Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
By Brad Tupi*, October 31, 2016
I was born in the Pittsburgh area in 1953. I grew up in an America that had never lost a war. My country was the strongest country on Earth, both morally and militarily. America was based on Christian values, but welcomed everybody. America stood for opportunity to those (like Grandma and Grandpap Tupi) brave enough to cross the ocean and seek it. The mills in my town made the steel for the ships, tanks and planes that defeated Hitler and Hirohito. To disrespect the Flag or the National Anthem would have been as shocking as getting pregnant before marriage.
Looking back, it is easy to see the events that allowed that America to fade away. Removing prayer and the Bible from our public schools. Divorce, contraception and the damage they caused the institution of marriage. The night Walter Cronkite falsely declared that America could not win the Vietnam War. Supreme Court decisions enshrining The Pill, abortion and pornography as new-found constitutional rights. The transformation of the Democrat Party from the patriotic party of JFK to that of the antiwar Left; from the party of the working man to that of George Soros and other billionaire donors; from the party of immigrant Catholics to the party of abortion.
Against this backdrop the stakes in the 2016 election are pretty stark for me. This is not so much a battle between two candidates as between two worldviews. My choice to vote for Donald Trump is easy, despite his personal shortcomings, his lack of political experience and the recency of his conversion to the pro-life cause. I choose to vote for Trump because he is our last remaining hope to stop the atheistic, socialistic, immoral and ultimately destructive worldview of the Left. With another four years of Left-wing judicial appointments, regulatory overreach and unrestricted immigration, I fear the transformation of America will be complete.
Over the last several weeks, I have been surprised at the number of sober, discerning Catholics who have decided to abstain from voting in this presidential election. They say that both of the candidates are too flawed to support. I have engaged them in vigorous email debates, with limited success. This essay represents my last gasp appeal to their patriotism, reason and Catholic faith. I offer ten reasons why a faithful Catholic should vote for Trump.
1. Abortion. Our Catechism teaches that abortion is a grave offense. Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶¶ 2270-75. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, over 58 million babies have been aborted in our country. In some American cities, half of all pregnancies end in abortion. The 2016 Democratic Party Platform (p. 37) unabashedly supports “protecting and advancing . . . reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. . . .” Since Roe v. Wade, abortion has been the often-unspoken litmus test for the appointment and confirmation of Supreme Court justices. The Democrat Platform promises to appoint pro-abortion judges (p. 25) and seek repeal of the Hyde Amendment (p. 37). Donald Trump has pledged to appoint pro-life Justices and fight against federal funding for abortion.
2. Homosexuality. The Catechism teaches that homosexual persons are called to chastity, because homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” CCC ¶¶ 2357-59. “Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman.” CCC ¶ 2360. We do not show love for our homosexual brothers and sisters by condoning a lifestyle that is physically and spiritually harmful. Our Supreme Court, in Obergefell v. Hodges, decided by a single vote that our Constitution compels states to recognize same-sex marriage. The Democrat Platform applauds this decision (p. 19). LGBT activist groups have used anti-discrimination laws to punish people of faith, such as photographers, florists and bakers, who politely decline to participate in homosexual ceremonies because of their good faith religious objections. Catholic institutions will be compelled to cover same-sex partners in health care plans. WikiLeaks disclosures show that Hillary Clinton staffers view Catholic teachings on gender and sexuality as backward, and that John Podesta has created groups designed to infiltrate the Catholic Church to undermine these teachings.
3. Religious Freedom. In implementing Obamacare, the Health & Human Services Department declared that employers must cover “preventive care” for female workers, including contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilizations. These, of course, violate the teachings of the Catholic Church. CCC ¶ 2370. Numerous religious organizations, including Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh, Little Sisters of the Poor, and private businesses owned by religious persons, were compelled to file lawsuits to protect their religious freedom. The Obama administration asserted that providing contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilizations was a “compelling governmental interest” sufficient to overcome religious objections. The case was argued in the Supreme Court in March 2016, after the death of Justice Scalia. I was there. It is no exaggeration to say that the next appointment to the Court will determine whether Christian religious freedom lives or dies. Donald Trump has pledged to nominate Supreme Court justices who will uphold religious freedom. Hillary Clinton thinks “reproductive rights” are more important, and that certain religious beliefs must be changed.
