— I WANTED TO SEND A CLEAR SIGNAL. I WANTED IT TO BE CLEAR: SOMETHING QUITE SPECIAL IS GOING ON HERE! HE IS HERE!, THE ONE BEFORE WHOM WE FALL TO OUR KNEES! PAY ATTENTION!..........
(Pope Benedict XVI explaining kneeling Communion to Peter Seewald)
If I had been a never-Trumper--as many in my family were. Goodie-two-shoes to a man/woman!! --, I think the third debate would have brought me around to his side. (http://kneelingcatholic.blogspot.com/2016/10/never-trumpers-are-being-willfully_20.html) Mr. Trump stated his pro-life stance without apology and more emphatically than any Republican candidate I can recall...
Thought experiment: Do you think applying a pro-life litmus test to Supreme Court candidates--Mr. Trump's promise-- might eventually save even one poor child's life? perhaps tens of thousands? I had this discussion with a sister of mine. She was of the opinion that because it wouldn't save ALL unborn lives, then she felt justified in not supporting Trump. I wish I had had the acuity to simply ask her if she meant that if you could not prevent all evil, then it is OK not to try to prevent any, i.e. if you cannot accomplish everything worthwhile, then it is best not to try to accomplish ANYTHING worthwhile.
Thank God, Mr. Trump has been elected. I fully expect him to be the first and only Republican president ever to fulfill their promise of getting Roe v Wade overturned. When this happens, many unborn lives will be saved. I feel sorry for her and for you, that you both felt that that was not a worthwhile goal and that both of you, when you were needed, stood on the sidelines and did nothing.
You accuse me and your sister of not thinking saving babies to be a worthwhile goal. I hope you give some thought to that, and realize you owe me an apology for certain, and perhaps your sister as well.
I will give you a full apology, if you can explain why Mr. Trump's promise to appoint only prolife Justices to the Supreme Court did not compel you to support him.
I apologize in advance!
That's not an apology. When you apologize for accusing me of not thinking saving babies to be a worthwhile goal, then I'll be happy to discuss the matter further.
I do apologize.
Help me see what I am missing!
Trump's pledge to get Roe v Wade overturned is huge, no?
Even if I detested Trump and thought there were a 99% chance he would backtrack on his pledge, wouldn't I still be obligated to hope for that 1% versus Hillary's zero? If one of my children were drowning and I had only a 1% chance of rescuing him, wouldn't I still be obligated to try something as opposed to nothing?
Thank you for your apology!
Trump's pledge to get Roe v Wade overturned is huge, no?
When did he make such a pledge? I know he released a list of possible Supreme Court appointments that look promising; he also said he wouldn't limit himself to that list.
Also, Mr. Trump supports some abortions. He thinks babies whose fathers are rapists or who commit incest should not be protected. That is both morally and intellectually incoherent.
And, Mr. Trump endorses torture. And, he called for the deliberate killing of non-combatants who are related to terrorists. Another word for that is murder.
Those are three grave evils that Mr. Trump endorsed, not counting his appeals to bigotry and his execrable behavior (admitted) toward women.
Even without these, no one -- repeat, NO ONE -- is "obligated" to vote for him. No such obligation arises from Catholic teaching. This is because each and every voter is called upon to make a decision about the fitness of a candidate. Catholic teaching never tells voters, you MUST vote FOR Candidate "X"; but it does sometimes say, you CANNOT vote for candidates who endorse grave evil.
The exception to the latter being, when there is no candidate who does not endorse grave evil.
Conclusion? Catholics could, morally, vote for Trump, not to endorse his many embraces of grave evil, but as a way to limit Clinton; or they could vote for a third party candidate; or they could leave that race blank. But absolutely no one was obligated to vote for Mr. Trump, or any other candidate.
You are entitled to think your vote for Mr. Trump was the right move; but you are not entitled to think others who disagree with you are bad Catholics, or lack zeal for righteousness.
Pardon this splayed response but I do want to briefly address each of your responses....
I referenced his 3rd Debate remarks in my first comment. It has a link which has a short youtube video. He says he will only appoint pro-life justices and that after appointing 2 or 3 of these, then Roe v Wade will be overturned.
Trump's position is only as incoherent as Mitt Romney's, John McCain's, and every Pro-life Republican President's and candidate's since Roe v Wade. Forgive me for bringing this up if you likewise have refused to support any of these others for that same reason. Regardless, your objection here seems to be the same as my dear sister's...which I understand as...'because we cannot save every life, then we are justified in not trying to save any", i.e. voting for McMullin, or for Ronald McDonald....
This sounds to me like Bernardin's seamless garment'. i.e. trying to erase any weighting of issues. It's kind of like when Protestants say that all sins are of equal gravity. I totally disagree. If Mr. Trump would like to water-board the San Bernadino shooter, Syed Farook's, friend who helped him buy armaments, to see if there is anyone else he helped to arm and to plot impending attacks, you see that as just as bad as supporting Roe v Wade? Did you still support Pres. Bush in 2004 after we found out that he was for "torture"? (The Abu Gurayb scandal(May2004) was well aired by the time of the Nov. election).
