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Trump Is in the House

September 29, AD2016

capitol, washington, dc

In my last article, “Welcome to the House of Moral Dilemma,” I presented the many reasons why a serious Catholic in good faith could not vote for Hillary Clinton. In summary, one cannot simply close one eye to the moral difficulties of the Democrat Party, while focusing on what is perceived as “good.” Unless you are a Catholic who has a bad case of “false autonomy of conscience,” ignoring the teachings of the Church on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and persecution of the Catholic Church and attacks on religious liberty, or simply don’t know the teachings of the Church, one cannot turn a blind eye to these issues as if they do not exist. In the last article, I presented an analogy, a model for moral consideration which I called “The House of Moral Dilemma.” In this analogy, one approaches the issues at hand as if walking through a house from the front door to the back deck where one can celebrate a sound moral decision. If along the way you encounter morally objectionable things, such as mentioned above, they literally “stick to your shoes.” This spoils any “good things” which could be found later in the house.

We also explored the idea that not all moral considerations are proportionate, as described by Cardinal Ratzinger in 2004. For instance, while I personally may disagree with the way one party handles economics and have strong opinions that fiscal decisions made by a future administration might harm the poor, that is a prudential decision to be guided by Church teaching, and those concerns are not intrinsic moral evils. No candidate, of course, states that they intend to “harm the poor” or pursue “endless unjustified war” or be “unfair to immigrants.”  The disagreement on these issues lies in how best to address these issues, and Catholics can legitimately disagree on these things. Intrinsic moral evils, on the other hand, are evil for all people, in all times, and in all places. As the USCCB has pointed out, they must be weighed, but they do not weigh as heavily as overt and unwavering support for things like abortion, gay marriage, etc. Placed on a balance scale, the intrinsic evils will always outweigh even a mountain of the other considerations.

The Five Kinds of Voters

This is where we arrive at our moral consideration of Donald J. Trump. I have observed the discussion about Mr. Trump over the past few months. Catholics seem to fall into five general camps regarding the Republican candidate.

1) “Tim Kaine” Catholics: They are going to vote for Hillary no matter what. They claim to be Catholic but do not really obey the Magisterium on many key issues, similar to Jesuit-educated VP Candidate Tim Kaine, who was chastised by his bishop this past week. They will keep plugging ahead, finding positive things to say about Mrs. Clinton, and will vote for her.

2) “Return of the King” Catholics: These Catholics are seeking a candidate who closely resembles Jesus. Past personal behaviors, brash rhetoric, and other non-intrinsic items disqualify Mr. Trump in their eyes.  To vote for Mr. Trump is to vote for evil. These folks typically seek out a third-party candidate with values very close to the Magisterium.  Despite the fact that such a candidate will never win, they are satisfied that their personal moral decision is sound, regardless if a vote is taken from a candidate that could defeat Mrs. Clinton.

3) Hold-your-nose Catholics: These Catholics recognize that Trump isn’t perfect and that there hasn’t been nor will there ever be a candidate that is perfect. They recognize the great evils present in Mrs. Clinton’s policies, especially the several Supreme Court justices that will probably be appointed during her first term, and the devastating effects they will have on our country. They will vote for Trump, recognizing that no intrinsic moral evils are directly or indirectly being advanced by their vote.

4) GOP Catholics: These folks will vote for the Republican candidate no matter who he/she is, under any circumstances. Morality has little to do with the consideration. This is based on the belief that anything related to the Democrats is bad.

5) Monarchist / Doom Catholics – These folks don’t like democracy or the American system of government. They long for the days of the kings and queens of Christendom. They see that America is doomed and refuse to participate.  ‘nuf said.

That list is surely enough to offend any number of readers, but it is presented as “food for thought” as we proceed with our analysis of how a Catholic could vote for Donald Trump.

Walking Trump Through the House of Moral Dilemma

So how can a practicing Catholic in good conscience vote for Donald Trump?  Let’s use the “House of Moral Dilemma” analogy once again to examine the moral landscape.

You’re approaching a house. It’s the House of Moral Dilemma. Next door you see a similar house which you visited last month: it’s the one with the name “Clinton” on the mailbox. This house has the name “Trump” on the front door. As you approach the front porch, there are “flowers” in pots there. The flowers represent the many promises of Mr. Trump to “Make America Great Again.”

