Friday, January 11, 2019

"I Refuse to Answer, Senator, on the Grounds that Your Question is a Religious Test"

In the good old days, Commie lefties hauled up before Congressional committees to confess their commie-ness used to refused to testify. First they refused to testify on the grounds of the First Amendment, but when the Supreme Court didn't back them up they switched to refusing to testify on the grounds of the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination.

All educated evolved people agreed that these Commies and Hollywood lefties, particularly including the Hollywood Ten, were taking it to The Man, or what would become The Man a couple of meme cycles later. And their names ought to be up in lights.

Because, Oh My, the horror of it! McCarthyite witch-hunts! Reds Under the Bed! Nobody in McCarthyite America was safe to express unpopular opinions! Oh! the Hollywood scriptwriters that suffered under the Hollywood Blacklist! Never again! Never, never again would America descend to the low it reached during the McCarthy Era!

Only now you are not allowed to speak a word that liberals dislike on America's college campi. You are not allowed to text a word that activist groups dislike on Twitter. And good luck with an academic career if you are to the right of Hillary Clinton. You are blacklisted, because of your racist sexist homophobic bigotry. And serve you right. Hanging is too good for some people, as Captain Hastings once said when some thug damaged his Lagonda.

The latest stop on this neo-McCarthy tour is the religious test for judicial nominees. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked nominee Brian Buescher about his membership in the Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus.
"Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed marriage equality when you joined the organization?" and "Have you ever, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women's reproductive rights?"
Buescher "replied that he joined the Knights when he was 18 years old; that his involvement includes charitable work; and that his job as a judge is to apply the law regardless of his personal convictions."

I say baloney to that answer. I say that the proper response is:
Senator, I refuse to answer the question on the grounds that it constitutes a religious test for public office which is forbidden by Article Six of the United States Constitution thus: that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." And Senator, because I value your continuance in an office of public trust I hesitate to answer this question and thus perhaps put you in possible criminal liability for monstrously violating the spirit and the letter of the Sixth Article.
Of course, the last thing our liberal friends ever imagine is that they are the McCarthyite witch-hunters of the 21st century. Hey, I doubt even that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is old enough that maybe he was around during the McCarthy era, has the smallest smidgen of a suspicion that his questioning of nominee Russell Vought for Islamophobia might amount to a religious test. Said Sanders:
Sanders said, "I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about." Vought is an elder in his church, married, and has two daughters.
I would simply say that anyone that doesn't have an least a question in their minds about the suitability of Islam in a modern society, not to mention the suitability of left-wing thought in a modern society, is a fool and a knave that never ventures outside the walled garden of NPR and The New York Times.

It has been said that "Nietzsche was the Nazi's favorite intellectual," as if such a statement was an automatic disqualification of Nietzsche's thought. Why is it then that the statement "Marx was Stalin's favorite intellectual" is not an automatic disqualification for any and all left-wing ideas from the Equator to the Antipodes from now until eternity. After all, Stalin was perhaps the most blood-thirsty ruler since Genghis Khan. Unless you figure that Mao Zedong has Uncle Joe beat in the killing department. If the notion that Marx leads to Lenin leads to Stalin is not a red flag about leftism wherever it may be found, I don't know nothing.

But somehow, in 21st century America it is routine for politicians and activists of a certain stripe to marginalize mainstream Christianity while privileging the latest in kooky left-wing ideology.

I don't get it.

But still, it would be fun for nominees to start invoking the Article Six prohibition of religious tests.

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