Today is the first day of years of bad days to come for our country. Assuming of course everything goes as Trump and the U.S. Senate anticipate.
This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee meets for what is expected to be a one week process confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Trump could not have made a worse choice. America will rue her ascendancy for many years.
It has to do with religion. I am fully aware that a person’s religion is not to be considered in deciding if she should move on to the Supreme Court. It is not her choice of religion that is the problem. It is how it will affect her judgment and rulings.
The best example is 1960 and John Kennedy’s race for the Presidency. He was Catholic. The U.S. had never had a Catholic President. Many feared that Kennedy would be the Pope’s puppet and his decisions would be influenced by the Pope.
In one sentence, the issue was put to rest. Kennedy said, “Render unto God that which is God’s and to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”
Barrett’s problem similar to the one Kennedy faced.
Barrett claims to be Catholic. I don’t know and can’t figure if she is. It is not her Catholicism that concerns me, it is her other religious affiliation. People of Praise.
People of Praise is not a church per se. It is a network of para Christian groups. The majority are Catholics, though there are some Protestants.
The group was founded in 1971. It has 1,700 members today.
People of Praise considers itself charismatic. Such concerns me. Most are not aware of what the charismatic movement stands for.
Some of its tenets worry me. Note Barrett can belong to any religious group she wants. However, her involvement with certain types could affect her judgment improperly. In this instance she will succumb to People of Praise dictates.
I had the opportunity to attend a charismatic service in Utica in 1978. I wanted to know what it was about. Especially since my wife and a lady friend had become enamored with the movement. That was all they were talking about at the time.
What I saw that evening was a bunch of nuts.
Charismatics believe in the Holy Spirit. No problem. I do also. The third person of the Holy Trinity. What seemed way out to me was that the people at the service believed that the Holy Spirit would “speak to them in tongues.” Come down from above on a person individually. Speak in a foreign language not understood by the person being so “blessed.”
Simultaneously, the person afflicted would raise his/her arms in a hallelujah cry and shout out I am being talked to. Some ran into the aisles, some fell to the floor ranting.
A holy rollers situation.
There are certain other aspects of Persons of Praise that make me uncomfortable.
Each member has a “head.” A spiritually mature person. A member meets with the “head” on a frequent basis. As many as 3 times a week. The “head” acting as a personal adviser. Note personal adviser. Not just concerning religious matters. The “head” provides areas of encouragement, correction, and help in non religious areas.
Some tenets do not fit into today’s way of thinking. For example, the husband is the head of the household and spiritual adviser to his wife. The wife at all times is subservient to her husband.
You may say so what. How bad can it be? Terrible! Because it is off track. Not normal.
Approach the situation in a different fashion. There are other off beat and/or wacky religious groups.
Those involving snakes. Snake handling. Also known as serpent handling. The group has a small number of churches in the U.S. They are part of Holivers movement.
In addition to Holivers, Pentecostals, Charismatics, and other Evangelicals.
What about Satanism. A recognized religion in the U.S. Contemporary as People of Praise. Founded in 1966.
Snake churches go back to the Middle Ages and before. The Inquisition where people were tortured and put to death.
What about the Salem witch hunts? People claimed the Devil was in their midst or in a person, and reacted accordingly. People were hung and had harm otherwise inflicted upon them.
People who believe snakes are intrinsically involved in religion and those that recognize Satan as their Christ, are deviants to some extent. How much different from a charismatic group that believes the Holy Spirit descends upon them and “speaks in tongues?” And then they shout out about it in holly roller spirit.
I would be more comfortable if persons of Barrett’s ilk were not considered for the Supreme Court. Barrett’s group thinks differently from most Americans in having a person they must talk to weekly to share concerns, etc. A Supreme Court Justice should not require such counsel and neither seek nor accept it.
To the women, think of how hard you have fought for women’s rights. The hard won battles of the last 60 years. Out the window with Barrett.
As I opened, today is a bad day for America. The Senate Republicans will approve her.
Enjoy your day!