I often joke with people that, since I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic church, and then came to trust Christ as my Savior later in a non-denominational church, then became a Baptist by doctrinal conviction at a yet later point, I have all of the bases covered in salvation.
Mind you, please, that it is just a joke. I am fully aware and fully persuaded that, as Ephesians 2:8-9 puts it “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” My salvation, my “ticket to heaven,” was gained solely as a result of my receiving by faith what Christ did for me on Calvary. But I mention the Catholic connection to Baptist conviction because of President Trump’s most recent nominee to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.
I am a Baptist, Judge Barrett is a Catholic. To say that Baptists and Catholics do not always see eye to eye would be a bit of an understatement. And yet despite those differences, I have an ability that many people in the political realm used to have, but few seem to have any more; the ability to acknowledge when a person is qualified for a task, even if they are not of “my stripe.”
The position of a Supreme Court justice is clearly one that exists in the political realm, whereas the Catholic faith of Judge Barrett is rooted in the spiritual realm. And yet throughout our history and our society there have been constant intersections of politics and faith–most notably the First Amendment to the Constitution itself. America has always been primarily a spiritual people, and as such, it can hardly be logically expected that such intersections can be barred from existence. I have discussed at great length in previous editions of this column all of the Scripture literally engraved in stone in the nation’s capital, on the Liberty Bell, and in hundreds of other prominent public places. We are all the better for that, and none the worse.
But, to the subject of Judge Barrett, I cannot help but shake my head in bemusement at the attacks quickly leveled against her even before she was officially nominated to succeed Justice Ginsburg. Even in 2017, when she was appointed as a judge for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Diane Feinstein, during Barrett’s confirmation process then, famously pointed at her Catholic faith and said derisively, “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”
Those attacks are ramping up again, along with other truly bewildering assaults.
One of the unjust canards constantly leveled against pro-lifers is that “they are really pro-birth, not pro-life. If they were actually pro-life, they would go adopt unwanted children.” And yet when President Trump tapped Barrett to field this most recent vacancy, her family came into ugly focus for having defied that very canard. Judge Barrett and her husband are the biological parents to five children; they also adopted and have lovingly raised two Haitian orphans. That should be universally praised and held up as the example of how a person should be, and it should by all accounts play very favorably as her character is examined during the confirmation process. And yet Ibram X. Kendi, an American author and the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, railed against Barrett on Twitter for that very thing, equating her and her husband to “White colonizers.” (https://nypost.com/2020/09/28/bu-professor-suggests-amy-coney-barrett-is-a-white-colonizer/)
I try to be as polite and polished as I can when I write faith columns for this wonderful newspaper. But Mr. Kendi’s views on this are very literally dumber than a booger on a doorknob.
Judge Barrett should be held up as a heroine and an example to an entire generation of American girls of every race and background. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rhodes College in 1994. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Notre Dame Law School, where she graduated first in her class and was the executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. She was awarded distinguished professor of the year three times at Notre Dame Law School. Every Notre Dame Law School faculty member supported her elevation to the appellate court. She has throughout her law career shown a staunch allegiance to the actual text of the Constitution.
She has been faithfully married for 20 years. She has raised polite, well-adjusted children. Her youngest son, Benjamin, is a special needs child–he has Down Syndrome. In other words, she is brilliant, hard-working, successful, trustworthy, faithful, the epitome of what “equality” looks like in real life, and has a heart for the hurting. She is everything that, in a non-rabid, politically un-deranged world, everyone would point their daughters to and say, “Be like her.”
I think it will be interesting to watch the political left try to savage a woman like this after having spent years uttering platitudes like “believe all women” and “let’s break the glass ceiling.” I also think that it will be sad that that is certainly what will happen, when what could and should be happening is a national celebration over a brilliant mom with a multi-racial family and a solid marriage taking a spot on the Supreme Court along side a bunch of mostly old men.
Judge Barrett, you have the support of this Baptist. Go get em.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His books are available by clicking the “Store” link above. Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner