This week, two CINO (Catholic In Name Only) Democrats who disserve on the Judiciary Committee embarassed themselves, their country, and their (supposed) Church with statements relating to the nomination of Judge John Roberts.
Senator Durbin went first. According to Jonathan Turley in Monday’s LA Times, Durbin asked Roberts what he would do if the law required a ruling that ran contrary to Roberts’ faith. Since Roberts’ response is unclear, attention can rightly be focused on the question. No Senator of either party or any faith would have dared to ask such a question of a member of ANY faith other than the Catholic faith. Roberts’ impecable record is beyond reproach, so the Democrats must find ways to create doubt about him. What easier way than to play on outdated anti-Catholic biases?
The Senator Leahy followed suit, becoming the first Senator to state publicly that he will apply a pro-Roe litmus test to Judge Roberts. Leahy went so far as to say that Roe is on par with Brown v. Board of Ed. Priests for Life’s statement addresses this quite well (full disclosure: I work for PFL). It is laughable that the “right” to an abortion, which scholars on both sides of the abortion debate say is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, should be considered on par with those rights that are explicitly protected therein. Regardless of one’s views on abortion, constitutional scholars should be embarassed by such a suggestion.
The two Senators thought that they would get a pass because both claim to be Catholic. Their voting records, however, show that they are Catholic in the same way that if a cow is born in a tree, it’s a bird. Both Senators have ignored Catholic teachings in their public life. While the job of a judge is to apply the law as it is written, the job of a legislator is to bring his values to the fore. As such, it is clear that Senators Durbin and Leahy have had every opportunity to bring Catholic values to the fore in our national discussions. At every opportunity, they have shown that the teachings of the Catholic Church did not factor into their conscience formation and continue to be absent from their decision-making.
Senators behaving like this should not get a pass even if they are practicing Catholics. Senators Durbin and Leahy most certainly are not. Ideally, the two would seek to inform their consciences and reach better conclusions in the future. Until then, though, they should at least have the decency to publicly state that they no longer consider themselves Catholic rather than continuing to bring scandal on the Church by proclaiming to be Catholic with the same mouthes they use to actively oppose the core values of that same Church.