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10 Reasons I Can Not Vote for Trump (or Clinton)

July 28, AD2016 72 Comments


The political season is upon us and we would be hard-pressed to recall one that was more acrimonious. Division has been sown in families, churches, and the public square. Unlike the sort of division foretold by Jesus, in reference to who would or would not follow Him, this division is solely of this world. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have garnered their positions as presidential candidates. Notwithstanding some unforeseeable circumstance, they will represent their respective parties. Unlike other election cycles, however, neither candidate is suitable to lead our nation. There is no need to enumerate the problems with Mrs. Clinton but, due to a fancy political sleight of hand, the trouble with Mr. Trump needs some deeper delving.

Trump is a Political Chameleon

During the 1970’s Stephen Stills penned the folk song ‘Love the One You’re with’. Listening to the lyrics, it comes to mind that this would be a fitting theme song for the Trump candidacy. One has only to listen to his speeches to various demographics to realize that there is a definite change of position depending on his audience.

Love the One You’re With
Stephen Stills

If you’re down and confused
And you don’t remember who you’re talking to
Concentration slips away
Cause your baby is so far away

…but if you can’t be with the one you love,

Honey, love the one you’re with

His Own Words Contradict Him

Trump is a confusing speaker. While he utters words of being pro-life, he champions Planned Parenthood and speaks of the many good things they do. Perhaps the good things PP reportedly does can be debated, but a true pro-life advocate will be able to tell you in a heartbeat that ending the life of an unborn child cannot be absolved by doing other good works. Yet the newly coined pro-life candidate. Trump. then went on record with a decidedly pro-abortion statement, “Laws are set” on abortion. On the one hand, Donald Trump promises to select pro-life Supreme Court Justices while at the same time advocating that his pro-abortion sister would make a great SCOTUS addition.

The Lessor of Two Evils Is Not a Valid Reason

Let me be perfectly clear. Hillary Clinton presents a morally bankrupt option for the American voter. The myriad unethical positions she holds need not be repeated here. Yet Trump is not a morally sound alternative. He has so many positions that teeter between what we want to hear and his former self that there is little question that he is a moral wild-card at best. When we also consider his rampant misogyny, long history of racism, jokes about the handicapped, and shady business dealings we find Trump to be just another unacceptable candidate.

The maxim, “Two wrongs don’t make a right” comes to mind. None of the above are a valid, morally sound choice. Remember that there are more than two choices, the two party system has become corrupt as the lines defining them have blurred. We, who are of the Kingdom of God, do not owe allegiance to any earthly power.

Trump is a Loose Cannon

Ever the boisterous boor, Trump has made a living from his bully persona. From ‘ you’re fired’ to playing fast and loose with businesses, he presents quite the quandary when it comes to electing an honorable leader. A temper tantrum with other world leaders during a delicate negotiation does little to illicit any hope of the national security our country’s needs.

Having Abortion Exceptions Makes Him Pro-Choice

Abortion exceptions are nothing more than a pro-choice stance with fewer choices. That child, marked for death because of the sins of her father, has just as much right to live as do her lovingly conceived peers. How does one explain 40+ years of pro-life posturing on the part of our representatives and still little headway for these innocent victims? Apparently, the incremental approach has been little help to those children conceived by rape or incest.

Trump Is In It for Himself

Being an opportunist doesn’t make you a just leader, it makes you me-centered. One thing Donald Trump has never done is shy away from exposing his greedy underbelly. He is proud of his conquests – whether they are businesses or women. As one who proclaimed never to have felt the need to confess guilt, it is doubtful that Trump would find a way to lead unselfishly. As a “Close the deal” businessman, his fortune has been made off the backs of those who served a useful purpose.

I Am Only Accountable for My Own Vote

When judgment day comes, we won’t be asked about the political strategy we employed. What will be asked of us is how faithfully we discerned our actions according to the commandments of God. Life is not to be reduced to a chess match. My one vote will not make the difference but if many of us took the hard route and voted for a Godly candidate, the result would be a Godly leader. It is the fear of not playing the worldly game that keeps good citizens on the track of voting for bad candidates. As long as a truly grassroots uprising fails to grow, we will continue to get what we deserve – candidates going from mediocre to worse.

