A controversial video paid for by the conservative advocacy group Catholic Vote for its #MomsForKavanaugh movement, is a montage of boys growing up to be men nurtured by their Catholic mothers that cautions “If it happened to him, it can happen to you.”
“We are mothers. We give everything for our sons. No sacrifice is too great. We watch them grow into men of virtue, integrity and courage.”
The minute-long video shows boys growing up: playing happily, raking leaves, working out, playing football, praying in church, as young men, soldiers and firefighters.
“Until finally, the sacrifices, hard work, perseverance become their greatest dreams.”
Their sons are married now; a new father holds a cooing baby dressed in blue.
Then, a clip of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, under oath during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee looking into the allegation of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who swore under oath that Kavanaugh tried to rape her in high school, denying her accusation saying, “I am innocent of this charge.”
Then a montage of protesters: ‘Believe women,’ with a voice-over that says, “We must always believe the women” and Kavanaugh saying Blasey Ford’s allegation was refuted, that he may “never be able to teach again “and that his life is “totally and permanently destroyed.”
In stark titles with dramatic, climatic music: “If it can happen to him, it can happen to our sons …brothers, husbands, fathers. It can happen to you.”
Catholic Vote describes itself as a “community of patriotic Americans who believe our nation’s founding principles are good and true, and worth fighting for.”
Its ad been condemned and praised, called ironic given the Catholic Church’s history of protecting sexual predator priests and, is in opposition to public statements made by other Catholic groups.
On its tweet announcing the video, comments were for and against:
“I am a mother. I am a Catholic. I vote. Jesus teaches us to stand up for the least among us. The R party and Kavanaugh do not represent this fundamental teaching.”
“If we don’t keeping fighting against this #FemiNazi and #MeToo вυℓℓѕнιт, we will lose everything we have! Not only men, but women too.”
Reaction across social media was also mixed.
“Catholics being worried that they’ll be outed for sexually abusing people. Where have I heard this before,” a commenter asked rhetorically and facetiously on the Catholic Vote’s YouTube page.
There Have Been Mixed Messages Coming From Catholic Groups
America Magazine, the “Jesuit review of faith and culture,” whose school, Georgetown Preparatory, Kavanaugh attended, pulled its endorsement of Kavanaugh after Blasey Ford testified.
“While we previously endorsed the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh on the basis of his legal credentials and his reputation as a committed textualist, it is now clear that the nomination should be withdrawn,” the magazine’s editors wrote saying his nomination had become a “referendum on how to address allegations of “sexual assault.”
The Jesuits called for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn on Sept. 27, the day Blasey Ford testified: “For the good of the country and the future credibility of the Supreme Court in a world that is finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously, it is time to find a nominee whose confirmation will not repudiate that lesson.”
Meanwhile, a conservative Catholic bishop who said even if Kavanaugh were guilty, which he doubted, his actions should be excused because “teenagers do many imprudent, foolish, stupid, and sinful things.”
In an also praised and condemned blog, Bishop Donald Sanborn of the Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Florida, said Blasey Ford’s account should be “discounted.” He argued Kavanaugh was not able to “face his accuser.” He also said that since Kavanagh was drunk, if the sexual assault occurred, “it was not a complete act …it was not a rape.” And, he was drunk so is not responsible.
“Even if, however, one should accept Dr. Ford’s testimony as true, I do not believe that the qualifications of any human being should include actions which he or she performed when seventeen years old. Teenagers do many imprudent, foolish, stupid, and sinful things, but in many or even most cases they recover from these bad actions or habits and act like responsible adults,” Sanborn wrote.
“Furthermore, what the judge is accused of is not even a complete act. It was not a rape. Even as it is reported, the prosecutor said that it is not actionable even from the point of view of prosecution as a crime. Furthermore, Judge Kavanaugh is supposed to have performed this act while drunk, according to his accuser, which would reduce culpability, if the incident did indeed occur,” he wrote.
As the full Senate prepares for a 3:30 p.m. vote Saturday afternoon on the confirmation of Kavanaugh, the embattled judge still faces sexual misconduct allegations, and has been criticized for partisanship and his temperament has been questioned.
Pres. Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh, tweeted Saturday that “Women for Kavanaugh, and many others who support this very good man, are gathering all over Capital Hill…” in anticipation of the confirmation vote. (The tweet has not been corrected; Trump misspelled the word Capitol.)
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