There’s eating your words, and there’s eating your words. Here are some words about Donald Trump that Joseph Cella, reportedly the new “chief liaison to the campaign for Catholic affairs,” has apparently decided he is willing to choke down:
Donald Trump is manifestly unfit to be president of the United States. His campaign has already driven our politics down to new levels of vulgarity. His appeals to racial and ethnic fears and prejudice are offensive to any genuinely Catholic sensibility. He promised to order U.S. military personnel to torture terrorist suspects and to kill terrorists’ families — actions condemned by the Church and policies that would bring shame upon our country. And there is nothing in his campaign or his previous record that gives us grounds for confidence that he genuinely shares our commitments to the right to life, to religious freedom and the rights of conscience, to rebuilding the marriage culture, or to subsidiarity and the principle of limited constitutional government.
Here are a few more:
Mr. Trump’s record and his campaign show us no promise of greatness; they promise only the further degradation of our politics and our culture. We urge our fellow Catholics and all our fellow citizens to reject his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination by supporting a genuinely reformist candidate.
Cella, the founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, was among a group of prominent conservative Catholics who signed an anti-Trump “Appeal to our Fellow Catholics” that was publish by National Review during the primary elections. That manifesto was written by Robert George and George Weigel, neither of whom is among the names that have been reported to have joined Trump’s new Catholic advisory council.
In addition to former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, as reported by Philly.com, the campaign’s new Catholic advisory council includes some high profile right-wing activists, among them:
…Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List; Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback; Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union; former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R); U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Republican of Ohio; Jim Nicholson, former Republican national chairman, secretary of veterans affairs and ambassador to the Vatican; longtime conservative leader Richard Viguerie; and Tom Monaghan of Michigan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and the Ave Maria University.
The Trump campaign also released a letter this month naming Dannenfelser the head of his campaign’s “Pro-Life Coalition.” As Miranda noted last week, Dannenfelser wants to criminalize abortion in America without exception; she called exceptions in the case of rape “abominable.” Dannenfelser also has some word-eating to do; she is on record with some off-message opinions about the candidate she’s now supporting. A letter she and other anti-choice activists signed in January declared that Trump “cannot be trusted” on abortion. And this:
Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular. He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.
America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either. Therefore we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.
In the recent letter addressed “Dear Pro-Life Leader,” Trump made a number of promises:
I am committed to:
- Nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.
- Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.
- Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.
Trump urged anti-choice activists to “make this contrast clear in the minds of pro-life voters, especially those in the battleground states” so that “Mike Pence and I can be advocates for the unborn and their mothers every day we are in the White House.”
Former Reagan administration official Faith Whittlesey, a member of the campaign’s Catholic advisory board, reportedly said Trump “will fight for Catholics in defense of life, and their religious liberty” and claimed that Hillary Clinton would threaten “the ability of Christians to fully and freely practice their faith that is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.”