Amy Coney Barrett mocked for being People of Praise handmaid, labeled 'OfJesse' in 'The Handmaid's Tale' jibe

Church groups like these are reported to have inspired Atwood to create the fictional world of Gilead, where women's bodies are governed and treated as property of the state under a theocratic regime


                            Amy Coney Barrett mocked for being People of Praise handmaid, labeled 'OfJesse' in 'The Handmaid's Tale' jibe
(Getty Images)
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After the Washington Post did a profile on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's affiliation with a charismatic Christian parachurch organization called the People of Praise group, where she served as a 'handmaid,' people on social media could not help but draw comparisons with Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel, 'The Handmaid's Tale' which also inspired a hit TV series with the same name. 

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Barrett and her husband, who are devout Catholics, belong to the People of Praise group. Their fathers have served as leaders in the group. The organization was founded in South Bend, Indiana in 1971 and essentially runs on the belief that men have authority over their wives. Personal advisers of the same sex are assigned members of the group - defined as a "head" for men and "handmaid" for women. Church groups like these are what inspired Atwood to create the fictional world of Gilead, where women's bodies are governed and treated as the property of the state under a theocratic regime (though there is no evidence that People of Praise, specifically, served as the inspiration for the book).

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Meanwhile, abortion rights groups have voiced concerns that if put in the Supreme Court, Barrett could help overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Bien has also rallied against Barrett saying that he would make Roe v Wade law if he was elected into office. 

After the Washington Post article came out, liberals and conservatives have been split in the way they view Barrett's affiliation to the charismatic Christian parachurch organization. Political commentator Keith Olbermann wrote, "SCOTUS 'HANDMAID': It's not about religious beliefs, freedoms, Catholicism, or faith. This is about putting dogma ahead of our laws and constitution, and of a judge who has made up her mind before the attorneys have even spoken. She must withdraw + resign."

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On the other hand, CatholicVote.org tweeted, "This disgusting attack on Catholics could have been written in the 1830's. The Washington Post is suggesting that Judge Barrett's religious faith should be on trial during her confirmation. Democrats playing with fire."


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Many others who had watched Hulu's 'The Handmaid's tale,' started mocking the fact that the SCOTUS nominee once served as one, drawing references from the series and recalling popular phrases from the same. "Totally normal, signed Serena Waterford," one wrote while another said, "Praise be" There were also those who used their creativity to imagine how Barrett would look in a blood-red robe and the traditional handmaid's hat as shown in the series.

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In one such meme where a bunch of characters from the series were seen walking with the words "Under His Eye" flashing on the screen, one of the users captioned, "F**k that!!!" Someone else wrote, "Laura Linney is going to play her in the Netflix series" Another commented, "You mean Ofjesse?" referring to Barrett's husband's name, Jesse M Barrett, as the handmaids in Atwood's novel are named after their spouses. Another remarked, "Blessed be the fruit" 

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A number of users also felt that the SCOTUS nominee would not be able to make unbiased judgments if she was appointed to the hightest court in the land. "Barrett served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise. Men’s 'headship' of their wives, & the male-dominated governance of the community, has been the basis of Barrett critics that this group is built on the sexist idea that women defer to men" one wrote, while another pointed out, "Ppl can argue the terminology the Post used all they want, all it does is blatantly ignore the fact that an 'impartial judge' spent significant time w/ a group which suppresses women’s rights & is ultra-conservative. It’s deeply worrying 2 me that she’s associated w/ religion."

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Another hilariously commented, "Ugh. I picked the wrong time to start reading The Testaments." Someone else said that if Barrett's husband was going to influence her judgments then he should be the one vetted before she is appointed to the SCOTUS seat. "So who's opinions will be written in her Supreme Court decisions? Hers or her husband's? I want the husband included in the nomination process, especially if he is her decision-maker," the user wrote. A person said, "Barrett is not fit for the high court. she will vote in her evangelical tunnel vision that will not allow for impartial judgments. she will vote with religious dogma in mind-this is why we have separation of church & state. religion has no place here. save it for the church."

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