As you enter the front door, you examine the Living Room. In the living room are trophies of a man who has succeeded in business. There are posters on the walls of his speeches where he talks about building a wall in order to enforce immigration law, and other posters of the speeches about allowing legal, law-abiding (but undocumented) citizens to pursue a valid status. There are books in the living room about removing undocumented aliens with criminal records, or those who have committed crimes. There is a magazine with a cover highlighting Trump’s policy on carefully screening immigrants from Syria; laying next to that are several magazines with pictures of terrorist attacks in Europe, the chaos in the streets in Paris and in Germany, and the promises of ISIS to bring this fight to America. There is a musty smell coming from the basement. This is the odor of Trump’s immoral personal life: divorces and other bad behaviors. His past support of abortion is down there as well. But you notice, as you leave the living room and walk past the basement door that a work order is pinned to the wall. It says, “We will overturn Roe v. Wade,” “We will stop all federal funding of abortion,” “We will stop attacks on Christians.”  Wow, what a promising improvement from the past!

Entering the kitchen, where all good and delicious things are prepared, we see pots on the stove with sound economic policy: renegotiated trade treaties, putting more responsibility on other countries for their defense, building up America’s schools and infrastructure. We see desserts on the table, namely a concerted effort to protect America and recognize ISIS for what it is and DEFEAT it. We also see reasonable and compassionate immigration policy that does not leave America vulnerable and recognizes the dignity of human beings in need. Sitting in the center of the kitchen table is a large multi-tiered wedding cake with candles: these are the five Supreme Court justices friendly to life and liberty that Trump will appoint.

Like before, when you were in Hillary’s House of Moral Dilemma, you look down at your shoes. There is nothing sticking to them. There’s just the musty odor of a less than perfect personal life, brash rhetoric, and perhaps policies that may not go far enough to emulate the Magisterium. There is no reason why one can’t proceed out the back door to the barbecue, where sound moral decisions are celebrated with God!

Can a Catholic Vote for Trump?

In conclusion, while certainly there is no candidate that is perfect in a moral sense, it is possible to make a sound moral decision by closely examining what the Church defines as intrinsic moral evil. In our earlier analysis, it was obvious that no Catholic in good faith could even remotely begin to consider Hillary Clinton as a viable candidate, based upon her unprecedented support of abortion, gay-marriage, and attacks on religious freedom. Using the same instrument, the House of Moral Dilemma, to examine Mr. Trump, one does not arrive at the same conclusion. While the man may have a secular and immoral past personal life, and in his third marriage which by Church teaching is adulterous, he appears to be no worse off than Ronald Reagan who was once divorced. And he’s certainly a lot better off than active philanderers John Kennedy and Bill Clinton. This appears to be a non-issue in terms of public policy. While he does not agree with everything taught by the Catholic Church, such as matters of contraception for instance, he is not hostile to religious freedom. While many may criticize Trump for “flip flopping” on abortion, he’s actually only flipped. Trump was pro-choice until 2011, until he changed his position. Similar to Reagan after his 1967 support of Therapeutic Abortion Act as California governor, Trump has continued on the right trajectory on this issue and is now clearly pro-life, vowing to both overturn Roe vs. Wade and ban federal funding for abortion once and for all. Reagan, who once supported abortion for political expediency, became so prolifically pro-life that his statements on the subject has filled volumes. Additionally, Trump has now appointed 33 faithful Catholics, including Rick Santorum, as advisers to the campaign. Most recently Father Frank Pavone and Janet Moreno of Priests for Life are now advising Trump on abortion policy. Trump’s stance on immigration is simply a common sense enforcement of the law, and has moderated in recent months by a more compassionate stance. Numerous instances of his pro-minority support have surfaced, including those from his current employees. Trump’s stance is exactly the same as Bill Clinton, and nobody complained about that in the 1990s. The man is no bigot as many have charged. After considering all of this, the biggest issue relative to the well-being of America remains the potential appointment of up to five Supreme Court justices. We simply cannot give that responsibility to Hillary Clinton, a person whose extreme opposition to common morality and rule of law, and devotion to socialist ideology would no doubt devastate the American landscape for generations. The most reasonable and morally acceptable course of action in this coming election, if you will forgive the metaphor, is to get on the Trump Train!