4. Racism. Our Catechism teaches that discrimination on the basis of race is incompatible with God’s design. CCC ¶ 1935. The Democrat Party, which opposed abolition of slavery and gave birth to the Klan (see D. W. Griffith, “Birth of a Nation,” 1915), in my lifetime has restyled itself as the party of civil rights. For half a century, it has been successful in attracting large majorities of African-American voters and in maintaining political control over most major American cities. But Democrats have not delivered a better quality of life to black Americans. To the contrary, inner city African-American neighborhoods have experienced alarming rises in illegitimacy, welfare dependency, crime and failing schools. The Democrats blame “systemic racism,” praise the “Black Lives Matter” movement (Platform at 14), and support race-based criteria for hiring and college admissions. Donald Trump has appealed to inner-city voters by offering manufacturing jobs, school choice and law-and-order.
5. The Welfare State. St. Paul taught, “If anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.” 2 Thess. 3:10. Citing this passage, Pope Francis said that being called a hard worker is the highest form of praise for a “serious, honest person,” because it means that he is a member of the community who does his part and does not “live off others.” Angelus Message, Aug. 19, 2015. When my grandparents came to the US in 1915, they fully expected to earn their way; there were no public assistance programs to speak of. Traditionally, Americans cared for the poor through charity dispensed largely through religious organizations, and the recipient of charity would be expected to perform work in return. See Marvin Olasky, The Tragedy of American Compassion, 1992. Even liberal icon Franklin Roosevelt once observed, “Continued dependence on relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.” Over my lifetime, however, the government has replaced private charity with addictive entitlements. As a result, a record number of Americans are not even participating in the workforce, and entitlements are driving the federal debt to dangerous levels. This trend offends Biblical teachings about work (Genesis 2:15), charity (Matthew 25:35-36) and frugality (Leviticus 19:10).
6. Subsidiarity. The overwhelming federal government also offends the Catholic teaching of subsidiarity, “according to which a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions. . . .” CCC ¶ 1883. “The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention.” CCC ¶ 1885. The Obama administration has collectivized healthcare and college loans. It has dictated new transgender policies for American public schools. It has imposed consent decrees on local police departments. Under the Constitution, all these functions belong to state and local authorities, not the federal government. The Democrat Party’s philosophy relies on central control and the rigid enforcement of political correctness (a term coined by Lenin). Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis about Marxist radical Saul Alinsky. John Bachtell, the national chair of the Communist Party USA, supports Mrs. Clinton and attacks Donald Trump. See http://www.peoplesworld.org/article/trump-is-a-danger-to-the-whole-world-not-just-u-s/. Should Catholic voters join forces with the Communist Party? I think not.
7. Immigration. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress exclusive power to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization.” In other words, only Congress, not the President or the States, has legitimate authority over immigration. Congress has exercised this power, at some times permitting immigration and at other times not. The problem today is that both the President and the States are disregarding the laws enacted by Congress. President Obama has ordered federal immigration agents to ignore immigration laws. Many American cities (which are creatures of the States) have declared “sanctuary” status for illegal immigrants, in flagrant disobedience of duly-enacted legislation. Not only are these actions offensive to the rule of law; they threaten our safety by allowing terrorists, drug dealers and other criminals to invade our country. No wonder Donald Trump has made immigration a centerpiece of his campaign. Hillary Clinton advocates a continuation of the “open borders” policy, which over time will change the politics and demographics of our Nation without the consent of the people. I am mindful that the Old Testament teaches us to love the sojourner. Exod. 23:9; Lev. 19:33; Deut. 10:19. But nowhere does the Bible suggest that the sojourner enjoys the same rights as a citizen.
