Senior Republican Mitch McConnell on Wednesday criticized reports of Amy Coney Barrett’s background in a strict religious group which the Senate Majority Leader has claimed [supreme court] confirmation process, does not respect the constitution and insults millions of American believers ”.
Among McConnell’s targets was a Guardian report that Barrett “lived in the home of one of the People of Praise founders while she was a law student, raising new questions about the candidate’s involvement. Supreme Court with the secret Christian religious group which has been criticized for dominating the lives of its members and subjugating women ”.
Barrett is an Indiana-based appeals court judge whose strict Catholic views are the subject of concern among progressives, particularly over the fate of Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling which brought made abortion legal across the United States.
People of Praise, a charismatic religious group, were recently revealed to have cleaned their website of mentions of Barrett.
McConnell wants to confirm Barrett as a replacement for late judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, tipping the court 6-3 in favor of the Tories as key decisions loom over healthcare, abortion, gay rights and more.
Democrats have little power to stop the process, even with Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee infected with the coronavirus, potentially due to participation in Barrett’s introduction to the White House on Saturday, September 26.
The Guardian was not the only outlet to publish an article on Barrett on Tuesday. Citing documents that People of Praise removed from their website, the Washington Post said, “A 2010 yearbook states that she held the title of ‘servant’, a leadership position for women in the community.”
Other media have erroneously reported that People of Praise was an inspiration for The Handmaid’s Tale, the dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood that depicts a society in which women are owned by the state, and which was adapted for a successful television series.
“The word ‘maid’ appears dozens of times in the King James Bible,” McConnell said. “It was good enough for the Virgin Mary. But now, because a liberal author put it in the title of an anti-religious novel in the 1980s, the press is trying to suggest that one of the brightest and most powerful women in the legal world is anti-women.
The Post quoted a former member of the group as saying that a “servant” was a managerial position, albeit subordinate to male leadership in People of Praise.
As the Guardian reported in September, “Interviews with experts who have studied charismatic Christian groups such as People of Praise, and with former members of the group, as well as a review of the group’s literature, reveal an organization which seems to dominate some everyday life, in which the so-called “leaders” – or spiritual advisers – make big decisions in life, and in which members must support themselves financially.
“Married women – like Barrett – count their husbands as their ‘bosses’ and all members should donate 5% of their income to the organization.”
Barrett said she does not allow her religious beliefs to influence her decisions on constitutional law.
After voicing a key Republican talking point, comparing supposed progressive anti-Catholic bigotry to attacks on President John F. Kennedy, a liberal hero, McConnell added: “Our coastal elites are so disconnected from their own country that they treat religious Americans like animals in a menagerie. “
Many Democrats say McConnell is out of touch with public opinion when it comes to whether Barrett’s confirmation is to be rammed so close to the election, which polls say is an unpopular move.
McConnell has the voices to succeed, regardless of his statements and those of other senior Republicans in 2016, another election year, when they even refused to hold hearings for Merrick Garland, a moderate appointed by Barack Obama to replace the Tory Antonin Scalia.