A worker walks with a Trump-Pence campaign sign in an arena stairwell as preparations continue on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 17, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GEHRING-OPED, originally transmitted on July 20, 2016.

Why Trump has a Catholic voter problem

(RNS) Donald Trump takes pride in rattling the GOP establishment, but he faces a major roadblock on the way to the White House.

Catholic voters, who have been key to picking the winning ticket in almost every modern election, reject Trump decisively. In 2012, President Obama won the overall Catholic vote 50 percent to 48 percent. Hillary Clinton now leads 56 percent to 39 percent, a sizable gap unlikely to close much by November.

If Trump and his vice presidential pick, Mike Pence, hope to persuade Catholic swing voters in battleground states such as Ohio and Florida, they must climb a steep mountain.

The news gets even worse for Trump when you break down the numbers from a Pew poll released last week. It’s not only Latino Catholics who are turned off by the blustery billionaire  -- unsurprising given these voters’ Democratic leanings and Trump’s toxic anti-immigrant rhetoric.

More intriguing (or foreboding, depending on your view) is the fact that many moderate and conservative Catholics also don’t seem to buy what Trump is selling.

Consistently reliable Republicans who attend Mass weekly supported Mitt Romney four years ago by 15 percentage points. Clinton is winning this critical slice of the Catholic electorate by a whopping 19 points. The Republican ticket also usually performs well with white Catholic voters, who supported Romney by 9 points, 53 percent to 44 percent. Clinton has halved that gap, trailing Trump by only a few percentage points, 50 percent to 46 percent.

Why the dramatic shift?

Polls provide a snapshot of how voters size up candidates over a period of time, but unlike focus groups often don’t offer as much information for sifting through the reasons and nuances behind the numbers. Until we hear directly from voters about their motivations, there is only informed guesswork. But Trump’s looming Catholic problem can be deconstructed on a number of levels that take into consideration both substance and style.

The story of America, and the story of the Catholic Church, is a story of immigrants.

(RNS) President John F. Kennedy meets with the Civil Rights Commission at the White House, including the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, (seated, second from right), president of the University of Notre Dame, in 1961. RNS file photo.

(RNS) President John F. Kennedy meets with the Civil Rights Commission at the White House, including the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh (seated, second from right), president of the University of Notre Dame, in 1961. RNS file photo

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Part of Catholics’ DNA is an appreciation for how Irish and other immigrants toiled and thrived in the shadow of a suspicious, fiercely anti-Catholic culture dominated by white Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

When John F. Kennedy became the first (and so far only) Catholic president, his religion was viewed so warily by some Protestant clergy that he was compelled to give a landmark speech assuring the country he would not take his marching orders from Rome.

When Trump calls for a religious test for Muslims entering the country; questions the faith of Hillary Clinton, President Obama and Mitt Romney; and demonizes undocumented immigrants as “rapists,” it’s a reminder of the ugly nativism that Catholics once faced.

While this contemporary strain of old xenophobia is particularly felt by Latinos who increasingly are the face of the Catholic Church in the United States, many white Catholics surely take pride in family stories of grandparents and great-grandparents who were strangers in a new land. Trump has dug himself a deep hole he is unlikely to climb out of with these voters.

Trump has a Pope Francis problem.

Most politicians are smart enough not to tussle with a pope. Trump is the exception to that rule.

He clashed with Pope Francis during the pope’s visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in February, blasting the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world as “disgraceful” and a “political pawn” of Mexico.

Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress as Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, right, look on in the House of Representatives Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington on September 24, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-NOTREDAME-BIDEN, originally transmitted on March 7, 2016, or with RNS-GEHRING-OPED, originally transmitted on July 20, 2016.

Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress as Vice President Joe Biden, center back, and House Speaker John Boehner, right, look on in the House chamber in Washington on Sept. 24, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-NOTREDAME-BIDEN, originally transmitted on March 7, 2016, or with RNS-GEHRING-OPED, originally transmitted on July 20, 2016.

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," Pope Francis said in response to a reporter's questions about Trump's plan for a massive border wall.

It doesn’t take a high-priced political consultant to tell you that being on the wrong side of a widely popular pope who has captivated people far beyond the Catholic Church is a bad place to be. While no pope is going to ever dramatically sway the specific voting preferences of American Catholics, there is evidence of a “Francis effect."

New research from Yale University and George Mason University finds that conservative voters who believe in climate change almost doubled in the last two years. The study cites a number of things that may have affected attitudes, including Pope Francis' encyclical, “Laudato Si',” which calls for urgent action to address climate change. Trump alienates the pope and these voters at his peril.

Trump’s braggadocious style and anti-intellectualism don’t sway Catholics.

To watch Trump on the stump is to marvel or recoil at the magnetism and self-absorption of a Christian televangelist performing under the bright lights. Black-and-white claims are made with more emotion than reason. The performance, in many cases, is the whole point.

Trump’s campaign of personality surely attracts some voters who are wowed by the spectacle and see him as a fearless truth teller in an age of political correctness. But his brash oratorical style and often-simplistic arguments don’t sit well with experiences Catholics have with the quiet beauty of Catholic liturgy, or a Catholic intellectual tradition that for centuries has underscored the synthesis of faith and reason.

Catholic social teaching integrates the study of philosophy, history, science and theology. It’s a thinking religion. For Trump, his my-way-or-the highway pronouncements often seem to view facts and argument as distractions. For Catholics, our moral and intellectual tradition asks us to consider the complexity of “both-and” conclusions rather than the comfort of  “either-or” false choices. Catholicism is intellectually rigorous and built on centuries of tradition that still leave room for nuanced debate, a hallmark of education at Catholic colleges and universities across the country.

If Trump has an overarching theology that seems to guide his life, it seems to be that the power of the individual, the ego and personality can trump everything.

