WASHINGTON, June 30 /Christian Wire Service/ — Fidelis, a new Catholic-based organization, today launched an advertising campaign in the run-up to the Senate confirmation hearings to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Their initial round of ads are beginning in Washington, D.C. and cite the role that anti-religious bigotry has played in recent Senate confirmation battles. The newspaper ad highlights religiously intolerant remarks by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, and calls on him to keep religion out of future Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Fidelis President Joseph Cella stated: "This is the opening salvo in the Supreme Court confirmation battle that will likely commence any time in the next year. By shining a bright light on these outrageously intolerant remarks we hope to put an end to them or at lease deter others from embracing them. That’s why we will be airing ads in Washington, D.C. and the home states of those who practice this vile brand of hate politics."
The first ad includes a quote from Dean referring to Conservative Christians at a June 6, 2005 press conference in San Francisco, saying: "They are not very friendly to different kinds of people…they all behave the same and they all look the same." The second round of advertising begins next week in Nevada.
The ads cite the precedent of William Pryor who faced similar bigoted attacks during his confirmation hearings. Cella added: "Bill Pryor was routinely vilified for having "deeply-held" religious beliefs, he was mocked for living those beliefs, and faced sharply abusive rhetoric before he was finally confirmed to the federal bench. Given this history, we are anticipating that when a Supreme Court vacancy occurs, the religious faith of any potential nominee will play a large role in the debate over his or her confirmation."
Cella stated: "It is vital that we expose this trend of anti-religious bigotry before it is used against any nominee. It will not go unanswered. Catholics and all people of faith must join together and defend Supreme Court nominees who will likely be attacked because of their faith and deeply-held beliefs."
"Certain members of the United States Senate have a track record of dragging nominees through the mud because they practice their faith. It is unconstitutional, and we are drawing a line in the sand. Everyone, Republican, Democrat or Independent, engaged in smearing a person’s faith will be held accountable," stated Cella.
Cella said "A judicial candidate promising to uphold the law is not enough for many Senators. In order to disqualify a particular judicial candidate, some Senators have resorted to a quasi-inquisition of a candidates’ personal religious beliefs, and this cannot be tolerated." [Source]