Earlier this month, Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin questioned judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett in a blatantly unconstitutional manner. Both senators criticized Barrett for her Catholic faith.
Sen. Feinstein stated that law and dogma must remain separate. Speaking to the nominee, she stated:
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.
Sen. Feinstein is referring to the dogma of the Catholic church. Later in the hearing, Senator Durbin asked Barrett what it means to be an orthodox Catholic. This question is clearly inappropriate and irrelevant to a judicial nominee confirmation hearing.
Their hostility toward religiosity is deeply concerning, however not surprising, as both are avid supporters of abortion.
The Constitution Prohibits Religious Tests
Article six, section three of the Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Senators Feinstein and Durbin clearly violated the Constitution’s religious test clause.
This is not the first time a sitting senator has violated the religious test clause. In June, Senator Bernie Sanders criticized Russell Vought, a nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, for his Christian views.
Sen. Feinstein does not provide a valid argument in opposition to Barrett’s nomination. She assumes that because Barrett is a devout Catholic, her religious views will compromise her ability to adhere to the law. This is a dangerous assumption, and in Barrett’s case especially, it is untrue.
Barrett has previously stated that she believes law and faith should remain separate. Senators Feinstein and Durbin’s motives either do not believe her or they have an entirely different agenda.
GOPAC chairman David Avella argues that Senate Democrats will do whatever it takes to prevent President Trump’s nominees from being confirmed. This religious test is likely another tactic they are using to do just that.
Law and Religion
Another explanation for the misuse of the religious test in the Senate is the increasing intolerance toward religion, specifically Christianity.
Law and religious dogma should remain separate when possible. However, moral principles are inherently rooted in religious beliefs, and law frequently deals with issues of morality. Therefore, religion and law will never be completely separated, nor should they, unless we are to live in a morally ignorant nation.
Nihilism and moral relativity are cancerous to a free nation. While public officials should never force their religious beliefs onto a nation, promoting absolute truth and objective morality (which stem from religion) are beneficial to a nation.
Thus, it is asinine for Sen. Feinstein to suggest that holding such beliefs could prevent a nominee from serving in public office.