Congresswoman blasts religious bigotry against Knights of Columbus, Catholic nominees
FREE Catholic Classes
Democratic lawmakers are divided over questions some see as a religious litmus test applied to candidates for the federal bench. The debate has turned into a war of words between members of Hawaii's Congressional delegation
Washington D.C., (CNA) - "We cannot and will not tolerate prejudicial treatment of those with whom we disagree, any more than we would tolerate such treatment of those with whom we agree," Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) wrote in a Jan. 8 op-ed for The Hill.
Gabbard accused senators screening judicial candidates of "religious bigotry" and warned against legislators "weaponizing" questions of personal faith.
At least two judicial candidates in recent months have faced questions about their Catholic faith during the federal confirmation process. Legislators from both parties have said some of those questions have gone too far.
Gabbard's op-ed referenced the 2017 confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who, the the congresswoman wrote, was treated inappropriately by members of the Senate Judicial Committee.
"No American should be told that his or her public service is unwelcome because the dogma lives loudly within you' as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings."
Article 6 of the Constitution states that "there shall be no religious test" for any candidate seeking public office.
In December, CNA reported that Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) raised concerns about a judicial nominee's Catholic faith and membership of the Knights of Columbus. The issues were raised in questions put to Brian C. Buescher, an Omaha-based lawyer nominated by President Trump to sit on the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.
In her questions, Hirono said that "the Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions" by supporting basic Catholic beliefs regarding abortion and marriage.
The Knights of Columbus has nearly 2 million members. Last year they carried out more than 75 million hours of volunteer work and raised more than $185 million for charitable purposes.
Harris described the Knights as "an all-male society" which is "opposed a woman's right to choose" and against "marriage equality." In the light of his Catholic faith and membership of the Knights, both senators questioned Buescher's ability to apply the law fairly and objectively as judge.
Referring to Hirono and Harris's questions to Buescher, Gabbard wrote that while she personally opposed his candidacy for a judgeship, she "stands strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher's Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus."
"While I absolutely believe in the separation of church and state as a necessity to the health of our nation, no American should be asked to renounce his or her faith or membership in a faith-based, service organization in order to hold public office," Gabbard wrote.
"The party that worked so hard to convince people that Catholics and Knights of Columbus like Al Smith and John F. Kennedy could be both good Catholics and good public servants shows an alarming disregard of its own history in making such attacks today."
Hirono hit back Tuesday at her fellow Hawaiian Democrat's comments. A spokesman for the senator said Gabbard "based her misguided opinion on the far-right wing manipulation of these straightforward questions."
Last month, a spokesperson for the Knights of Columbus said the senators' conduct recalled past periods of anti-Catholic discrimination.
"Our country's sad history of anti-Catholic bigotry contributed to the founding of the Knights of Columbus, and we are proud of the many Catholics who overcame this hurdle to contribute so greatly to our country," Kathleen Blomquist told CNA.
"We were extremely disappointed to see that one's commitment to Catholic principles through membership in the Knights of Columbus "a charitable organization that adheres to and promotes Catholic teachings "would be viewed as a disqualifier from public service in this day and age."
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary. That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
As multiple states consider assisted suicide legislation, disability activists are speaking out, saying the bills are slippery slopes that ... continue reading
As participants in the UN Commission for Women's annual gathering advocated for increased international access to abortion, side events ... continue reading
A proposal to ease regulations on mercury pollution levels in the air fails to show proper respect for human life and health, said the ... continue reading
Nearly half of American Catholics say global persecution of Christians is "very severe," a 16 percent increase from a year ago, according ... continue reading
Indiana lawmakers did not act to restore gender options on driver's licenses as "male" or "female" after the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Montreal priest stabbed at Mass 'eager' to return
- St. Margaret Clitherow: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, March 26, 2019
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, March 25th, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, March 26, 2019
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 HD Video
- 'Living Lent': Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent - Day 21
- Pope Francis accepts resignation of Chilean cardinal accused of cover-up
- hail holy queen
- saint elizabeth
- saint paul
- saint christopher
- st mary
- nicene creed
- our lady of guadalupe
- saint francis of assisi
- young children
- Saint Nicole
- st. michael
- saint francis
- st nicholas
- all saints day
- list of saints
- st anne
- st christopher
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, March 25th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, March 22nd, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, March 24th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.