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

James Hooper is a lifelong Catholic, and is blessed with a wonderful wife and child. Jim was was graced with a profound reversion experience in 2011, with a strong calling to know God, obey His Church, and spread the Gospel to seeking souls. His evangelical outreach has focused on online apologetics, street evangelization, and communications strategies. Jim is a team leader for Saint Paul Street Evangelization in Downtown St. Louis and Belleville, IL, and the Director of Communications for St. Mary of Victories Church in St. Louis. Jim is a fervent supporter of the Covenant Catholic Radio Network in St. Louis (http://covenantnet.net), and has evangelized on the air several times. Professionally, Jim is the Leader of a Business Architecture team at a large Catholic Health Ministry. He has a Master of Science Degree in Management Information Systems from Saint Louis University, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

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  • captcrisis

    How bloodthirsty and immoral does a politician paying lip service on abortion have to be before you finally say one cannot vote for him?

    It’s already clear that adultery and sexual harassment, and a willingness to use torture and kill innocent families and children overseas, aren’t enough.

    What if Trump murders someone tonight? O.K. with Jim H.?

    What if Trump rapes someone tonight? O.K. with Jim H.?

    Where is the line?

  • Jim H.
  • Jim H.

    The election is not an opinon poll on who you like. The election us to decide between the two viable candidates which would make the best President. That is the reality of it.

    • Deannie

      Excellent article! Judging from some of the comments here, I wonder if a few of the people who commented are Catholic or in name only…..

    • Jim H.

      You have worn out your welcome here formann88. You’ve made your case, now you are getting insulting. You are done.

    • fourmann88

      Where is the insult?

  • Um… what about the time when Trump literally changed his abortion position 3 times in days? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/04/03/donald-trumps-ever-shifting-positions-on-abortion/

    What about the fact that his pro-life “conversion” was not based on science, or facts, or a conviction about human rights, but rather when the kid his friend wanted to abort turned out to be “a winner”? (The assumption being that he would have stayed pro-choice had the kid turned out to be a loser.)

    What about the fact that he has enthusiastically proposed bombing innocent women and children overseas? That doesn’t square with Catholic Just War Doctrine.

    • Jim H.

      I have no problem with his abortion position, however he arrived at it. He is Pro-Life. He has taken steps to prove that. I am glad he’s arrived at his position. In any case it will not make abortion worse in this country, which the other viable candidate promises to do x 10,000.

      I believe his bombing rhetoric to be just that rhetoric. Terrorists need to know that they have skin in the game too. Trump is letting them know that not only our women and children are at risk. I also recall Reagan paying a little calling card to Quadaffi’s house after he participated in the destruction of that 747 over Locherbie, Scotland. Its an important issue, but again – not one that stands out as any reason not to choose the better candidate, rather than scuttle my vote.

    • He is NOT pro-life. He gives lip service to being pro-life. Big distinction.

      I don’t care if it’s rhetoric or not. It isn’t something an authentic pro-lifer would advocate, and it serves no purpose. He certainly hasn’t said “it’s only rhetoric.”

      There is no “better candidate” in this election. They are both despicable and I refuse to be a party to electing either of them.

    • james

      Very well said, JoAnna.

    • Jim H.

      One will be elected. Of course Trump is heads and shoulders aI’ve the other viable candidate. Abstaining or whipping rocks at those who discern it is moral to vote for Trump will not change that. Sorry.

      He is demonstrably pro life. Punto.

    • Yes, to my great sadness, one will be elected. But I refuse to participate in that sham. I value my soul more than my vote.

      Trump is not demonstrably pro-life, as I have already shown. (Wanting to bomb children isn’t pro-life, btw.) He calls breastfeeding mothers “disgusting.” Is that pro-life?

      If you discern it is moral to vote for someone who wants to bomb children and thinks only “winners” should be saved from abortion (and all those kids conceived in rape and incest can just be killed with impunity), go for it. But I will not vote for someone who thinks that.

    • Deannie

      JoAnna, you qualify for the No. 2 selection in the “Five Kinds of Voter.” To not vote is a vote for Hillary who is a rabid pro-abort. This logic is throwing the baby out along with the bath water. Trump will appoint pro-life conservative judges, like Scalia. Liberal Supreme Court Judges got us Roe vs. Wade which legalized the kiling of the unborn. 56,000,000 million unborn sons and daughters lost their life. Think about that before you refuse to vote. Abortion trumps all other social justice issues.

