Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has frequently invoked his Catholic faith throughout his career. He nevertheless selected Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), whose recently attacked a Trump judicial nominee over his involvement in Catholic charities, as his running mate.
In November of 2018, Trump selected then-nominee Brian C. Buescher to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court of Nebraska. Harris, alongside fellow Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), were deeply and profoundly bothered by the fact that he was a member of a major Catholic charity, the Knights of Columbus.
This is one of the questions Harris posed to Buescher:
Since 1993, you have been a member of the Knights of Columbus, and all-male society comprised primarily of Catholic men. In 2016, Carl Anderson, leader of the Knights of Columbus, described abortion as “a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths.” Mr. Anderson went on to say that “abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale.” Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?
She also quizzed Buescher over whether he had “ever, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women’s reproductive rights.”
In addition to disliking his association with a faith-based group opposed to abortion, Harris was also upset over the charity’s adherence to biblical teaching on marriage. The progressive senator asked Buescher if he was “aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed marriage equality when [he] joined the organization.”
At the time, Catholic Priest Matthew Schneider pointed out that Buescher’s connection to a major charitable organization like the Knights of Columbus “should be positive, not an issue, for a judicial nominee.”
Then-Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called Harris’ line of questioning “alarming” and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he “will not tolerate disqualifying judicial nominees because of charitable works and personal religious opinions.”
Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, called the California lawmaker’s attack “pure and simple religious bigotry.”
As for Biden, while he has long promoted his Catholic faith, many within the church have voiced issues with the presidential hopeful’s religious claims.
Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, questioned Biden’s Catholic credentials in a tweet Tuesday when he said this was the “first time in awhile that the Democratic ticket hasn’t had a Catholic on it.”
Faithwire covered the “troubling” line of questioning from Harris and other democrats at the time:
Harris attacked Buescher from a different direction, describing the Knights of Columbus as an “all-male society” that has for years “opposed a woman’s right to choose,” meaning its pro-life.
Nevertheless, the California Democrat pressed further. She asked the lawyer if he agreed with Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson’s statement that abortion constitutes “the killing of the innocent on a massive scale.”
“I did not draft this language,” Buescher replied. “If confirmed, I would be bound by precedent of the United States Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and would not be guided by statements made by others.”
Republican lawmakers and conservative leaders hit back against the questions from Hirono and Harris.
Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, said in a statement obtained by Fox News that the liberal lawmakers’ questions weren’t just about the Knights of Columbus. Instead, she argued, it is about an “ongoing attack from the extremist left of the Democratic Party to silence people of faith and run them out of engaging in public service based on their religious beliefs.”
“It is pure and simple religious bigotry,” she added.