Responding to a never Trumper Catholic
I am a fan, I have known of you and your Apologetics for the Catholic Church for many years now and I am also on my faith journey. I greatly respect you and your knowledge of the bible and our Catholic Traditions. I am a Catholic who reads the bible, prays the Rosary daily, attends Mass, gives to charity, a Republican and a 22 year United States Army veteran. I am five classes away from a bachelor's degree in accounting. I am still conflicted on a defense for President Trump. I know all Republicans are pro life with the exception of a few and McCain. I know pro abortion stance is condemned by the church.
However, that does not let Trumps divisive nature or his furious tantrums for those who stand in his way, including those in his administration, Republicans or Democrats. He unapologetically flouting United States laws by pardoning a person who lied under oath, Roger Stone. You may say they all do and have, true. But this is four months before election. He challenges the United States Constitution and abuses his authority. He has a disregard for human suffering of people of color and I believe he is using us Christians for his own agenda of power.
We are all sinners, but it's no secret he is an adulterer, a liar and has moral corruption, His complacency in a "White" versus people of color is clear as he makes NO apologies. He calls Mexicans criminals and rapists, which got him the votes to put him over the top and win the 2016 election. He found that there is a seething hatred in America by white supremacists and is relying on them to vote him in office.
How can he represent Jesus? Are we stuck with two evils? One lesser than the other? He represents hatred not love. God is Love You may say he is just a man, but there are far more righteous men than he is.
Here is some research that has taken me three years to compile, right from my book: A CATHOLIC VOTE FOR TRUMP - at the end of my book - Appendix sections 1 & 2 . I have thought about these issues long and hard. Their are no ad hominem attacks in my book (we are all sinners). I just present raw facts. In the words of our second President John Adams: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
APPENDIX 1 Partial List of Pro-Life Accomplishments in President Trump’s First Term (Priests for Life keeps updating this list of President Trump’s pro-life accomplishments at ProLifePresident.com) 1. First of all, President Trump did the pro-life movement his greatest service by keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House. Had she been elected, the extremism of abortion in America would have reached a fever pitch unlike anything we’ve seen before.
2. President Trump fulfilled his campaign pledge to only appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court when he appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Also, he has placed another 191 conservative judges on the circuit and district courts, bringing significant change even to the liberal ninth circuit.
3. President Trump has deprived the abortion industry of billions of dollars. He signed legislation to permit the states to defund Planned Parenthood of Title X family planning. He also issued an executive order to give states the option to withhold Medicaid and other federal money from organizations that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood.
4. President Trump implemented the Protect Life Rule, a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services 214 A Catholic Vote for Trump to cut taxpayer funding under the Title X program for any facility that performs abortions or refers clients to them, such as Planned Parenthood.
5. President Trump reinstated and expanded the “Mexico City Policy.” His new policy ensures that our tax dollars are protected from funding the abortion industry overseas across ALL global health spending, not just family planning dollars. The Bush-era Mexico City Policy protected roughly $500 million in spending; the new Trump policy protects over $8.8 billion in overseas aide from funding abortion. He also stopped funding the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
6. The Trump administration Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule requiring that insurers specify to their customers whether the plan they are buying covers abortion. The administration also requested input on how to better enforce the limited abortion provisions contained in Obamacare.
7. The president created a new office in the federal government for Conscience and Religious Freedom so that people who, for example, are being forced to participate in abortion can have their rights vindicated more effectively.
8. President Trump has ended the Obama assault on the religious freedom of those employers who do not want to cover abortion-inducing drugs in the health insurance plans they offer their employees.
9. The president continues to make numerous appointments, across the federal administration, of strong pro-life advocates, starting with Vice-President Mike Pence. Most of the many others he has appointed do not make the Appendix 1 215 headlines, but they are making and implementing policies and practices that advance the pro-life agenda. For instance, in the Department of Health and Human Services, the strategy memo makes it clear that “human beings” include babies in the womb.
10. The president has pushed hard for the Senate to pass additional pro-life legislation, like the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, as well as the full removal of funding from Planned Parenthood. He has promised to sign both bills.
APPENDIX 2 General List of Accomplishments in Trump’s First Term1
• Low-wage workers are benefiting from higher minimum wages and corporations that are increasing entry-level pay.
• Trump signed the biggest wilderness protection and conservation bill in a decade and designated 375,000 acres as protected land.
• Trump signed the Save our Seas Act which funds $10 million per year to clean tons of plastic and garbage from the ocean.