    • No, because both candidates are pro-choice. One just gives lip service to being pro-life.

      “Trump will appoint pro-life conservative judges, like Scalia.” This is supposition, not fact. There is no guarantee Trump will (a) appoint anyone he has promised to appoint, or (b) that his appointments will be confirmed by Congress.

      “Liberal Supreme Court Judges got us Roe vs. Wade..” No. REPUBLICAN APPOINTEES gave us Roe v Wade. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scottericalt/vote-republican-to-stop-abortion-and-other-myths/

      “Abortion trumps all other social justice issues.” Trump is not anti-abortion. He is fine with kids who are conceived via rape and incest being killed. Do you support that?

    • Deannie

      JoAnna, Father Frank Pavone, who is head of “The Priests for Life” movement, supports voting for the party who represents the pro-life platform. Trump is pro-life. it doesn’t matter his previous views on abortion. It is the here and now. I know people who were once pro-aborts but changed their minds (after viewing an ultrasound) and became activists in the pro-life movement. If Hillary were to change her view on abortion, I would rejoice in that, but she has not. We know that Hillary is a rabid pro-abort. What we know for certain is she will appoint like-minded pro-abort judges that will affect court rulings for the next 40+ years. Protecting the most defenseless unborn human person in the womb should be the goal of every person in the US. Nothing else matters, if we cannot protect them.

    • Fr. Frank Pavone is a wonderful man, but he is not infallible. I’m not even talking about Trump’s PREVIOUS views on abortion — I’m talking about his CURRENT views. You know, the ones that changed 3 times in 5 days? The ones where he supports killing children who were conceived in rape or incest?

      I think the lives of unborn children overseas matter too, and Trump has pledged to kill them. Are you only concerned with unborn U.S. citizens?

    • Deannie

      JoAnna, Jesus is not a candidate running for office. A public poll was taken by Pontius Pilate about who’s life to spare and Jesus lost to Barabbas. There will never be a candidate who is 100% pro-life, who would win. Not in this world. We have to support someone who is 98% pro-life, rather than a 100% rabid pro-abort, like Hillary.

    • I voted for McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, neither of whom were Jesus. But Trump is beyond the pale. He is not even 98% pro-life. He is not even 2% pro-life. He gives lip service to being pro-life.

    • I would also encourage you to read the following: http://shamelesspopery.com/abortion-rate-by-party/

    • Jim H.

      Again, its a prudential call. You both are providing citations which make a case against Trump based on prudential judgement. It is morally acceptable to vote for a morally flawed candidate, if that candidate will make the situation better. There is a prudential case to be made, and I have made it, that Mr. Trump is head and shoulders above Mrs. Clinton in terms of intrinsic moral evils. He will make it better. Voting for a candidate who has no chance of winning is your only alternative. That’s your call, but the other cases stand.

    • “Mr. Trump is head and shoulders above Mrs. Clinton in terms of intrinsic moral evils.”

      No, you haven’t made that case at all. Last time I checked, bombing innocent women and children is an intrinsic moral evil. Killing off children conceived via rape/incest is an intrinsic moral evil. Pornography (which he supports) is an intrinsic moral evil. Adultery (which he has committed multiple times and is unrepentant about) is an intrinsic moral evil. Rape, of which is first wife swore under oath he committed against her, is an intrinsic moral evil.

      Just because Trump commits different moral evils than Hillary does not mean he is “head and shoulders” above her.

    • Jim H.

      You aren’t required morally to choose an impeccable candidate. You must choose who would make the situation better.

      http://www.lifenews.com/2016/09/29/donald-trump-announces-leaders-of-pro-life-coalition-to-expose-hillary-clinton-on-abortion/

    • Neither of them will make the situation better. Trump could very well involve our country in a nuclear conflict. How many babies (born and unborn) could that kill or maim?

    • Jim H.

      One of them will be President. One is clearly better than the other. You are speculating about what he may do based on your opinion of his personality. That has nothing to do with making a sound moral decision based on intrinsic moral evils. We will just leave it there. Thank you for commenting.

    • I disagree that one is clearly better than the other. They are both despicable in their own ways. I’m speculating about what he may do based on *his own words and actions.* He has said he wants to bomb innocent women and children.

