Trump campaign forms Catholic advisory group

Once again, I would vote for the corpse of Millard Fillmore to keep the treacherous Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

By posting this, I am not thereby publicly endorsing a candidate.  However, I find it interesting that the Trump campaign has brought some Catholic advisers on board.

Face it… how Catholics vote will figure big time in November.  Which way will they go?  Catholics will be an important swing vote.

From Philly.com:

Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who has struggled with Catholic voters in some polls, on Wednesday named an advisory council of respected conservative Catholic leaders.

The list of 33 advisors includes prominent Pennsylvanians, such as former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, who ran for president in 2012 and 2016; Faith Whittlesey, former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and a high-ranking political official in the Reagan White House; and U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, Republican of Erie.

Trump, who expressed support for abortion rights earlier in his public career – he has said he changed his mind – has had difficulty winning the trust of some Catholic activists on abortion and other issues.

“The choice for Catholics in this presidential election could not be more stark,” Whittlesey said in a statement. ”

Clinton support a breathtakingly radical cultural agenda and judicial nominees which leave no room for the legal protection of the unborn and the ability of Christians to fully and freely practice their faith that is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment,” she said. “Trump will fight for Catholics in defense of life, and their religious liberty.”

Joseph Cella, founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, will be the chief liaison to the campaign for Catholic affairs. In March, during the primaries, Cella signed an open letter along with other Catholic intellectuals and leaders calling Trump “manifestly unfit to be president.” The letter cited his vulgarity, appeal to racial and ethnic fears, and questioned whether he was committed to stopping abortion and strengthening “marriage culture.”  [So, the campaign is in contact with someone who was very negative.]

The list of Catholic heavyweights signing on to advise Trump includes Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List; Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback; Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union; former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R); U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Republican of Ohio; Jim Nicholson, former Republican national chairman, secretary of veterans affairs and ambassador to the Vatican; longtime conservative leader Richard Viguerie; and Tom Monaghan of Michigan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and the Ave Maria University.

Exit polls in 2012 showed that Mitt Romney won white Catholics who attended Mass at least once a month by a whopping 38 percentage points – 60 to 38 percent. A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute showed Trump winning this group by a slimmer 49 percent to 32 percent margin.

President Obama beat Romney overall among Catholics four years ago, but by just two percentage points (50-48). A Washington Post-ABC News Poll late in late August found that Democrat Hillary Clinton led among Catholics overall by 27 points, 61 percent to 34 percent. It was the biggest demographic shift in the Post-ABC survey, explained in large measure by Trump’s dismal showing among Latinos, many of whom are Catholic. (h/t James Hohmann, author of WP’s The Daily 202.)

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43 Responses to Trump campaign forms Catholic advisory group

  1. iPadre says:

    According to Hillary, her VP choice is a “Catholic” advisor. That is why our Bishops need to make it clear these people are NOT Catholic. Many confused people out there. The days of being PC must end, before they put an end to us.

  2. Kent Wendler says:

    I’ll give this as an “executive summary”, without the elaborate supporting statements.

    To “dispose” of something (in the broadest sense of the term) you must make an ownership claim on it. Therefore one must claim ownership of that thing in order to “trash” or destroy it.

    Therefore those who promote abortion are making an ownership claim on the human beings to be aborted. Claiming ownership of a human being is a claim of a slavery “right”.

    The “disposal” of the human being being aborted means the killing of that human. This meets the definition of homicide.

    Therefore, those who advocate the “right” to abortion are claiming the “right” to practice a kind of homicidal slavery: the “peculiar institution” of our time.

    (I thought that slavery is supposed to be prohibited by the 13th Amendment. It also appears to me that Donald Trump might be the best possible person to put that before Hillary Clinton, especially in the first debate.)

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Thank you! It is interesting to see this, having seen an article a couple days ago with specific reference to Mrs. Dannenfelser:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/19/campaign-enters-final-phase-trump-launches-major-pro-life-outreach/

    Can you (or anyone) further recommend links to the full list, and any reliable annotations?

  4. The Masked Chicken says:

    Some sobering facts (from Guttmacher – which is a pro-abortion source):

    • White patients accounted for 39% of abortion procedures in 2014, blacks for 28%, Hispanics for 25% and patients of other races and ethnicities for 9%.[3]

    • Seventeen percent of abortion patients in 2014 identified as mainline Protestant, 13% as evangelical Protestant and 24% as Catholic; 38% reported no religious affiliation.[3]

    25% of abortions in 2014 were done by Hispanics, most of whom are supposed to be Catholic. Catholics accounted for 24% of abortions in 2014.

    Yet, the article from Philly.com states:

    “It was the biggest demographic shift in the Post-ABC survey, explained in large measure by Trump’s dismal showing among Latinos, many of whom are Catholic. (h/t James Hohmann, author of WP’s The Daily 202.).”

