Notre Dame President John Jenkins has called out Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein for her anti-Catholic bias after the California politician insinuated that Catholic beliefs might somehow interfere with one’s ability to serve as a federal judge last week.
The situation arose from an incident which occurred at a Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing for Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. Barrett, who was nominated for a federal court seat by President Trump, came under fire from Feinstein for her religious beliefs.
“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 for, for years in this country” Feinstein told the professor. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin followed suit with his own line of questioning, at one point asking Barret if she considered herself an “orthodox Catholic.”
Barrett responded to the “orthodox Catholic” question with grace, answering “If you’re asking whether I’m a faithful Catholic, I am, although I would stress that my own personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge.”
These questions, however, sparked the ire of Notre Dame President John Jenkins, who penned an open letter to Feinstein in which he stated “It is chilling to hear from a United States Senator that this might now disqualify someone from service as a federal judge… I am not a legal scholar, but I have heard no one seriously challenge her impeccable legal credentials.”
Jenkins also seemed to be particularly bothered by the Senator implying that because “dogma lives loudly” within the professor, she might not be able to fulfill her duties, saying “Your concern, as you expressed it, is that ‘dogma lives loudly in [Professor Barrett], and that is a concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country. I am one in whose heart ‘dogma lives loudly,’ as it has for centuries in the lives of many Americans, some of whom have given their lives in service to this nation. Indeed, it lived loudly in the hearts of those who founded our nation as one where citizens could practice their faith freely and without apology.”
Not every Senator was keen to hop on the professor for her Catholic faith, however, and GOP Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska pointed out the existence of the religious test clause in the Constitution, which prohibits religious scrutiny of public officials.
“I think some of the questioning that you have been subjected to today seems to miss some of these fundamental constitutional protections we all have,” Sasse said during the hearing.
As the left continues to wage it’s “progressive” war against Christianity in this country, it is refreshing to see university administration finally take a stand, and let the politicians in Washington know that bigotry will not be tolerated, wherever it appears.