    • Jim H.

      He made one statement, which was in the context of “getting tough” with ISIS.

      “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families,” Trump said.

      Given his tough Brooklyn talk style, I wouldn’t bet that one statement is a guarantee that he will assassinate thousands of women and children. It is rhetoric and most likely exaggeration.

      You’d have to think the man was a psychopathic killer if you believe he wants to purposely kill women and children.

      And you have no basis for stating that he would “start a nuclear war”.

      Obama’s complete incompetence in handling Russia has about done that.

      Trump is clearly better than Hillary, who is evil to the core.

    • He has made multiple statements. For example: “O’Reilly asked Trump if he meant it when he said that he would “take out” the family members of terrorists. He didn’t believe that Trump would “put out hits on women and children” if he were elected. Trump replied, “I would do pretty severe stuff.” This was made at a rally about two months after his original statement. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/02/01/the-duel-faceoff-ryan-lizza

      So you’re basically saying I shouldn’t believe the words that come out of Trump’s mouth because he’s a liar. (And yes, I agree with you that he has lied repeatedly about many different subjects.) So if he’s lying about wanting to bomb women and children, how can you trust ANYTHING else that comes out of his mouth? How can you trust he’ll keep his weak pro-life promises?

      “You’d have to think the man was a psychopathic killer if you believe he wants to purposely kill women and children.” Hillary wants to purposely kill children. Do you think she is a psychopathic killer?

      “And you have no basis for stating that he would “start a nuclear war”. On the contrary: http://www.newsweek.com/2016/10/07/donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-general-macarthur-harry-truman-503979.html

      They are BOTH evil to the core.

    • Jim H.

      One thing is for sure. It will be either Trump or Hillary.

      And yes I do think Hillary is a psychopathic, evil person. Her position on abortion is extreme and demonic.

      I still believe his statements to be rhetoric to make ISIS uncomfortable. I hope he is tough, but don’t believe killing women and children will be a policy choice because it is illegal.

      In my opinion Trump is a better choice. And so does Fr. Pavone and quite a few other prominent Catholics. Certainly an acceptable choice.

    • “I hope he is tough, but don’t believe killing women and children will be a policy choice because it is illegal.”

      And it doesn’t bother you at all that he is advocating for illegal actions that directly contradict Catholic Just War Doctrine? It does not bode well for his integrity or his trustworthiness.

      Pavone and other pro-life leader were singing a different tune prior to the primaries. How he has managed to pull the wool over their eyes, I don’t know. Apparently they are entirely too trusting.

    • Jim H.

      That’s because we are all bad people JoAnna. Thanks for uncovering our gullibility and immorality.

      Good thing we’re in the Year of Mercy.

      You’ve made your prudential choice and I’ve made mine, as have many others.

      End of story.

    • May God help us all. Whoever wins… we lose.

  • adam aquinas

    The prime criteria for electing a president is the ability and commitment of the candidate to fulfill the oath of office of the POTUS….the oath defines the job and person who can best be true to the oath, not to some set of principles established by splinter groups.
    Simply put the OATH: “”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
    See? Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution; not negate, denigrate or defy it..PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND….the Constitution and amendments are there, SCOTUS interpretations are there, you want someone who will best preserve, protect and defend what has been clearly defined. That’s the USA, always was and always will be.

  • Delphin

    A perfectly reasoned, Catholic-based analyses of reality, finally.
    Thank you.

    • Jim H.

      You are quite welcome. Needed to be said.

    • fourmann88

      This article will only serve to comfort those that have already made peace within their conscious to vote for Trump and his message of divisiveness.

    • Delphin

      Your conclusion appears to be your hope rather than the truth.
      Divisiveness is what ‘progressives’ have given US citizens since Woodrow Wilson. We have seen this same ideological disease outbreak all around the world since the 20th C. It’s an illness born of evil, and it must be eradicated.
      If Trump’s only success is to stop the ‘progressive’ shipwreck from sinking into the abyss, his will have been a very worthwhile tenure.

    • fourmann88

      Is that an argument? How does that in any way counter my point? If anything, it bolsters it as you were clearly going to be voting for Trump with or without this article. It’s confirmation bias for you.

