do you intend to end your membership with this organization to avoid any appearance of bias?” Sen. Harris asked Mr. Buescher, who became a member 25 years ago as a teenager, “Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?”
The irony about their statements in going after the Knights of Columbus was that the founder, Father Michael McGivney, started the organization to help fight against religious bigotry concerning immigrants. As Catholics we must continue to fight against this type of unconstitutional religious litmus test and be bold about professing the Catholic Faith.