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Dogma Lives On, For Now

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It’s a big win for religious liberty and Concerned Women for America (CWA) this week, as the U.S. Senate confirmed by a vote of 55-43 Prof. Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. A big “thank you” to all of our CWA members who made their voices heard on this important nomination.

I hope you got to see our CEO and President, Penny Nance, as she stood up strongly against the shameful religious test that several liberal senators used to evaluate Judge Barrett.  It will forever be a stain on their records.

“I’d like to thank Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Chairman Chuck Grassley for their leadership in following through on the American people’s eagerness for constitutionalist judges who respect and embrace their role as judges and not legislators.

“Let me also say, “Thank you,” to all the senators standing here today in support of Professor Amy Coney Barrett. In standing for her, you stand for women of faith who are routinely mocked and derided for our beliefs.


“As the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, the largest public policy organization for women in the nation, I am honored to support Professor Barrett as a more-than-qualified candidate for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Professor Barrett is unquestionably qualified for this appointment. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa at Rhodes College and summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School. She has held distinguished clerkships at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and later for Justice Scalia at the Supreme Court. Later, she became an accomplished attorney in private practice and a celebrated law professor. No one questions her professional and academic credentials.


“I was disappointed to see in her confirmation hearing the inappropriate questioning of her faith. This Christian “dogma” that a few find appalling embodies the best of humanity. It calls us to love others as we do ourselves, to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and attend to the widow and orphan and those in prison. It teaches us to be truthful, honorable, and content. It teaches us to respect governmental authorities and, yes, it teaches judges to be impartial and to love justice.


“These character traits should be celebrated in any judicial nominee – religious or not.  For any senator who chooses to vote against Professor Barrett based on her religious beliefs, I would suggest that you can do that, but it says more about your fitness for office than it does hers.


“Democrats should support Prof. Barrett and confirm her with their most sincere apologies. Thank you.”

This is an important point for us to remember.  Despite this important victory, the battle for religious liberty in nominations for public service is not over.  Judge Barrett was confirmed despite the religious test used, but the test was actually imposed.  Those senators who derided Judge Barret because the “dogma lived loudly within her” because of her Catholic faith, or who condemned her for speaking to the Alliance Defending Freedom indeed voted against her.  This is disturbing and dangerous.

I am sure every senator would deny using a religious test, but we can’t ignore the facts before us.

I’ve written to you before about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ recent use of a religious test against Russell T. Vought’s nomination to be the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.  He is still awaiting confirmation. This is a troubling pattern among radical liberals that we must continue to decry.

The Constitution is clear.  Article 6, section 3, expressly states that “no religious test shall ever be” applied as a condition for public service in the United States. But as we have seen throughout several years, a subversive hostility towards the Constitution and the whole founding of our nation is what drives these efforts.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) put the issue in its broader context at the press conference, “It is one of the grand issues of our day that amazingly enough is unresolved,” he said, “Can you have a faith in America and live it?”


We must not be naïve in ignoring that it is this sort of sentiment that has driven some of the criticism of media rumors that CWA President Penny Nance was being considered for an ambassadorship.  Just as it was the pro-life issue that got Judge Barrett in trouble, because of her Catholic faith, it is also this issue, alongside others Penny holds because of her Christian faith, that makes her unpalatable to the left.

The implications are the same.  The radical left wants any serious Christian barred from public office.  You can surely call yourself a Christian, as long as you don’t really believe in the teachings of your faith.

If there are any indications you are actually sincere in your faith and wrestle with the important issues it addresses and how they play out in real life, as Amy Barret did, and as Penny does on a daily basis, you are treated with deep contempt.

As Christians, we wear that contempt as a badge of honor, and as Americans, we must rise up against it as the unconstitutional actions they are and the threat to liberty they represent.  All Americans, religious or not, should unite against this.