No, Refraining from a Trump Vote is Not a Vote for Hillary

A vote for a third party, writing in a candidate, or refraining from voting for a presidential candidate is just that. It is not a vote for Hillary Clinton. If you find yourself vehemently shaking your head in disagreement, please read this delightful analogy using cookies and poets.

Trump is a Democrat in Republican Clothing

Although he has donated to both parties, Donald Trump has donated more to ultra-liberal candidates including, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Hillary Clinton. He was also a Democrat until he saw that his best shot was to run as a newly minted Republican. While he was a Democrat, Trump embraced the entire anti-life, anti-God platform of the Democrat Party. A convenient candidate, who opportunistically jumps ship, does little to instill confidence in this voter’s mind.

One Presidency Cannot Repair the Damage That Took Decades to Create

The only Savior this world has ever seen – or will ever see – is Jesus Christ. The faulty thinking that seeks to justify a vote for Trump is impossible to realize in real life. The litany of problems faced by our nation – healthcare, terrorism, financial ruin, loss of religious liberty, commercialization of women and sale of unborn baby parts – will take decades of righteous leadership to undo. Donald Trump is not the person to begin the pilgrimage down that path.

Even if a moral champion was elected, years of Congressional failure would have to be addressed as well. Instead of placing all of our hopes in one candidate, we should address the moral failure of all representatives. Accepting empty speeches and backtracking leaders has been the norm far too long. Every vote should be carefully discerned by moral standards. Hold the feet of our representatives – from dog catcher to president – to the fire of righteous judgment. Isn’t it time to aspire to be led by those who lead us to salvation?

This would be a good to time ponder, “What would we get if Trump won?” Within the answer lies the source of my trepidation. Based on the facts garnered about Trump, there are certain conclusions to be drawn. What we would get from a Trump presidency will not be like anything we have ever had before – because Trump is unlike any candidate we have ever had. His positions come from a position of power. Morals and ethics are not really given a seat at his table.

How terrible would it be to have the strongest pro-life/moral plank ever in the GOP platform and then have a president wh0 adhered to it even less than any previous one?

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Birgit is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the pro-life movement. She has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 40 years. They have four children and nine living grandchildren (all age twelve and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest! Birgit can also be found on her personal blog Designs By Birgit and Facebook fan page Designs By Birgit, where she shares the pro-life memes she creates.

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  • Much of what Archbishop Chaput shares in his pastoral letter speaks to me. Archbishop Chaput said that the current election year is notable for Catholics because both major candidates for President “have astonishing flaws.” I can certainly agree when he says this is both “depressing and liberating at the same time.”

    He continued, “Depressing, because it’s proof of how polarized the nation has become. Liberating, because for the honest voter, it’s much easier this year to ignore the routine tribal loyalty chants of both the Democratic and Republican camps,” he wrote.

    “Both major candidates are – what’s the right word? so problematic – that neither is clearly better than the other.”

  • Justin Soutar

    Mrs. Jones, this is a great and to-the-point summary of the very reasons why I am not voting for Trump either. I agree with you 90 percent. On the issue of abortion exceptions, President Bush (like many devout Protestants and Evangelicals) was also against abortion except in cases of rape or incest, yet he did much to support and advance the pro-life cause. Trump claims to be pro-life but his record indicates that he cannot be trusted to defend the innocent unborn. Neither Clinton nor Trump is fit to lead our nation. I firmly believe that the famous quote of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, “We’re not called to be successful; we’re called to be faithful,” is eminently applicable to this devastating presidential election. It’s a lose-lose situation and there’s no getting around that. So forget about trying to win the unwinnable, and just vote for the most moral and trustworthy candidate who shares your values, who has the right positions on the non-negotiable issues, and who is best qualified to lead our nation. I myself will be voting for Dr. Ben Carson. Although he’s out of the race, I think he’s still on the ballot, but if not I will type his name in.

  • Birgit Atherton Jones

    Author Update 8-5-16:

    “…Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee. His platform is straightforward: the Constitution must be upheld, ALL human life must be protected, the Federal Reserve must be abolished, and national sovereignty must be defended.”

  • I see many commenters arguing that one of good conscience must vote for Trump in order to stop Clinton. It doesn’t matter they say, what he has said or done. We MUST stop Hillary. So everything Trump has said or done, or will do or say doesn’t matter to you Trump voters? Well then, he was right. He really could shoot someone on 5th Ave and you people will still vote for him How sad.

  • Coonass

    Don’t vote for hilldebeast the criminal, Vote Trump the Business man.