• Trump signed an executive order this year that forces all healthcare providers to disclose the cost of their services so that Americans can comparison shop and know how much less providers charge insurance companies. When signing that bill he said no American should be blindsided by bills for medical services they never agreed to in advance. Hospitals will now be required to post their standard charges for services, which include gross charges, the negotiated rates with insurers and the discounted price a hospital is willing to accept from a patient. 1 Robby Starbuck, “List of Trump Accomplishments in the Years: 2017, 2018, and 2019,” https://www.docdroid.net/KDaSuMo/ trumpaccomplishments.pdf. Starbuck tweets as @robbystarbuck. 218 A Catholic Vote for Trump
• He signed a bill this year allowing some drug imports from Canada so that prescription prices would go down. In the eight years prior to President Trump’s inauguration, prescription drug prices increased by an average of 3.6 percent per year. Fast forward to today, and prescription drug prices have seen year over-year declines in nine of the last ten months, with a 1.1 percent drop as of the most recent month. In June 2019, the United States saw the largest single-year drop (2.0 percent year-over-year decline) in prescription drug prices since 1967.
• Created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans. VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
• Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life. • Because of a bill signed and championed by Trump, in 2020, most federal employees will see their pay increase by an average of 3.1 percent — the largest raise in more than 10 years. • Trump signed into a law up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for millions of federal workers. Trump administration will provide HIV prevention drug Appendix 2 219 for free to 200,000 uninsured patients per year for 11 years.
• All time record sales during the 2019 holidays.
• Trump signed an order allowing small businesses to group together when buying insurance so they can get it at a better price.
• President Trump signed the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act which was written by a Republican lawmaker that provides funding for states to develop maternal mortality review committees to better understand maternal complications and identify solutions and largely focuses on reducing the higher mortality rates for Black Americans.
• In 2018, President Trump signed the groundbreaking First Step Act, a criminal justice bill which enacted reforms that make our justice system fairer and help former inmates successfully return to society. The First Step Act’s reforms addressed inequities in sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed Black Americans and reformed mandatory minimums that created unfair outcomes. Over 90 percent of those benefitting from the retroactive sentencing reductions in the First Step Act are Black Americans. The First Step Act expanded judicial discretion in sentencing of non-violent crimes. The First Step Act provides rehabilitative programs to inmates, helping them successfully rejoin society and not return to crime.
• Trump increased funding for Historically Black 220 A Catholic Vote for Trump Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by more than 14 percent.
• Trump signed legislation forgiving Hurricane Katrina debt that threatened HBCUs. Made HBCUs a priority by creating the position of executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs. • Trump received the Bipartisan Justice Award at a historically black college for his criminal justice reform accomplishments.
• New single-family home sales are up 31.6 percent in October 2019 compared to just one year ago.
• The poverty rate fell to a 17-year low of 11.8 percent under the Trump administration as a result of a jobsrich environment.
• Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels since the U.S. began collecting such data.
• President Trump signed a bill that creates five national monuments, expands several national parks, adds 1.3 million acres of wilderness, and permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
• Trump’s USDA committed more than $124 Million to help rebuild rural water infrastructure.
• Consumer confidence and small business confidence at an all time high.
• More than 7 million jobs created since election. More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history. More than 400,000 manufacturing jobs created since his election. Appendix 2 221
• Trump appointed 5 openly gay ambassadors. He ordered his openly gay ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell, to lead a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality across the globe.
• Through Trump’s Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative, Federal law enforcement more than doubled convictions of human traffickers and increased the number of defendants charged by 75 percent in ACTeam districts.
• In 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismantled an organization that was the internet’s leading source of prostitution-related advertisements resulting in sex trafficking.
• The Office of Management and Budget published new anti-trafficking guidance for government procurement officials to more effectively combat human trafficking. Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations arrested 1,588 criminals associated with Human Trafficking. United States law enforcement officers are collaborating with Mexican law enforcement officials to dismantle human trafficking networks operating across the U.S.-Mexico border.
• Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline to identify perpetrators and give victims the help they need. That hotline identified 16,862 potential human trafficking cases and provided 14,419 referrals to services between October 2017 and March 2019. Trump’s DOJ provided 222 A Catholic Vote for Trump grants to organizations that support human trafficking victims – serving nearly 9,000 cases from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security has hired more victim assistance specialists, helping ensure that victims have the proper resources and support.
• President Trump has called on Congress to pass school choice legislation so that no child is trapped in a failing school because of his or her zip code. The President signed funding legislation in September 2018 that increased funding for school choice by $42 million. The tax cuts signed into law by President Trump promote school choice by allowing families to use 529 college savings plans for elementary and secondary education.
• Under his leadership ISIS has lost most of their territory and been largely dismantled. ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed.
• Signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
• Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.
• President Trump issued an executive order prohibiting the U.S. government from discriminating against Christians or punishing expressions of faith.
• Signed an executive order that allows the government to withhold money from college campuses Appendix 2 223 deemed to be anti-Semitic and who fail to combat anti-Semitism.
• President Trump has ordered a halt to all U.S. taxpayer money going to international organizations that fund or perform abortions.
• Trump imposed sanctions on the socialists in Venezuela who have killed their citizens.
• Finalized new trade agreement with South Korea. • Made a deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
• Withdrew the U.S. from the job killing TPP deal. • Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
• OK’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.
• Has had over a dozen US hostages freed, including those Obama could not get freed.
• Trump signed the Music Modernization Act, the biggest change to copyright law in decades.
• Trump secured billions that will fund the building of a wall at our southern border.
• The Trump administration is promoting second chance hiring to give former inmates the opportunity to live crime-free lives and find meaningful employment.
• The Department of Education is expanding an initiative that allows individuals in prison to receive Pell Grants to better prepare themselves for the workforce.
• The Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons 224 A Catholic Vote for Trump launched a new “Ready to Work Initiative” to help connect employers directly with former prisoners.
• President Trump’s historic tax cut legislation included new Opportunity Zone Incentives to promote investment in low-income communities across the country. 8,764 communities across the country have been designated as Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones are expected to spur $100 billion in long-term private capital investment in economically distressed communities across the country.
• Trump directed the Education Secretary to end Common Core.
• Trump signed the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund into law.
• Trump signed measure funding prevention programs for Veteran suicide.
• Companies have brought back over a trillion dollars from overseas because of the TCJA bill that Trump signed.
• Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than 30 years.
• Stock Market has reached record highs.
• Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
• African-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
• Hispanic-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
• Asian-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
• Women’s unemployment rate is at a 65-year low. Appendix 2 225
• Youth unemployment is at a 50-year low.
• We have the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded.
• The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans.
• 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future— the highest ever.
• As a result of the Republican tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.
• Record number of regulations eliminated that hurt small businesses.
• Signed welfare reform requiring able-bodied adults who don’t have children to work or look for work if they’re on welfare.
• Under Trump, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history.
• Reformed the Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
• Signed Right-To-Try legislation which allows terminally ill patients to try any experimental treatment that wasn’t allowed before.
• Secured $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
• Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care. 226 A Catholic Vote for Trump
• U.S. oil production recently reached all-time high so we are less dependent on oil from the Middle East.
• The U.S. is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
• Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord in 2017 and that same year the U.S. still led the world by having the largest reduction in Carbon emissions.
• NATO allies increased their defense spending because of his pressure campaign.
• Created Space Force and got it signed into law as our 6th military branch.
• Has his circuit court judges being confirmed faster than any other new administration.
• Had his Supreme Court Justice’s Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh confirmed.
• Moved U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
• Agreed to a new trade deal with Mexico & Canada that will increase jobs here and money coming in.
• Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
• Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices.
• Has agreed to a part 1 trade deal with China. (Still negotiating part 2.)
• Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
• Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer Appendix 2 227 legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
• Another upcoming accomplishment to add: In the next week or two Trump will be signing the first major anti-robocall law in decades called the TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence). Once it’s law the TRACED Act will extend the period of time the FCC has to catch and punish those who intentionally break telemarketing restrictions. The bill also requires voice service providers to develop a framework to verify calls are legitimate before they reach your phone
• The TRACED Act requires carriers to share tools and the ability to block spam callers with customers for free. It also changes the fine imposed on spam telemarketers from $1,500 to $10,000 PER CALL. Earlier this year, Trump’s FCC fined one robocall guy $120 million.
• The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by Trump doubled the maximum amount of the child tax credit available to parents and lifted the income limits so more people could claim it. It also created a new tax credit for other dependents.
• In 2018, President Trump signed into law a $2.4 billion funding increase for the Child Care and Development Fund, providing a total of $8.1 billion to states to fund child care for low-income families. • The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) signed into law by Trump provides a tax 228 A Catholic Vote for Trump credit equal to 20-35 percent of child care expenses, $3,000 per child and $6,000 per family, plus Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside up to $5,000 in pre-tax money to use for child care.
• In 2019, President Donald Trump signed the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (CARES) into law which allocates $1.8 billion in funding over the next five years to help people with autism spectrum disorder and to help their families.
• In 2019, President Trump signed into law two funding packages providing nearly $19 million in new funding for Lupus specific research and education programs, as well an additional $41.7 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most Lupus funding ever.