Devout Catholics are the new infidels — if you’re a faithful secularist

The Hagia Sophia, a cathedral built in sixth-century Constantinople, was later turned into a mosque before it became a museum. The Turkish government recently converted it into a Muslim house of worship again. Christians throughout the Middle East continue to suffer persecution for their faith.

As one of the only Christians in her school, my friend who grew up in Iraq knows plenty about discrimination against followers of Christ.

“The other kids — they didn’t want to sit near me or even talk to me,” she said. “They thought I would contaminate them.” Another friend from Iraq, who graduated second in her university with a degree in chemistry, thought she’d be hired by the administration since the top three graduates were always guaranteed a post. “We don’t take Christians,” the dean told her with a sniff.

“In that moment, I knew I couldn’t stay in Iraq any longer,” she told me.

These are the stories that have swirled around my brain ever since meeting the ancient Christians of the Middle East. Ten years ago next month, I was tasked with getting an Arizona angle on a horrifying massacre at a cathedral in Baghdad.

I’ve never been the same since.

The ardent faith of the Chaldean people has been a source of inspiration and stands as a challenge to all of us to live our faith in Christ more devoutly.

This notion that one’s religious beliefs should be left at home and completely separate from public life has long been pushed by secularists. And, because so few people study history (or are taught by revisionists) there’s an unawareness that our legal system and Constitution didn’t just drop out of thin air; they find their ultimate source in the Judeo-Christian ethic. You know, the one that doesn’t consider the Ten Commandments a multiple choice quiz.

Did the Founding Fathers think that religion should be akin to a jacket that one dons upon entering a church or crossing the threshold of his home but takes off when he gets to the office? Of course not. But you wouldn’t know that from attending any ACLU lectures.

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion,” wrote George Washington, our first president. “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

Huh. Well, that makes the whole debate over a certain nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court a lot less confusing. The nominee, it seems, takes her religion full strength, thank you. This “dangerous” person is the mother of seven children, including two who were adopted and one with special needs.

During the U.S. Senate hearings three years ago after her nomination to the federal appeals court, she was questioned closely about her husband’s membership in that most subversive of organizations, the Knights of Columbus. Yeah, the guys who have sent millions to save the Christians of Iraq. The men who sell Tootsie Rolls after church to help handicapped kids. The group that was founded because Catholic men were not welcome to join fraternal organizations or labor unions.

Really? A person who takes the Lord at His word when He said to feed the hungry and save the orphan? A person who believes all human life has an inherent dignity — she is to be feared?

And the answer, according to the mainstream media and its fans, is a resounding yes. We don’t want Catholics who take their faith seriously to serve in public office. Only the ones who suit our sensibilities and approve of laws that permit the ripping apart of tiny persons with heartbeats. Unborn babies and even newborn babies who cannot defend themselves — the inconvenient ones.

Somehow I can’t see George Washington signing off on that.

But back to my Iraqi Chaldean Catholic friends. What do they think of a nominee to the Supreme Court being demonized for her Catholic faith?

“It makes me feel scared,” one told me. “I ran away from something like that to be in a free country. People are getting persecuted for their beliefs.”

Something tells me the Founding Fathers would concur with that assessment.