Feinstein’s comments show a long-standing intolerance
“Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that — you know, dogma and law are two different things. And I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different. And I think in your case, professor, 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 years in this country.”
- Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
With that incendiary quote, Sen. Diane Feinstein of California along with several of her Democratic counterparts have crossed a line they would not dare approach if the religion of the person questions had been something other than what it is. Catholic jurist Amy Barrett was in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, being questioned as she is considered for a judgeship. Feinstein and Illinois Senator Richard Durbin brought Barrett’s Catholicism up during questioning.
The topic, of course, was the Democratic dogma of abortion on demand. Barrett has written about Roe v. Wade as well as being a faithful Catholic and a jurist. Her views on Roe v. Wade conform to the opinions of many scholars, both left and right, that believe the 1973 decision giving abortion rights as Constitutional was based on bad law and faulty logic.
Democrats, who have shifted from a left-center party to one that has become more radical in its leftwing approach to national issues, are now doing what they said they would never do: making a religious litmus test for judicial approval. Feinstein talked of “dogma” and Durbin, who calls himself a Catholic, took issue with Barrett’s use of the word “orthodox” in her writings on religion and the law.
It was as if we’d gone back 170 years – or even back to 1960 – when Catholics, including John F. Kennedy, were thought to be unfit for office. The reason: they would take their marching orders from the dome over St. Peter’s in Rome, and bring them under the Capitol dome.
The only Catholics, we guess, who should be heard are those like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who offers her own version of Catholic dogma, only to be corrected by several bishops and theologians on a regular basis. The effrontery of Feinstein and Durbin is remarkable, but it brings up a self-answering question.
Would either of the esteemed legislators asked the same about dogma from an Orthodox Jew or practicing Muslim? As we said, the question answers itself. The outrage from various left-wing quarters would be sure and bitter. Why then do both believe they have license with a Catholic?
Conservatives and Catholic writers have condemned the line of inquiry as have some fair-minded people on the left. The reaction from the media? Cue crickets.
The role of a judge is to interpret the law in the light of what is written, what was discussed during the law’s passage and the precedents concerning that law. The problem is even Feinstein and Durbin know that the legal foundation of Roe is shaky at best. As the nation’s voters increasingly desire to seem limits on abortion, Democrats and left-wingers are just as increasingly horrified by the prospect Roe may be overturned – and on good legal grounds.
This attack on Barrett was reminiscent of the days of the Know-Nothings, Ku Klux Klan, and other Nativist organizations. It is beneath the dignity of people who sit in the United States Senate. Both should be roundly condemned and even censured for their line of questioning, but we won’t hold our breath waiting for that to happen.