Trump will likely be energized after this week’s coronation in Cleveland, and he might even see a bump in his poll numbers. Once the post-convention buzz wears off, he will wake up to the sober reality that some of the nation’s most important religious voters are not at all charmed by his unorthodox candidacy.

(John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life Action and author of “The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church”)


  1. Thank You… ” couldn’t have said it better ” “…Catholic social teaching integrates the study of philosophy, history, science and theology. It’s a thinking religion. For Trump, his my-way-or-the highway pronouncements often seem to view facts and argument as distractions. For Catholics, our moral and intellectual tradition asks us to consider the complexity of “both-and” conclusions rather than the comfort of “either-or” false choices. Catholicism is intellectually rigorous and built on centuries of tradition that still leave room for nuanced debate, a hallmark of education at Catholic colleges and universities across the country. “

  2. As far as reality is concerned, anyone who is voting for Hitlery is, by definition, UN-Catholic. Those of you leftists who think that by writing articles and quoting the Peronist, communist Bergoglio, you can redefine Catholic teaching, are sadly mistaken.

  3. Fifty years of no Catholic leadership, no catechesis and no moral compass from US bishops, by-and-large, has created and propagated this absurdity. The bishops continue to accelerate the internal destruction of the Church and the consequent destruction of the US by their cowardice and pandering for the respect of man and not for the glory of God.

    Pope Francis is a scandal and embarrassment to Catholicism who, rather than responsibly leading the Church, instead ravenously tears her and spearheads global destruction by implementing the hell-bent agendas of Modernism and Liberal Protestantism.

    Our Lady, please intervene, because the prelates have abandoned the Flock of the Lord!

  4. “Nuanced debate”? . . . at the expense of perennial doctrine and morals, and at the peril of immortal souls? Most ‘”Catholic” colleges and universities across the country’ have degenerated into hotbeds of dissent and apostacy, having long since lost their philosophical way.

  5. The only alternative to Trump is Clinton. You mean, most American Catholics would vote for a president who is on record as saying that the Catholic faith must be changed, if necessary by law passed by Congress? Obviously, Clinton is prepared to ditch the First Amendment. America’s Catholics should ditch her before she gets the chance to destroy the Church in the US.

  6. Interestingly enough, the list has a strong correlation to why Trump has a problem with Mormons — but there are a LOT more Catholics….

  7. Yeah, but you gotta love that nuance! That apple looks real good and shiny, right Eve?

  8. My question to is this: If Hilary (not HItlery, you clearly need to read more about HItler) is bad, and I’m not crazy about here, why then must Trump be good? I see this all the time in politics and it’s making more and more people fed-up with a process that gives you two bad choices. For me, the moment he put down McCain for being a POW Trump lost me. (My father was a POW when he was 19 years old in Europe and was wounded twice.) What has Trump ever done for anyone? Here’s a guy who says he’s worth $10-billion. Yet he stiffed suppliers when he put his company (four times) into bankruptcy and bragged how it was good for him. Any decent human being with that much money would have paid his suppliers off out of his own pocket. I’d be ashamed to cast my vote for Donald Trump and his race baiting antics.

  9. The problem is simple folks: you think Trump is my way or the highway. Wait until Madame Filegate- Whitewater gets in for Obama’s 3rd term. 1900+ years of traditional church teaching on sex and sexuality will become hate speech. They’re talking about putting people in jail for that in Trudeauland up North! Political Correctness will go on steroids. What’s the Catholic positions on co-ed showers for your kids being mandated by the Feds by the way? And as far as abortion is concerned, no possibility of restrictions in this country is she gets in. Ever. Plus which, on a purely secular level, as far as policy is concerned, she’s not terribly competent, to put it mildly. She’ll give us more of the same stuff that doesn’t work while she and her buddies loot the treasury. Dinesh D’Souza’s got a new book Hillary’s America on this that liberal Catholics should at least glance at (or go to the movie of the same name) before November 8th. And as far as that “Catholic intellectual tradition that for centuries has underscored the synthesis of faith and reason”, it’s being thrown out the window, let’s face it. Decades of bad Catechesis have done enormous damage. Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison

  10. Trump did apologize the next day and said he really liked Pope Francis. That should be in the story but it’s not. I can’t stand Trump but I’m not sure the analysis above is solid. Many Catholics have forgotten they were the children of immigrants. It’s long been known that Catholic, who used to be the most diehard Democrats, have long since scattered along the political landscape. I think there is a kind of Catholic, mainly intellectuals, who would be repulsed by Trump. But Catholics in the main? Not so sure.

  11. So Catholics will vote for the pro-death Clinton simply to avert Trump? The Bishops and Priests had better start preaching about this.

  12. Just about everything about Trump is antithetical to Catholic positions on social justice. Catholics across the spectrum from liberal to conservative are at odds with the xenophobic thrice-married narcissist who represents the very worst in GOP positions. — Edd Doerr

  13. Hillary is far more in sync with Catholic social justice positions than the oafish clown Trump, who would turn the Oval Office into the Offal Office. — Edd Doerr

  14. Our country has fared far better under Democratic than GOP administrations.

  15. Yu’ve got to be kidding. It’s the GOP that has undercut and sabotaged the First Amendment.

  16. McCain is a traitor who not only helped the enemy to undermine his country during wartime, but actively worked to bury the hopes of families of the MIA/POW’s and shut down all attempts at locating and rescuing those Americans. He is pure evil. Hitlery, whom you feel is worthy of being defended, is a serial murderer and accassory to violent rape, many times over. Yet all your opprobrium is reserved for Donald Trump because he is successful?
    You are surely one of those “Catholics” to which this article refers. I think Trump and America will do just fine without such ignominious supporters.

