catholic-vote-clinton-trump

If Clinton gets elected, are Catholics to blame?

***UPDATE, 10/14/2016: This article was written prior to the recent tapes of Mr. Trump speaking crude and objectifying words against women. As a result of these revelations, I have decided I will not be as vocal in my defense of Donald Trump as I was previously. Such words can never be condoned, no matter how liberal and one-sided the media reporting has become. Nonetheless, I feel it also necessary to clarify that I will still be voting for Mr. Trump come November. A Trump presidency is clearly preferable to a Clinton presidency, whose platform stands is direct conflict with the Catholic Church. Not only is Mrs. Clinton and her cabinet anti-Catholic on principle, they are anti-Catholic in their hearts (confirmed by the recent email leaks), which proposes an even greater threat to the Church in America.***  

The Catholic Church in America is a sleeping giant. Catholics comprise nearly 25% of the total population—over 81 million people—of the United States, more than any other religious body today. This makes Catholics one of the most influential body of voters in our country. They, more than anyone else, have the power to shape the country for the better…. or for the worse…

Today, I fear, the later outcome may be imminent. Normally, Catholics tend to be divided in their vote, with a notable favor toward the Democratic party. But now, for the first time in recent history, Catholics are heavily favoring one candidate over another. This is not a good sign (Historically, the candidate that Catholics favor in close elections, is the candidate that always gets elected). And the candidate that they are favoring today, also happens to be the one whose platform is fundamentally opposed to Catholic values. As EWTN News indicated in its airing on September 1st 2016, the margin currently between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is almost 25%.

This is unprecedented.

The last time an upset like this happened, was during the 1964 elections with Lyndon B. Johnson, who received 76% of the Catholic vote. Yes. That’s right. 76% of Catholics voted for LBJ—the same LBJ that passed the “Johnson Amendment,” the law that silences clergy from mentioning politicians’ names from the pulpit; the law that threatens the removal of churches tax exempt status if say the wrong words in their homilies. In other words, Lyndon B. Johnson passed one of the most anti-Constitutional violations of religious liberty of our time. And Catholics voted for him 4-to-1.

And now, Catholics are poised for another candidate who poses a potentially greater threat to religious liberty and the culture of life; a candidate who said “religious values need to be changed,” who is pushing to have tax payers fund abortions, who has promised to channel millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood, and who intends to appoint liberal supreme court justices who will defend Roe. vs. Wade.

Suffice it to say, these current polls are not a good sign for the Church in America. Somehow, some way, Catholics have turned in to their own worst enemies. They profess to be Catholic, and yet they are set to vote against their own Church’s principles, including the sacred dignity of the human person.

Granted, Catholics have always been divided in presidential elections (though, as we mentioned, slightly favoring Democratic candidates, such as Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, etc.). But this current election season has brought a sudden and disturbing shift. A shift that no one expected. And I am left wondering, why? Why do Catholics fight so much against the same Church they profess to be members of?

At first glance, one might be tempted to become angry with the laity. After all, they are the ones who ultimately cast the vote. But I don’t think we can assign blame entirely to them. After all (now put on your moral theology thinking caps), when determining culpability, those in a higher position—those with more power and influence—tend to bear the greater burden of responsibility. So no. I do not blame Catholics, so much as I blame Catholic leaders, and Catholic media. If Hillary Clinton gets elected, the responsibility will fall mostly on the shoulders of our Catholic leaders, the same leaders who talked about both candidates as being equally undesirable; the same leaders who, in an attempt to be fair and balanced, give Mrs. Clinton equal airtime, and present her as a viable candidate. And this has been the failure of Catholic media during this election season.

In fact, if my only source of news was watching EWTN News and The World Over, I would get the impression abortion and the culture of life is just not really that important to Catholics, and that Trump’s somewhat abrasive personality is more deserving of airtime and headlines. I would even get the impression that Catholics are poor judges of character, who tend to place more value on appearances than on policy. Granted, Trump’s language can sometimes be crude and insensitive. But this does not make him the racist bigot that the mainstream media has painted him to be, nor does it make him unfit to be president. As Fr. Frank Pavone has said, Trump is by far the better candidate in this election season than Hillary Clinton. Where Trump’s words can sometimes get him in trouble, Hillary’s actions have certainly proved she is opposed to everything we hold dear as Catholics.  

To be sure, I am not saying Catholic media should go in with guns blazing against Hillary Clinton. Catholic news should not necessarily be partisan. But when they report news, it is important that they at least report news that is relevant to Catholics, and based on Catholic principles.

