Chattanooga Times Free Press - - OPINION -

It’s just wrong

The faith of a ju­di­cial nom­i­nee has again be­come the sub­ject of re­cent ques­tion­ing by Demo­cratic mem­bers of the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee. In this case, it was U.S. dis­trict court nom­i­nee Brian C. Buescher, and the ac­cu­sa­tions came over his mem­ber­ship in Knights of Colum­bus, a Catholic char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Sens. Ka­mala Har­ris, D-Cal­i­for­nia, and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said the or­ga­ni­za­tion holds “ex­treme” — most would say tra­di­tional — po­si­tions on abor­tion and same-sex mar­riage and that the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s po­si­tions could im­pair the ju­rist’s judg­ment and make him un­fit for his post in Ne­braska.

Just as in 2017 when now-Judge Amy Coney Bar­rett was grilled by Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein, D-Cal­i­for­nia, about her faith, im­pos­ing a re­li­gious lit­mus test is ex­pressly for­bid­den by the Con­sti­tu­tion, which, in Ar­ti­cle VI, says the gov­ern­ment can­not con­sider a per­son’s faith when ap­prais­ing fit­ness to hold fed­eral of­fice.

“The sheer ig­no­rance, not to men­tion in­jus­tice, in the se­na­tors’ de­scrib­ing the Knights as ‘ex­treme’ would be baf­fling — if it weren’t part of pat­tern of big­oted think­ing al­ready sanc­ti­fied by other se­na­tors,” the arch­bishop of Philadel­phia, Charles Joseph Chaput, wrote.

“A lot has changed in 50 years, some of it good, some of it not, and some of it in­volves a crip­pling loss of de­cency and com­mon sense in some mem­bers of Con­gress around mat­ters of re­li­gious faith,” he said. “It’s ugly, it’s vin­dic­tive, and it dam­ages all of us.”

Naked in hypocrisy

Democrats ap­pear to have no shame on the hypocrisy, but per­haps a few still-im­pres­sion­able stu­dents learned a thing or two re­cently when Cabot Phillips of Cam­pus Re­form went to Amer­i­can Univer­sity in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., to dis­cuss the po­ten­tial bor­der wall.

Pass­ing off sev­eral com­ments — “Il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion is wrong, plain and sim­ple”; “We sim­ply can­not al­low peo­ple to pour into the United States un­de­tected, un­doc­u­mented and unchecked” and “I voted nu­mer­ous times … to spend money to build a bar­rier to try to pre­vent il­le­gal im­mi­grants from com­ing in.” — as hav­ing com­ing from Pres­i­dent Trump, he later re­vealed to the stu­dents they ac­tu­ally came from U.S. Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer, for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and for­mer Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hillary Clin­ton, re­spec­tively.

After stu­dents called the quotes “di­vi­sive,” “hate­ful,” “neg­a­tive,” “prej­u­dice[d],” “jin­go­ist” and “de­hu­man­iz­ing,” they at first were speech­less after learn­ing they came from lib­eral icons, then bur­bled things like “in­ter­est­ing” and “that is sur­pris­ing.” One even dis­puted the fact they could have come from Democrats but, even­tu­ally, had to ac­cept that, in fact, the em­per­ors had no clothes.

Edit­ing the pres­i­dent

A Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton, tele­vi­sion sta­tion, con­fronted with the ev­i­dence noted by a viewer, fired an ed­i­tor who doc­tored a video of Pres­i­dent Trump to make it ap­pear he was stick­ing out his tongue lan­guidly be­tween sen­tences dur­ing his first prime time tele­vi­sion ad­dress from the Oval Of­fice last week.

The staffer at a lo­cal Fox af­fil­i­ate, Q13, was fired, ac­cord­ing to News­busters, “after the sta­tion aired a doc­tored (and in­sult­ing) video of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.”

The viewer orig­i­nally sent the video to lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion host Todd Her­man.

In ad­di­tion to the tongue lolling edit­ing, the ed­i­tor also made “the col­ors in the video look more sat­u­rated,” ac­cord­ing to the Seat­tle Times, “lead­ing the pres­i­dent’s skin and hair to ap­pear more or­ange.”

A re­cent Mon­mouth Univer­sity sur­vey be­fore the doc­tored video sur­faced, ac­cord­ing to News­busters, bore out what has been seen as un­cat­e­gor­i­cally true — that the pub­lic is be­ing fed “fake news” by the me­dia. In the sur­vey, a full 77 per­cent felt it was true, in­clud­ing 31 per­cent who said it hap­pens reg­u­larly and 46 per­cent who said it hap­pens oc­ca­sion­ally.

Why Johnny can’t do math

The word “racist” lost its mean­ing some time back, but ex­am­ples con­tinue to sur­face show­ing ex­actly why. One of the most re­cent was the Data for Black Lives Con­fer­ence at MIT last week, which in­cluded the topic how “math­e­mat­ics class­rooms are breed­ing grounds for racial­ized myths of su­pe­ri­or­ity and de­fi­ciency.”

“Math,” the pam­phlet de­scrib­ing the con­fer­ence said, “is, more than any other sub­ject, as­so­ci­ated with no­tions of fixed in­tel­li­gence.” It went on to de­scribe how ro­bots and au­to­mated jobs, in ad­di­tion to math, also are racist be­cause “black peo­ple bear the brunt of this au­to­ma­tion.”

Then the in­for­ma­tion jumped the track in sug­gest­ing a so­lu­tion. “We can­not achieve the goals of eco­nomic jus­tice and equal­ity with­out se­ri­ously reck­on­ing with the his­tory of slav­ery in the United State and the need for repa­ra­tions,” it said. Now that’s some new math.

The con­fer­ence also planned to teach at­ten­dees how to be ag­grieved, sug­gest­ing they would be able to “find and ad­dress the root causes of dis­par­i­ties and in­equities that ex­ist” in crim­i­nal jus­tice, health care, ed­u­ca­tion and bank­ing.

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