Democrats Are Fine with Catholics as Long as They Aren't Catholic

“In today’s GOP, claiming that American Muslims don’t deserve equal rights has become so normal that prominent Republicans no longer object.” So goes the daunting thesis of Peter Beinart’s piece published on September 28th in the Atlantic. Zuhdi Jasser and the other 17% of Muslims who self-affiliate as Republican might disagree with this notion, but they would only be making anecdotal arguments. Beinart, however, has the rock-solid evidence to support his dramatic claim: over ten years ago, Alabama Judge Roy Moore suggested that Keith Ellison was not fit to be seated in Congress because of his adherence to Islamic doctrine, yet few prominent Republicans have disavowed his decade-old statement (even after Judge Moore’s highly publicized victory last week).

If we are to accept Beinart’s verdict that Republicans have a Muslim problem, by his logic, we may have to contend that Democrats have a Catholic problem. An situation eerily similar to Moore’s occurred during a Senate hearing for Professor Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to a federal appellate court. Several prominent Democrats implied that Barrett was incapable of being an impartial judge due to her religious identity. Senator Dianne Feinstein probed Barrett on a paper she wrote several years ago, regarding the relationship of Catholic Doctrine to the American legal system. In a grim voice, Feinstein concluded her interrogation by telling Barrett that “The dogma lives loudly in you.” Wise Feinstein (like Yoda) sensed a strong force in Barrett, but this was a dark, malevolent, and almost ancient presence: the force of traditional Catholic Dogma. She went on to say that this force was “of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”

But of course, Democrats could never harbor the bigoted and unconstitutional belief that someone should be excluded from participating in government office because of their religious identity. The Democratic Party champions religious diversity -- for Christ’s sake, they gave us our first Catholic President! That being said, how do we grapple with the fact that Feinstein questioned Barrett so harshly on her Catholicism?

This may be a Hail Mary, but I think I have the answer. Democrats are not Anti-Catholic, they are Anti-orthodox-Catholic.

By “orthodox-Catholic” I mean a person that believes and attempts to adhere to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Yuck! And Democrats are not unique in being suspicious of these shady individuals. In fact, some Catholics take issue with the orthodox among them. In the same Senate hearing, Minority Whip Dick Durbin, himself a Catholic, asked Barrett “Do you consider yourself an orthodox-Catholic?” Durbin’s was not a question of solidarity but rather a McCarthy-like inquiry into Barrett’s ties to the seedy underbelly of the Catholic Church.

To today’s Democratic Party, Catholics and orthodox-Catholics are seen as very distinct groups, the latter of which are more of a hate-organization than a religious denomination. Orthodox-Catholics maintain antiquated practices like traditional marriage and some shun modern marvels like the birth-control pill. They affirm the doctrine of Transubstantiation but are not so keen on transgenderism. They hold delusional beliefs, like that of the Madonna being a virgin (she was actually married to Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie) and that Jesus Christ is central to the salvation of mankind. They believe God is the omniscient Judge, not Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified hate groups for much more benign offenses.

The list of orthodox-Catholic transgressions is endless, but their original sin is that they are Pro-Life, or more accurately, Anti-Choice. They believe that the unborn deserve rights and that there is something inherently sacred about human life. They believe planning for parenthood should not include the option of eradicating a fetus. When Feinstein spoke of the big issues that people have fought for, she was most certainly referring to Roe v. Wade. And an orthodox-Catholic is dangerously prone to believe that this court decision was drastically wrong.

Unrestricted access to abortion is such a fundamental tenet of the Democratic platform that it must be protected from all threats. Yes, an appellate court judge is unlikely to singlehandily overturn a Supreme Court decision; however, they could be an obstacle to the Democratic Party’s stated goal of revoking the Hyde Amendment, a provision barring the use of federal funds from paying for abortions. Every day a woman is at risk of becoming pregnant because the heartless Little Sisters of the Poor won’t buy her an IUD. It would behoove us to remember that these orthodox-Catholics types are the ones who prevent a Christian’s income taxes from being used to pay for her trip to the friendly neighborhood abortionist. It is indeed clear that Feinstein and fellow Democrats are doing God’s work by protecting us from these zealots.

And this is what it comes down to: the orthodox are to Catholics as ISIS is to Muslims. The Democratic Party does not see them as a religion with constitutional rights, but as a hate group to be squelched. Therefore, Feinstein and her fellow Senators on the left were not applying a religious test, but rather a human-decency test. The Democratic Party loves Catholics! They think it’s cute that they still go to Church on Christmas. Saint Christopher pendants really spruce up an outfit and the world owes them immensely for Fish and Chip Fridays.  Democrats don’t have a problem with Catholics like Republicans do with Muslims. This is a fact. It’s just those damned orthodox-Catholics -- they are the ones that don’t deserve equal rights.