  17. You write things like this, and then you claim it is all Frank’s fault?

    Projection is what religious conservatives thrive on, once again.

  18. I can’t even begin to comment on this…

    So I won’t.

  19. Trump is a no-help to the poor, the sick, the old, the widow, the orphan or the prisoner. He is pro-billionaire tax relief. He is against helping educate poor people. He is against feeding the needy. He is pro-war and pro-violence which hurts or kills innocent people. He is pro-Trump. Everything is bigger and better because Donald Trump is involved. He has no humility. He is not humble. He is self-centered. Many medical professionals consider him to be a classic case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They teach their students about this disorder using Trump as an example. NPD has no compassion for others, and in the end, they hurt others, causing deep wounds and deep pain. Hitler and Milosevic show what happens with these kinds of leaders. The people end up suffering.

  20. After someone has been the president for two terms the media will point out how much the president ages. We wouldn’t see that aging in trump because he wouldn’t care what he did or who he did it to. The presidency is a tasking and serious job that takes a lot out of the person , because they care so much about the people they serve. Trump won’t change one bit. trump cares about trump.

  21. Crazy talk. You can’t legislate morality. End of story. Roe vs Wade. It is over for your puritanical thinking.

  22. Silly. Fear mongering with no basis is in truth. Gop is all about moralistic fear mongering.

  23. Religionists equal judgmental superiority complexes. Extremely annoying.:)

  24. Was Jesus puritanical when he said in the Sermon on the Mount “You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.” (Matt 5:26-30)? The Sermon on the Mount isn’t just about not judging, which obviously is a crucial point in our faith. You may not like Christ’s views on Sex and Sexuality. Fair enough. We all struggle with it. But it is not compassionate to ignore HIs teachings on this matter.

  25. Where did I claim it was all Pope Francis’ fault? His pontificate is simply the logical outcome to 50+ years of that “spirit of Vatican II” nonsense. The platform is ready, and the Pope Francis Wrecking Crew has arrived.

  26. Another slogan with no substance. The left’s sinister bread-and-butter.

  27. However, and this is the case, you can legislate immorality.

  28. “The Bishops and Priests had better start preaching about this.”
    . . . met with crickets chirping . . .
    The US bishops and priests have done more to promote these deplorable conditions than to prevent them. I would like to count the actual number of US bishops who will vote for for Ma’damn Hell-ary.

  29. Well done Mr. Gearing. Lutheranism is also a thinking denomination though, just like the RCC, some members prefer not to engage the nuances, the ambiguity. It is more difficult, but the struggle for faith makes it stronger and more whole.

    Lots of black and white thinking in the comments. In many cases it appears that unsubstantiated rumors and fear mongering works. That’s a pity for the USA but not for trump.

  30. “Consistently reliable Republicans who attend Mass weekly supported Mitt Romney four years ago by 15 percentage points. Clinton is winning this critical slice of the Catholic electorate by a whopping 19 points.” If this is truly the case, this speaks FAR more about the state of the Catholic Church than it does about Clinton or Trump. If Catholics who attend Mass weekly are buying what Hillary is selling, then I certainly hope that they are also going to Confession just as frequently.

  31. Shouldn’t Catholics be worrying more about their Pope?

  32. Agreed. They are cowards, more afraid of the people, than of God.

  33. Actually non religious. Religion is a pain in the butt.

  34. What is a “religionist”?

  35. There is much more to Catholicism than social justice. But, all that has been preached is social justice in the last 40 years. Is abortion social justice?

  36. People who believe in a religion to the point of controlling their lives. To me that is what I am implying.

  37. You mean, you don’t know that Clinton has virtually declared war against the Catholic Church!? That she would export her anti-Catholic policy to all countries in the world? That she would use your tax dollars to undermine and oppose Catholic teaching, not only in America but also in Africa and Asia?

  38. No basis in truth? Clinton herself has said so. Are you calling her a liar? Surely not, you know what an honest woman she is, don’t you?

  39. Which is the whole point of believing in a religion. No different from being a Democrat.

  40. When one examines the recent past and future policies of the Democrats and what Ms. Clinton has done and will do fi elected using a Catholic ‘yardstick’, a strong case can be made that Catholic voters who vote for her will be supporting doctrines which are anathema to Church teaching and thus would be perpetuating evil. This observation is based on objective data. Voting Republican is the only option open. Those who have specific objections to their platform can communicate their views to the government (in 2017) who might be open to responding to citizens’ demands (which is the underlying democratic structure) then. To not do so (these two suggestions noted) will show that Catholic voters have become easily manipulated or -God forbid- have abandoned our faith. Americans can peer into the abyss and jump into it or turn around and trudge back to solid ground and continue to advance the ideals their forefathers so diligently sought. (ps. I am not an American but have closely followed many of the key issues).

  41. No basis in truth? Clinton herself has spelled it out for us. She’s gonna change religious belief, regardless of the First Amendment.

  42. I’m not affiliated with anything except my family

  43. Meaning they emphasize learning and do not try to indoctrinate students to conform to specific sectarian dogma. Its primarily why many Catholic Universities have reputations and decent rankings among peers and every Evangelical Christian college is known largely for being an ultra-conservative wingnut welfare program.

  44. The last GOP presidency tanked the economy and got us into an unnecessary war which still is causing a ruckus for us today. Can’t say that the Democrat presidents of either side of that one came close to that level of disaster.

  45. Being a good Christian frequently means being a bad American. Not appreciating the democratic process, civil liberties and a nation of multitudes and difference.

  46. You are saying the Catholic Church is antithetical to democracy and civil liberties? I guess so.

  47. The Catholic Church is antithetical to Clintonism, which is the very negation of democracy and civil liberties. ABC should be the logo of all freedom-loving Americans: Anybody but Clinton.

