:: Friday, August 01, 2003 ::
Ramesh Ponnuru comments on the controversy surrounding the confirmation debate on the federal appeals-court nomination of William Pryor and claims that, Yes, They’re Anti-Catholic" in reference to "The Democrats and judges."
So Republican rhetoric about the Democrats' having adopted a "religious test for office" is not true. It is true, however, that the Democrats have adopted the next best thing. They have a viewpoint test for office that has the effect of screening out all Catholics faithful to their church's teachings on abortion. The fact that the test screens out a lot of Protestants, too, makes the problem worse, not better. It really is true that faithful Catholics "need not apply" as far as most Democrats are concerned. A Catholic can win their support only by ceasing, on the decisive issue, to be Catholic — by breaking from his church's teaching, as Senator Durbin has done. (It is rather disgraceful for a man who went in six years from supporting the Human Life Amendment to supporting partial-birth abortion to keep carrying on about the extremism of people whose beliefs have been less supple.)
Is it fair to make a political issue of the impact that a litmus test has on a religious group? Absolutely. In the hypothetical example above, I think it would be entirely reasonable to ask a politician to declare openly that adherents to the ritual-murder religion should not be eligible for certain jobs. That declaration would of course affect the votes of those adherents, and of other citizens who are sympathetic to them. The Democrats are not prepared openly to say that their litmus test excludes Catholics and evangelical Protestants. That's why they will continue to squeal even if Republicans make the argument in the most precise, rhetorically clean way possible. And why Republicans should not flag in doing exactly that.
:: Mark 9:48 AM [+] ::