    One can only conclude that at least 1/4 of Latinos are poor-informed Catholics. No Catholic can support abortion – period and, yet, 25% of abortions are obtained by Latino women. Furthermore, 24% of abortions are done to Catholic women, in general. These statistics are scandalous. The fastest growing ethnic population, currently, are the Asians, but this is due to immigration. The fastest growing ethnic population from live births in America are the Hispanics, but they are, also, among the highest group of aborters. Obviously, at least a sizable minority of Hispanics are not well-grounded in their Catholic faith – to the point that they should not be included in statistical samples as Catholics.

    For 1995, the statistics for percentages of entitlements show the Hispanic group near the top of the list:

    AFDC 11.8 Food Stamps 20.1 Medicaid 24.5 Housing Assistance 9.1

    It seems that at least some Hispanics who are voting for Hillary are doing so for reasons not guided by the Catholic Faith, but, rather, social justice concerns, which they have confused with it. This is a problem for the bishops to address.

    Hispanics are, also, among the fastest deserters from the Catholic Faith to Pentecostal groups in America, further supporting the notion that a sizable portion of Hispanics are poorly catechized and easy picking for the Democrats, who promise them, from what I can gather, a life without consequences.

    I am NOT trying to paint most Hispanics as being poorly informed Catholics or on the dole, but there is a sizeable minority which is having an influence in American politics in ways that are opposed to their supposed Catholic Faith. One can be poor, Catholic, have babies and never have an abortion. It does take a commitment to the Faith, however. If this minority is religiously committed, then, again, it is to a very poor caricature of Catholicism.

    The Chicken

  5. Dan says:

    Is a Catholic who votes for Hillary still a Catholic? Does that incur automatic excommunication?
    Both apostasy and heresy do as well as getting an abortion. Voting for Hillary in my opinion is a complete denial of the Catholic Faith.

    We should all be embarrassed as Catholics that she is able to get any percentage of the Catholic vote.

    Those people worship society and popularity. They are only Catholic in so much as they attend a Catholic church on occasion for doughnuts and coffee in order to further their social standing.

  6. Prayerful says:

    I hope these advisors work how some quick ways to show that Mr Trump is not hateful to Latinos. That perception exists and it could result in the most fanatical supporter of abortion ever to occupy the Whitehouse. I hope they have suggestions for Mr Trump.

  7. The Masked Chicken says:

    I made a boo-boo in statistics, above. 25% of abortions being from Hispanics does not imply that 25% of all Hispanics are poorly catechized. At most, it indicates that the 25% getting abortions might be poorly catechized, since, some might know it to be a sin, but feel trapped, etc.

    The Chicken

  8. CradleRevert says:

    I’ll probably vote for Trump for the sole purpose of defeating Clinton.

    That being said, is Trump really pro-life? Given that he changed his life-long pro-choice views right at the same time that he started entertaining a GOP presidential run about 5 years ago, I doubt it. On top of that, he’s still pro-choice in the cases of rape and incest, so he’s not even fully pro-life in his current stated views.

  9. Ages says:

    If Catholics, who comprise 20% of the US population, had heretofore been serious about their faith (I’m speaking as a block, not particular individuals) and allowed the Church’s teachings to inform their votes over the last 80 years, we would not be facing a choice between Clinton and Trump. We wouldn’t be facing a lot of the problems we face, in fact.

  10. Cincinnati Priest says:

    “Mitt Romney won white Catholics who attended Mass at least once a month by a whopping 38 percentage points – 60 to 38 percent.”

    Shouldn’t that read
    “Mitt Romney won white Catholics who attended Mass at least once a month by a whopping *22* percentage points – 60 to 38 percent.” [Still whopping]

  11. Chicken:

    That Catholic women get abortions doesn’t necessarily mean they are poorly catechized, although that may indeed be true. Very often, women get abortions under great duress. It’s a cruel joke that it’s called “choice,” because so many women are taken there by parents or boyfriends or others, who threaten them if they don’t get an abortion.

    That doesn’t excuse their own responsibility, but I think it puts it in perspective.

  12. Kerry says:

    “Hilary Clinton must not become President!”

  13. Mojoron says:

    Living in conservative Kansas, I must say that Gov. Brownback is disliked in the state and is the second disliked Governor in the country, by a recent poll of citizenry. But I think he is too maligned by his constituency, particularly those in the urban centers. He has taken heat for lowering taxes which has dropped tax revenue and has placed Kansas in a fiscal hole. I still think we’re spending too much, but the left thinks that more needs to be spent. Brownback is a staunch pro-life candidate. I’m on the fence and would rather not see the likes of Kathy Sibelius again.

  14. Jenson71 says:

    Dan’s opinion is that no true Catholic can vote for Clinton. Dan, would your opinion extend if, rather than Clinton, Joe Biden or Tim Kaine or Martin O’Malley were the Democratic nominee?

  15. iamlucky13 says:

    “Very often, women get abortions under great duress. It’s a cruel joke that it’s called “choice,” because so many women are taken there by parents or boyfriends or others, who threaten them if they don’t get an abortion.”

