Actress Patricia Heaton is a unicorn in Hollywood. She’s a conservative, pro-life woman who sometimes expresses political opinions through social media. Last weekend she posted a warning to her followers on Twitter – be prepared to hear an “onslaught of arrogant pronouncements” from people who are “ignorant of religion.”
Though she didn’t tweet in specifics, she was clearly motivated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Trump’s list of potential nominees to succeed her on the Supreme Court. While she wasn’t specific in terms of politics, she did address Catholics in her warning of what is to come. She warns of critics “who wouldn’t recognize God if He bit them on the bum.” Heaton posted a short thread on Twitter which calls out an article in Newsweek. One name on Trump’s short list of potential nominees, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, was trashed by that publication for her religious beliefs.
Friends, be prepared for social media to be filled with an onslaught of arrogant pronouncements based on breathtaking ignorance of religion in general, Christianity specifically and Catholicism in particularly by people who wouldn’t recognize God if He bit them on the bum.
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) September 21, 2020
The @Newsweek article never mentions that families in People of Praise move into low income or troubled neighborhoods with their kids and work to improve the lives of their neighbors (info which is available on their website).
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) September 22, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett (ACB) is described as a devout Catholic. She and her family (she is mom to seven children, including 2 adopted from Haiti and one special needs child) belong to a Christian covenant community known as the People of Praise. It is not a church or denomination, and membership is open to any baptized Christian who affirms the Nicene Creed and agrees to the community’s covenant. According to its website, People of Praise “is a community where Christians from diverse church backgrounds can share life, work, prayer and mission while still maintaining active membership in their local congregations.” In other words, the community is one dedicated to service. How dare she belong to such an organization.
Liberal activists draw a link between People of Praise and The Handmaid’s Tale, a book by Canadian author Margaret Atwood that was turned into a Netflix series. Published in 1985, it is a tale of a dystopian community, a totalitarian state known as Gilead, set in a near-future New England. Women in the community are forced into sexual servitude to repopulate the world which has been devastated by environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In other words, it is a feminist’s fantasy where the subserviant women rise up against the patriarchy. The women in the book wear those long red capes and white bonnets you’ve seen during the Supreme Court nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh. Liberal women love to reference this book against conservatives and I’m willing to bet that most of them haven’t even read it.
Articles in Newsweek, Reuters and Refinery29 connected People of Praise to the 1985 dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which became a miniseries starting in 2017 on Hulu. Reuters reported that female leaders in the group were referred to as “handmaids” until 2018.
“Handmaid’s Tale? U.S. Supreme Court candidate’s religious community under scrutiny,” tweeted Reuters, as shown on the Federalist.
Judge Barrett “is affiliated with a type of Christian religious group that served as inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale,” said Newsweek.
The basis for the reports was a 2017 New York Times article that cited unnamed current and former members who said that Judge Barrett and her husband were members, which People of Praise has neither confirmed nor denied.
Newsweek said the group was the inspiration for the novel by Margaret Atwood, then ran a correction citing a 2017 New Yorker report saying that her research included a newspaper clipping about another charismatic Catholic group, People of Hope.
Newsweek issued a feckless apology that did nothing to correct the narrative.
The source for this article’s claim is . . . that Newsweek piece that has been corrected and should have been retracted.
— Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) September 22, 2020
This false Sarah Midkiff story was originally posted hours after the Newsweek correction https://t.co/kidjviKQoO
— Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) September 22, 2020
In 2017, when ACB was enduring a contentious Senate confirmation hearing to be seated on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, on which she serves now, Senator Feinstein showed her anti-Catholic bias by telling her that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” This is the type of ignorant arrogance to which Patricia Heaton refers to now. Senator Sasse calls the attacks from the left “wacky McCarthyism”. He’s not wrong.
Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, swung to Judge Barrett’s defense, describing People of Praise as “basically a Bible study” and calling on senators to “condemn this wacky McCarthyism.”
“These ugly smears against Judge Barrett are a combination of anti-Catholic bigotry and QAnon-level stupidity,” said Mr. Sasse in a statement. “People of Praise is basically a Bible study—and just like billions of Christians around the world, Judge Barrett reads the Bible, prays, and tried to serve her community.”
Liberal women are the first to speak up about supporting other women. The hypocrisy in that, though, is that their support is only for other liberal women. They smear and ridicule conservative women at the drop of a hat. In this case, they intend to pursue attacks against ACB over her religion and service to others.
ACB is reported to be Trump’s likely choice. She has already been vetted by the U.S. Senate and technically, if the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman is so inclined, could be brought up for a vote without the show circus of a televised hearing now. Frankly, the Democrats should get what they deserve – a highly-qualified conservative Supreme Court nominee’s quick confirmation and placement on the court. The rest of the country will be grateful.