It is sad that after Pres. Obama's righteous condemnation of Bush's torture interrogations of captured enemies, Obama's solution was then to go for out and out death squads and death drones which kill many more innocent people than actual bad guys. Who's approach was better? I think there is some gray area here that you are not recognizing. like for instance, the definition of torture. Is water-boarding torture in the medieval sense? Pres. Bush was waterboarding a few individuals to prevent another 9-11 like attack...You don't believe in double effect? not in war-time?
Certainly whoever told you that, Father, was being dishonest. Let me give you missing context. Trump backed off that here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-terrorists_us_56e0d7cde4b065e2e3d4d82d) He clarified his remark. I hope this is genuine good news to you.
the quotes for each section did not print...
They should be...
1. Where did Trump pledge to overturn Roe v Wade?
2.Trump's abortion position is incoherent
3. Trump supports torture
4. Trump wants to kill innocent family members of Terrorists
Thank you for the link; I did not see that debate, so I didn't see those comments by Mr. Trump.
Trump's position is only as incoherent as Mitt Romney's, John McCain's, and every Pro-life Republican President's and candidate's since Roe v Wade.
No, that's not true. Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984 was completely prolife; no exceptions, except "for the life of the mother," which really means, banning abortion won't mean banning life-saving measures that unavoidably lead to an abortion. When he ran in 1988 and 1992, President George H.W. Bush took the same position. I can't recall Bob Dole's position in 1996, but prior to that, his was the same position -- i.e., 100% prolife.
The decisive change -- which perhaps you didn't notice -- took place in 2000 with George W. Bush. He adopted the morally and intellectually incoherent position that it was wrong to kill babies, except when their fathers' commit a grave crime; then it becomes ok to kill those babies.
You don't understand why this is morally or intellectually incoherent?
Regardless, your objection here seems to be the same as my dear sister's...which I understand as...'because we cannot save every life, then we are justified in not trying to save any", i.e. voting for McMullin, or for Ronald McDonald....
Nonsense! I don't know your sister, or what she says, but I strongly suspect your characterization of her views is as bizarre and, I'm sorry, blockheaded as your characterization of mine! I strongly doubt your sister says "we are justified in not trying to save any" babies from abortion. Rather, I suspect she agrees with me that when a candidate says s/he is ok with killing any babies, that's evil -- which is precisely what the Catholic Church says. You claim to be Catholic -- do you not agree with the Church that the killing of babies, because their father's committed rape and incest, is evil?
Can you really not understand why someone would want to refuse to support a candidate who embraces evil? Or, is it your position that so long as one candidate embraces somewhat less evil, Catholic must vote for the less-evil candidate? Is that actually your position?
I caution you to re-read that last paragraph, and think long and hard about your answer. Because if you say, yes to that last paragraph, realize you are saying yes to the following:
Candidate A: embezzler; Candidate B: rapist -- Catholics must vote for one of these.
Candidate A: racist; Candidate B: advocates legal abortion -- Catholics must vote for one.
Candidate A: supports abortion 100% of the time; Candidate B: supports abortion 90% of the time -- Catholics must vote for one.
Now, contrary to your view that Catholics must vote for an evil-endorsing candidate, as long as there is someone worse, the Catholic Church never teaches that. The U.S. bishops stated very clearly that embracing grave evil disqualifies any and all candidates, and when faced with a situation in which both are disqualified, there are several moral options, one of which is to vote for an otherwise disqualified candidate as a way to limit harm; but they never said "must."
Now, it's worth noting that not that long ago, we reasonably expected GOP candidates to be 100% prolife; now we have self-described prolifers (such as you) who think that's unreasonable to expect. How did this happen? It happened precisely because, too many "settled" for W. Bush's position, which became the default position.
That deals with your comments on abortion. I'll respond to your other comments next.
No, that's nonsense. First, I never claimed all evils are of equal weight. Please read what I actually wrote, rather than read into it what it suits you to find there. I was simply pointing out instances where Mr. Trump endorsed grave evil. Do you not consider torture intrinsically evil? Perhaps not, but the Church does. From Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, paragraph 64:
Our 1998 statement, Living the Gospel of Life, declares, "Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human life and dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental good and the condition for all others" (no. 5). Abortion, the deliberate killing of a human being before birth, is never morally acceptable and must always be opposed. Cloning and destruction of human embryos for research or even for potential cures are always wrong. The purposeful taking of human life by assisted suicide and euthanasia is not an act of mercy, but an unjustifiable assault on human life. Genocide, torture, and the direct and intentional targeting of noncombatants in war or terrorist attacks are always wrong.
This statement is echoed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2297, and various statements by Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.
I totally disagree. If Mr. Trump would like to water-board the San Bernadino shooter, Syed Farook's, friend who helped him buy armaments, to see if there is anyone else he helped to arm and to plot impending attacks, you see that as just as bad as supporting Roe v Wade?
False. I never said "just as bad." Why do you insist on putting words in my mouth?
Did you still support Pres. Bush in 2004 after we found out that he was for "torture"? (The Abu Gurayb scandal(May2004) was well aired by the time of the Nov. election).
No, I didn't support him in either 2000 or 2004, precisely because he endorsed the grave evil of abortion when the child's father had committed rape and incest.