  • jamey brown

    I am Pro-Life, Pro-religious freedom, and anti-Communist. The Democratic Platform and their candidate are diametrically opposed to my values. Trump has made his fortune with gambling casinos, and beauty pageants; 2 things I hold in low esteem. (Why couldn’t we have virtue pageants?) We all know his brash, rude, and crude qualities. Hillary has a lifelong history of lying, illegalities, receiving millions in contributions from Middle Eastern dictators and other bad actors, and has accomplished nothing. Her pro-Communist, Sal Alinsky-schooled background is the same as Obama’s.
    Trump flip-flops on issues, but I think he is teachable. Hillary is a stone, unchangeable ultra-left, always has been.
    Mark Levin said on his radio show that with Trump, as with any candidate, we need to tell him what we want, and what we want him to do. That’s our job.
    With Trump, Pro-Life, Pro-Religious Freedom, and anti-Communism have a good chance of moving forward. With Hillary, all will move backward—in the name of progress. A dark cloud will descend on Western Civilization. Think Supreme Court.
    Did #NeverTrumpers Hear Hillary Clinton’s Frightening Speech?

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      I respect your opinion even though I don’t share it. Both positions are morally acceptable – according to conscience and Church teaching. God bless.

    • Carolingian

      We reject you and Ted Cr’uz 2. God Bless Donald Trump

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      I think I just found a sound alternative to Trump/Hillary.

      “…Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee. His platform is straightforward: the Constitution must be upheld, ALL human life must be protected, the Federal Reserve must be abolished, and national sovereignty must be defended.”

  • carlzilla

    So St. Paul’s past precludes him from change ? Mary Magdalen ? Saint Augustin ? All of heaven rejoices when a sinner repents, Christ frees us from our past and demands we only look forward as His followers.People who judge do the opposite, they condemn the soul in a prison of their past. No one is fit to judge but our Father in heaven.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Did you forget that they showed conversion? I’m not willing to bet the presidency on a hope for conversion.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Did you forget that they showed conversion? I’m not willing to bet the presidency on a simple hope for conversion.

    • Carolingian

      You don’t believe in forgiveness or the right to confession. you are a planned parenthood poster

  • Glendon

    I too believe that if we do not elect Donald Trump, we are then going to allow the most pro abortion, pro gay marriage, pro promiscuous sex, pro anti Military, pro anti Catholic and religion, pro anti constitution, President ever to take office.

    • Guy McClung

      you forgot pro-lying, at which she is a pro

  • Melanie Jean Juneau

    Birgit, I posted all Catholic Stand articles on the election on a new board on Pinterest dedicate to a Catholic view of the election. The person who invited to join was so pleased with all our articles. I quote:

    I thought that being “pro-choice” meant I ended up having no choice..

    .I’m learning so much about Catholic social teaching in these articles.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      What a wonderful result for the Catholic Stand ministry. Thank you for sharing.

    • Carolingian

      see I knew instinctively you evil … are a dead baby advocate. You will end. We see you and we know what you do.

  • Excellent article. I note, however, the disagreement with its conclusions in the comments. Chief amongst these is the supreme court. In that a vote for Trump is justified simply because he, not Hillary, will make better nominations. How sad so many otherwise intelligent people falll for this nonsense. I don’t know why anyone thinks Trump would nominate any of the people on the nominee list he released a month or so ago. He said he’s not bound by it. When the time comes, he’ll nominate who he pleases and who he pleases is who will buy him the most sway on Capitol Hill. Remember, he’s a deal maker. He doesn’t care about the court the way the pro-life and pro-abortion camps do. The same way he used his list to buy us of the pro-life camp, he’ll use the actual nomination to buy those of the pro-abortion camp. Bank on it.

  • If all this is true, why did Trump name Mike Pence as his running mate, a 100% pro-life candidate? Why did he pledge to select Supreme Court justices from a list of good, solid strict constructionists? Why did he come out opposing Common Core and defending the rights of parents as the primary educators of their children? Why does he support our Vets, our active military, and our law enforcement unlike the race-baiting Democrats? Why does he support protecting our borders to prevent our being overrun by illegals including terrorists? Why does he oppose NAFTA and TPP and other job-killing initiatives beloved by the Democrats? Also, if he’s so bad why do Planned Parenthood, liberal unions, open borders fans, and globalists absolutely foam at the mouth they hate him so much?