    • Phil Steinacker

      Works for most intelligent people – not those brainwashed by the teachers’ unions.

    • fourmann88

      In your world, do “intelligent people” make broad assumptions like every one of your posts?

    • Jim H.

      Disagreeing and stopping Democrats is not divisiveness. Trump is a unifying force, except for people who have made their peace voting for evil. Or who stand out of solidarity with people of good will in stopping Clinton by voting for a messiah candidate

    • fourmann88

      “Evil” as defined by you, but yet you’re perfectly fine with turning a blind eye to things like this?

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432826/donald-trump-scandals-business-failures-roundup

      http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

      And you’ve also conveniently given a pass to the fact that he’s a pathological liar. How do you even trust anything that comes out of his mouth to judge it evil or good?

      http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

      Again, it’s painfully obvious you started with the conclusion that you should vote for Trump and are trying in earnest to rationalize the rational behind it.

    • Phil Steinacker

      You cite artless by liberal magazines slamming trump but nowhere does he get time to refute your or give his side of any of it.
      You pretend your citations are certified fact, but that is a preposterous claim. The justice dept has a history of supporting the liberal agenda; their involvement in any situation does not deserve to be regarded automatically as intervening on the side of righteousness. You’re just a garden variety troll, but in reality you are merely a sloppy rendition of a political hack.

    • fourmann88

      What a great rebuttal filled with baseless generalities. Why do you even waste your time with useless posts like this? If you can’t debate the points I outlined with any real substance, just move on. You’re showing the temperament of the moron you support in full colors. I’ll wait for you to counter my points you disagree with like an adult. If not, good luck out there.

    • M.

      Trump is not an exemplar of moral excellence, but he’s an angel compared to the rabid Communist Hillary Clinton. If she becomes president there will be a full-out Bolshevik style reign of terror with gulags, massacres and an attempt to extirpate religion of any kind, but especially the Catholic religion. She aspires to be the female Lenin. Imagine an ill-tempered tigress confined in a steel cage and left unfed for several days. A flock of sheep is herded into an enclosure opposite the cage’s door. The tigress can smell her prey and begins hurling herself against the door trying her best to knock it off its hinges, that is the stage Hillary is at now in her standing for the American presidency. Now imagine the door giving way and the tigress falling on the sheep one by one and ripping their throats out before commencing to leisurely feast upon their carcasses. This will be what happens if she succeeds and is elected. Voting for Mr. Trump is justified under the circumstances.

  • Charlie

    If I say, “one in good conscience cannot vote for Donald Trump and be faithful to Church teaching” the only difference between you and me will be that your readership is very likely more conservative and inclined to vote for Trump anyway.

    You start from a premise: it is impermissible to vote for Hillary, therefore, let’s make Trump work – while missing the most important fact that I as an individual am not responsible for the free will and choice of other voters – a right that God himself does not infringe upon.

    If, for example, I decide that I ought to vote for a 3rd party candidate and, as you say “this candidate has no chance of winning and (said 3rd party vote) hands the victory to HRC” how am I morally culpable for her victory? Perhaps I was only doing the sane thing and having the gall to vote for someone who isn’t morally reprehensible.

    The greater moral evil might be the fact that Catholics continue to sit idly by while a GOP holds them hostage with promises of ending abortion and putting Jesus on the Supreme Court. We’ve been electing them on these promises for years and there is little to nothing to show for it. Donald Trump is as morally repugnant as Hillary, just for a few different reasons. I’ve heard it said that HRC is a “baby killer” for her support of abortion. How does she support it? I ask. By throwing money at the cause, of course. So what does that make Donald Trump as a man who has donated millions of dollars to the “baby killers” (including the Clinton’s) in his life time?

    The false dichotomy (If not Trump, then Clinton) ends in absurdity and doesn’t help us to reject the grave moral evil and societal mishap that Donald Trump represents. It just provides a justification for our dislike and mistrust of democrats and our willingness to get in bed with Judas to avoid voting for them.

    I, for one, have a lot of respect for people struggling over this vote. Trump is no obvious better choice than Clinton, as you say – though that may be your conviction. These things are a little more nuanced than that.

    • Jim H.

      Thanks for sharing your opinon. It’s a little more than ruling out Hillary then making Trump fit. One must rule out intrinsic evils, which Hillary represents and Trump does not. Your objection to Trump us based on speculation and feelings. A prudential, not doctrinal decison. That’s fine.

