Recent nominees to the federal judiciary have endured pointed questions about their faith during confirmation hearings and in written questionnaires. One Catholic nominee was told, "The dogma lives loudly in you, and that's of concern." Others have been interrogated about their membership in the Knights of Columbus, with the implication that participation in the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the country - one that has accomplished so much good for over a century - could be disqualifying. To call out the Knights of Columbus for derision is simply appalling.
Religious tests are unconstitutional and unjust, and they are an attack on all people of faith. Religion inspires people to serve their neighbors by living out their faith in their local communities. Yet religious tests tell not only Catholics, but all Americans, that they cannot both serve their country and live out their faith. These attitudes may have prevailed at points in America's history, but they should not find new life in this country's future.
Our country is highly pluralistic and, currently, highly polarized. Imposing religious tests on judicial nominees deepens the divides in this country and fosters resentment. A religious test says, "You do not belong here. You are not a true American." Senators should be working to navigate our country through these tumultuous times, not actively working to intensify the waves.
It is time for these discriminatory, anti-Catholic questions to stop. Contact your senators today!