The author of The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret E. Atwood has decided to weigh into the outrage surrounding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, by reinforcing claims among the Left that her work has been "prescient" in predicting the rise of a "Christian theocracy."
The basis for this claim rests on the fact that Barrett is a member of the ecumenical Christian organization, "People of Praise" which allegedly has a "highly authoritarian structure" and that they call "female members' advisers "handmaids'"and [give] men authority over their families."
According to The Guardian, the accusation of the People of Praise having an authoritarian structure rests on the fact that married women who are part of organization "count their husbands as their 'heads' and all members are expected to donate 5% of their income to the organization."
How perceiving the husband as the head of the household contributes to a "highly authoritarian structure" when marriage is a voluntary contract is unclear. As for the People of Praise excpecting its members to donate 5% of their income, it is unclear how this is authoritarian as well. Expecting donations is not only common among religious organizations of nearly all religions, but it is even common among similar secular organizations.
While the organization did used to call their female advisors "handmaids," they now call them "female leaders." Perpetuators of the parallels between the People of Praise and the fictious Gilead, will argue that the use of the term handmaid corresponds with the handmaids of Atwood's novel who are used as sex slaves by a technocratic elite which ritually rapes them and uses them as surrogates for their already polygamous relationships.
Sound like a bit of a stretch?
As Declan Leary points out in the American Conservative, not only is the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett not an omen of the coming dystopia, but the dystopia of The Handmaid's Tale is arguably in total opposition to traditional forms of religion. The reason being is that the Republic of Gilead, not only allows, but has institutionalized immoral sexual practices that any traditional religion would vehemently condemn such as rape, adultery, prostitution, and polygamy. In addition, Leary points out that while the premise of the book of using women as surrogates used solely to produce children outside of marriage "would be abhorrent to the vast majority of religious conservatives," the practice of surrogacy has been growing in popularity among secular progressives as a means for the infertile, homosexuals, and even those who simply don't want to go through the trouble of pregnancy to pay top dollar for their "Handmaids," in order to have children.
The Gilead of The Handmaid's Tale will not happen through nominating religious Supreme Court justices as Margaret Atwood and others would like to believe, it is through the disintegration of the family and traditional religion, which are the only bulwarks against the sexual immorality of Gilead.