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Left Is Coming For Christian Schools

Be terrified of this monstrous Catholic jurist, say liberal Catholics (C-SPAN)

Oh my God, Amy Coney Barrett is a believing Catholic! The Associated Press brings the shocking news:

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom.

The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., both before Barrett joined the board in 2015 and during the time she served.

The three schools, in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia, are affiliated with People of Praise, an insular community rooted in its own interpretation of the Bible, of which Barrett and her husband have been longtime members. At least three of the couple’s seven children have attended the Trinity School at Greenlawn, in South Bend, Indiana.

The AP spoke with more than two dozen people who attended or worked at Trinity Schools, or former members of People of Praise. They said the community’s teachings have been consistent for decades: Homosexuality is an abomination against God, sex should occur only within marriage and marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Interviewees told the AP that Trinity’s leadership communicated anti-LGBTQ policies and positions in meetings, one-on-one conversations, enrollment agreements, employment agreements, handbooks and written policies — including those in place when Barrett was an active member of the board.

Read it all. 

Let me explain something to the Associated Press: there is this thing called the Roman Catholic Church, and it teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman. It also teaches that sex outside of a lawful marriage is sinful. It teaches that homosexual acts are sinful. It has done this for almost 2,000 years.

This is not what liberals believe today — and not just liberals. Many people who identify as conservative have shed the historic Christian teaching about homosexuality. Today comes news that Pope Francis has endorsed civil unions for LGBT people. Even so, he has not declared that Catholic teaching about homosexuality and marriage has changed. Still, yes, we have to acknowledged that society at large has changed decisively on this issue. Ours is a post-Christian society, in that most people in it do not understand the Bible as the story by which they live their lives.

But some of us still do. Amy Coney Barrett is one of them. If she is anything like me, she bears no ill will towards gays and lesbians, and counts some as friends. She doesn’t think gays are icky, or anything like that. Her personal and professional life would be easier if she simply accepted what the world now believes. But she tries to be intellectually honest, and she knows that one cannot simply throw aside an authoritative Biblical teaching because it doesn’t suit contemporary cultural beliefs. A believer — certainly a faithful Catholic or Orthodox — is bound to submit to these teachings whether or not she understands them or wishes they weren’t there. Truth is objective, though it must be subjectively appropriated and lived out. A number of Catholics are really members of the Church of What’s Happening Now, and they’ve enjoyed lucrative careers because of it; Amy Coney Barrett is not one of them. If she is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, it will be despite the fact that people like these AP reporters tried to tear her down for her fidelity to her Church’s teaching.

Look at the way this AP story reads:

Nearly all the people interviewed for this story are gay or said they have gay family members. They used words such as “terrified,” “petrified” and “frightening” to describe the prospect of Barrett on the high court. Some of them know Barrett, have mutual friends with her or even have been in her home dozens of times. They describe her as “nice” or “a kind person,” but told the AP they feared others would suffer if Barrett tries to implement People of Praise’s views on homosexuality on the Supreme Court.

Terrified! Petrified! Frightening! Even though Judge Barrett is a nice and kind person, she’s really a smiley-faced monster, you see.

More:

Turpin-King said she has briefly met Barrett, and they share mutual friends. Some of her husband’s family members are still members of the People of Praise community, and she loves and respects them. Many of Trinity’s teachers were wonderful to her. But the thought of Barrett sitting on the Supreme Court scares her.

“I am deeply concerned about my queer friends. I’m concerned about my own children,” Turpin-King said. “From what I experienced in People of Praise, as a student of one of their schools, everyone needs to be petrified, frankly.”

Everyone! There is not the slightest attempt in this long story to explain why the Catholic Church believes what it does, just to give the other side, and to give readers context for why People of Praise has the policies it does. The reporters know what they’re doing here. They called a well-known left-wing Catholic historian at Villanova, who helped paint a picture of People of Praise as cranky weirdos outside the Church’s mainstream.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with pointing out what ACB believes as a Catholic, even controversial stuff. But this AP story is propaganda. It’s not going to keep her from being confirmed and sworn in, but it is important for the rest of us to understand it as a glimpse into the mindset of liberal elites, as the Catholic journalist Tim Carney tweeted this morning:

Of course they will. Do not ever believe them when they say they won’t. There are good Democrats who say it won’t happen, and they really believe it — I’m thinking of my friend Michael Wear — but the logic of what the Democrats believe, and the force of its activist wing, is going to go that way. The Left sees no goal as more important than non-discrimination, at least not against its preferred victim groups (racial minorities, LGBTs, and others). If they have to smash religious liberty to achieve it, they will, as soon as they are able. Even though they have won the culture war in every significant aspect, they will not be satisfied until they have rubbed the noses of the vanquished in the dirt.

Last year, in my travels (remember when we could do that?), I found myself in conversation with an experienced religious liberty litigator, a fellow Christian. We were talking about how frustrating President Trump was on this or that. I said to the lawyer, “I feel, though, that as this country moves further away from Christianity, the federal judiciary is going to be the last line of defense Christian schools and churches have — and that’s why it’s important to make sure we get good judges who respect religious liberty on the courts, while we can.” The lawyer strongly affirmed this.

I have pretty much decided to vote third party for president (American Solidarity Party). Trump has my state locked up anyway, so I’m thinking that I would like to cast a vote in favor of a party whose platform I really believe in, as opposed to voting for the lesser of two evils, and choosing between the evil of two lessers. Reading this AP story this morning, though, has reminded me again of the contempt the left has for people like me, and our institutions, which they will demonize as a precursor to destroying them. The story has re-centered me on the critical importance of the federal judiciary as likely the last thing standing between Christian schools and institutions, and the progressive mob. I’m going to be thinking about this all the way through to election day, and I hope you Christian readers — especially those in swing states — will too. Though my vote really doesn’t matter in my state, this issue might move it to Trump anyway, given the quality of his judicial appointments. If I were in a swing state, this AP story, and what it symbolizes, would seal the deal for me.

This is who the Democrats are. If the party’s leaders and activists didn’t despise traditional religion so much, I would be open to voting for them (as I’ve voted twice for Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana). But we can’t afford to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. If the Democrats take power and hold it, it will only be a matter of time before they come after traditional Christian (and Orthodox Jewish, and Islamic) schools on anti-discrimination grounds. When they say today that they would never do such a thing, don’t believe them. They’re relying on the Law of Merited Impossibility: It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it. 

UPDATE: If they destroy Christian schools, where will parents be able to educate their children away from this kind of propaganda, which is presented to fifth graders in California public schools:

UPDATE.2: I know y’all are all waiting for me to say something about Pope Francis and civil unions. Patience, my preciouses; I have been very busy all day doing book stuff, and I am about to head down to the bayou to give a speech. I haven’t even had time to approve comments yet. I’ll get to it, promise — though I won’t be home till later tonight.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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