Black Christian Leaders Defend Amy Coney Barrett’s Freedom of Conscience

A group of black Americans, many of them pastors, signed a letter (PDF) in support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s freedom of conscience as the U.S. Senate is set to consider her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

One of the signers, Dr. Jamal-Dominique Hopkins, Dean of Dickerson-Green Theological Seminary at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, wrote that having “suffered religious bigotry myself, I support Judge Barrett’s freedom to practice her beliefs in accordance with the Constitution of the United States. This is the reason I signed the letter ‘A Black Defense of Freedom of Conscience and Amy Coney Barrett.’ Barrett’s confirmation should rightly be based on her judicial record and not on her religious faith.”

Another signer, Rev. Eugene Rivers of the Seymour Institute, told the Catholic News Agency that those who signed the letter “felt it was absolutely essential, that as men of faith–or particularly as Black men of faith–that we needed to vigorously stand up and philosophically and politically defend the right of conscience and religion that’s part of our Constitutional order.”

Rev. Rivers appeared on Fox News to respond to criticism of Judge Barrett’s religious faith.

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