“But” one may object, “Catholic media has reported on the abortion issue.” Yes, it has. But disproportionately so. The reports are relatively rare and insignificant compared to significance of the abortion issue. I have watched EWTN News nearly every night this year, and I can count only on one hand when abortion and the culture of life was discussed. It should not have taken Carl Anderson (the supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus) to spend his convention speech on this issue. He seemed more like a lone voice crying out in the wilderness, rather than one in a chorus of voices that should be echoing from every corner of the Church for the unborn.

Rather than watching news commentary that regularly takes subtle quips against Mr. Trump’s character, I would rather a higher standard be set for EWTN—one that is more scholarly, noble, and faithful to the truth in its reporting; one that reports primarily on policy and platform than on personality. For example, I have not once seen a comparison of Trump’s pro-life platform to Hillary’s, nor has much been mentioned about the importance of the supreme court (What has surprised me most about EWTN News, is nothing they report on Trump ends on a positive note, even the good things he has done, like appoint a pro-life advocate to the supreme court, or draft a list of 12 supreme court justices. They always feel the need air Mrs. Clinton’s counter-responses at the end of every report of Trump, which always casts the good things he does a negative light).

Granted, EWTN is a relatively benign and innocuous source of news compared to its mainstream counterparts—I have lost all hope for honest journalism prevailing in the likes of MSNBC, CNN, and the New York Times. And, to be fair, Catholic media is also run by laity, who ultimately take their cues from our bishops and priests in America. So we cannot necessarily blame the laity, just as one cannot blame sheep for indecisive shepherds.

So ultimately, who is to blame if Mrs. Clinton gets elected come November? I cannot see how the responsibility would not fall mostly on our shepherds, who ought to be those lone voices crying out in the wilderness.

As long as our shepherds in America continue to place immigration and social justice at the forefront of their concerns, while omitting the more fundamental and pervasive threats to Catholic civilization (namely, the legalized murder of innocent children by their own mothers), the Catholic vote in America will continue to be divided. And not only divided, but heavily weighted in the wrong direction.

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32 Responses

  1. How Bishops can Save the Catholic Church in America - Catholic Ethos

    […] a prior article, I posed the question whether one could blame Catholics in the event that Hillary Clinton got […]

  2. Antodav
    Antodav at |

    I’m not a big fan of Pope Francis, but perhaps Catholics should try listening to him instead of random right-wing extremists on the Internet. Donald Trump is even more antithetical to Catholic values than he is to Protestant ones (never mind other branches of Christianity whose doctrines even more explicitly condemn Trump’s agenda, such as Mormonism).

    You can tell this post is written by an Italian Catholic, who obviously doesn’t care at all or is even openly hostile towards the single largest, and fastest-growing, group of Catholics in the U.S.: Hispanic Catholic immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, whom Donald Trump is eager to round up and expel in order to serve the interests of the nation’s racist Protestant majority. Perhaps this is the reason why Catholics are so disproportionately favoring Hillary this time? It’s easy to make abortion and gay marriage the focus of your vote when you’re privileged enough not to have to live in fear of armed government thugs bashing down your door to arrest you and your children and deport you to some third-world hellhole.

    Reply
  3. Jave
    Jave at |

    Im calling shenanigans on this article. I have very rarely met a democratic Catholic throughout my life and the few that I know are now voting for Trump because of how morally bankrupt Clinton is. It has literally come down to the ones voting for Hillary are truly ignorant to the issues or just dont care. She has accomplished nothing except a wake of chaos in her “career” as a politician.

    Reply
  4. Maureen Sullivan
    Maureen Sullivan at |

    Why would Catholic hierarchy support a candidate who has five children from three different wives? Isn’t the Catholic Church against divorce? The Irish were treated terribly when they came to this country yet you support Trumps’ dislike of Mexicans who are largely Catholic.

    Reply
    1. roy
      roy at |

      Maureen put your big girl pants on now. The catholic church is hardly pure. Loaded with controversy and pedophiles who go prosecuted and protected by the church the people need to open their eyes. Divorce is rampant. The Irish were the first slaves, but hardly an out reach for the catholic church. When you dont HEAR and only listen to what the media wants you to hear, youre doomed. I have heard Hillary outright lie and no one says a d@mn thing. Your Christianity is about membership in a denomination, a man who parades around in a robe called the “Holy Father” or representing the one true church… Get yourself inline with the truth first and then speak aloud. Nobody likes hearsay. The catholic church is corrupt and plays G-d. It isnt about Trumps marriages. If it is about his marriages, then look closely at what Hillary says about unborn babies who have not yet taken a breath.

      Reply
      1. roy
        roy at |

        *unprosecuted.

