Revealed: Leaked video shows Amy Coney Barrett’s secret religious group brought women to tears | American News

The People of Praise, a secretive Christian religious group that includes the conservative Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett as a member, considered women’s obedience and submission to men as one of his key early teachings, according to remarks and leaked writings by the band’s founder’s wife.

A leaked video from a recent private People of Praise event, marking its 50th anniversary, shows Dorothy Ranaghan explaining how some followers of the religious group wept intensely in reaction to the group’s early teachings on ‘leadership’ and ‘men’s and women’s roles’. of women,” in which men are seen as divinely ordained as the “head” of the family and dominating women.

Asked in an interview at the anniversary event about the years after the band members first entered into an “alliance” to join People of Praise in the early 1970s, Dorothy Ranaghan said: “Some of the women – who are still in my women’s group, like actually – wore sunglasses all the time, because they cried all the time and had to hold on to their chair every time someone started teaching, because that ‘What are we going to hear this time?’

She then added, as the audience and her interviewer laughed, “But it all turned out fine in the end.”

The comment marks the first time that a statement about some women’s early negative reactions to “leadership” teachings has been published. The leaked footage was shared with the Guardian by a source who asked to remain anonymous.

Former members of People of Praise, many of whom are critical of the group’s domination of members’ lives, have described the group as calling for the complete obedience of wives to their husbands.

The Guardian has already reported which one of the band’s former members described in an affidavit filed in the 1990s that Kevin Ranaghan – the band’s founder and Dorothy’s husband – exercised almost total control over the former member when she lived in the couple’s home, including making all decisions about their finances and romantic relationships. It also encompasses traditions such as encouraging members to speak in tongues and performing exorcisms.

Women in my People of Praise group ‘were always crying,’ says Dorothy Ranaghan in leaked video

Barrette, who lived in the Ranaghan household while attending Notre Dame Law School, never publicly revealed or discussed her membership in the Charismatic Christian sect, where her father had a leadership role and where she had previously been served as a “servant”. Barrett said she was a “faithful Catholic” whose religious beliefs would not be “carried out in the performance of my duties as a judge.”

But while Barrett’s personal denominational opposition to abortion rights and Roe v. Wade were known before she was upheld in 2020 and before she joined a majority of justices in overturning the landmark ruling that protected the right to abortion nationwide, less is known about the culture in which Barrett was being raised and her views on women and childbirth, suffering and their role in society.

Barrett never addressed how the Roe reversal could affect a woman’s life. But during argument in Dobbs v. Jacksonthe Supreme Court case that ultimately overturned Roe, Barrett specifically referenced in the questions the availability of so-called “safe haven” laws across the United States, which allow mothers to abandon newborns in designated places without risk of punishment.

Barrett suggested that the availability of such legal protections for new mothers meant that while women could be forced to give birth if Roe was overthrown, they would not necessarily be forced to become parents or be burdened with parenthood.

The reasoning has been decried as “cruel and dangerous” by pro-choice activists and writers, who said viewing shelter laws as a viable replacement for reproductive choice ignores the real health risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth, and ignored women’s rights to physical integrity. autonomy.

Barrett’s question also seems to echo the People of Praise culture she was raised in and chose to be a part of, which emphasizes the importance of childbirth, pregnancy, and pregnancy. giving up the autonomy and privacy it entails, as central to what it means to be a woman.

In her early writings, Dorothy Ranaghan stressed the need for women to be “giver, responsible and reserved”. In a 1978 article in New Covenant magazine, entitled “Fully a Woman”, procreation is described as a “central reality of womanhood” which “determines our presence in the world”, even for those who “by chance or by choice” did. not have children.

“The child in the womb enlarges the mother’s body, changing its dimensions. As her body gives way, so do the boundaries of intimacy and selfishness. Its very existence gives to another. The most admired women, she writes, “are not private persons, but are abandoned and available to care for others.”

“Pregnancy teaches a woman that others have a right to her very person in the service of life. Rather than destroying her, pregnancy makes her a new person, radiant and strong: a mother,” she wrote.

After women give birth in the People of Praise, the work of caring for them is divided by gender, according to Adrian Reimers, a Catholic theological critic and first member of the People of Praise who was fired in 1985 and has writes about his experience.

Reimers’ book criticizing the group, titled Not Reliable Guides, states that the men of People of Praise “were quietly taught by their bosses and leaders not to change or rinse diapers” and that women’s emotions were “wary “. Pastoral issues were often approached by asking a woman where she was in her menstrual cycle.

Women, wrote Reimers, played a “resolutely secondary role to men” and a married woman was “supposed always to reflect the fact that she is under the authority of her husband” and under his pastoral guardianship. A guide to the group’s approach to outreach in the Caribbean, Reimers said, explicitly stated, “We should probably deal with the Caribbean matriarchal system by quietly developing an alternative rather than encouraging confrontation.”

Reimers wrote that he believed People of Praise’s views on women were not rooted in Catholic tradition, but rather in Kevin Ranaghan’s involvement in the 1970s National Conference of Male Shepherds, which was co-sponsored by Protestant leaders and believed that men were ordained by God to lead.

“It is not surprising that all of these communities regard feminism as one of the main ideological evils of our time,” Reimers wrote.

Praise People did not respond to a request for comment. Barrett did not respond to a request for comment.

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