January 03, 2019
Picking up trash and donating school supplies used to be considered good deeds. Now, they could disqualify you from public service! That's the absurd conclusion of at least two Democratic senators, who are holding one judicial nominee hostage for daring to help a couple of Catholic charities.
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) aren't exactly champions of religious liberty. After skewering Amy Coney Barrett, Russell Vought, and other nominees of faith, it probably shouldn't surprise anyone that Brian Buescher, the president's pick for U.S. District Judge, was next on the Democrats' hit list. During his hearing in late November, the liberal duo insinuated that anyone who's a member of a Catholic organization is incapable of being "fair or impartial." "[Your beliefs] don't suddenly go away just because you become a judge," Hirono argued.
But what are those "extreme" beliefs Hirono is talking about? Social service, for one. As the Knights of Columbus explained in an open letter to both senators, what's so objectionable about giving away more than $4,000 worth of coats to needy children or collecting diapers to mothers in need? There's nothing nefarious or controversial about donating pop tabs to help the developmentally disabled or providing an ultrasound to a clinic -- unless you're a U.S. senator bent on religious intolerance.
"We recently read about statements which expressed the fear that the Knights of Columbus held many extreme beliefs," the organization wrote. "It is our great pleasure to assure you that this fear is not grounded in any truth. The Knights of Columbus in general, and O'Boyle Council in particular, are dedicated to the three fundamental principles of charity, unity, and fraternity." The group went on to explain all of the good the Knights are doing for the local community. "We hope this list of activities help to assure you that we are simply a group aiming to do God's work while building friendships."
Despite those assurances, Hirono asked in a follow-up questionnaire of Buescher if he would quit the Knights of Columbus. After all, she wrote, "it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California's Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage." Senator Harris followed suit, demanding to know if the Nebraskan was aware of the group's fanatical pro-life and pro-marriage positions.
But what's so radical about an opinion that the plurality of Americans hold? Based on last November's exit polling (of primarily Democratic-leaning voters), man-woman marriage is still the predominate view (48-45 percent) in America! If anyone's extreme, it's the increasingly anti-Catholic Democratic Party, who believes that the only people who are fit to hold down a job in this country are the men and women who reject the Bible's teachings.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who's had enough of the far-Left's religious tests, blasted his colleagues for trying to undermine Buescher's qualifications with another faith-based witch-hunt. "Hopefully, in the eyes of Democrats, you are not disqualified to be a judge because of your religious affiliations and beliefs." Later, he promised that he and the rest of the Senate majority "will not tolerate disqualifying judicial nominees because of charitable works and personal religious opinions."
With two more senators in his column heading into 2019, President Trump has a chance to add even more solid constructionists to the bench. Let's just hope that none of them have to go through what so many nominees already have: a bigoted interrogation meant to chase Christians out of public service. America was founded on faith predominately by people of faith. It's time for Democrats to stop their religious test.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.