  48. There is a video on YouTube showing Clinton delivering a speech in which she said that ‘religious beliefs must be changed’. She will do just that if she gets anywhere near the WH.

  49. Are they all atheists like you? Must be a real bundle of laughs in your household.

  50. Clintonism? Your posts are making a bunch of claims about Hilary which are not at all supported by facts. She is not a particularly good politician,but what you are demonizing her for is absurd.

    BTW at this point religious conservatives have no business talking about the first amendment. They have been defiling it as of late to enact sectarian based discrimination. The very thing it was meant to prevent.

  51. That is a load of BS. Those changes you are talking about were done to end the discriminatory practice of redlining. Banks were making money hand over fist by underwriting bad mortgages and bundling them. If Clinton was to blame it would have occurred a decade earlier. The toxic mortgage writing and bundling was enabled by deregulation policies favored by republicans. Clinton didn’t tell Standards and Poors to fraudulently rate CDOs nor encourage them to be marketed to retirement funds and mutual funds.

    Your hope is that Trump will tank the economy, enable terrorism, and undermine any hope for future development. Isolationism has never been a successful strategy.

  52. YouTube is for cat videos, self inflicted injuries and crazy people who can’t convince more than 2 people to stay in a room when they speak.

    Have you seen The Big Short? More importantly did you ever try to buy a home during the boom period? Banks were giving garbage loans as a default even to those with good credit. They were encouraging retirees to use home equity like an ATM.

    You have zero idea what you are talking about

  53. Banks were denying loans based on race. They were fined for discrimination.

    They were making tons of money writing bad loans and socializing the risk to the securities market. Your argument doesn’t make even the slightest sense. You are saying banks would wait a decade to capitalize on their wildly successful efforts in writing loans to inappropriate risk borrowers.

    The overwhelming majority of bad mortgages had only 5-10 year adjustable rates. If you were correct, the disaster would have started much much earlier.

    The conservative narrative of blaming regulation and the poor has so many logical and factual holes in it that it would take days to explain it’s deficiencies to you.

    Nothing you said came even close to the facts on the ground. Easy answers and scapegoats are how conservatives try to paper over the problems they caused by deregulation, fraud and predatory financial behavior.

  54. Yes, women’s freedom of conscience and religious liberty on abortion is a social justice issue, as is universal access to contraception. — Edd Doerr

  55. And freedom to sell baby parts in violation of the law.

  56. Hillary is far closer to Catholic social justice teaching than Trump or Pence, the ex-Catholic turned Bible-thumping fundamentalist evangelical. — Edd Doerr

  57. Nonsense, no one is selling baby parts. Congress has looked into the matter and dismissed the silly charge.

  58. As the past 2000 years have shown, the Church exists to change the culture, the culture does not exist to change the Church. My money is on the Church, with American culture being slowly but surely transformed into a Christian dominance. The Church has plenty of time to make the change; the nation’s time is running out.

  59. You could get a good job at PP. They want mugs like you to help them do the selling. Ever heard of David Daleiden?

  60. Freedom of conscience included the murder of her unborn?

  61. I can only go by what Clinton herself has said, in public, about religious belief and her intention to change those beliefs that are opposed to her political philosophy. She can only do this, as president, by getting Congress to legislate to make those particular beliefs illegal and punishable if expressed openly. This would be a clear violation of the First Amendment. Hence, the obvious conclusion: Clinton intends to ‘amend’ the First Amendment, removing any religious rights which are protected by that amendment. A Clinton presidency would herald the beginning of a state-sponsored campaign to control the Christian churches, and particularly the Catholic Church which has long been sticking in her craw.

  62. Congress has looked into the matter and decided to cover up PP’s federal offenses.

  63. That is a load of fiction. Churches always had to change to accept a number of changes to culture. Since they could never effectively assert political power over their adherents, they always had to change with the nature of nations and leaders.

    They had to adjust to life outside of government establishment. They had to start toning down the previous murderous sectarianism. They had to learn to accept democratic principles, religious freedom of all faiths and heterogeneous cultures.

    They had to adjust to slavery, antisemitism, sectarianism, racism and imperialism being no longer socially acceptable. (Churches were big supporters of all these).

    The only thing which remains among the reactionary sects is the concept of bigotry as unifying principle. The objects of prejudice change but the concept does not.

  64. Your much vaunted “social justice” positions are un-Catholic… and communist.

  65. I really want to know where you get this stuff from. It is so far off from reality that I can only guess you are quoting wingnut sources.

    BTW conservatives have no business talking about the first amendment given their current attempts to destroy it and make reactionary religious belief beyond rule of as and the civil liberties if everyone. (See “FADA” and discriminatory laws passed UT, IN, and NC)

  66. Daleiden’s charges have been proven to be false and he is under indictment.

  67. GOP congressmen covering up for PP? Laughable nonsense.

  68. You really have no clue as to even the basic facts here. Your argument doesn’t make any form of sense and ignore the whole role securitization and bundling had.

    If banks were forced to write loans in potentially worrisome areas they would have made the process more onerous and difficult (without denying them). Instead they did the opposite. In an ever rising market they made tons of money on refinancing bad loans, foreclosure sales and predatory home equity loans.

    Bundling benefitted banks by both sending risk away from banks and creating new revenue streams from toxic debt. Deregulation allowed for fraudulent ratings of bundled mortgages to sell them as “safe” investments for large institutional investors. If markets were regulated in this regard and not subject to corrupting influence of banks profiting, those bundled mortgages would have been rated junk status. As with every speculative bubble, lack of government oversight created the problem.

    “As in ALL matters economic, it is government interference in the free market that caused the problem.”

    I am talking to a f00l. Without regulations markets become corrupt and monopolistic. The very opposite of free.