    Donald Trump is not the Savior, we know who that is, but he may be like the pagan king Cyrus who brought the exiles back from Babylon and helped them rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. He is a builder and I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. Too many people are listening to the mainstream media and their lies or choosing to nix Trump because he’s rude and crude. That seems very short-sighted to me. I’m voting for Trump without apology. I have 25 grandchildren who can’t survive another eight years of the baby-killing, elderly-killing, job-killing, economy-killing, pedophilia-promoting, gender-insanity promoting politics of the party of death.

    I will vote for Donald Trump without apology. I pray that all the Bernie Sanders voters boycott HIllary and write in Sanders to make up for all the purist Catholics who will sit this one out. I wonder what they will say if Trump wins and does all the good things he has said he would do. I hope we get a chance to find out.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      “If all this is true, why did Trump name Mike Pence as his running mate, a 100% pro-life candidate? ”

      Because Trump ‘plays the game’ and ‘seals the deal’. As a shrewd businessman, Trump cannot be accused of being stupid. He knows how to sell and he does it well – beginning with his very first hotel deal. Yet the flip flops I have heard from his own lips are enough to warn me not to believe he is anything but an opportunistic egomaniac. His lack of demonstrable scruples tells me to beware. A few public, charitable acts cannot absolve the doubt I feel.

      In the end, we are all accountable for our own actions. Priests, bishops, and theologians have come to rest on either one of the choices – lesser of two evils or neither candidate. You and I will both vote our informed conscience without apology. That is how it should be. I’ll not look down on anyone who does that.

    • No Birgit. I am NOT voting for the “lesser of two evils.” A Catholic can never do that. I am voting for the man whom I believe will make political decisions that will do the least harm and will offer the most protection to my children and grandchildren. Trump has been very consistent in his positions on protecting the workers of this country from an economic system of exploitation that has given billions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and to exploitive unions. That benefits every middle class family trying to make ends meet which impacts my children directly. His organizations employ large numbers of Americans.

      By your rationale, you could not vote for Ronald Reagan since he flip-flopped on abortion. I do not look to Trump to be our savior. That is Jesus Christ. I do think he is the best choice for America at this time and I will vote for him, as I said, without apology. I know you are a loving mother and grandmother. What do you think your grandchildren will have left after eight more years of predatory, pro-death Democrats in the White House?

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Fortunately, we are all charged with making our own decisions. My conscience tells me to vote for neither and the Church tells me that this is a legitimate option.

    • Carolingian

      this crazy woman is all over the comments … I’m guessing she is paid shrill

    • Birgit Atherton Jones
    • Timothy

      Great summary Mary Ann. It is very hard to fathom how any good Catholic like Birgit could not be persuaded by your reasoning. I say this as a 57 year old father of 5 with 2 grandchildren and more on the way I hope. Our country cannot survive 8 more years of Hillary, following the Marxist and anti-American policies cheering for the culture of death. I hope that Birgit will pray on this with humility. Trump is no saint, nor was Reagan, Churchill or Constantine.

    • Thanks, Timothy. We all need to spend lots of time on our knees as the election approaches. Our country is deep trouble. Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us.

    • Carolingian


    • Carolingian

      I’m down for Trump I have no doubt he loves my country.

    • Mike Pence caved on religious liberty in Indiana. Who’s to say he won’t cave on everything else when push comes to shove?

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      A sound alternative to Trump/Hillary?

      “…Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee. His platform is straightforward: the Constitution must be upheld, ALL human life must be protected, the Federal Reserve must be abolished, and national sovereignty must be defended.”

    • Sounds intriguing. I will have to investigate.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      “‘You shall not murder’ contains no exceptions. If there are exceptions made, there can be no equality. Which means there can be no justice. The premises for the rule of law, and any decent claim to liberty, are completely destroyed. What part of this do American Christian ‘pro-lifers’ fail to understand? The main obstacle to saving our country is not Planned Parenthood, or Obama, it is “conservatives” who don’t seem to understand what it is that must be conserved if we are going to survive as a free, secure, prosperous people. I’m sorry if this message is offensive to some, but it’s the truth. And it’s a truth everyone needs to hear, and act upon in their politics, before it is too late for America and for our posterity.”

