bible scripts justifying judicial nominees WASHINGTON -- Reading from the Bible on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch endorsed a federal judicial nominee who wrote that wives should have a subordinate role in marriage, with the Utah Republican emphasizing "millions and millions of people will agree with" that view. In a preview of the religious rhetoric that will likely dominate next week's scheduled Senate debate over a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, Hatch led the fight for confirming Arkansas lawyer J. Leon Holmes to the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Arkansas. With Hatch's support and that of Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, Holmes was confirmed 51-46 in the Senate on Tuesday evening, even though many members of the Senate predicted his nomination would be rejected. Holmes' writing on abortion, marriage, slavery and other theological issues generated opposition from not only many Democrats but also some Republicans. Fueling much of the debate is a 1997 article Holmes and his wife, Susan, wrote for Arkansas Catholic magazine titled, "Gender Neutral Language, Destroying an Essential Element of Our Faith." The couple wrote that under Catholic teaching, "the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man" in marriage and "is to subordinate herself to the husband." Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., lashed out at Durbin's criticism during floor debate. "We hear so much from the other side about tolerance," said Santorum. "Where is the tolerance for people who want to believe what has been taught for 2,000 years?" After reading aloud from Chapter 5 of the Book of Ephesians, Hatch said "it gets pretty bad around here" when lawmakers condemn Holmes for quoting the teachings of St. Paul the Apostle. "I don't think anybody can read this without understanding husbands have tremendous obligations in order to gain the respect of their wives," said Hatch. "You might disagree with St. Paul but there are hundreds of millions of people who agree with St. Paul." Hatch also discounted criticism over a 1980 letter Holmes wrote to a newspaper arguing that rape victims should not be allowed to have abortions because "conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami." Holmes has since apologized for the comment. "I find his statement to be insensitive and appalling," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, a former criminal prosecutor who cited studies showing an estimated 25,000 pregnancies occur each year due to rape. "Speak to the family of a 13-year-old girl who is pregnant by being raped by her family's best friend, the next-door neighbor." Said Hatch: "I believe all of us have made statements in the past for which we wished we could apologize." I think that last sentence would have had better effect coming from Trent Lott though.