  69. How charitable you are. Whatever happened to “Judge not…” You are extremely comfortable pronouncing yourself the expert on the content of Trump’s soul. I have news for you; Trump has helped more real people, through HIS OWN efforts and using HIS OWN resources than ANY leftist …EVER. You are a disgusting excuse for a Catholic.

  70. You are not just wrong…you are anti-Catholic.

  71. Well, now, I am an honors grad of my state’s leading Catholic high school, I sang in the choir for the consecration of an archbishop, I have supported Catholic organizations that stand up for religious freedom, I have been happily married for 60 years. Trump has been married three times and his sidekick Pence left the Catholic Church to become a fundamentalist evangelical.

  72. The only wingnut source I am quoting is Clinton herself. She is the one who has this mad dream of forcing all Christians to change their moral thinking and make it conform to her ideas of “women’s rights” and civil liberties. Rights and liberties for everyone except Christians, according to Madam Clinton.

  73. Whatever. You are doing nothing to dissuade the nagging feeling I am just enabling a poster’s paranoia and delusions.

    So civil liberties are a bad thing? Why do you hate America so much?

  74. Your line of argument makes in clear that you know little about Catholicism, not to mention your self-indulgent sanctimony. If you were to learn anything about the Catholic religion, you would know that it is opposed to “social justice,” which is little more than a pretext for tyranny, the exact opposite of its actual doctrines of subsidiarity and charity.

  75. Did you ever even hear about the commandment against not bearing false witness? How narcissistic of you to make allegations for which you have no basis.

  76. If you ever learn anything about Catholicism, you will learn that your presumptuous judgments are a grave sin.

  77. If you believe Catholic truth is “sectarian dogma,” then your “learning” involves having allowed yourself to be propagandized and indoctrinated to the anti-religious bigotry typically taught at most “Catholic” colleges today.

  78. An ill-formed capricious conscience is slavery, not freedom.

  79. No they haven’t. They avoided looking into the matter because they know how many profound fools there are who would allow the matter to be misrepresented and propagandized as an assault on women. How do you suppose it is that there are those willing to think (like you) that those who openly admit to selling baby parts are not selling baby parts?
    Pro-aborts live on sophistry. How do you think they’ve been able to sustain the ridiculous notion of being “pro-choice.” No one can be pro-choice any more than they can be pro-eyeball or pro-earlobe. Free will already exists. Taking refuge in a cliche is necessary for a mind in denial of evil.

  80. A sober mind will not laugh at the depth of your delusions.

  81. Wrong. They’ve been propagandized as false on no more basis than the released film clips did not contain the entire exchange, just like all media does all the time on every story. It didn’t need to cover every burb and trip to the bathroom of those eating while discussing, with indisputable clarity to any sane mind, the selling of baby parts.

  82. Any Catholic voting for a pro-abort excommunicates himself or herself from the Church.

  83. “They” does not include the Catholic Church. 500 years ago, the United States did not exist, but the Catholic Church existed, teaching then what she teaches now. 500 years from now, the United States will no longer exist, but the Catholic Church will exist, teaching then what she teaches now. We will bury you, Spuddie.

  84. Which means, Edward, that more than half of America’s Catholics are de facto excommunicated, because they voted for Obama or intend to vote for Clinton. If Trump is a pro-abort, any of his supporters also are excommunicated.

  85. Why don’t you take Hillary Clinton’s word at its face value? She said it, but you don’t seem to believe her. She’s going to force us Christians to alter our beliefs, especially about sexual morality. She has said so, and we believe her. Why don’t you?

  86. Civil liberties seem to be a bad thing if they are extended to include Christians and their religious beliefs. Clinton doesn’t like the Catholic opposition to abortion, so she is determined to stamp out the Church if we do not kowtow to her demands for change. She has said so, and you’d better believe it.

  87. It’s an indication of your duplicity when you check your own comment!

  88. Why do you check your own comment? Do you feel a need for support because it’s veracity is rather dubious?

  89. “Civil liberties seem to be a bad thing if they are extended to include Christians and their religious beliefs. ”

    That is so cute! You are trying to pretend its your privilege to discriminate against others because you claim Jesus says its ok. Nobody is keeping the Catholic church from talking about abortion. Not even Clinton.

    ” She has said so”

    No she hasn’t. You are just delusional.

  90. You missed the point entirely. I was actually complimenting Catholic colleges for emphasizing actual education. Hence they have decent reputations and rankings. Something not seen in Evangelical ones. Which are largely wingnut welfare.

    You clearly have a reading comprehension problem.

  91. “Why don’t you take Hillary Clinton’s word at its face value? She said it, but you don’t seem to believe her.”

    No she didn’t. You are making stuff up at this point. Give me a link to anything to that effect. She is a public figure, it should not be hard to find. Otherwise, forget it. I don’t believe a word of it.

  92. How dishonest an completely paranoid do you have to be?

    A session full of fetus worshiping Republicans tried grilling the head of PP for days. Despite allegations (and a very strong political motivation for finding something against PP) they came up empty. No evidence of wrongdoing, despite trying really hard. They ended up looking foolish.

    But fabrication and misrepresentation has never been a problem for the fetus worshiping crowds. Edward J. Baker, Geoggreysmith1, when have you stopped lying?

  93. No there isn’t, or you would have a link and a wingnut article describing it.

    Every time you post, you make baby Jesus cry with your dishonesty.

  94. I don’t. It’s the immoral policies of the Obama administration that I hate. The HHS mandate in particular that tries to force Catholics to pay for your abortion/contraceptives. What Obama started, Clinton will try to continue, in the good old Democrat way.

  95. “Nobody is keeping the Catholic church from talking about abortion.”