      I present another very reasonable prudential moral pathway for Catholics who don’t want to rule out Trump for a third party.

    • fourmann88

      Out of curiosity, what is speculative about Trump donating money to Clinton and other democrats (aka the “baby killers” according to your article) throughout his life?

      http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/07/28/426888268/donald-trumps-flipping-political-donations

      http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/donald-trump-donations-democrats-hillary-clinton-119071

    • Jim H.

      One could point out that Ronald Reagan was once a pro choice democrat also, or that St. Paul once killed Christians.

      It is a reasonable position to believe someone has changed their stance, especially on abortion

    • fourmann88

      One could just as easily point out that Donald Trump doesn’t even know what his position on abortion is as it has changed so many times. He’ll say anything to anybody to get their votes, regardless of how or what he truly thinks. You’re putting too much stock into a conman, and it completely derails your “lesser of two evils” argument you make in this article.

      For reference of his back and forth on this one position alone: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/04/03/donald-trumps-ever-shifting-positions-on-abortion/

    • Jim H.

      One could point out that many people evolve their positions over time, especially those who are not politicians. The man has made every effort to embrace this plank, that it’s almost a sure bet that abortion will not be made worse and will probably be made better through the supreme court nominees.

      Or you could vote for the Abortion Queen, or waste your vote on a nobody.

    • fourmann88

      At this point you’re just rationalizing a positive spin for Trump. He’s “made every effort to embrace this plank” just shows me that you didn’t read the article I shared with you. With the amount of times he flips and flops on this, how can you actually say that with a straight face? I’m not denying individuals can evolve their positions over time, but he’s been borderline incoherent with where he stands and only changes his platform when he deems it beneficial to himself. This is the same guy that the Pope said isn’t Christian, remember (http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/18/politics/pope-francis-trump-christian-wall/).

      Your last line is very telling in how this article was written. You started with the conclusion that you can rationalize a vote for trump, and you’ve tried to back into that. You’re displaying a classic case of a false dilemma. As a Catholic, you’re left with two choices that won’t be perfectly in line with your faith from the major parties. But those aren’t the only two choices in November. There are other options that do not require you to cast a vote for someone that is pro-abortion or something that is morally reprehensible and has lived his entire 70 years of existence in the exact opposite lifestyle professed by Jesus’ teachings and the scripture. We are not bound to this false dilemma that you are presenting, and if my vote for a 3rd party candidate or a lack of vote at all for that matter, ends up with Hillary winning, then I am not culpable as I didn’t vote for her.

    • Jim H.

      I am not going to argue with you point by point. The man hasn’t flipped on what matters. And the Pope didn’t say he wasn’t Christian.

      If your own conscience tells you not to vote for Trump, please follow it.

      I am presenting a valid case for those who wish to vote for him. You are presenting a Red Herring, a false premise that we must vote for a person perfectly in line with Catholic doctrine. It isn’t true.

      This is not an opinion poll of whether we like the candidate or not; it is making the choice of the two viable candidates of who will best be President. We aren’t electing a Pope or canonizing a Saint based on their personal life. Our obligation is to avoid indirect support of intrinsic moral evils, unless there is a very grave reason why we wouldn’t (Ratzinger, 2004). There is no reason to vote for Hillary under these requirements, and no reason not to choose the person who will stop her.

      Follow your conscience, by all means. But don’t come here misrepresenting Catholic doctrine.

      Peace be with you.

    • fourmann88

      “The man hasn’t flipped on what matters” is just flat out wrong (http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/trump-in-1999-i-am-very-pro-choice-480297539914). He has been on both sides – how is that not a flip? He is only pro-life because he saw it necessary to woo the religious right.

