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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/27/20

Justice Under Siege: Enter The Supreme Disaster

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Message Werner Lange

Amy Coney Barrett.
Amy Coney Barrett.
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Before the body of Ruth Bader Ginsberg is even buried, Trump shamelessly shows that he is hell-bent on burying her proud and progressive legacy with his brazen nomination of her total antithesis, Amy Coney Barrett, to replace her on the Supreme Court of the United States. Should he and his rabid supporters in the suites and streets succeed, the American Dream will be replaced by a nightmare of increasing judicial tyranny for generations to come. This supreme disaster must not be allowed to happen.

Even a cursory review of Barrett's prevailing ideology and reactionary rulings exposes her as utterly unfit for his high office. Yet her vehement anti-abortion, pro-gun and anti-immigrant stances have their origin in even more sinister roots and affiliations. Foremost among these is a misogynist cult known as the People of Praise, to which at least ten members of her family, including both her parents, belong. Her husband, Jesse Barrett, a corporate lawyer who specializes in white collar criminal defense, is similarly embedded along with his family in this bizarre cult, which weaponizes prayer and institutionalizes male supremacy. Given the recent enhanced scrutiny on this vile cult, its magazine, Vine and Branches, has, as of September 24, been deleted from its website and all references to and images of Amy Coney Barrett have been removed. This closed group has good reason to hide its true identity.

People of Praise traces its origin to Franco's fascist Spain and the Cursillo Movement founded by one of Franco's long-serving soldiers, Eduardo Bonnin Aquilo, who fought to smash democracy during the Spanish Civil War. While still one of Franco's soldiers, Aquilo developed a method of evangelization in 1944 through the help of the "School of Propagandists" run by another fascist. His emergent "Cursillos de Christiandad" took root about a decade later in Waco, Texas, the site of the subsequent emergence of another infamous cult, the Branch Dravidians. In the wake of Vatican II, this pentecostal movement driven by a fervent desire to be "baptized in the Holy Spirit" gained additional American adherents. The first organization breakthrough for the emergent charismatic renewal took place at Duquesne University in 1967, where "the grace of Pentecost" allegedly overwhelmed a group of young Catholic students at a retreat studying the Book of Acts along with a fanciful account (The Cross and the Switchblade) of a young Pentecostal pastor from rural Pennsylvania who invoked "prayer-based miracles" to convert drug dealers and heal drug addicts in New York City. By 1971, the fledging charismatic renewal movement took flight in South Bend, home of Notre Dame University, with the formation by some 29 Catholics of "True House and the People of Praise". Within three years, True House dissolved, but People of Praise slowly and steadily grew in numbers and influence claiming some 2000 members today.

Among those members are Amy Coney Barrett and her influential parents. In fact, her mother, Linda Coney, was a longtime "handmaid" in the People of Praise cult and her father, Mike Coney, is still a member of its dominant and domineering Board of Governors. In his testimony printed in a bulletin of St. Catherine of Sienna Parish, where he also served as a Deacon since 1981, Mike Coney describes a pivotal moment in his spiritual life, when he dramatically experienced "a call" to join Charismatic Renewal: "I dodged it [Charismatic Renewal] until I was trapped into attending a Life in the Spirit Seminar. When prayed with for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit, nothing happened. Then later that night I began to speak in tongues". Glossolalia, mildly called a form of "divine madness", is really sheer madness, one that nevertheless had a deep impact upon his daughter. In her 2017 testimony before Congress, Amy Coney Barret explains that "it is impossible to overstate the impact that their [my parents] support and example have had in my life". In that same hearing, Senator Feinstein famously declared "the dogma lives loudly within you". Indeed it does, and if Barrett is approved by the U.S. Senate that dogma rooted in fascism will fester in the highest court of the land likely for many decades.

A bit of wisdom from the Ancient Greeks has it that "those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad". The madness of People of Praise and the Trump regime are fully evident to all with eyes to see. The question remains as to whether or not America herself has joined their madness and will permit this nomination of a handmaid's daughter to the US Supreme Court to succeed. Dona Nobis Pacem.

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Werner Lange Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an ordained Christian minister. Participant in the Viva Palestina humanitarian mission to Gaza. Independent candidate for US Congress in 1986, 1992 and 2006.
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