      — Tom Hoefling

  • CD

    1. Trump has been slowly coming around to the prolife psoition since 2001, when he started saying he was against partial birth abortion. His sister, a well-respected George HW Bush appointed judge, is not a prochoice activist, she just struck down a poorly constructed law in New Jersey trying to ban partial birth abortion in 2000. I thought we didn’t want activist judges! And note the year, he apparently has the integrity to say he’s against it even though his sister upheld the law.

    2. Trump did not make fun of the handicapped (google it). He’s not racist for asking if a judge born to Mexican immigrants might be prejudiced against him in an election year; we question the same with all-white juries for black defendants. His business dealings are aggressive, not shady; nothing like Hillary’s abuse of public office for material gain (see the Russian uranium deal, among others). Can you point to actual criminal activity? No.

    3. Trump has a low toleration for BS. Guess what, so does Hillary. He’s expressed a desire to negotiate even with our enemies. Hillary will ramp up the war effort and put boots on the ground in our proxy wars against Russia in Syria. Which do you prefer?

    4. Abortion exceptions are troublesome; but you’re forgetting that the perfect is the enemy of the good here. If a prolife law came before his desk, what would he do, versus what Hillary would do without question? To demand absolute purity in principle in this election is to reject your allies and knuckle under to your enemies.

    5. Google the NY Post story “How Trump Helped Saved NYC.” People complain that if Trump had invested in the S&P instead of real estate, he’d be twice as rich by now. But he began investing in real estate because he likes his hometown. Also, google how he put up Jennifer Hudson’s family after her relatives’ gruesome murders. Google how he attacked the city council of Palm Beach to strike down a ban on blacks and Jews joining the Mar-a-Lago club.

    6. Your vote is being wasted if you don’t have a plan. I hear a lot of talk about not voting for either party, but literally no solution for what to do about it. “I’ll write in.” Who? The Pope? “I’ll vote third party.” Who, the Libertarians who a prochoice and ridicule Catholic social teaching?

    7. See above. If you’re not offering a solution, you’re part of the problem, unfortunately.

    8. If you’re going to claim that Trump has donated more to Democrats and “embraced their entire anti-life platform” you need to provide a citation. I’m betting one doesn’t exist, because I looked into this myself. He was a lifelong Republican, then Reform Party for three years, then Democrat for about five because he didn’t like George W Bush’s policies, and then back to Republican as soon as Obama was elected.

    9. One presidency cannot repair – yes, so we should give up now. Do you realize this primary had more Catholics than any primary in the history of the US? And they all blew it. Jeb, Christie, Rubio, Paul Ryan – they all knuckle under to the anti-Catholic establishment. And then you had other Christians like the unethical warmonger Cruz who wanted to carpet-bomb the Middle East. They were all unsatisfactory to a Catholic voter. What “moral champion” do you think we’ll get next time around?

    (Wait, that’s only nine points. Where’d your tenth go?)

    There are only two prolife Democrats left in Congress (one is my representative, Dan Lipinski). Before Obamacare there were 40! No, the GOP is floundering. The Democrats are strong and becoming more prochoice than ever. This is your last chance for a few elections. My children are going to grow up having to deal with the aftermath of this.

  • Marianne

    How can anyone who professes belief in God vote for someone who believes that “religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed”?

    Americans are in mortal danger of being stripped of the morality and freedoms that this country was built upon. We need a leader who will fight to protect us from eradication of religion and get rid of this culture of hatred and division; who celebrates life rather than glorifies individuals who have no morals; someone who will restore laws upholding human decency, and who will preserve the God-given freedoms that our forefathers fought so hard to attain, not obliterate.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      I’m afraid you missed the point. My vote will not be going to Hillary.

    • Marianne

      No, we got the point. It’s too bad there’s not another suitable candidate who can get enough votes to win the election…

  • johnnysc

    One reason to vote for Trump…..Clinton.

    We have an anti Catholic, pro contraception, pro abortion, redefining marriage, supporter of the Planned Parenthood that you’ve seen in the latest videos government with a liberal political ideology that is laying waste to life issues A to Z and as a side hobby laughing at the idea of religious liberty. If Clinton gets elected times that by 10. You think the Little Sisters of the Poor have problems now?

    • Tgirl

      Brovo @jonnysc! I will be voting for the republican platform and urging my conservative catholic family to do the same. It is pure bull to think a third party vote won’t hand Hilary the presidency. WAKE UP AND REALIZE WHAT A MEGA THREAT HILARY.