8. Corruption/Lawlessness. Immigration is just one example of the lawlessness and corruption that have befallen our nation. Our Catechism teaches us that “authority required by the moral order derives from God . . . and those who resist will incur judgment.” CCC ¶ 1899. It is a hallmark of Americanism that all men are equal under the law, regardless of their status. But examples of lawlessness and favoritism have become too numerous to count. Examples include the President and Attorney General refusing to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act; the IRS refusing to grant tax exempt status to conservative groups for partisan reasons leading up to the 2012 election; Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt for refusing to deliver documents to Congress; EPA exercising powers not granted by legislation; and the President granting unions special privileges over bondholders in the GM bailout. For purposes of this discussion, of course, the most important instances of lawlessness concern Hillary Clinton. Not only did she fail to adhere to federal records laws when she conducted State Department business on a private server; not only did she expose top secret documents to foreign adversaries on unprotected devices; she also destroyed thousands of such records when they were: (a) subject to a freedom of information lawsuit; and (b) under a Congressional subpoena. She lied when she said the emails on her server did not contain national security secrets; she lied when she said all work-related emails had been turned over. Her husband, the former President, held a clandestine meeting with the Attorney General on an airplane in Phoenix. Shortly thereafter, not only did Hillary Clinton escape indictment, but many of her top aides were granted immunity without even being required to testify, thereby completing the cover-up. FBI Director Comey reopened the investigation on Oct. 29, so scandal will continue to follow Hillary Clinton’s every step. The real reason, of course, for the private server was to allow Secretary Clinton to solicit millions of dollars in secret donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign countries and individuals who needed favors from the State Department. The “pay for play” scandal is detailed in the hour-long film, “Clinton Cash,” which can be viewed for free at www.Breitbart.com. Given that none of the Obama administration officials involved in these scandals faced any consequences whatsoever, can we reasonably expect that a Hillary Clinton administration would follow the law?
9. National Security. Secretary Clinton helped shape the foreign policy of the Obama administration. Can we name any area where our foreign policy is stronger now than in 2008? Obama and Clinton refused to install defensive missiles that were scheduled for deployment in Eastern Europe in order to placate Vladimir Putin. Sensing weakness, Putin took the Crimea and is threatening the rest of Ukraine. Obama and Clinton pulled American forces out of Iraq, creating the vacuum filled by ISIS. Against all military advice, Obama and Clinton undermined Colonel Qaddafi in Libya, leaving a failed state. Obama and Clinton failed to support freedom fighters in Iran, and instead began negotiations that lifted sanctions, paid ransom for hostages and paved the way for a nuclear-armed Iran. China and North Korea repeatedly commit provocative actions in the western Pacific. History has many lessons; one of them is that weakness invites aggression while strength deters it. Our national security interests demand that we call evil by its name and prepare accordingly. Trump will do this. Hillary Clinton had her chance and failed.
10. The Threat of Islam. The repeated violence committed by Islamic jihadists around the world is not something new in our time. The armies of Muhammad conquered the Holy Land centuries ago. Islamic armies attacked into the heart of Europe. The Barbary Pirates assaulted American shipping when our country was new, causing President Jefferson to establish the Marine Corps. The violence of ISIS, Al Qaeda and other Muslim groups today is part of a long continuum of jihad inspired by the words of the Koran. Yet whenever terrorists attack, the concern of the Democrat leadership is not to condemn Muslim extremism, but to warn against so-called Islamophobia. The Obama administration is solicitous of the needs of Muslim refugees, while showing no concern at all for Christians being martyred by the thousands. An open society like ours is vulnerable to attack, especially when our government does not stop or even screen the thousands who enter illegally. We are also vulnerable because we depend on our electric grid and computers for almost every industrial, commercial and personal activity. Only one of the candidates is serious about dealing with the threat. The other despises Christendom for its “imperialism” and “colonialism.”
Conclusion. Both Trump and Clinton have their faults. Don’t we all? But now that the election is a choice between these two, I think the choice is easy. Clinton’s faults, both personal and ideological, are far more serious. Personally she is dishonest and corrupt. Ideologically, she is a disciple of Saul Alinsky and the radical Leftists of the 1960s who have done so much to tear our country down. Trump is flawed, but Clinton is evil. Trump represents a revolt against politicians of both parties who have put their own wealth and power before the interests of the American people. As for me, I want America to be great again. I am voting for Trump. Please join me.
Thanks for reading. If you like this essay, please feel free to forward it. If you do not, please let me know where you disagree.
* The opinions in this essay are strictly my own. They should not be construed to represent the opinions of my law firm or its clients.