    Even short of being overtly coerced, those who get abortions are very often in positions where they feel unable to take on the responsibility (especially in situations of poverty, substance abuse, lack of any sort of tight knit support group, including their own family, etc), or they are coerced in more subtle ways – ranging from the disapproval of others to having their ability (which again, they already doubt on their own) ability questioned. A young woman in America is told she is capable of anything she puts her mind to – except raising a child.

    In that sense, it seems women considering abortions are almost never given the formation or support they need to fully understand the right choice. I sometimes wonder how much culpability they really have in this context.

    As for those who lead them astray, including political leaders masquerading as Catholics, we have been told that it would be better for them to have a great millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

    For our part as Catholics, I think we have a critical role in charitable helping with the material and societal needs of parents in such situations, thereby removing one of the main justifications for abortion.

  16. Traductora says:

    I think Trump is unstable, unfit to be president, and has no moral standards. And I find his public persona, with his blustering and crude insults, to be repulsive. But I can say exactly the same about Hillary. How in the world did a country of 330 million people choose what are arguably two of its worst citizens to represent it?

    Trump’s new pro-life and not-anti-Catholic position is probably not sincere, but whether it is or not, at least somebody in Trump’s campaign realized that he had to make a gesture towards that voting bloc. So maybe something will come of it, and I guess that hope is better than nothing, which is what we get with Hillary. Would they be able to control Trump and keep him on this path should he be elected? I don’t know, and I doubt it, but we know that Hillary would be a lost cause and very vindictive against pro-lifers and orthodox Catholics from the get-go.

    I think what will be fatal to Trump, however, is his attacks on Hispanics, not as Catholics (since most of them are only marginally Catholic and an increasing number are Evangelicals) but as immigrants, by implication illegal, who do not belong here. There was absolutely no reason for this; it’s not Hispanic immigrants, even illegal ones, who have been running around bombing, stabbing, burning and shooting Americans and forcing us to spend billions on enhanced security; it’s legal immigrants (many brought here by the US government) and naturalized US citizens (and even their native born descendants) who are from Muslim countries who are doing this. But Trump didn’t have the courage to deal with the real immigrant problem.

    Attacking Hispanics did nothing but alienate a voting bloc, and unfortunately, it projected enough of the old Nativist anti-Catholicism that it gave some of our more leftist bishops and Catholic lay leaders an excuse to support Hillary, at least by implication, in their diocesan “voting guides,” etc. I’m not sure that he has either the time or the willingness to overcome this.

  17. WVC says:

    I have the sneaking suspicion that many “conservative” Catholics say they don’t want to vote for Trump for no other real reason than he’s not “nice.” They offer excuses like, “we don’t think he’s REALLY pro-life” but refuse to acknowledge that a.) the Republican party has duped pro-life voters for DECADES by talking without ever doing anything about it (they can’t even stand firm behind defunding Planned Parenthood AFTER videos were leaked about them selling baby parts) and b.) Trump has been as specific as possible on what Pro-Life actions he’ll take, even providing an actual list of names (all approved by pro-life thinkers) for his Supreme Court nominees. At this point, anyone who thinks progress on the Pro-Life issue will be made anywhere outside of the Supreme Court (governmentally speaking) hasn’t been paying attention to Congress for the past 50 years.

    Romney also had a history of being awful waffly on the Pro-Life issue, but the “conservative” Catholics liked Romney because he appeared to be “nice.” That “niceness” has become some sort of virtue in the eyes of many is a truly deplorable circumstance.

    Politics is not about virtue. We’re not nominating a saint. We live in the Second Dark Ages (and this is no exaggeration). The last thing we should worry about is whether the guy we’re sending in there to fight on our behalf is “nice” or “sensitive.”

    Additionally, the immigration issue is much, much, much, much more significant than most folks think. If Clinton wins and refugee migration and Amnesty happen – you can simply call it quits. The demographic change will be so significant and permanent, there won’t be any hope of a Republican, Conservative, Catholic, Christian politician or anything in that ballpark ever winning the White House again. All future political races will be defined as the ultra-Left vs. the radical-Left. You can kiss any dream of fighting the Pro-Abortion lobby after Clinton’s amnesty. For the rest of the existence of this country. This, also, is not an exaggeration.

  18. Gerard Plourde says:

    This is certainly a time for prayer and discernment. We have to pray unceasingly that God will help us to temper out intellectual pride and stubbornness so that we may allow Him to guide us sinners to make choices pleasing to Him.

  19. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Fr. Martin Fox,

    Your correction is appreciated. I did explain the possibility of some Catholic women who gave abortions feeling trapped, etc. in a follow-up comment, so, we, probably, just cross-posted.

    The Chicken

  20. WYMiriam says:

    In regards to Joseph Cella and his signing of an open letter that called Trump “manifestly unfit to be president,” at least in part because of his (Trump’s) vulgar language, appeal to racial and ethnic fears, and uncertain stands on abortion and marriage, Fr. Z commented, “[So, the campaign is in contact with someone who was very negative.]”

