As we reported previously, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neal Gorsuch has been attending Episcopal churches for much of his adult life. This has been the source of some concern for conservative Christian leaders, given the Episcopal Church’s more liberal stance on issues such as abortion and equal marriage rights. Gorsuch himself has remained adamant that his personal feelings and beliefs should not be relevant. He feels that judges should interpret the law on the basis of the text, not on their own personal morality. “My personal views, as I hope I have made clear, have nothing to do with the case before me in any case,” he said. “The litigants deserve better than that, the law demands more than that.” Gorsuch was raised Roman Catholic, but has attended Episcopal churches since he married his wife, a member of the Church of England, whom he met while studying at Oxford. As a result, some conservative pundits suspect Gorsuch of being a secret liberal. Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Radio Network, tweeted, “Be advised, Gorsuch attends a church that is rabidly pro-gay, pro-Muslim, pro-green, and anti-Trump.”
While Gorsuch has not expressed an opinion on abortion publically, he is strongly opposed to assisted suicide, having written a book against it in 2006. In it, he said, “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.” Some conservatives see this as an indication that Gorsuch is a “pro-life” candidate. He has a more straightforward record on religious freedom; he is a staunch advocate for the freedom of members of all religions to practice, having ruled in favor not only of Christian employers wishing to withhold coverage of contraception, but also, for example, in favor of a Muslim prisoner who was being denied Halal food by an Oklahoma prison.
Gorsuch and his family currently attend St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado. As is to be expected from its location, St John’s seems fairly liberal, although hardly an extreme on the spectrum of Episcopal churches. Both the rector, Rev. Susan Springer, and the congregation speak highly of Gorsuch. “We know Neil as a man of great humility and integrity, one eager to listen and thoughtful in speaking. These qualities are ones we pray all public servants in any leadership role in our country might possess,” said the congregation in a statement they released.
CNN has more details on the mystery of Neil Gorsuch’s religious affiliation and how it may or may not affect his decisions as a Supreme Court justice, should he successfully be confirmed.