You don't believe in double effect? not in war-time?
I do believe in the principle of double effect, but it doesn't apply to evil actions, but rather, to morally good or neutral actions. This is a critical distinction. The principle of double effect can only be applied where the action in view is neutral or morally good. For example, advocates of legal abortion have tried to use the principle of double effect to justify killing an unborn child because of the good that will result. But Pope John Paul II said very clearly: we can never (NEVER!) do evil that good may come of it.
And wartime doesn't justify what is otherwise evil.
Finally, as regards Mr. Trump's intention to kill non-combatants, no one "told" me: I heard him say it, on TV, during one of the debates in the primaries. And, I am aware of the comment you cited, in which he backed away. However, he wasn't being honest there. When he was asked, during the primaries, about "targeting" family members, the person asking him the question specifically referred to killing them, and asked, is this what you mean? And Mr. Trump stood by his intention to "target" them, even when he was asked specifically about killing "non combatants," which is what we're talking about.
The fact that he later saw the need to "clean it up" doesn't mean he didn't say it in the first place, and mean it. You are free to believe he never meant it in the first place; I see no reason why I'm obliged to believe that.
I do apologize, again, for assuming that you supported George W. Although I think your clarification shows that your strategy is flawed. Your uncompromising 'prolife'presidents -- Reagan and Bush I-- still managed to appoint prochoice supreme court justices, Oconnor, Kennedy, Souter, whereas W solely appointed prolife justices, Alito and Roberts. Perhaps I am again presuming too much in thinking you would like to see Roe v Wade overturned.
Mr. Trump is the first candidate--now president-elect-- to pledge to apply a pro-life litmus test to Supreme Court candidates. I don't understand why that didn't 'move the needle' for you. Making pie-in-the-sky pronouncements about 'no exceptions', without revealing a course of action, seems to be a guarantee that Roe v Wade will stand. It certainly worked out that way for 12 straight years of Reagan Bush, whereas at least the partial birth abortion ban was passed under W.
So, I need to back up and please do not be offended...I have to ask...do you think reversing Roe v Wade, will save ANY lives?
Your uncompromising 'prolife'presidents -- Reagan and Bush I-- still managed to appoint prochoice supreme court justices, Oconnor, Kennedy, Souter, whereas W solely appointed prolife justices, Alito and Roberts.
The first part of your statement is true, but the second one assumes facts not in evidence. Justices Alito and Roberts have yet to rule on whether Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey should be upheld, modified or overturned. So I suggest you are counting your chickens before they are hatched.
Perhaps I am again presuming too much in thinking you would like to see Roe v Wade overturned.
Of course I would like to see it overturned! It boggles my mind that you are confused over this. I fail to see how supporting candidates who are weak on the abortion issue is somehow better than supporting those who are strong. Mr. Trump has answered the questions the right way on some occasions, which is great, but I cannot understand overlooking the many other troubling facts in his record.
Mr. Trump is the first candidate--now president-elect-- to pledge to apply a pro-life litmus test to Supreme Court candidates. I don't understand why that didn't 'move the needle' for you.
May I suggest you read what follows very slowly, since you seem not to be getting this:
Get that? Clear?
Get that? He endorses evil things. Abortion in some cases. Torture. Killing non-combatants.
Saying the right things about abortion during the GOP primary does not wipe all that away.
What I don't understand is how you can wink at all this (not to mention his loathsome behavior toward people who he did business with, his wives, his family, women, veterans and their families, former POWs, illegal immigrants -- it's a really long list). Apparently, none of this matters to you. Mr. Trump said, he could murder someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and his supporters would still vote for him. That seems to include you. Apparently, Mr. Trump could say and do anything, anything at all, and as long as he claims to be pro-life, you'll support him. Apparently, simply saying the magic words about abortion make any and all other positions irrelevant.
Is that not true? Then please tell me, what precisely he would have to do for you to say, "That's too far; I cannot support him." What would that be?
My argument for supporting Mr. Trump is kind of related to my understanding of doctrine 'ex opere operato'.What I understand that to mean is: 'it would be nice if your plumber is a saint, but it's not necessary for him to be a saint to be a good plumber'. The same holds true for many professions, Trump's and yours included.
My own experience has biased me to think that people who expect you to cut them some slack because of their personal holiness--we had a president like that once--generally aren't very good at their jobs, nor are they especially holy unless you count preening as one of the acts of mercy. But let's say President Carter is on his way to heaven for his virtues and Trump to hell for his lack thereof. If Trump gets Roe v Wade overturned, it will still save thousands of babies lives, just as instituting Roe v Wade surely has cost millions.
Well, I seem to be repeating myself. It has to be time to let you have the last word
So, to be clear, you are willing to vote for any candidate, no matter what other evil things s/he advocates, no matter what other problems, as long as that candidate utters the words, "I will overturn Roe v. Wade"?
You would vote for former KKK grand wizard David Duke, as long as he was for overturning Roe v. Wade. Correct?
In short, your position is, any amount of cooperation with evil is justified if you can overturn Roe in the process.
That's called consequentialism, and it is not Catholic.