By Michelle R. Smith
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s affiliation with the Christian community People of Praise is drawing scrutiny because of what former members and observers describe as its ultraconservative views on women. Her defenders say scrutinizing her beliefs and relationship to the mostly Catholic organization is akin to anti-religious bigotry.
But in interviews with a dozen former members of the organization and graduates of the schools it runs, most told The Associated Press that Barrett’s association with the group should be examined when the Senate takes up her nomination beginning Monday.
Some were proud and excited that one of their own could soon be on the high court, in a position to roll back abortion rights.
Others were deeply concerned about that threat, and also about the community’s teachings on gender, gay rights, and other social issues. They also raised flags about what they describe as the organization’s authoritarian structure.
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