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    Hawaii Congresswoman Calls Out Fellow Hawaii Senator Hirono For “Fomenting Religious Bigotry” During Judicial Nominee Questioning

    Hawaii Congresswoman Calls Out Fellow Hawaii Senator Hirono For “Fomenting Religious Bigotry” During Judicial Nominee Questioning

    “No American should be told that his or her public service is unwelcome because “the dogma lives loudly within you” as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to Amy Coney Barrett.”

    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) wrote a scathing op-ed, which was published in The Hill Tuesday, in which she lambasted lawmakers who questioned US district judicial nominee Brian Buescher about his affiliation with the Catholic organization, Knights of Columbus.

    While Rep. Gabbard never mentioned Sen. Hirono by name, the only two Senators to have made an issue of Buescher’s participation in the Knights of Columbus were Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

    From Rep. Gabbard’s op-ed:

    We must stand together, and with one voice condemn those who seek to incite bigotry based on religion. We cannot allow those who are anxious to exploit our differences to drive a wedge between us. We cannot and will not tolerate prejudicial treatment of those with whom we disagree, any more than we would tolerate such treatment of those with whom we agree.

    …While I oppose the nomination of Brian Buescher to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher’s Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus. If Buescher is “unqualified” because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, then President John F. Kennedy, and the ‘liberal lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy would have been “unqualified” for the same reasons.
    Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that there “shall be no religious test” for any seeking to serve in public office.

    No American should be told that his or her public service is unwelcome because “the dogma lives loudly within you” as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings in 2017 to serve as U.S. Circuit Court judge in the 7th Circuit.

    While I absolutely believe in the separation of church and state as a necessity to the health of our nation, no American should be asked to renounce his or her faith or membership in a faith-based, service organization in order to hold public office.

    The party that worked so hard to convince people that Catholics and Knights of Columbus like Al Smith and John F. Kennedy could be both good Catholics and good public servants shows an alarming disregard of its own history in making such attacks today.

    We must call this out for what it is – religious bigotry. This is true not just when such prejudice is anti-Catholic, but also when it is anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Hindu, or anti-Protestant, or any other religion.

    According to Hawaii News Now, the public flame war is highly unusual among the state’s federal delegation. Sen. Hirono’s office issued the following statement in response to Rep. Gabbard’s op-ed:

    “Senator Hirono, asks all judicial nominees – particularly those who have expressed very strong personal ideological views in conflict with Supreme Court precedent – if they can be fair. She asked Mr. Buescher, who has a clear record of anti-choice activism, whether he could separate his personal beliefs from decisions he would make if confirmed for a lifetime appointment on the federal bench. Over the past two years, the Senator has been attacked by right wing ideologues for her examination of Donald Trump’s ideologically-driven nominees to the courts. It is unfortunate that Congresswoman Gabbard based her misguided opinion on the far-right wing manipulation of these straightforward questions.” – Will Dempster, spokesperson for Sen. Hirono

    And Rep. Gabbard’s spokeswoman sent HNN the following statement:

    “Our freedom of religion is enshrined in our Constitution and in our Bill of Rights, which so many brave Americans across generations have put their lives on the line to protect. No nominee for public service should be disqualified, either directly or indirectly because of their religion or religious affiliation. While Rep. Gabbard opposes this nomination, it has no basis in any religious litmus test. She will always fight for religious freedom and oppose religious bigotry — no matter where it comes from.” – Lauren McIlvaine, spokeswoman for Rep. Gabbard

    Rep. Gabbard’s father is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

    We covered the bizarre questioning of Buescher here:

    Two Dem Senators question judicial nominee’s membership in … Knights of Columbus


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    Hawaiian polytheism makes SO MUCH MORE sense than Christianity.

    dunce1239 | January 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Gabbard is positioning herself to run for president.

    cptsully | January 9, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    No Democrat would ever DARE make a comment denigrating someone’s Islamic faith. Thugs always stick together!

    DieJustAsHappy | January 10, 2019 at 4:57 am

    @Pasadena Phil
    I have, some of which was as malicious and ignorant as the antisemitism on the ‘net. Unlike the latter, not encountered as frequently.

    As a Catholic, I was not too concerned about how Senators Feinstein and Harris discriminated against Catholic judge nominees on their faith. I figured such nominees are bright enough to counter bigotries with lawyerly skills.

    But Hirono was something else. To tell the truth, what shocked me most was her utter disregard for due process during the Kavanaugh hearings. There was a cold cruelty about her that sent chills down my spine. Cold cruel. I should be embarrassed to tell how it affected me, but I feel a need to air it out, anyway.

    You see, I’m a naturalized US citizen who grew up in post-WWII Philippines amidst stories of Japanese atrocities committed against my people during the war. Such stories I gradually and totally forgot upon meeting good Japanese people my age as I became an adult. Some of them became close friends of mine, so close that I’ve stopped believing in the horrendous stories I heard about the war. I know and believe the Japanese to be good and moral people who could be achingly gracious, polite and solicituous to friends and strangers.

    But watching and listening to Hirono during the Kavanaugh hearings became so painful to me personally there was minute I had to turn off the TV. Cold. Cruel. No due process? All men guilty by accusation? Does she have a father, a brother, a husband, a son, a male relative, a male friend? Hirono’s cold cruelty just made all those horrifying war stories come back to mind so helplessly until the sight and sound of her made me sick.

    Please tell me that if someone ever says to Hirono that God sees everything she thinks and does, that she’ll believe it? Because I don’t think she will.

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