January 12, 2019

USA: Representative Tulsi Gabbard Took Fellow Democrats Kamala Harris, Mazie Hirono, And Dianne Feinstein To Task For Their Anti-Catholic Questioning Of Trump Judicial Nominees.

Democrats Using A Religion Litmus Test.
They are blatantly discriminating based on religious beliefs.

The New American
written by James Murphy
Thursday January 10, 2019

In the did that really just happen? department, a Democrat congresswoman from Hawaii just called out members of her own party over their religious bigotry after the Catholic-bashing questioning of a federal court nominee. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) penned an op-ed for The Hill on Tuesday in which she implicitly targeted members of her own party for engaging in a weaponization of religion in their questions of the nominee.

Gabbard’s piece, entitled “Elected Leaders who Weaponize Religion are Playing a Dangerous Game,” Gabbard lays out the Article 6 Constitutional case for leaving religion out of any questioning of federal nominees. Article 6 states that “there shall be no religious test” for people who seek public office.

While not naming them directly, it is obvious that Gabbard is singling out Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), both of whom have targeted federal judicial nominee Brian Buescher for his membership in the Catholic organization the Knights of Columbus.

In written follow-up questions to Buescher’s November 28 confirmation hearing, Hirono and Harris looked for assurances that Buescher would renounce the Knights. “The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions,” Hirono claimed. “If confirmed, do you intend to end your membership with this organization to avoid any appearance of bias?”

Hirono also asked, “If confirmed, will you recuse yourself of all cases in which the Knights of Columbus has taken a position?”

Gabbard spoke directly to Hirono’s line of questioning in her op-ed, writing, “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.”

Harris asked Buescher, who joined the Knights as a teenager 25 years ago, “Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?”

Imagine the uproar if a GOP senator asked a Muslim nominee about his faith associations as they related to possible upcoming court cases. The media would be outraged, and with good reason. Yet, Hirono and Harris feel justified in using Buescher’s Catholic faith as a litmus test for his acceptability as a judge.

Knights of Columbus spokesperson Kathleen Blomquist responded, “Our country’s sad history of anti-Catholic bigotry contributed to the founding of the Knights of Columbus, and we are proud of the many Catholics who overcame this hurdle to contribute so greatly to our country.”

“We were extremely disappointed to see that one’s commitment to Catholic principles through membership in the Knights of Columbus — a charitable organization that adheres to and promotes Catholic teachings — would be viewed as a disqualifier from public service in this day and age.”

Gabbard, who is viewed as a “moderate” Democrat by many, put it more succinctly: “We must call this out for what it is — religious bigotry.”

Gabbard went on to take down leftist icon Senator Dianne Feinstein, who used similar tactics in a 2017 confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett. “No American should be told that his or her public service is unwelcome because ‘the dogma lives loudly within you’ as Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings in 2017 to serve as U.S. Circuit Court judge in the 7th Circuit.”

The Representative from Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District concluded, “We must stand together, call out religious bigotry, no matter where it comes from, and fight to protect the freedoms and principles that bind us together as Americans.”

The Hawaiian Democrat notes in the piece that she still opposes the nomination of Buescher for the court. Buescher ran unsuccessfully for the Nebraska Attorney General job. During that campaign, he described himself “avidly pro-life.”

Gabbard has other Democrat/Socialist bona fides, including supporting socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president in 2016. On the John Birch Society’s Freedom Index, which measures a legislator’s adherence to Constitutional principles based on their voting record, her score is 31 percent — decent for a Democrat, but disastrous for the Constitution.

Gabbard, who is considering a 2020 presidential run, may be trying to simply set herself apart as a “reasonable Democrat,” particularly when juxtaposed with Harris, who is also expected to run. But the piece is spot-on in characterizing her fellow Democrats as religious bigots.

And whether the op-ed is a political ploy or not, Gabbard deserves credit for exposing Harris, Hirono, and Feinstein for exactly what they are: bigots who hold their ideology above the Constitution.
written by Katie Yoder
Wednesday January 9, 2019

In American politics, certain issues shouldn’t belong to the Right or the Left, but rather should emerge as right or wrong. The protection of religious freedom is one of them.

In December, Democratic senators Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California pounced on a federal judicial nominee because of his participation in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization. The two senators suggested Brian Buescher “recuse” himself from the group because of its “extreme positions.”