    I never said they were. But as far as David Daleiden is concerned, they – and I include Clinton – are certainly trying to stop the Church, or any individual Catholics, from doing something about it. You could not give a toss if Catholics talk about abortion 24/7, as long as that was all we did – talk. But the moment we hit PP with a killer punch, you squawk like a stuck pig.

  96. You don’t believe a word I say. The woman ought to be in jail, but you don’t believe a word of what they say about her!

  97. Kindly refrain from including the Holy Name in your posts.

  98. Nope. Baby Jesus is weeping with your statements.

  99. The moment fetus worshipers bore false witness and defamed PP they get a response. Yes. Attacking people by spreading falsehoods will do that.

    Does Jesus know you lie on his behalf?

  100. You hate people having healthcare, having a right of privacy, making personal decisions without consulting you for a go ahead.

    You hate freedom.

  101. But you claim to believe in objective evil which you pressuppose as a basis for identifying objective evil in others, and it is objectively evil to formulate assumptions about the internal responses to good and evil in other human beings.

  102. No I didn’t miss the point. But your lack of learning and imagination can not perceive irony. Most Catholic colleges are no longer emphasizing education. They are emphasizing the sort of left-wing secular stupidity that would characterize and trivialize truth as capricious “sectarian dogma.” Thankfully there are Evangelical colleges that still respect real education and truth including those classically expoused by the Catholic faith, and they are not so ignorant, as you apparerntly are, to regard Catholicism as a “sect.”

  103. Wrong. A token show performance is not an investigation. The scale of the corruption would have required a year long investigation in hundreds of PP facilities, and other abortuaries, that would reveal their complete disregard for medical safeguards, their willingness to take money from the KKK to strongarm abortions among blacks, and the wholesale selling of baby parts that has been occuring in tens of thousands of episodes over the course of almost fifty years.
    Fabrication and misrepresentation has never been a problem for pro-aborts who even need to take refuge in a nonsense phrase like “pro-choice.”

  104. Your arrogance is only matched by your ignorance and dishonesty.

    “Most Catholic colleges are no longer emphasizing education. ”

    Yet these schools rate quite highly for academic statistics, great reputations among professionals and are known for producing well noted research. Your sectarian prejudice does not change the objective measures of these schools. Evangelical colleges are known for lawsuits, discriminatory behavior codes, teaching mythology as science, and have a reputation which is worthless outside of reactionary wingnut welfare programs. Employers, academics and researchers think well of people with degrees from Notre Dame and St. Johns. Graduates of Liberty University and Oral Roberts University are considered a joke.

    “to regard as Catholicism as a “sect.”

    The need for Christian fundamentalists to make up their own facts is compulsive. They are very much a sect of Christianity. The largest even.

  105. Obviously, those who knowingly vote for a professed pro-abort are excommunicated for their malice, no matter how many this would imply. On the other hand, a vote for a candidate who might be deceptive on the matter is a prudential judgment of unforseen consequences that does not involve malice.

  106. How much willful ignorance can a mind entertain?

  107. We all know how you lefties love your genocide. You giggle over oceans of blood and mountains of corpses. Your heros are the great mass murderers of human history. But the “unnecessary” war put an end to Saddam’s genocide.

  108. They were losing money being compelled by liberal fascism to write bad loans and were forced to dilute risk by selling debt to divivative markets. It is not racial discrimination to make discriminating judgments about qualifications of personal solvency.

  109. Wrong. Being Catholic does not make me sectarian. That is a Protestant concept.
    And what “objective” standard are you talking about? Employers, academics, and researchers are as stupid and subject to the sins of pride as everyone else. How else would you account for their collective moral thugery implicit in teaching the sort of contemporary world view of sociological deteriminsm that inevitably results in a functional and utilitarian interpretation of human worthiness?

  110. So we can add the mortgage meltdown of 2008 to the subjects you are completely ignorant about but choose to chime in with your partisan drivel.

    Your argument depends on being a complete and total brain donor. Banks were making TONS of money writing bad mortgages and bundling them elsewhere. If they were compelled to write loans for certain at risk groups they would have made the documentation and underwriting process more onerous and slow. Making it difficult, but not impossible for such people to obtain loans. But that is not what happened.

    Conservative/libertarian deregulation made it easy for banks to game the system in writing bad loans and pawning them off to the securities market. In an all time rising market, it was more profitable to write bad loans than stable ones.

    I take it Eddie that you never applied for a mortgage during the housing boom nor understand one iota of how the process of securitization worked.

    Now run along and let the adults speak.

  111. Sorry, I don’t speak wingnut. Try again later when your meds kick in and you are more coherent.

  112. You are a steady stream of left wingnuttery. Try again when you acquire enough humanity to object to genocide.

  113. A room full of Republican congressmen howling for blood and eager to appeal to their fetus worshiping voter base were giving a “token performance”?

    WOW! That is about the dumbest thing I have read today! Now what motivation would they have to go easy on PP. They were staking their reputations on grilling them. They came up empty because there was nothing to find. The head of PP practically did a mic drop after her testimony. The fetus worshiping wolves had to run back with their tails between their legs.

    As for the rest, get back to me when you have stopped making stuff up. It looks like you still have more to go.

  114. Characterizations are not an argument. A room full of Republicans and skull crushing Democrats for a few days does not begin to address the corruption of the abortion industry.
    When you acquire enogh humanity to stop making stuff up and abandon the utilitarian and functional ethics of Naziism, then comment on a forum for those who do not indulge self-worship.

  115. You have no idea what you are talking about. It’s like listening to the incoherence of Bernie. Banks were not making “tons” of money from temporary positive cash flow doomed to later disipate in inevitable foreclosure failures. Being forced to dilute bad debt is understandible but immoral nonetheless. But your belief that being forced to take on bad debt represents stable solvency is Hugo Chavez sized fantasy.

