Opinion

Catholic Democrats Should Choose A New Name — Or Disband

An organization calling itself Catholic Democrats is asking for the members of Donald Trump’s Catholic Advisory Group to resign over sexist and crude statements Mr. Trump made 11 years ago. I serve on that committee, and I will not resign.

If anyone should resign, it’s the members of Catholic Democrats. At the very least, they should choose a more accurate name. What  the Democratic party stands for on a whole host of issues – marriage, medical research, sex education, human life and religious liberty, to name a few — goes against the catechism of the Catholic Church. Faithful Catholics should not be part of the Democratic Party. Catholic Democrats claims it is advancing the Church’s teachings, when in reality it is doing just the opposite.

The Republican platform, on the other hand, upholds Catholic teaching. The party, and Mr. Trump, have vowed to defund Planned Parenthood. Also, Mr. Trump has promised to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, and has released a list of 21 potential nominees. These are men and women who won’t treat the U.S. Constitution as a living, breathing thing that can be altered on a whim but will uphold the integrity of the of the document created by our Founding Fathers.

Anyone Mrs.  Clinton would nominate to the Supreme Court would work to uphold the horrific Democratic platform, which is why I, as a private citizen, will work harder than ever before to elect Mr. Trump, his running mate Mike Pence and the entire Republican ticket, House and Senate, because every one of them will uphold what’s near and dear to my heart – my Catholic faith. The party does matter.

As for the sexist and vulgar statements Mr. Trump made 11 years ago, yes, of course they are disturbing. But our entire culture is disturbing, which is apparent every time we turn on the TV or the radio. Women and girls are depicted as sexual objects that are on display and available in every way possible. This doesn’t excuse what Mr. Trump said, but it does add context.

Something the Catholic Democrats should keep in mind is that the Catholic faith teaches us to forgive.  Mr. Trump has apologized and asked for forgiveness. This is the Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church. Where is our mercy? I’m certainly willing to forgive him.

Hillary Clinton has not asked for forgiveness for her support of the destruction of unborn children through all nine months of pregnancy. What she has done – and will do on a much bigger stage, if elected – is far worse than Mr. Trump’s ill-considered remarks. Her voting record in the U.S. Senate speaks for itself. She voted against a ban on a type of abortion in which living, full-term babies were murdered in the birth canal, and she voted against a law that called for notifying parents when their minor daughter is taken across state lines for an abortion. On other crucial abortion-related legislation, she did not vote. No Catholic can, in good conscience, walk into a voting booth and vote for her or her “Catholic” running mate Tim Kaine, who claims to be privately opposed to abortion but supports Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

I’ve been involved in the pro-life movement since 1989. In 2002, I co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to work with women who regret their abortions and men who regret lost fatherhood. I see the fallout from abortion every day. Every abortion destroys the life of an unborn child but it also kills a part of the mother and father as well. I work with Rachel’s Vineyard and I see the thousands and thousands of people who come through that program every year because they are in need of healing from their abortions. Hillary Clinton claims to be for women but she’s really only for abortion.  Have you heard her utter a word about Cree Erwin, or Lakisha Wilson, or Tonya Reaves, or Jennifer Morbelli? She doesn’t care about the aftermath of abortion, and neither does the Democratic Party.

Do I wish Mr. Trump would have been more measured with his words 11 years ago? Of course I do. But I also look at the fact that he employed women in top executive positions, and that he is father to smart, strong, confident women. Has he sinned in the past? Absolutely, but who hasn’t?  Let’s move on from that.  At the end of the day, what matters to me is that when a pro-life bill get to his desk, he’s going to sign it into law. Hillary Clinton would veto it. And what matters to me is that when it comes to those Supreme Court judges, he’s going to nominate good conservative justices.

The sincerity of Mr. Trump’s conversion to pro-life is also under scrutiny. But the pro-life movement is full of people who have converted. Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) became a pro-life activist. So did Dr. Bernard Nathanson, an architect of the movement to legalize abortion. Did we doubt their conversions? No, we welcomed them into the movement with open arms. Why should we doubt that Donald Trump’s conversion is any less sincere?

As the Year of Mercy draws to a close, I challenge every Catholic who is ready to cast stones at Mr. Trump – including the Catholic Democrats – to give him at least the benefit of the doubt. And because we are electing a person who is going to influence not just the United States for four years, but the whole world for years to come, I challenge every American to consider what we know Mrs. Clinton has done. As Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton erased 33,000 emails, many of them work-related and classified, including some that might have shed light on the 2012 night in Libya when four Americans – including an ambassador – were murdered.

We have a real problem in this country if we can’t decide which transgression was worse.