Manual Miranda in OpinionJournal has a strong criticism of the questioning of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. While we all expected chest-puffing and posturing from the Senators, we didn’t expect illegal religious bigotry to be so acceptable. Excerpts:
Article VI of the Constitution prohibits a religious test from being imposed on nominees to public office. The clause was motivated by the experience of Catholics in the Maryland colony and Baptists in Virginia who had been the targets of Great Britain’s two Test Acts. These infamous laws of intolerance sought to prevent anyone who did not belong to the Church of England from holding public office. The Test Acts did not say that Catholics could not hold office; the bigotry was more subtle. Officials questioned would-be public servants to determine whether they believed in particular tenets of the Catholic faith.
Hours later, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California made it worse: “In 1960, there was much debate about President John F. Kennedy’s faith and what role Catholicism would play in his administration. At that time, he pledged to address the issues of conscience out of a focus on the national interests, not out of adherence to the dictates of one’s religion. . . . My question is: Do you?”
How insulting. How offensive. How invidiously ignorant to question someone like Judge Roberts with such apparent presumption and disdain for the religion he practices. The JFK question is not just the camel’s nose of religious intolerance; it is the whole smelly camel.
Additional quotes from Judge and Jewry:
I mean how grotesque is it that the Left feels free to indulge openly in half-century-old religious prejudice? This is not some crazy person standing outside with a rusty hanger–it is a United States Senator in her official capacity on national television. And this is no off-the-cuff blurt–these questions are excruciatingly researched and drafted and worded and reviewed and approved and choreographed by teams of liberal lawyers and advisors both on her staff and off. She–the senator who keeps harping at this hearing that her concern is the protection of people of faith–thinks an obnoxious question born of religious bigotry is legitimate because it was posed in 1960?
There’s more from Concerned Women of America, the Catholic Culture of Life Foundation, the Catholic League, Fidelis, so go read it.