Tag: People of Praise

Amy Coney Barrett’s “Cult”

 

When Notre Dame law professor and possible Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was nominated for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, her affiliation with a religious group called People of Praise raised red flags. It was some sort of cult, they implied. Sen. Dianne Feinstein famously reproved the nominee by intoning that “the dogma lives loudly within you and that’s of concern.”

It was an echo of the kind of anti-Catholic bigotry that characterized American life for centuries. When the Democrats nominated the first Roman Catholic for president, Al Smith in 1928, opponents warned that all Protestant marriages would be annulled and all Protestant children declared bastards if the Catholic were elected. Republicans circulated pictures of Smith posing before the almost-completed Holland Tunnel with a caption declaring that instead of emptying into New Jersey, it really led 3,500 miles under the Atlantic Ocean to the basement of the Vatican. After his loss to Herbert Hoover, Smith was reputed to have quipped that he had sent a one-word telegram to the Pope: “Unpack.”

But Feinstein’s comment and others’ insinuations that her religion is somehow creepy or suspicious reveals a broader anti-religious bias.

Did Communism Help Make Amy Barrett Awesome?

 

OK, not Communism with a capital C, all grim and totalitarian, but “communism” as in communal living. Barrett appears to have extensive involvement in a Christian intentional community, People of Praise, an organization both Charismatic and mostly Catholic, in which members practice communal living. According to the Pedia of Wiki,

Members attempt to live as much of a common life as possible, working together, praying for one another both privately and in groups, visiting one another, sharing meals and offering one another gifts of money and material items in times of need. For some members common life extends to working together in community sponsored businesses and outreaches. Most members are married couples, including many with growing children. Some married couples have single men and women living with them in “households”, but most do not. Some single people live together (in houses of single men or women) while some live by themselves. There are also celibate single men and women, some of whom have formed a Brotherhood and Sisterhood within the People of Praise.