Freedom of Religion or Freedom from Religion?

In Blogs, Current Affairs by Chris KatulkaLeave a Comment

I was taught in school the First Amendment of the Constitution promises American citizens the basic right of Freedom of Religion—that one’s religious affiliation should never be used to determine their adequacy for a position serving in any capacity of the United States government.

I’m beginning to think that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) may have mistaken Freedom of Religion for Freedom from Religion when she recently brought into question appellate-court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame who happens to be a devout Catholic. Sen. Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, probed into Barrett’s religious background with the hope of drawing out anything she could use to show that Barrett is unfit to be a federal judge because she’s too Catholic.

The Founders of our great country crafted the Constitution to protect nominees like Amy Coney Barrett from politicians who would create an unconstitutional religious litmus test for any nominee.

Sen. Feinstein said to Barrett during the 7th circuit court of appeals nomination hearing, “The dogma lives loudly within you.” She’s talking about the rigid dogma of the Catholic church and their views against abortion and same-sex marriage. Sen. Feinstein continued, “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.” Of course, Sen. Feinstein is worried Barrett will overstep her role as judge and rule from the bench based on her religious views, undoing the years of hard work the progressive left has made advancing their agenda.

Sen. Feinstein isn’t the only senator overstepping the line on the No Religious Test clause, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) questioned Russell Vought, then-nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) about his Christian views, and questioned whether he was fit to lead the OMB because of his Christian beliefs. I’m confident Sen. Sanders would find fault with what most of the Founders believed.  

The Founders of our great country crafted the Constitution to protect nominees like Amy Coney Barrett from politicians who would create an unconstitutional religious litmus test for any nominee. The No Religious Test Clause (Article VI, Section 3) prevents one’s religious beliefs from becoming a test of their suitability for the position. Religious litmus tests were commonplace in England in the 17th and 18th centuries when the ruling class prevented English citizens from obtaining government positions if they weren’t members of the Church of England.

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Here’s the reality: The progressive left’s agenda is as much a religion to them as Barrett’s Catholicism is to her. Here’s the difference, I’m confident Mrs. Barrett will be more apt to uphold her constitutional role as judge than Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Sanders do at being senators.

We have to remember it’s not Freedom from Religion, it’s Freedom of Religion, and it’s Amy Coney Barrett’s God-given, constitutional right to be both a devout Catholic and now 7th circuit appellate court judge.

About the Author

Chris Katulka

Chris Katulka is the assistant director of North American Ministries for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, the host of The Friends of Israel Today radio program, a Bible teacher, and writer for Israel My Glory magazine.

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