    Now run along and let the sane speak.

  116. Abortion is not murder. One third of all US women will have had an abortion. And worldwide there are now 56 MILLION abortions per year. The Vatican could lower that rate by rescinding its absurd ban on contraception. — Edd Doerr

  117. A human is dead as a result of abortion. It is intentional. It is murder.

  118. Something wrong with your keyboard, Spuddie?

  119. We will wait forever for that to happen. 50M+ murders of infants and people like Spuddie wonder why America is the most violent nation on earth. Even Obama has said that such violence happens nowhere else on this planet. We have created a culture of death in America, with too many people wanting to kill rather than to let live.
    Spuddie is one of them.

  120. Healthcare is one thing; baby-killing is something else.

  121. Agreed, but are Clinton and Trump being deceptive in this matter?
    I would have thought that their attitude to abortion was quite clear: they support the practise.

  122. Babies are born. Abortion doesn’t affect them. Mother killing however is not a problem for you.
    “Prior to Roe v. Wade, as many as 5,000 American women died annually as a direct result of unsafe abortions.”

    “In a land without abortions, women die”

    Now take your arrogant woman hating nonsense and shove it somewhere painful. You don’t like abortions, don’t have one. You don’t like women having them, tough luck. Nobody requires your approval on such matters..

  123. Are you dense, dishonest or just brain dead? You don’t even attempt to make sense or make a rational argument.

  124. A fetus is human but it is not a person. BTW, since about 1/2 of all pregnancies spontaneously abort, I God responsible?

  125. When does it become a person?

    Really? What a dumb question.

  126. Trump claims to have had an epiphany on the matter when he witnessed a turnaround close to him and favors pro-life judicial appointments. Lady Macbeth is a fanatical pro-abort who has publicly expressed a need to censure and criminally prosecute religions that give resistance to abortion.

  127. Joe: Personhood is a very important concept. Here’s how. In US law persons are protected from harm. State laws now generally say that legal personhood ends when brain function ceases, when MDs certify that the patient is “brain dead.” So when does personhood begin? When the brain is able to sustain consciousness, some time after 28-32 weeks of gestation, and over 99% of abortions are performed b y 20 weeks. This is what science says, and it comports with what the Bible says in Gen 1:27 and 2:7. You may disagree, but government has no business imposing your view on all women.

  128. By your argument it is OK to murder animals at will, for they have no conscious self awareness.

    Is it OK to murder a person that is unconscious?

  129. Yes, you can stand in church and keep telling God how righteous you are. Thank Him for making you such an upright man, superior to others, like Donald Trump. I think Our Lord wrote a parable about people like you.

  130. It is not OK to kill animals, except for compelling reasons. But killing animals is not murder. (But beware of killing cows in India.)

    An unconscious person still has a functioning brain.


  131. You are defining a person by their functioning ability?

  132. Well, yes A newborn is a son, but a 12 week fetus is not. A 90 year old hobbling around with a cane us a person, but as 30 year old patient in a hospital bed with no hope for resumption of consciousness is not. What is your definition?

  133. Because, Joe, it is not a person. When we step on a bug it is not murder. However, an interesting matter is the personhood of great apes (bonobos, chimps, gorillas, orangutans). They function at the mental level of human children. Therefore, killing a chimp should be classified as murder.

  134. “Honey, I have news, I am going to have your fetus! ” says no one ever.

    A human being is the essence of the human itself, not its functional ability.

    Yet that comatose person can recover despite what the docs say. Over and over it has happened.

  135. A chimp does not have an immortal rational soul.

  136. So how do you know that you have one? And how do you know that a chimp does not? How do you define “soul’? At what point in our evolution did we become “human persons”?

  137. The soul is the animating principle of plants, animals and humans. Our souls are rational because they are spiritual and not material. Rational spiritual souls can think abstractly, know and love. We can form ideas of realities that are immaterial. We desire and strive for immaterial things such as justice and temperance. We have more than sense knowledge. We also have moral law. These distinguish us from the plants and animals. When an animal or plant die their material sould dies with them.

    Since the spiritual soul has no material parts it is immortal. It cannot break down or die.

    We were human from the beginning. An animal cannot develop through evolution a rational soul. It doesn’t happen.

  138. Words words words with no science behind them.

  139. Scientifically, empirically prove you exist.

  140. They have simply chosen to love the world (and its accolades) instead of God (and His Glory).

  141. Fat lot that does you when you try to use your degree for your first job out of college. 🙂

    Essentially you are saying that Evangelical Colleges are the Christian equivalent to an Islamicist madrassa. Something of no use in providing an education useful in the outside world but very good for inculcating religious reactionary beliefs.

  142. Spuddie, Do you love God above all other persons/things?

  143. Enough to strap on an explosive vest and run into Sikh temple and wipe out the heathens . /sarcasm

  144. As a catholic- there is nothing Donald Trump stands for that is part of my faith. I am at loss as to why he has such strong evangelical support, but happy they won’t be calling on and using my church to carry political their water this election period.

  145. If you can leave the Catholic Church to become a Unitarian, then why can’t Pence leave the Church?

    If you think Church teachings on divorce are wrong, then what’s the big deal about Trump being married three times? Wasn’t he following his “personal conscience”?

    You’ve been married for 60 years. Do you and the Mrs have an “open marriage” and agree to get some action on the side, like your buddy Paul Blanshard had with his first two wives (as he wrote in his 1973 autobiography)?

    It would also be entertaining for you to explain the difference between Paul Blanshard’s approach to Catholicism and Robert Spencer’s approach to Islam (which has been condemned by SJWs and frightened atheists and liberals).

