What is it about believers in God that so frightens the American left? A hysterical tone is seeping into media coverage of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court and most of it has to do with her membership in the group People of Praise, the conservative Christian organization that has liberals wetting their pants over the prospect of Barrett sitting on the high court.
The Washington Post story today is typical. The article, titled “Amy Coney Barrett served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise,” manages to confuse fact with fantasy in raising the specter of The Handmaid’s Tale, where women are little better than servants and breeders for a fictional conservative Christian society. The notion that Margaret Atwood’s fiction nightmare has come to life with the People of Praise may be the silliest lie ever told by the media about people of faith.
But the Guardian did the Post one better in “revealing” that Amy Coney Barrett lived in the home of the “secretive” Christian group’s founder while in graduate school.
Note that anything liberals don’t understand, they call “secretive.” If you Google “People of Praise” — even before a million stories had been written about it — you would note that in some Catholic circles, it was very well known and much admired. But why let the truth get in the way of a good smear?
The story itself — that Barrett lived with a co-founder of the group while going to school in South Bend — is hardly revelatory.
The Tuesday Guardian story examined where Barrett resided during law school at the University of Notre Dame — a large South Bend, Indiana home owned at the time by Kevin Ranaghan. Public records show that her husband Jesse Barrett also lived in this nine-bedroom residence before they were married in 1999, the publication reported.
Ranaghan co-founded the group People of Praise, a religious group with ties to Barrett and her family. Some in the media have falsely reported that People of Praise inspired Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” before issuing retractions and corrections.
Senator Ben Sasse was quoted as saying, “Newsflash: Catholics hang out with other Catholics. There’s nothing nefarious about this.”
Unless the media chooses to make it so. And that’s what they’ve done here.
The Guardian called its discovery of Barrett’s law school residence a “revelation” that offers “new clues” about People of Praise’s “possible influence” on Barrett.
“Insider accounts by former members who are now critical of the organization suggest that the group has ‘well-developed courtship and marriage traditions’ which are closely followed,” the Guardian reported.
Sasse is calling out the media for its anti-Catholic hysteria. Will it do any good?
“This is getting ridiculous,” Sasse told the DCNF Tuesday, “and we’re about two news cycles away from someone accusing Judge Barrett of cannibalism once they learn about communion.”
The Nebraska senator has previously condemned Democratic criticism of Barrett as “anti-Catholic bigotry.”
Some of those “insider accounts” have been from those who chafed at some of the restrictions and traditions required by the group. The idea of living a godly life and relying on a prayer leader for guidance in personal matters like courtship and marriage doesn’t sit well with a lot of people.
But is that a disqualification for Barrett being confirmed to the Supreme Court? If it is, you are applying a religious test to the issue, which is unconstitutional. And that’s naked bigotry.
Liberals know where Barrett stands on key issues like abortion — at least, they think they do. My guess is that Amy Coney Barrett will prove to be a surprise to both the right and the left before her career is said and done.
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