Our Lady of Guadalupe's Image and Legacy Desecrated in Service to Politics

With the start of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination confirmation hearings the topic of abortion naturally arises – not only because it one of our most polarizing legal and social issues, but also because Sotamayor claims to be Catholic, a religion that adamantly and explicitly teaches the evil of abortion. 

And while her Catholicism scares some liberals, others are using it as a selling point, and in doing so desecrating a holy image of the Virgin Mary. Felix Sanchez, the CEO of D.C. government and public relations firm TerraCom and chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, has updated his Twitter page with a background of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Over Our Lady's face, the likeness of Sotomayor has been superimposed.

The patron saint of all the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe has a special place in the hearts of Hispanic Catholics, especially Mexicans (which Sotomayor is not).  But Sanchez seemed to use the image to appeal to all Hispanics and to promote his plea to “Confirm  Sonia Maria Sotomayor,” as his Twitter page says.

Besides showing the desecration of a holy image, Sanchez's image has a sick irony. For many reasons including sash symbolizing pregnancy that the Virgin wears in the image, Our Lady of Guadalupe is often associated with and used as a symbol of the Catholic pro-life movement. She is also the “Patroness of the Unborn.”

While Sotomayor may claim to be Catholic, her views on abortion are unclear. She told the Senate Judiciary Committee that "there is a right of privacy. The court has found it in various places in the Constitution,” and “all precedents of the Supreme Court I consider settled law.” 

However, she also upheld the Mexico City Policy, a policy which prohibited federal funding to NGO's who provide or support abortion in other countries, and which President Obama has recently overturned.

The fact is that both sides of the abortion debate have concerns with Sotomayor's unknown abortion stance. As a Catholic, however, her stance should already be clear. The Catholic Church explicitly teaches and upholds the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.  Sotomayor, who attended Catholic school, must know this. Catholic politicians, and all Catholics, are expected to also uphold this teaching and make it a priority. Sotomayor's assertion that legal abortion is “settled law” should worry Catholics and all who value the sanctity of life.