    Or, perhaps, the Trump campaign is in contact with someone who is realistic.

  21. Ann Malley says:

    “…A young woman in America is told she is capable of anything she puts her mind to – except raising a child.”

    That’s true. But girls are also reared on the falsehood that they are incapable of retaining any value if they don’t have sex partners. They are taught to hate on being female, to hate their fecundity, and to look at their needing the support of husband/father as a weakness.

    They are taught to prostitute themselves as a means to gain power. But sadly, this self-loathing is exactly what fuels the must-have-a-new-sex-partner mentality to stave off the reality that they’ve, in many instances, just “used” themselves. Treated themselves like a sexual object and nothing more.

    Female misogyny is the masterstroke of Satan. But that’s what gets many girls to victimize themselves, using abortion as a means of birth control.

  22. frjim4321 says:

    From what I hear the Catholics that are voting for Hillary think that even though she supports elective abortion the actual abortion rate would probably go down, or remain stable whereas Trump policies will assure the continued shrinkage of the middle class, spreading of poverty, and consequently increase the abortion rate. That’s certainly my approach.

    Also, the main think is the SCOTUS, which needs to be pulled back to the middle after ultra-right errors such as Citizens United which has brought the country to the brink of oligarchy.

    Then again, Trump has changed his positions so many times how do we know that he really will do what he says he will do? Whereas Hillary is not a stellar candidate and is distrusted and disliked by many, she is not existentially disqualified from office in the same way that Trump is.

    Like I often say, Abortion Reality is much more important that Abortion Rhetoric.

  23. WVC says:

    frjim4321,

    Care to define “existentially disqualified”? Or does that translate to, “I don’t like him therefore he’s disqualified.” He’s a natural born American citizen. He’s the correct age. I’m pretty sure those two things alone make him “existentially qualified.”

    Also, do you care to elaborate how you know, with any degree of certainty, that his policies would “shrink the middle class, spread poverty, and increase abortion”? Are those the policies that would protect domestic industry and jobs against “free trade” deals like TPP and NAFTA? Are those the policies that would roll back taxes on small business? Or are you making judgments as the Car Talk fellows like to say, “unencumbered by the thought process.”

    The fact that the Supreme Court erred in the Citizens United case means we should ensure they always promote and support Roe V. Wade forever? I’m afraid I don’t follow the logic. Also, if you think that’s what brought us to the brink of oligarchy you have some serious American History to study. We’ve been there for quite a long time. Over the brink, I would argue.

    Hilary, on the other hand, would ensure Federal funding for every abortion imaginable, would strip away any and all State restrictions on abortion (including those for the mother’s health and for parental consent), and ensure a Supreme Court was in place to secure abortion “rights” for the rest of any of our life times. She’d also continue the persecution of Christians via mandatory health policies, and she’d certainly keep things rolling on the push trans-gender, same sex marriage, and whatever’s next on the agenda (incest v. bestiality v. polygamy – who knows what will be the next civil right?) to become the “law of the land.”

    Those things I listed, at least the parts regarding abortion, can be expected with reasonable confidence. It’s consistent with her rhetoric and her historical actions. For one to balance that against a so-called, abstract, ethereal “My vague and misty thoughts about Trump’s possible economic policies might hurt the economy which might make poverty rise which might make abortion increase” argument is to remove prudence and foresight entirely from the moral calculus.

    I can understand how folks could not like Trump (he’s not really a likeable fellow), but if you in any way, shape, or form consider yourself a Catholic who holds to the teachings of the Church, I have no idea how you could ever reconcile a vote for Hilary with your Faith. I suggest that would even go beyond the vale of “invincible ignorance” into “willful blindness” territory.

    It would help if the bishops got off their hinders and flat out told people as much, but then I suspect they’re afraid of losing tax exemption status because of the Johnson amendment. The Johnson amendment that Trump, by the way, wants to repeal.

  24. SKAY says:

    Traductora said:

    ” it’s legal immigrants (many brought here by the US government) and naturalized US citizens (and even their native born descendants) who are from Muslim countries who are doing this.”

    I agree. The Obama administration is also paying church groups(including the Catholic Church) millions to help resettle immigrants ( many who cannot be vetted properly) coming from Muslim countries. Very few Christians are included as we all know. Donald Trump certainly has addressed this problem. He said that we need to stop or slow down this program until we can figure out who we are bringing into our country. Needless to say the Democrats, Obama, Hillary and CAIR(Muslim Brotherhood) do not agree. Hillary has promised to bring in many more over four years.
    As far as the Hispanics, he has said that they just need to respect our laws and come in legally. He has not said they are not welcome.
    Within the last two weeks a 31 year old man in my state was in an accident and killed by an illegal
    Hispanic man who had been deported twice before. The Hispanic man was driving on the wrong side of the road early in the morning. I am sure you know there are many more instances of this kind of thing happening in our country to US citizens. That is not OK.
    Our border agents have also pointed out that Hispanics are not the only illegals coming across our wide open border.

