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In high court race, Hagedorn says he's not political (copy)

Republican-backed Wisconsin Appeals Court Judge Brian Hagedorn won his race for Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier this month against fellow Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who was backed by Democrats.

Somewhere in America, Eric Holder watched our April 2 Supreme Court election unfold, head hung low in a professional nightmare, as voters in Wisconsin elected Brian Hagedorn.

The former U.S. attorney general turned political operative and his group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, saw their $350,000 investment in Judge Lisa Neubauer go down the drain as results came in.

As of April 11, their website, democraticredistricting.com, still had a picture of the state on the front page, with a tagline “Wisconsin is a critical state in fixing our rigged system, get involved today.” Maybe they didn’t get the memo: They lost.

The committee had a plan to essentially buy a seat on the Supreme Court, as it’s quite possible the next reapportionment maps slated to be drawn in 2021 will end up in court, and they could bring their influence to bear. The people of Wisconsin sent a clear message of rejection to Holder and his ilk.

Justice Hagedorn overcame tremendous odds and adversity to win. The left used character assassinations from every angle to attack him for his Christian faith. The United States Constitution’s Article VI specifically points out a person can’t be precluded from holding office based on religious tests, but it didn’t stop the onslaught of attacks.

Justice Hagedorn, by all accounts, is a man of deep Christian faith. He helped found a school with adherence to basic Biblical principles — something those without faith often misinterpret.

When joining any organization, you agree to adhere to its basic tenets. If you want to become a Rotarian, you agree to be a goodwill steward and conduct yourself according to the “4-way test.” If you don’t agree with the 4-way test, you won’t be a Rotarian.

Setting standards for conduct isn’t discriminatory, hateful or evil. It’s simply the standard an organization sets as a goal for its members. Thus it is with Augustine Academy.

Speaking with Hagedorn campaign sources, they reminded me private colleges in Wisconsin, such as Carthage College and Concordia University, along with many parochial schools, have the same standards. Does it disqualify anyone who has attended those universities, sent their kids to those schools, or otherwise supported their efforts for any public service? Are only atheists fit for office?

Organizations distanced themselves from the campaign for fear of being branded “intolerant,” and most thought the campaign was over. Only one group remained. The people of the state of Wisconsin.

What the left seriously underestimated was the power and influence of faith, and the Christian community at large. Whether folks were practicing Christians, Jews or of other faiths, thousands of people across the state took umbrage at the idea someone would be so ruthlessly attacked for being a Christian.

In a fashion resembling President Donald Trump’s Wisconsin victory in 2016, conservative voters turned out in large numbers to support Hagedorn.

The Daily Signal ran a story April 11, citing an April 4 speech by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at Pepperdine University. Thomas talked about similar attacks on potential judges based on their faith.

He was asked about attacks on 7th District Court of Appeals judge nominee Amy Coney Barrett in 2017, when she was under fire for her Catholic faith. He referred to Article VI, and said, “I don’t think I know a single judge who has allowed religion to interfere with their jobs.”

A similar attack occurred in late 2018, when judicial nominee Brian Buescher caught heat for being a member of the Knights of Columbus. Democrats called it an “all-male society” that “has taken a number of extreme positions” on social questions. What’s next on the agenda? The Friday night fish fry?

Consider the depths to which Democrats sank seeking to excoriate Justice Brett Kavanaugh based on stuff that allegedly happened in high school. Will we now seek to vilify and demonize nominees or candidates for public office if they attended confirmation or catechism classes, or a Wednesday night youth group?

Much of the effort by the left is to seek to exclude and marginalize those of faith, particularly Christians, in their quest for ever greater power and control over our daily lives. Who needs free speech anyway?

True tolerance would be embracing people of faith, and accepting their worldview may be different than the latest cultural trends. Attacking Christians simply for practicing and living out their faith is the true example of exclusion, intolerance, bigotry and hate.

Remember the words of John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Scott Frostman lives in Baraboo and has roots throughout Wisconsin. He believes anyone can make a difference and can be reached at scfrostman@gmail.com.

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