        Reply
        1. roy
          roy at |

          *isn’t about membership

          Reply
          1. GW
            GW at |

            Congratulations, Roy. You get the award for the insulting response to an intellectually dishonest essay.

            Trump’s public statements, since the beginning of the campaign, have been rated as True less than 10% of the time by nonpartisan fact-checking sites. Clinton rates at approximately 50% True.

            That means Trump lies in a different league than Clinton, and Clinton’s nearly let Trump into the race on the strengths of her fumbling hal-truths about that stupid email server.

            The Irish (my people, BTW) were not the first slaves. My apologies for bursting your arrogance bubble.

            “Your Christianity?” Whatever your issue with the Church is, you won’t solve it by writing on a web page. Get some help.

            It’s about Trump’s marriages, it’s about Trump’s dishonesty, it’s about Trump’s incompetence in business and his using bankruptcy to get out of paying his creditors.

            Most of all, it’s about an irresponsible Catholic writer and you, an angry commenter, who think that one mild promise to appoint a few pro-life judges (who will then engage in the same judicial activism that we so roundly condemn at this time) warrants an automatic vote.

            I don’t think so.

    2. cali65
      cali65 at |

      So, he has five well taken care of, intelligent, and responsible children…legally. We have had many Presidents with live-in mistresses at the Whitehouse. John F. Kennedy was an adultor. Now, what was that Commandment? Hillary had a child to keep up her fake appearances to gain power. She approves of torturing a 32 week old fetus…7 weeks from full term, because they have no rights!! She condoned her husband raping and having affairs with how many women? She takes money from countries whom stone women and kill gays… and you are worried about three marriages. Check the number of Presidents with multiple marriages. There is no racism on Trump’s side, only biased media twisting stories. I don’t care for all the illegals helping to bankrupt our country. Let them leave and come back through the front door like everyone else. We have closed our borders before when there has been too many coming into the country. Come on, get educated and research the truth…don’t depend on the glorified headlines that have nothing to do with the article itself… Have a blessed day.

      Reply
  5. Rebecca Keller
    Rebecca Keller at |

    Many “Catholics” are not really Catholic. They see it more as an ethnicity than actual following of the Catholic church…just because you are baptized Catholic does not mean you are Catholic. I have heard so many joke that they are a ‘Recovering Catholic’. If you go to church all dressed up for Easter and Christmas, you are still not Catholic. If you believe it’s ok to kill an unborn baby, you do not follow the teachings of the Catholic Church and are not Catholic…you are a pagan.

    Reply
  6. Margarett RBC Zavodny
    Margarett RBC Zavodny at |

    Leadership needs to come from the top down. The “seamless garment” theory needs to be condemned. The bishops in this country (and probably others) need to be in agreement with each other and with the Church.

    Reply
  7. Michele
    Michele at |

    How could any Catholic vote for someone who would force Christians to change their religious views…

    http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/27/hillary-clinton-force-christians-to-change-their-religious-views-to-support-abortion/

    Reply
  8. Henry
    Henry at |

    They must have just been Catholic light people. They pick and chose what they want.

    Reply
  9. Carol moorby
    Carol moorby at |

    Leaving is the answer. Come out of her and do not be partakers of her evil. THeybpreqch another Jesus and not the Jesus of th bible. catechism is mans ideas and NOT Gods. STudy the bible to show yourself approve. religion is DEAD! . A personal relationship is life! JOhn 3:317…. You must be BORN AGAIN to see and to enter the kingdom of Heaven., Call no man father for there is but one father.,Avoid. repetitious prayers….if an angel shall appear to you and give you a message different then the ones I have already given you you are cursed and the God repeats this scripture twice just to make sure you get it! ,Mary even told people to follow Jesus and not her. SHe had to get saved too…She said, ” My soul doth magnify the lord and my spirit does rejoice in God my Savior” Mary needed a Savior too. SHe even gave love offerings of doves to him! She has no power or authority…….she can NOT answer prayers for you! JOhn 14:6 …” the only way to God is through his son Jesus Christ. ONLY WAY! There is salvation in NONE OTHER. JEsus was NOT religious and a true Christian isnt religious either.,Religion will kill you ….a personal relationship will give you life! ” The traditions of men make the word( bible) of no effect! BEtter start reading the word and following it.