  • bakrawiec

    First (off the point) re: your first name reminds me of one of my favorite Saints (St. Bridget of Sweden), whose spiritual daughter was canonized in June:). Next (on point), although everything you wrote is credible, like the others who responded, I am in agreement with their comments. Admittedly, one can be deceived, but I have spent a lot of time before/after daily Mass, as well as throughout the day, praying over the 2016 election–starting with the GOP Primaries. As one who cried for 3 days after the election of B. Obama in 2008, I have been begging God to send us someone who can turn things around for this country–to bring it back to obedience to Him. With all my heart and soul, I believe that person is the unlikeliest of servants–Donald J. Trump. (How like God to use the least likely vessel!) In secular terms, inasmuch as the apple falls not far from the tree, I am heartened by the character of his children. In spiritual terms, I am heartened by the admission he made about not deserving the Evangelicals’ vote. For all the charitable work he has done (regardless of all the public sinfulness), it would not surprise me that God is using his generous goodness to save not only America, but the soul of Donald Trump himself. Until recently, I was quite honestly afraid of admitting that I was proTrump, since being so is seen as stupid and bigoted; frankly, I also worried about potential Catholic scandal/religious implications. When two of the most Eucharistic, Marian God-fearing women I know (who don’t know each other) revealed how they were feeling led to vote for Mr. Trump, I felt empowered to reveal that the same was true for me. (Not to say that God is not leading you and others along a different path.) On Nov. 8th, Election Day this year, I will celebrate the 57th anniversary of my Confirmation. Nov. 8th is the feast of another of my favorite Saints–Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity. I am entrusting the election results through her intercession. May the ordaining Will of God prevail. (I believe the election of Mr. Obama rather than Mr. McCain was His permissive Will; He let us have who we wanted; this time I want His choice to be elected–whoever that is.) May the Holy Spirit lead all God’s people into making wise choices. God bless you for your honesty and your search for doing God’s Will. Thank you, too, for respecting my conscience, in keeping with my Confessor/Spiritual Director’s counsel. For as long as I am feeling so led, I will continue to work and to pray for Mr. Trump’s election. God bless you!

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      God bless you as well!

    • Guy McClung

      God bless all in this house. And All: have a fullofwonder weekend. Guy

    • Carolingian

      I’m voting for Trump and given his recent promise to REPEAL the law that places a muzzle on religion. I feel every Catholic is obligated to vote for Trump. This plank of his platform is a game changer for every christian in America. It is a moral obligation in my opinion to return a voice to the Church.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      I respect your opinion even though I don’t share it. Both of our positions are morally acceptable – according to conscience and Church teaching. God bless.

    • Carolingian

      Because in your sweet response you agree that abortion is okay and the S.Ct doesn’t matter and giving our jobs to other countries is somehow moral? It is not and the catechism addresses each of these.

  • Gus

    Five comments and an observation –
    The Patheos piece on cookies and poets is both ludicrous and wrong.
    Reagan was also a lifelong Democrat until he began a Republican. He turned out to be one of the best Republicans ever.
    Voting for Trump as the lesser of two evils IS a valid reason. Even the USCCCB document on citizenship acknowledges this.
    While one presidency will certainly not fix all our problems, every journey begins with a single step.
    I would be suspicious of anything Mr. Schwartz says about Trump since as was pointed out in the New Yorker piece, Schwartz is “A lifelong liberal . . .”
    If all the people who stayed home or voted for a third party candidate in 2008 and 2012 had voted for McCain and Romney, things might not be as bad as they are now. We have a two party system. That’s reality. You can’t change things by ignoring reality.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Explain your objection to the analogy, please. I’d be interested to know your thoughts.
      Reagan wasn’t on record as a pathological liar.
      While voting for a lesser evil might be a valid option (up to a point), one must discern just how much evil they will tolerate.
      As stated in the article, I’d not trust the pilgrimage to better governance to someone demonstrably untrustworthy.
      The gist of the allegations Mr. Schwartz brings to the table can be confirmed from many other sources. He just fleshed out some details.
      McCain and Romney were the final straw my conscience could tolerate. If every faithful Christian truly voted in faith rather than strategy, our candidates would be more palatable. Remember, even though our representatives are far from desirable in most cases, the GOP pro-life platform has never been stronger. If we all based our vote on this irrefutable fact, the candidates we were offered would be more in line with that.
      It may not seem that we can get away from a two party system, but votes based on faith and formed conscience would indeed foster a change.