  25. MWindsor says:

    Just remember – if voting mattered, they wouldn’t let us do it.

  26. LarryW2LJ says:

    I dislike both candidates. That being said, I am fairly certain as to what we would get from Hillary Clinton – Mr. Trump is a wild card. With Mrs. Clinton, I think we are virtually guaranteed of a Progressive, judicially active Supreme Court, which does not respect the Constitution, let alone the rights of the unborn. I hear all this talk of her being able to improve the economy, and bring back the middle class, and control poverty.

    Hogwash. She has accomplished nothing in her past professional life that would qualify her for the position of POTUS. Unless of course, you think that being kicked off judicial committees for unscrupulous behavior, getting child rapists acquitted and ignoring the pleas of foreign ambassadors for protection are good resume points for the job.

    Mr. Trump has been in the limelight for 30 plus years. He has a list of business successes. He also has a list of business failures and has made many mistakes, I am sure. What I find funny, is that in all those 30 plus years of fame and fortune, he has never (until this year) been accused of being a racist, misogynist, xenophobe or homophobe. All Democrat talking points.

    Given Mrs. Clinton’s past – and all the certainties that lay ahead should she win the Presidency, there is no way, in good conscience, that I can vote for her. And unlike so many others, I will not engage in Olympic style mental gymnastics to justify that action.

  27. The Masked Chicken says:

    frjim4321 wrote:

    “From what I hear the Catholics that are voting for Hillary think that even though she supports elective abortion the actual abortion rate would probably go down, or remain stable whereas Trump policies will assure the continued shrinkage of the middle class, spreading of poverty, and consequently increase the abortion rate. That’s certainly my approach.”

    One may not do evil that good may come from it. This is the worst type of consequentialist thinking. Who know what will happen after someone gets into office. Heck, the planet could be hit by a meteor, sending us all to the Last Judgment. The fact is that Hillary is a definite pro-abort, now. Trump is a bit muddled, claiming the standard exemptions of rape and incest. One may not vote for someone based on a fantasy of how things will work out.

    You, also, wrote:

    “Also, the main think is the SCOTUS, which needs to be pulled back to the middle after ultra-right errors such as Citizens United which has brought the country to the brink of oligarchy.”

    What?? Ultra-right? It is to laugh. Obergefell v. Hodges ruined the concept of marriage. The Little Sister of the Poor have to fight a contraceptive mandate from a healthcare law one step away from socialism that was upheld by the Supreme Court.

    Give me a break.

    The Chicken

  28. boxerpaws63 says:

    “I think Trump is unstable, unfit to be president, and has no moral standards. And I find his public persona, with his blustering and crude insults, to be repulsive. ”
    Hillary keeps her campaign pushing the narrative that Trump is unstable. I’m sorry but not buying it. His kids are terrific,well adjusted people.He indulges no drinking or drugs. He’s built a business empire that has employed thousands and generally everyone who works for him or who has known him PERSONALLY find him far from unstable. Unfit to be President? On the basis of what? He’s considered blustering and crude? I concluded all of that was necessary during the campaign. He’s going against a hostile (liberal)media and a corrupt Republican elite; unless you’re willing to take them on you’re going to go the way of Romney. Personally i think he will rise to the office of President and surprise even his most strident opponents. If Trump’s moral standards are troubling then Clinton’s are diabolical. He is not irredeemable. BTW.Ronald Reagan was a liberal Democrat and pro abortion. I suppose you could say he had a campaign conversion but he also protected the sanctity of human life.

  29. FrJim said:

    Also, the main think is the SCOTUS, which needs to be pulled back to the middle after ultra-right errors such as Citizens United which has brought the country to the brink of oligarchy.

    The Citizens United decision was, in my opinion, rightly decided, and if folks understood it better, they would realize that is so.

    At issue was whether the government can restrict political speech. In oral arguments, Justice Alito pointedly asked the advocate for the government,

    I’m not asking what the statute says. The government’s position is that the First Amendment allows the banning of a book if it’s published by a corporation?

    And the answer was yes, if it said “vote for x” and/or fell within a certain number of days of an election.

    Citizens United is about free speech. Overturn it, and that’s the end of the First Amendment.

  30. acardnal says:

    frjim wrote, “. . . the actual abortion rate would probably go down, or remain stable . . . “

    That’s pure speculation. Any elective abortion for any reason is an “intrinsic evil.” One cannot vote for any politician that supports it, votes for it, fosters it, enables it or facilitates it.

  31. robtbrown says:

    FrJim4321 says,

    Also, the main think is the SCOTUS, which needs to be pulled back to the middle after ultra-right errors such as Citizens United which has brought the country to the brink of oligarchy.

    Are your friends at all worried about George Soros pouring money into anti-Catholic causes?

    The US is, and has always been, an oligarchy. It has worked because it is a flexible oligarchy. The Roosevelts were a political force for many years–they are nowhere to be seen. Ditto the Kennedys. Also the Rockefellers.