    Reply
    1. Rebecca Keller
      Rebecca Keller at |

      As Catholics, we do not pray to Mary, we ask Mary to pray FOR us! “Holy Mother, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen”! If Jesus didn’t believe in the Catholic Church, then why did he appoint Apostles (mere men) to be leaders of the Church? You are just believing the propaganda you are fed by the Protestant (note PROTEST) and non-denominational churches

      Reply
      1. roy
        roy at |

        Why would you need Mary to pray for you??? Jesus was born a Jew and died a Jew. He was raised from the dead to fulfill scripture… not to approve the Catholic church. LOL There was no catholic church while He lived. The disciples have nothing to do with the catholic BS. Historical evidence begs to differ. As a Jew myself and believing Jesus [Yeshua] is the Messiah we have been waiting for, I can tell you, the Son of G-d did not come to bring a NEW doctrine. He came to fulfill it [the Scriptures… the “Old” Testament… the word of G-d… the promise. It would be blasphemous to pray to or ask Mary to pray for us sinners. Jesus said, ASK THE FATHER WHO GIVES ABUNDANTLY to ALL who believe.

        Reply
  10. Steve Brennan
    Steve Brennan at |

    If this were to happen i would have to consider leaving. The new Commie Pope has me half way out the door as it is.!!

    Reply
    1. admin
      admin at |

      Steve, leaving is not the answer. Being Catholic means we are able to separate the man from the office. It would be better to hold close to the truth, to pray, and to help our wayward leaders see the error of their ways.

      Reply
  11. Mary
    Mary at |

    No Catholics are not to blame if Trump doesn’t win. The majority of voters are not Catholic – there are many sects of religious groups known collectively as Protestants /Christians. They are a very large group. You also have other religious groups that are not Christians. There is also a group called Catholics for Choice. I have read some of their ideas. Each has the ability and their own choice on whom they will vote for. Just because a candidate doesn’t meet with Catholic expectations, doesn’t mean that they are a bad candidate. Each individual has to make daily choices that are none of our collective business. We are not a theological run country.

    Reply
  12. Tom
    Tom at |

    Scary how many politically liberal Catholics there are.

    Reply
  13. MFL
    MFL at |

    Your essay should include that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party support the most egregious of all abominations; namely same sex marriage and abortion. Anyone supporting that party is NOT Catholic.

    Reply
    1. Carolina
      Carolina at |

      100% agree

      Reply
  14. Bobby M. Reyes
    Bobby M. Reyes at |

    Pls read my explanation why 55% (and counting) of U.S. Catholics and their families, including many White-majority parishes, support Hillary Clinton: https://www.facebook.com/bobby.m.reyes/posts/10210869469430221 The 81-million Catholics in the U.S. compose a fourth of the population and often deliver the decisive swing votes in many states. To some Catholics, Donald Trump appears to be the Antichrist and I’m preparing an essay about it.

    Reply
  15. Diana Hunter
    Diana Hunter at |

    Not this Catholic, I refuse to put a liar and a supporter of abortion. Up to and even after birth, because according to her a child who can not take care of themselves has No rights under the LAW. One who believes that we as Christians need to Change our opinion on the sanctity of life, one who is a national security risk, and a supporter of Sharia Law. Mr Trump and Mr. Pence are supporters of life, Mr. Pence wants to abolish funding to Planned parenthood, which is an oxymoron, and get Roe v Wade reversed. Along with all our rights in jeopardy with the appointments of the Supreme Court justices at risk, Mr. Trump has a list of 20 good conservatives who will uphold our Constitution. Clinton along with obama believe the Constitution is outdated and really isn’t needed any more. Do you really want the future of your children and grandchildren at greater risk than they are at this time??? #TrumpPence2016

    Reply
    1. Willy Russo
      Willy Russo at |

      This is insanity that any religious person would vote for a person as corrupt and morally bankrupt as Hillary Clinton.

      Reply
    2. Carolina
      Carolina at |

      Me neither. Not crazy about Trump but I totally refuse to vote for killary!!

      Reply
  16. Bob
    Bob at |

    Are you out of your mind? Religious liberty is a just an excuse to discriminate and if abortion is your only issue you’re ignoring every other problem in this country. Republicans are the source of evil and inequality. Get your head out of your ass.

    Reply
    1. Jave
      Jave at |

      Do you have facts to support your hypothesis, because everything I have ever studied, read, watched, or written about says what you just said?

      Reply
      1. Jave
        Jave at |

        *doesnt’t say what you just said?

        Reply
  17. Dana N
    Dana N at |

    Sounds like we have a lot fewer Catholics than we think we do.

    Reply
  18. Jimmy Blake
    Jimmy Blake at |

    NO real Catholic can vote for Hillary. Ask Father Pavone or Bishop Tobin.

    Reply
  19. Jimmy Blake
    Jimmy Blake at |

    Sounds like REALLY bogus polling Maybe some really confused holdovers from the last vote. But on social media, the story is very different.
    https://www.facebook.com/CatholicsForTrump/?fref=ts

    Reply

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