    • Gus

      Short answer — see the comment under the article from David W.
      “Reagan wasn’t a pathological liar” is a different argument altogether. Clinton and Trump are both liars so this is not really all that relevant. Your point was that Trump changed parties and I just pointed out that Reagan did as well and that people can change.
      You’ve now changed your position from “voting for the lesser of two evils is not a valid reason” to it “might be a valid option.”
      I really don’t care for either Clinton or Trump but the fact is that one of the two will be the next President of the United States. The question is which one would we rather have in the White House?
      Everything Shwartz and other Trump detractors say can be countered by ‘testimony’ from others who know and like Trump. The same can be said of Hilary. Usually (but not always) the truth is somewhere in the middle.
      You seem to be forgetting that the GOP offered us 17 candidates during the 2015-16 primary to choose from. The people selected Trump to be the GOP candidate, just like the people selected Romney and McCain from amongst a plethora of GOP candidates when they ran. And we were ‘offered’ some really good candidates too. I liked Santorum. But Trump is the GOP nominee. So we move on. We have a choice between Trump and Clinton plain and simple. I would rather see Trump in the White House than Clinton.
      This country is a predominantly Protestant Christian country. We Catholics are only about 24% of the population and far too many Catholics have become cafeteria Catholics who either do not understand or agree with Catholic Doctrine. The fact that the Catholic vote is split 50-50 between the GOP and Dems says that there are far too many poorly formed Catholic consciences today.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      ‘You’ve now changed your position from “voting for the lesser of two evils is not a valid reason” to it “might be a valid option.”’

      Ah the nuances of reading another’s thoughts. My point, “While voting for a lesser evil might be a valid option (up to a point), one must discern just how much evil they will tolerate.” brings home the gist of what I’m trying to convey…valid up to a point. I have voted for the lesser evil in the past – McCain and Romney – but now, with Trump, I have reached that point.

      ‘The fact that the Catholic vote is split 50-50 between the GOP and Dems says that there are far too many poorly formed Catholic consciences today.’

      Now we can agree. My point is that, with faith, these numbers would change. I’m taking this type of leap of faith for the first time in 4 decades of voting. I can only be responsible for my own vote and pray God moves more faithful to do the same.

    • Gus

      OK we agree that there are “too many poorly formed Catholic consciences today” and I am all for prayer, but we still disagree on your primary thesis. Barring some kind of miracle before November 8 our nation’s next president will be Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump. If such a miracle does not occur, a vote for any candidate besides Donald Trump on November 8 is tantamount to giving the presidency to Hilary Clinton. Hilary Clinton will take our country further down the road toward becoming a secular social democracy – just like the majority of the countries in Europe. Under Clinton, Secular Democratic Socialism and Moral Relativism will continue its relentless march toward displacing Christianity as the county’s new religion. The only way to stop this is by voting for Trump.

    • dihollar

      Well put Gus. Birgit, I really hope you open your eyes and heart to what you are hearing in response to your post. A vote for Hillary would be disastrous for us Catholics. May God bless our country!

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Yes, a vote for Hillary would be disastrous – that’s why I’m not voting for her. Trump instills no confidence in me, either. I’ll vote for neither. My vote, my conscience, and an ethical choice according to Church teaching.

    • Carolingian

      Trump is the only person in any election anywhere on the planet proposing to allow the word of God to be spoken freely. Trump is for repealing the Johnson amendment. I don’t think based off your post you believe in God or are a Christian.

    • Carolingian

      I’ll let God Judge you though

    • Notbuyingit3337

      It is possible this election to stop them both from gaining the required number of electoral votes, and then the vote goes to the House of Reps. Or better yet, they’ll both end up in jail and we can all vote our conscience. 🙂

  • Fred

    Good and relevant comments below which I agree with.
    A vote for anyone but Trump is a vote for Crooked Hillary.
    Government can’t fix our morality – only we as individuals can.
    Trump has committed to reversing the Johnson Amendment that penalizes Churches who preach against the political order and immoral politicians.
    Government does, however, affect our economy and position in the world.
    Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s – and that what this election is about.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      ‘Trump has committed to reversing the Johnson Amendment that penalizes Churches who preach against the political order and immoral politicians.’

