There are a disturbing number of Democrat lawmakers who believe Christians must renounce their religious beliefs and affiliations in religious-based organizations if they want to hold public office.
The latest victim of this blatant religious bigotry is Brian Buescher, President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. District Court in Nebraska.
Buescher came under attack by Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, for his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a revered and highly-respected Catholic charitable organization.
Both lawmakers posed a series of written questions demanding to know if he would end his membership in the Knights of Columbus should he be confirmed.
“The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions,” Hirono wrote in the questionnaire. “For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”
“We must call this out for what it is – religious bigotry."
Harris referred to the group as an “all-male society” and took issue with their positions on abortion and other culture war issues.
“Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?” Harris queried.
The condemnation from conservatives was swift.
“This isn’t just about the Knights of Columbus or Catholics, this is an ongoing attack from the extremist left of the Democratic Party to silence people of faith and run them out of engaging in public service based on their religious beliefs,” Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, wrote in a statement.
But I was especially encouraged to see Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, a newly announced presidential candidate, call out members of her own party for “weaponizing religion.”
“We must call this out for what it is – religious bigotry,” she wrote in a scathing op-ed in The Hill. “I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifies Buescher’s Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus. If Buescher is ‘unqualified’ because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, then President John F. Kennedy, and the ‘liberal lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy would have been ‘unqualified’ for the same reasons.”
I respect Gabbard’s bold declaration that “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.” But I’m afraid she may be in the minority within her party.
“The only organized opposition [to leftism] comes from within Judaism and Christianity,” Prager said. “The Orthodox Jew, the faithful Mormon, the traditional Catholic, and the Evangelical Protestant, these are the only organized opponents to leftism, and they know it, and they will do anything they can to suppress it.”
That could explain why modern-day congressional confirmation hearings now seem to resemble religious inquisitions.
In 2017, Notre Dame law professor and mother of seven Amy Coney Barrett was grilled by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., over her orthodox beliefs.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern,” Feinstein infamously declared.
During that same year, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., viciously attacked the religious faith of Russell Vought, the president’s nominee to be deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Sen. Sanders deemed Vought unsuitable for office because the nominee believes that salvation is found alone through Jesus Christ. He said someone with that kind of religious belief system is “really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”
The Democrats may as well have asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a follower of Jesus Christ?”
It’s not just religious bigotry, but it comes dangerously close to violating Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution – there “shall be no religious test” for any American seeking to serve in public office. In other words, a religious litmus test for public office is against the law.
Sens. Harris and Hirono are either woefully ignorant of the law or they are, in fact, religious bigots. I contend they are both – making them undeserving of a place in Congress.
This column is adapted from a commentary delivered by Todd Starnes on the Fox Nation program "Starnes Country."