But those “extreme” positions were simply, well, Catholic positions. Buescher came under fire for two issues in particular: abortion and gay marriage. Both of which the Knights of Columbus, in accordance with Catholic Church teaching, opposes.

The religious intolerance caught the attention of a Democrat politician from Hirono’s own state. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard slammed the senators in a Hill piece published Jan. 8 – without naming names.

“While I oppose the nomination of Brian Buescher to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher’s Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus,” she wrote.

She called out the Democratic Party for showing “an alarming disregard of its own history in making such attacks today” after previously supporting other Knights of Columbus members such as John F. Kennedy.

“If Buescher is ‘unqualified’ because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus,” Rep. Gabbard argued, “then President John F. Kennedy, and the ‘liberal lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy would have been ‘unqualified’ for the same reasons.”

In conclusion, she accused elected politicians “engaging in religion-baiting” of “sacrificing the well-being, peace and harmony of our country to satisfy their own political ambitions for partisan political interests.”

Catholics, and particularly Knights of Columbus, can certainly agree with Gabbard. The fact is the Knights themselves contribute much to the well-being of the United States. Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus boasts 1.9 million members worldwide. The group gave $185,652,989 in charitable donations and volunteered 75 million hours in 2017. In addition to its own projects, it also partners with other groups including the Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission, and Habitat for Humanity.

But all those important efforts didn’t stop Senators Hirono and Harris. The two Democrats worried that the Knights’ stance – which, again, is simply the Catholic Church’s stance – against gay marriage and abortion would influence Buescher.

Sen. Hirono highlighted that the Knights, which Buescher joined in 1993, “has taken a number of extreme positions,” and contributed to California’s Proposition 8 campaign “to ban same-sex marriage.”

“If confirmed, do you intend to end your membership with this organization to avoid any appearance of bias?” she inquired.

She continued by asking Buescher if he agreed with the Knights on the dangers of contraception as well as its support of cutting Title X funds from clinics that provide abortion or referrals.

Sen. Hirono wanted to know, “what assurances can litigants have that you will deal with reproductive rights and abortion issues fairly and impartially?”

Sen. Harris employed the same line of questioning.

“Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?” Sen. Harris began, before asking if Buescher agreed with Carl Anderson, the head of the Knights, on abortion. Like Hirono, she brought up the Knights’ support of Proposition 8 and their opposition to “marriage equality.” She also added two questions about “same-sex couples” looking to adopt children.

Their comments reminded Rep. Gabbard and conservatives of other religious attacks, such as when Sen. Dianne Feinstein told judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett “the dogma lives loudly within you” in 2017.

But the number of incidents doesn’t stop there. Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, detailed “Trump nominees who have been quizzed about their Christian faith” on Jan. 3 for National Review.

“These inquiries directed to Christians violate the spirit if not the letter of Article VI, which provides that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office under the United States,’” wrote Severino.

That’s because living out one’s faith isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s an American one. And promoting religious freedom, as Rep. Gabbard demonstrates, isn’t for Democrats or Republicans. It’s the right thing – for both – to do.

Democrats have a religion problem

Fox News published on Sep 12, 2017: Sens. Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin criticized for their grilling of 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Amy Coney Barrett about the role of faith in her work. Sen. Mike Lee weighs in Tucker.

Dems criticize Trump judicial nominee for Catholic organization

Fox News published on Dec 27, 2018: Brian Buescher, a nominee to sit on the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, was pressed by the Democratic senators if he could hear cases fairly or if he was intending to leave the Catholic organization if confirmed; reaction from Rev. Gerald Murray.
Ugh. This Progressive woman is closed minded and extreme in my humble opinion. She is everything she hates. In America, people are ALLOWED to think and feel however the hell they want and support whoever the hell they want and worship whatever the hell they want. This woman wants to FORCE HER BELIEFS on ALL Americans. Isn't that what she and the Democrats are accusing Christian judicial nominees?

I want you to see how it's okay for Democrats to hate, despise Christians openly and even discriminate against Christians. But oooooh, if you even mention Islam (who does literally impose their oppressive beliefs when they are in power in cities and nations) in any negative way, you're evil and need to be banished from America.

I'm going to keep repeating the following. I am a Christian. I'm also gay since my childhood. I am pro-life and a Republican. My picture will never fit the Progressive Democrat frame. As a Christian whose nemesis is Satan, I would never deny Satanists right to exist and practice their religious beliefs in America. (emphasis mine)

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