      You would have a valid point if Trump had a demonstrable history of keeping his word. As the facts illustrate, however, he is not prone to maintaining any particular stance. It’s bad enough when a candidate flip flops after appearing to be straightforward throughout his public life. In the case of candidate Trump, we won’t even be able to say we are surprised when he walks back from campaign promises – we will have been forewarned by his own actions.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Those who think a vote for someone other than one of the two major party candidates is wasted might want to read this:

    • Carolingian

      this person is a demon

  • kgh111861

    Unfortunately, as much as I agree with most of your points (not all, nor are all of them truly relevant: e.g. how does Trump being “in it for himself” make him any different than any other candidate – they’re ALL in it for themselves as far as I can tell), you are tragically wrong to think that not voting for Trump is effectively a vote for Clinton. No other candidate has a realistic chance of winning. Our next president will almost certainly be Clinton or Trump. Of those two, I would rather the possibility that Trump will not stand in the way of dismantling at least some of the disastrous policies of the past eight years than the certitude that Clinton will continue and accelerate them.

    • Guy McClung

      And now the Party Of Death wants us to pay for the deaths. They-and this includes Hillary, Judas Kaine and almost all democrats-promise us they will pursue all of us via, the taxes on our hard earned income, paying for abortions for every woman in America. And “every woman” includes teenage girls getting abortions we pay for without their parents knowledge with a Planned Parenthood lawyer at their side before a complicit judge. And that lawyer will be paid for with some of the half a billion dollars of our tax money that Hillary and Judas Kaine have promised will continue to flow to the nice folks who kill about a million babies here every three years, an inordinate amount of them minority babies. So far Trump has not said he will support this. Birgit, this is a fine article and makes some good points; but we must-especially in the face of the democatholic priests and bishops – make it clear that it is a mortal sin to vote for Hillary or for any democrat who worships before their party’s platform. Guy McClung San Antonio Texas

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      While I understand, and have held, the very position you profess I can no longer ‘hold my nose and vote’ for the less unpalatable candidate. What I have learned in my four decades of voting is that going along to get along does nothing to further the values I hold dear.

      Instead, we compromise more each election cycle and our government becomes more corrupt – each candidate being incrementally worse. I owe no allegiance to any candidate or party. My home is the Kingdom of God; to Him I am accountable. I will vote my conscience, which tells me not to vote for a candidate who offers no hope of ethical governing.

    • Guy McClung

      You go girl!

    • Carolingian

      she is a death gas lighter

  • Ned

    While I can’t argue with many of the points you have made, I urge you to keep a larger perspective in mind. This election is not only about who becomes President but equally important, it is about the future of the Supreme Court. The next president will have 1 appointment for sure (Scalia’s seat) and unless something drastic changes a second (Ginsburg who is 83). I think it is very likely they will have a third with Kennedy being 80 and Breyer at 77. Three appointees by Hillary Clinton to go along with the 2 Obama appointees equals a 5 liberal majority for the next 20 years. That will spell the end of the progress the Pro-Life movement has made thus far. Every abortion restriction thus passed will be overturned and I fear worse.

    As bad of a choice as Trump is, he has provided us a list of Supreme Court appointees. That list received the following comment form Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser

    “This is an exceptionally strong list of jurists with immense respect for our founding documents. We are encouraged by Mr. Trump’s repeated pledges to appoint constitutionalists, which stands in sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton’s position. There is no question Clinton would only nominate judges who stand in lock-step with the abortion lobby and would strike down even the most modest abortion limits.”

    With a likely Republican controlled Senate, holding him to that list will be much easier than changing the mind of Hillary Clinton. As a Pro-Lifer that alone has moved me to vote for Trump. At the end of the day, until Roe v. Wade is overturned, the President will have very little impact upon Abortion Law aside from his/her appointments to the court. The battle in 2016 is the battle for the court.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      First of all, I have no confidence that Trump will adhere to his list of potential nominees for SCOTUS. His history of duplicity is overwhelming. Secondly, our Republican controlled Senate would have to develop a backbone first. They have done nothing but pander to the liberals and betray the people they are supposed to represent.

    • Carolingian

      The only choice is Trump. If we weren’t on a Catholic article I wouldn’t mention, but when the end comes, when people abandon reason and vote for new doctrines and ideologies that is when we will all know the enemy is within. Any vote not for Trump is a vote for the destroyer.