ANTI-RELIGIOUS BIAS MARKS TWO OBAMA PICKS
Catalyst November Issue 2009
In October we drew attention to two of President Barack Obama’s nominees who harbor an anti-religious bias.
It is one thing for a professor or pundit to maintain extremist views on constitutional law, but it is quite another to have such a person tenured in a federal legal office. Dawn Johnsen, nominated to head the Office of Legal Counsel, and Chai Feldblum, nominated to join the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, have both exhibited an animus against religious institutions that is striking. Moreover, both are profoundly opposed to religious liberty.
In 1988, Johnsen worked on a case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church because of its opposition to abortion. Though she didn’t win, we know what her goal is. Johnsen is not merely pro-abortion—she celebrates it. To wit: she testified this February that after a woman has her child aborted, “The experience is no longer traumatic; the response of most women to the experience is relief.”
Feldblum is such a radical activist that she wants to subordinate a constitutional right, namely freedom of religion, to a right that she invented, namely sexual liberty. Moreover, she has lobbied for “a new vision for securing governmental and private institutional recognition of diverse kinds of partnerships….” (Our emphasis.) This includes, “Queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households.” She also wants “Separation of church and state in all matters, including regulation and recognition of relationships, households and families.” Read: she wants to privatize marriage and provide equal status to every conceivable “partnership.”
Johnsen and Feldblum are not only out of the mainstream of jurisprudential thought; they are professed enemies of religious liberty.