    Speaking of SCOTUS, the contraception mandate only lost by 1 vote. If Hillary is elected, that vote will flip to the de facto suppression of Religious Freedom (i.e., the Free Exercise clause). The vote to deny the contraception mandate, which will make it likely that an abortion mandate will follow, abortifacients contraceptives being the basis.

    And then there is the matter of wedding businesses being forced to participate in homosexual “weddings”.

  32. robtbrown says:

    The number of abortions seems to depend on how well the economy is doing. I know of no evidence that a Hillary Presidency will produce prosperity.

  33. frjim4321 says:

    That’s pure speculation. Any elective abortion for any reason is an “intrinsic evil.” One cannot vote for any politician that supports it, votes for it, fosters it, enables it or facilitates it.

    No, that’s not correct.

    What a faithful Catholic is admonished to NOT do is to vote for such a politician specifically BECAUSE they support elective abortion.

  34. Jenson71 says:

    Fr. Martin Fox states: “Citizens United is about free speech. Overturn it, and that’s the end of the First Amendment.”

    The problem with this kind of hyperbole isn’t just that it undermines anything else you’ve said in context. The First Amendment is composed not only of a prohibition of abridging “free speech,” for example. But the ignorance of this statement is shown also by the fact that we certainly know that the First Amendment didn’t not exist between 2003-2010 when McConnell v. FEC was controlling law. We all still had many First Amendment protections, even relating to speech, even relating to political speech, despite the majority’s opinion upholding BRCA’s regulation in McConnell.

    The real problem with this kind of hyperbole is that it’s, to be generous, fear-mongering. The kind of fear-mongering that also fuels the political rhetoric that Democrats want to take away the Second Amendment. Does Donald Trump say in every campaign speech that Hillary Clinton wants to “essentially abolish the Second Amendment?”

    “Vote Republican, because otherwise, the First or Second Amendment will be gone.”

    The First and Second Amendment, and most of the other protections found in the Bill of Rights, have only gotten broader from their original confinements of federal jurisdictions. The authors of our Constitution did not intend these protections to cover as much as they do today. You would never know that, however, from listening to political rhetoric today, where the only impression is that each freedom we prize is hanging by a single thread that the appointment of a single person threatens to cut or abstain from cutting.

    It’s either ignorant, intentionally misleading, or outright lying, to say that an inverse vote in Citizens United would have been the end of the First Amendment, which, again, is composed of many distinguishable rights, each with their own separate levels of scrutiny and deference to lawmakers.

    Our nominated political leaders speak at 4th grade levels. That doesn’t mean our religious leaders should follow their example.

  35. Kathleen10 says:

    frjim, your rationale for voting in Hillary Clinton is convoluted and torturous. Be careful, you might hurt yourself. We should not take seriously the rabidly pro-abort Clinton’s lifetime of words and actions, and consider it more moral to vote for her, because of Trump’s economic policies which MAY have a negative impact on the middle class?? Between that and the oft-mentioned accusation of Trump being “vulgar”, I feel I’ve now heard two of the silliest reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton there could be. It’s one thing though, when laypeople are silly, or misleading, or spiritually lost, it’s completely different when our clergy are.
    There has been so much negative rhetoric and even slander against Donald Trump it clearly has affected many good people. The gigantic “Hate Trump” campaign has succeeded in misleading and frightening Catholics into such convoluted thinking they would even consider a vote for a woman who has unequivocally shown herself to be morally, intellectually, and now probably physically, unfit for office. It can only be called diabolical disorientation, for Catholics to consider voting for her. That Catholics do not get the truth on this from our Catholic leadership every week leading up to the election is a tragedy. Catholics today, even good ones, are experiencing confusion over something that should be simple. Donald Trump is a far more moral choice for president than Hillary Clinton, from what we already know. His negative characteristics have been exaggerated and people have been taken in. I’m not saying he’s a perfect candidate, but there are none running! I’m saying he has been maligned badly in the attempt to keep Democrats in power.
    Traductora, please see the news out of Long Island, where the El Salvadorean gang MS-13, a notorious and violent gang, has come in with crowds of “undocumented immigrants”, creating many problems for residents in that area. Four teenagers were recently murdered by MS-13, over the kidnapping of one of the teenage girls.
    We had better stop listening to the left, whatever the source, and realize that our country is going to be radically and fundamentally changed for the worse, if we don’t stop the influx of illegal immigrants. Only Donald Trump has promised to do just that. It is not “hate” to keep our people safe and our nation sovereign. We should see through ridiculous rationales for voting for Hillary.

  36. The Masked Chicken says:

    frjim4321 wrote:

    “What a faithful Catholic is admonished to NOT do is to vote for such a politician specifically BECAUSE they support elective abortion.”