      He didn’t explicitly say “Donald Trump is not a Christian”, but he said anyone that holds the positions that Trump platforms on is not a Christian. You can rationalize that one how you see fit. Trump then went on to call the pope’s comments disgraceful and said that when ISIS attacks the Vatican, the Pope will wish he was President. Very presidential. (http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/pope-francis-donald-trump-not-a-christian-219432)

      I’m not saying that we must vote for a candidate that falls perfectly in line with our faith at all, as that will never happen. What about my argument lead you to that assertion? I am merely debating your premise that we must vote for one of those two, and because Hillary is pro-choice and pro-equality for LGBT people – that it must be Trump. What is your defense for Trump’s pro-LGBT comments saying he is an ally to that community? Is that not one of your “intrinsic evils”? There are other options, such as a third party candidate or not voting at all, that don’t force you to make a morally bankrupt decision in voting for either Hillary or Trump. My decision to sit out, for example, will not mean that I’m culpable for either of these candidates getting elected.
      How can a Catholic acting in good faith vote for a man that has promoted nothing but greed and excess, has stiffed and bullied the common man, is a misogynist, is bigoted and prejudice towards minorities, is an adulterer, incites violence, and only seeks to promote his own self-interests? And that’s not even getting into his character flaws as far as temperament, lack of experience, utter failure in displaying any grap of the issues and a desire to actually learn them, extreme arrogance, and his penchant to lie profusely (he averages one lie or inaccuracy for every five minutes of speaking – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/16/media-bias-against-donald-trump-lies)?

      Like I’ve said, it’s clear that you started with the conclusion that it’s fine for a Catholic to vote for Trump and are backing your way into it.

    • Phil Steinacker

      That is simply false.

    • fourmann88

      No it’s not.

    • Charlie

      Oh, heavens! If I can’t rule out a man based on his character then I don’t know what else gives? Saying he is technically 10% less evil (by the numbers) and has killed fewer babies de-facto than Hillary, has aided less usury de-facto than Hillary (et cetera ad nauseam) does my conscience little benefit.

      I see with my eyes and hear with my ears the immoral ways of Donald Trump. Just because he wrote it down on a piece of paper somewhere that he is a friend of Christians does not make it so. It means he intends to dupe them. Now he does have a record of doing just that: duping people. That is well documented (for instance, calling the media and pretending to be his “agent” or some other nonsense).

      The Church does say we ought to vote for that candidate which represents the less of all evil choices, and the Church does say that matters of intrinsic evil are to take precedent. But instead of helping us to navigate those sometimes ambiguous (and treacherous) waters you have told us we ought to just go ahead and vote for Trump because, by your word (and in spite of my sick feelings and emotions) he represents the shining light of Americas future and our best political hope going forward.

      I am saying that America is eating its sweets and I’ll have no part in stamping my approval on either of the two curmudgeonly dandelions putting themselves up to occupy the palace.

      God save us from men like Trump, (men like Ronald Reagan, if it pleases you) and women like Hillary Clinton.

    • Jim H.

      It’s a prudential call. If you feel his brash personality equalms a sure bet of future immorality that is a stance we are not required to take.

      He represents no intrinsic evils.

    • fourmann88

      Lying, duping people, stiffing contractors and employees, adultery, dividing people, inciting violence, name calling, promoting excess and greed, fear mongering, refusing to learn and understand the issues pertinent to the President of the United States, and misogyny are just a “brash personality” to you?

      WOW.

    • Phil Steinacker

      You are full of it. Typical lying liberal… you repeat a lot of slanderous calumnies without documenting a one, just like the queen of corruption you support for the WH.

    • fourmann88

      I’m not a liberal, I’m a conservative… which is just another reason why I don’t support Donald Trump. But that’s neither here nor there. Cut the simple-minded labels and stick to the substance. Whether I’m liberal or conservative doesn’t change a single thing about my post. If you think anything in my comment is a “lie”, then point it out and counter it. If you can’t do that, then don’t waste my or your time.

    • Delphin

      Your logic is flawed regarding financing abortion advocate activists as compared with Trump’s financing of Clinton, which makes him no more culpable than the publics financing of her or her husbands salary during their public office tenures. What Trump was financing was access to a politician that would advance his business interests, not her advocacy for abortion, gay marriage or euthanasia.
      The choice presents no struggle for those using reason and not emotion (including errant ideology) to make the correct decision. One candidate represents death to millions more innocents, the family unit and religious liberty, the other does not.
      This is an easy logical decision.

    • fourmann88

      So according to your logic, it’s totally fine for Trump to financially support a candidate that’s, as the author puts it, “evil” if it can give his interests some kind of advantage. But at the same time, it’s not OK for the American voter to support that same candidate with a vote even if they see that candidate as an advantage to their own interests?

      That’s quite the spin there, Delphin.