  146. Claiming that “social justice” is opposed by the Cath church is one of the siliest comments I have ever read.

  147. Pence can switch from Cath to Fundamentalist, but his general outlook is antithetical to the best Cath thinking.

    Cavalli’s comments on my marriage are disgusting.

    Blanshard, whom i new personally, was regarded as a leading scholar and writer on the Cath church. His marriage was a matter between him and his wife.

    Cavalli is just upser because I gave a negative review of a book I reviewed.


  148. You’ve long attacked Church teachings on sexual matters, including divorce. Now you’re upset that Trump has been married three times although you claim that Blanshard’s open marriages were between himself and his first two wives (and which he wrote about in 1973!).

  149. Paul Blanshard was a fraud and a hypocrite. He threatened to sue Catholic author Dale Francis if he wrote an article citing Blanshard’s past statements such as calling for the abolition of the Constitution and the Supreme Court. Blanshard accused the Catholic hierarchy of censorship in The Nation, whose editor, Freda Kirchwey, a few years before called on the federal government to suppress what she termed “the fascist press.” She also sued the New Leader for libel, after the Nation’s former art critic, Clement Greenberg, wrote that The Nation and its correspondents were following the Soviet line.

    Blanshard’s book was answered by Dale Francis, Catholic author (and liberal) James O’Neal, and Fr. Gregory Dunne.

  150. Readers should read Blanshard’s book before paying attention to Mr Cavalli.

  151. Trump’s marriages are the least of what is wrong with his election.

  152. Mr Cavalli seems unaware that most Catholics disagree with the Vatican on marriage, divorce/remarriage, ordaining women, clerical celibacy,contraception and abortion,

  153. What makes Blanshard different than Robert Spencer? (Is he a “critic” of Islam or an “anti-Muslim bigot”?)

  154. Since when is idolatry of government, the criminalization of private charity, and government tyranny over religion in accord with Catholicism? To deny that social justice is opposed by the Catholic Church is the silliest comment I ever read.

  155. I don’t remember your comment that I responded to, but your comment to me appears to be unresponsive. I have no idea what you mean

  156. Working fofr social justice (something that Jesus favored) is not idolatry of government or any of the other horribles Baker imagined.

  157. Keep telling yourself that, Edd. I’m sure you’ll eventually believe it. I’m old enough to remember when pro-abortionists were saying that most Republicans were pro-choice (as in opposing all restrictions and supporting public finance), and that pro-lifers were just a tiny minority who exercised disproportionate influence. This “line” disappeared after the 1996 GOP primary when pro-choice Sen. Arlen Specter went nowhere. After that, the new line became that the “religious right” hijacked the GOP and now dominates it.

  158. When was Jesus a demented Marxist? When did Jesus favor tyranny? When did Jesus oppose personal justice which is the exact opposite of social justice? How did you come to be so ignorant?

  159. Blanshard was an airheaded sophist. This explains a lot about your ignorance.

  160. What were Paul Blanshard’s “scholarly credentials” to write about the Catholic Church–you know those seemingly important things that many Muslims and liberal atheists argue that Robert Spencer apparently lacks in writing about Islam?

  161. I agree, but Rev. Doerr just wants you to read Blanshard’s post-WWII stuff.

    In 1931, Blanshard published a letter in the New Leader, threatening to resign from the Socialist Party if some of its members continued to criticize the USSR.

    A year later, Blanshard (ignoring initial reports in the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune that there was famine in the USSR) introduced a resolution at the Socialist Party Convention that endorsed the Soviet experiment. It passed. According to the Milwaukee Leader, it was Socialist leader Norman Thomas who introduced an amendment to Blanshard’s resolution that called on the USSR to restore civil liberties and release political prisoners.

    Unfortunately, no copy of Blanshard’s speech in late December 1932 at Barnard College has survived. However, its contents were all summarized by the NY Times, NY Herald Tribune, and Time magazine. Blanshard sketched out his vision of “Socialopia” (Socialist Utopia). After taking power, Blanshard’s Socialists would repeal the Constitution and abolish the Presidency, Supreme Court, Congress, and all state boundaries. He proposed having the new socialist regime round us all up and stuff into cramped apartments with communal kitchens. Blanshard added that the state would regulate population through birth control. Like many progressives at the time, Blanshard supported compulsory sterilization of “the feeble-minded” and eugenics. Unfortunately, the Nazis gave compulsory sterilization and eugenics a bad name much to his chagrin.

    Paul Blanshard wanted to give the state far more power over people’s personal and professional lives than the Catholic Church ever did even during the Middle Ages.

    All he did was reinvent himself like so many mediocrities of the time.

  162. Not true. Only professed Catholics disagree, and a minority at that. Catholics who are actually Catholics accept the divinely endowed wisdom of Catholic doctrine.

  163. No, you do not even know the meaning of the word dogma. And if you were not so ignorant of history, you would know that approbation from the intellectual world reflects evil, not merit. The sin of pride is easily collectivized always leads to ideologies of mass murder.

  164. Do you really believe leftist clichés represent thought? A perfect example is reflected in the Marxist term reactionary originally used to condemn those who opposed the mass murder committed by communist revolutionaries.

  165. Blah, blah, blah. Bible Thumper feels entitled to their own facts and can’t back it up with anything worth taking seriously. To a comment made a year ago.

    So now you are trying to pretend I am a Marxist. For defending Catholic Universities for their academic record and reputation outside of the wingnutsphere.

    Ooookay! Someone needs their meds.

  166. It took you a year to write that? Seriously? You were better off keeping it to yourself. You added nothing to the conversation other than showing you are a hostile nasty little troll.

    “The sin of pride is easily collectivized always leads to ideologies of mass murder.”

    Yep sectarian wingnuts love committing mass murder. Especially Evangelical types in developing countries.

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