    That is not completely true. This is based on the doctrine of Double Effect. There are four conditions, from the Catholic Encyclopedia article, that must be met to invoke Double Effect:

    “1. The act itself must be morally good or at least indifferent.
    2. The agent may not positively will the bad effect but may permit it. If he could attain the good effect without the bad effect he should do so. The bad effect is sometimes said to be indirectly voluntary.
    3. The good effect must flow from the action at least as immediately (in the order of causality, though not necessarily in the order of time) as the bad effect. In other words the good effect must be produced directly by the action, not by the bad effect. Otherwise the agent would be using a bad means to a good end, which is never allowed.
    4. The good effect must be sufficiently desirable to compensate for the allowing of the bad effect (p. 1021).”

    Voting for Hillary, when there are other, at least good, options, violates condition 2 – the bolded part. If Hillary were the only woman on a planet of males, it would be licit to vote for her because her opinion on abortion would be moot. Short of that, in my opinion, no informed Catholic can, morally, vote for her. The USCCB was not sufficiently clear about such cases. If both candidates are pro-abort to the same degree, then one should either not vote, write in a vote, or, perhaps, in this case – which does not exist in the coming U. S. presidential election – exercise Double Effect, although it would be a stretch to justify it, given rule 3.

    The Chicken

  37. Jenson said:

    Fr. Martin Fox states: “Citizens United is about free speech. Overturn it, and that’s the end of the First Amendment.”

    The problem with this kind of hyperbole isn’t just that it undermines anything else you’ve said in context. The First Amendment is composed not only of a prohibition of abridging “free speech,” for example. But the ignorance of this statement is shown also by the fact that we certainly know that the First Amendment didn’t not exist between 2003-2010 when McConnell v. FEC was controlling law. We all still had many First Amendment protections, even relating to speech, even relating to political speech, despite the majority’s opinion upholding BRCA’s regulation in McConnell….

    It’s either ignorant, intentionally misleading, or outright lying, to say that an inverse vote in Citizens United would have been the end of the First Amendment, which, again, is composed of many distinguishable rights, each with their own separate levels of scrutiny and deference to lawmakers.

    Our nominated political leaders speak at 4th grade levels. That doesn’t mean our religious leaders should follow their example.

    Well, sorry to say, but you are very nearly entirely wrong.

    Now, it is true that overturning Citizens United by itself won’t wreck the establishment clause, or the free exercise clause; so I will accept that correction; but it will wreck freedom of speech, press, the right of the people to petition for redress, and and free association, which is most of the First Amendment, and it’s not hard to see how that much damage to a structure leaves what remains sound.

    Have you read the Citizens United decision? Have you read or listened to the oral arguments? Are you familiar with the legislation — the McCain-Feingold law — that was at issue? And, are you aware of the proposed constitutional amendments that aim to overturn Citizens United?

    If you are, then I am afraid you are either “ignorant, intentionally misleading, or outright lying” about the effect of overturning Citizens United. And, yes, I am making a distinction between a hypothetical about what would have happened had Citizens United been differently decided, and what happens if the existing decision is overturned; it is the latter I am focusing on, not the alternate history that we cannot know. There’s no way to know what alternative decision we might have gotten; there are too many variations. That’s why I didn’t talk about that, and your focus on that is a red herring.

    As I already pointed out, in oral arguments the government admitted that they construed existing law as allowing them to ban books, movies, and other media, if they contain prohibited words: “vote for X.” And, indeed, that’s exactly what so-called campaign “reform” legislation allowed for. It prohibited speech, and it sought to control just how much speech — specifically, political speech — was to be tolerated. The defenders of this scheme make the specious distinction that they are controlling not speech, but money, and they claim, “money is not speech.” Totally specious.

    This site costs money. I don’t know how much, but it costs something. If the government has the power to tell someone, oh, you can say anything you like, but you can only spend $100 (or $1,000, or $100,000) when you say what you like, that is not free speech. What part of “no” in, “Congress shall make no law,” is unclear to you?

    And again, as I said, I focused on the fearful prospect of what overturning Citizens United would mean; and again, here, there is no need for pondering hypotheticals. We know exactly what the anti-CU folks have in mind. Two constitutional amendments have been proposed. One would declare that Congress can, indeed, control how much money people spend in promoting political speech and ideas; and the other would declare that “corporations” do not have constitutional rights. Either way, it’s a death-blow to free speech, free association, the right to petition for redress, and a free press.

    I repeat my questions: have you read Citizens United? The oral arguments? Are you familiar with the McCain-Feingold bill, and the two proposed constitutional amendments? Because I am.

  38. Jenson71 says:

    Father, there are many proposed amendments I’m aware of, and one that I’m aware of that has been sponsored by multiple Senators and Congressman. That one absolutely does not declare that Congress can control how much money people spend in promoting political speech and ideas or that corporations do not have constitutional rights.

    Rather, it says reasonable limits can be enacted on financial contributions that are directly related to influencing “elections.” Not political speech and ideas. No current proposal I’m aware of proposes a blanket cap on political speech and ideas. You’ll have to produce a link to that.

    There was a House committee proposal that sought to clarify that the rights enumerated in the Constitution are only for natural persons. If you want to narrow your concern to that proposal, I can agree with you that such an Amendment would be fraught with unintended consequences that, in my opinion, would not be good for our country.

