In this video from the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s (FFRF’s) “Ask an Atheist” series, co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor and constitutional attorney Andrew Seidel, FFRF’s Director of Strategic Response, masticate the Amy Coney Barrett hearings, beginning with a legal analysis of Barrett’s testimony (until 11:30). Seidel, as always, is percipient and eloquent on the hearings.
Then Gaylor interviews Coral Theill (starting at 12:30), who once belonged to the group “People of Praise“, the Christian sect to which Barrett and her family still belong. According to reader Charles Sawicki, who sent me this link, Theill tried to testify at Barrett’s Senate hearings but was refused by Lindsey Graham. Charles added this:
The ideas espoused by this cult makes the idea that Barrett is a member of SCOTUS much more worrisome. In particular, as a true believer, Barrett is “in submission” to her husband and cult leadership (that is she has to submit to their leadership).
At 34:00, Theill takes questions from both the moderators and the viewers.
Coral Theill’s description of People of Praise is absolutely spine-chilling. The group is clearly a cult and the women members clearly “handmaids”. Fortunately, Theill has managed to make her awful life with PoP into something good, as she now advocates against abuse and promotes recovery from trauma.
I’d recommend going to the People of Praise website and see what they’re about. That and the Wikipedia article will tell you what we’re in for with Justice Barrett. Given this information, it’s pretty clear that Barrett wouldn’t be a big fan of evolution. But that’s the least of our worries. Listen to the group’s views on the subjugation of women.
As for what this means for Barrett’s future decisions on the Court, I think you’d have to be in denial to think that she issue decisions that contravene her religious views. As one Jon Meador commented on the YouTube video:
Democrats are criticized for pointing out that Judge Barrett is biased due to her religious beliefs on the grounds that the “no-religious-test clause” bars asking those sorts of questions. The problem is her religious beliefs are the very reason she’s getting the job. Belief in god was not supposed to qualify or disqualify you. Here it’s what qualifies her; it’s the very reason she’s getting the job. Her lack of partiality is the very reason she’s getting the job. When you pick a jury, people with religious beliefs that affect their judgment as excused from service. They can’t serve as a matter of law. Here we have a “juror” picked because she’s a hardcore, right-wing, pro-life Catholic. I hope someone on our side will start filing motions to recuse these religiously-bigoted judges not because we’ll win (because we won’t) but because it’ll raise awareness and make a historical record.
If Barrett truly adheres to the cult’s guidelines, she’d probably be the first Justice to be a member of such a loony sect.
Thanks to Annie Laurie, Andrew, and especially the courageous Ms. Theill for putting this together.