The Washington Post joined other media outlets in publishing a hit piece on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s faith, particularly over her involvement in the group People of Praise. But in reality, they are pathetically weak smears that were rightfully called out by many conservatives on Twitter.
“Amy Coney Barrett served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise,’ three WaPo reporters charged in their story published Tuesday.
In the group, “handmaid” is a leadership position, they learn. “The title of handmaid was adopted by People of Praise in reference to the biblical description of Mary as 'the handmaid of the Lord,' according to the group," WaPo states.
For the biblically illiterate, where the word "handmaid" comes from: "Mary said, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.' Then the angel departed from her." Luke 1:38— Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanTAnd) September 22, 2020
Scary stuff— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) October 7, 2020
“Former members including Art Wang, a member from the late 1980s until 2015, told The Post that handmaids, now known as ‘women leaders,’ give advice to other women on issues such as child rearing and marriage.”https://t.co/aUmJAsvdNq
Omg I’m dying. The article says the Bible sort of refers to Mary as a “handmaid.” Guys, that’s what she calls *herself.* “I am the Handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to Thy Will.” https://t.co/eDB3XwrMqr— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) October 7, 2020
The woman I most admire in all of history also served as a ‘handmaid’— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 7, 2020
See Luke 1:38 https://t.co/B0J78nkeq2
Where WaPo and the AP, which ran a similar story last week, get so tied up is on the group’s belief that men are the head of the household.
Men’s “headship” of their wives, and the male-dominated governance of the community, has been the basis of accusations from some critics of Barrett that People of Praise is built on the sexist expectation that women defer to men.
One source from their own reporting at least tried to ground them in reality.
"[John Fea, a prominent historian of U.S. religion at Messiah University] said People of Praise’s belief in distinct gender roles is similar to what is lived and preached across much of America today, in faiths as different as Catholicism, the Southern Baptist Convention and orthodox Islam and Judaism.
"He said that believing men should be the spiritual leaders of the family does not mean that women cannot be professionally ambitious. 'Everything about Amy Coney Barrett’s career contradicts the idea that women in People of Praise can’t have careers or be successful,' he said," according to WaPo.
Finally, the report also took issue with her choice of housing in law school.
Also, while in law school, Barrett lived at the South Bend home of People of Praise’s influential co-founder Kevin Ranaghan and his wife, Dorothy, who together helped establish the group’s male-dominated hierarchy and view of gender roles.
Actual story: Barrett lived in student housing at Notre Dame operated by Catholics. Because Notre Dame is Catholic. https://t.co/tedd1TLF4q— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) October 6, 2020
Sen. Tom Cotton said the liberal media ought to be ashamed over the continued attacks on Barrett's faith.
The liberal media are relentless in their slimy attacks on Judge Amy Barrett's faith & family.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 7, 2020
Yet the absurd cartoon they are drawing just doesn't square with the fact that she is a superstar law professor, turned circuit court of appeals judge.
They should be ashamed. pic.twitter.com/sjvGv9PhDQ
Others referred to the story as a "dud of a hit piece" and joked about how pathetic it is.
Ha! Very funny line about Washington Post's dud of a hit piece on Amy Coney Barrett. I'll add that hit was written by Emma Brown, the very same Kavanaugh Truther who laundered and launched the media/Democrats' last vicious smear of Supreme Court nominee. https://t.co/41wi1p1bjx— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 7, 2020
Bombshell... pic.twitter.com/1gxxd2dH4W— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) October 7, 2020
It’d be great to know the theory of what Amy Coney Barrett would have been able to achieve if she hadn’t been hampered by being a woman in People of Praise —would she be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court already? Secretary General of the U.N.? What?— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) October 7, 2020