    Yes, I’ve read some, though certainly not all, of Citizens United, and have a basic knowledge of the background. In law school, an elections law professor visited campus gave a presentation on what she saw as its implications (if I recall correctly, she stated a decision coming after Citizens United would have more effect, though I can’t recall now which case she referred to).

    It does no good to merely read the words of an opinion or listen to the noises of an oral argument if you can’t understand their meanings, however. I’m not quite sure you’ve got that understanding of what was actually at issue. For instance, it’s pretty basic knowledge that for an alternative history, use the dissenting opinion, which four justices signed on to. That is literally “the alternative” we would have gotten had one other justice voted on the side rather than the prevailing side.

  39. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Fr. Fox,

    I have no dog in this fight, but Citizens United confuses several issues. Free speech is free speech. There is no separate category, in principle, for political speech enunciated in the Constitution. Therefore, the majority viewpoint should, in theory, apply to all free speech. That the majority did not consider this shows how restricted the idea of free speech has become. In other words, in science, which demands free speech, even more than politics, in theory, if Citizens United is really about free speech, corporations should be able to pour unlimited money into a particular slant on the truth. We just saw, last week, how Big Sugar influenced the politics of diet, by influencing the science of diet – specifically, they paid to have fat’s deleterious effects put front-and-center, while down-playing the effects of sugar on the heart and liver. If money can affect the perception of scientific truth, which, of its nature is supposed to be unbiased,then how much more noise will be generated in the political arena, essentially, drowning out the truth?

    Free speech is not sacrosanct and the Constitution, whatever its good intentions, cannot make it so. Only true speech – speech which states reality, has a God-given sacredness. All points of view must have an equal chance at expression until the truth is known. Two commentors on the Citizens United case make the comment that equal speech is not protected by the First Amendment, only free speech, but they fail to make the distinction between freedom as gratis vs. freedom as libre – to use the famous example in software – free as in beer vs. free as in speech. Free speech must be, first and formost, that particular human pathway to truth. How long did it last and how many people died because of the stranglehold Big Tobacco had on research because, effectively, their corporate clout prevented the truth from being heard? Sure, cancer researchers, especially early on, had free speech, but their voice could not be heard over the unequal volume of rhetoric afforded Big Tobacco by its wealth?

    Apparently, in the majority opinion in Citizens United, free speech has no responsible connection to true speech. By their reasoning, politics becomes nothing more than a fog of biased opinions, completely separated from the science of politics, which concerns itself with the prudential application of reason to practical problems of governance.

    In effect, far beyond mere politics, this case strikes at the heart of a sometimes very small voice of truth, which might never be heard above the din of money. I don’t need to argue this point. It has been proven over and over again in the science and technology fields, often driven by the desire for profit instead of the truth. That the majority (and it was a 5-4 decision) could not see that, if this were, indeed, a First Amendment case, that its implications went far beyond politics, is amazing.

    I disagree with the McCain-Feingold bill, since, it, too, misses the point about the reason free speech must exist, but in this case, I must say that a true adjudication of how money and free speech can be fairly partnered was not decided in this case.

    I find the dissent from the Court ruling more convincing, even though, it too, has little to offer in terms of letting the truth speak through freedom.

    The Chicken

  40. robtbrown says:

    Jenson71 says,

    The First and Second Amendment, and most of the other protections found in the Bill of Rights, have only gotten broader from their original confinements of federal jurisdictions. The authors of our Constitution did not intend these protections to cover as much as they do today. You would never know that, however, from listening to political rhetoric today, where the only impression is that each freedom we prize is hanging by a single thread that the appointment of a single person threatens to cut or abstain from cutting.

    The authors of the Constitution also did not know that there would be national TV networks and national newspapers like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. According to your criteria above, we can indicate that the First Amendment could be construed to limit freedom of the press of the those media outlets. Thus, in the 30 days before an election no article could contain the name of any candidate.

    BTW, do you think it’s fear mongering to think that a Hillary appointed SCOTUS justice would vote to overturn the Burwell v Hobby Lobby decision?

  41. robtbrown says:

    Should be:

    According to the criteria above, we can safely assume that the First Amendment . . .

  42. Jenson71 says:

    robtbrown, I’m not referring to the types of medium “the press” now includes. I’m referring to how the First Amendment, and all other protections in the Bill of Rights, applied only at the federal level. The process of incorporating those rights to states only began in the 20th century.

    No, I don’t think your example is fear-mongering. I think it’s a very reasonable prediction or expectation to think that it could be overturned. I also think that the Supreme Court treads lightly on overturning itself. All Justices seriously care about the integrity of the Court. There usually has to be significant change of underlying facts to justify a change. I also think it’s a reasonable opinion that Burwell v Hobby Lobby won’t be overturned without that change of underlying facts.

  43. robtbrown says:

    Jenson71,

    You’re probably right about not immediately overturning Burwell. What they would probably do is chip away at it.

    And of course, the Little Sisters of the Poor has been delayed.