Revealed: leaked video shows Amy Coney Barrett’s secretive faith group drove women to tears | US news


The People of Praise, a secretive Christian faith group that counts the conservative supreme court docket justice Amy Coney Barrett as a member, thought-about women’s obedience and subservience to males as one in all its key early teachings, in accordance to leaked remarks and writings of the spouse of the group’s founder.

A leaked video of a latest personal People of Praise occasion, marking its fiftieth anniversary, shows Dorothy Ranaghan explaining how some feminine followers of the faith group cried intensely in response to the group’s early teachings on “headship” and the “roles of men and women”, through which males are thought-about divinely ordained because the “head” of the household and dominant to women.

Asked in an interview in the course of the anniversary occasion concerning the years after the group’s members first made a “covenant” to be part of People of Praise within the early Nineteen Seventies, Dorothy Ranaghan stated: “Some of the women – who are still in my women’s group, as a matter of fact – were wearing sunglasses all the time, because they were always crying and would have to hold on to their chairs every time somebody started teaching, because ‘What are we going to hear this time?’”

She then added, because the viewers and her interviewer laughed: “But it all worked out just fine in the end.”

The remark marks the primary time a press release about some women’s unfavourable early responses to “headship” teachings has been revealed. The leaked footage was shared with the Guardian by a supply who requested to stay nameless.

Former members of People of Praise, lots of whom are essential of the group’s dominance over members’ lives, have described the group as calling for full obedience of women to their husbands.

The Guardian has beforehand reported that one of many group’s former members described in a sworn affidavit filed within the Nineteen Nineties that Kevin Ranaghan – the group’s founder and Dorothy’s husband – exerted virtually whole management over her when she was residing within the couple’s family, together with making all choices about her funds and relationship relationships. It additionally embraces traditions like encouraging members to communicate in tongues, and performing exorcisms.

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Women in my People of Praise group ‘had been at all times crying’, says Dorothy Ranaghan in leaked video

Barrett, who lived within the Ranaghan family whereas she attended regulation college at Notre Dame, has by no means publicly disclosed or mentioned her membership within the Christian charismatic sect, the place her father had a management position and the place she beforehand served as a “handmaid”. Barrett has stated she is a “faithful Catholic” whose spiritual beliefs wouldn’t “bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge”.

But whereas Barrett’s private faith-based opposition to abortion rights and Roe v Wade had been recognized earlier than her 2020 affirmation and earlier than she joined a majority of justices in overturning the landmark ruling that protected abortion rights nationally, much less is thought concerning the tradition through which Barrett was raised and its views on women and childbirth, struggling, and their position in society.

Barrett has by no means addressed how the reversal of Roe may impact a girl’s life. But throughout oral argument in Dobbs v Jackson, the supreme court docket case that finally overturned Roe, Barrett referred particularly in questions to the supply of so-called “safe haven” legal guidelines throughout the US, which permit moms to abandon newborns in designated areas with out the danger of punishment.

Barrett recommended that the supply of such authorized protections for brand new moms meant that whereas women is perhaps pressured to give delivery if Roe had been overturned, they might not essentially be pressured to change into mother and father, or be burdened by parenthood.

The line of questioning was decried as “cruel and dangerous” by pro-choice activists and writers, who stated that seeing secure haven legal guidelines as a viable substitute for reproductive alternative ignored actual well being dangers related to being pregnant and childbirth, and ignored women’s rights to bodily autonomy.

Barrett’s query additionally seems to echo the People of Praise tradition through which she was raised and has chosen to stay part of, which emphasizes the significance of childbirth, being pregnant, and the abandonment of autonomy and privateness it supposedly entails, as a core a part of what it means to be a girl.

In her early writings, Dorothy Ranaghan emphasised the necessity for women to be “self-giving, responsible and reserved”. In a 1978 article that appeared in New Covenant journal, referred to as “Fully a Woman”, childbearing is described as a “central reality of womanhood” that “determines our presence in the world”, even for many who “by chance or choice” didn’t have youngsters.

“The child in the womb expands the mother’s body, changing its dimensions. As her body yields, so do the borders of privacy and selfishness. Her very existence gives to another.” Women who’re most admired, she wrote, “are not private persons, but are surrendered and available to care for others”.

“Pregnancy teaches a woman that others have a claim on her very person for the service of life. Rather than annihilating her, pregnancy makes her a new person, radiant and strong: a mother,” she wrote.

Once women gave delivery within the People of Praise, work to look after them is split on gender strains, in accordance to Adrian Reimers, a Catholic theological critic and early member of the People of Praise who was dismissed in 1985 and wrote about his expertise.

Reimers’ ebook critiquing the group, referred to as Not Reliable Guides, states that males in People of Praise “were quietly taught by their heads and leaders not to change or rinse out diapers” and that women’s feelings had been “distrusted”. Pastoral issues had been typically addressed by asking a girl the place she was in her menstrual cycle.

Women, Reimers wrote, performed a “decidedly secondary role to men” and a married girl was “expected always to reflect the fact that she is under her husband’s authority” and beneath his pastoral care. A information on the group’s strategy to outreach within the Caribbean, Reimers stated, explicitly said: “We should probably deal with the Caribbean matriarchal system by quietly developing an alternate rather than encouraging a confrontation.”

Reimers has written that he believed that the People of Praise’s views on women weren’t rooted within the Catholic custom, however moderately Kevin Ranaghan’s involvement within the Nineteen Seventies National Men’s Shepherds Conference, which was co-sponsored by Protestant leaders and believed that males had been ordained by God to lead.

“It is no surprise that all these communities see feminism as one of the principle ideological evils of our time,” Reimers wrote.

The People of Praise didn’t reply to a request for remark. Barrett didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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