Forget the Russians, Pope Francis just intervened in the upcoming US elections – in a good way

Though he surely had other things on his mind, Pope Francis just intervened in the United States’ midterm elections and, I suspect, in the 2020 presidential contest, as well. One of the fundamental building blocks of Donald Trump’s we’ll-support-him-no-matter-how-offensive-venal-or-wrong-headed-he-is constituency is the anti-reproductive rights alignment. So long as the con-man-in-chief continues to verbally oppose abortion and appoint judges whose record indicates a willingness to overturn Roe v Wade, this group of single-issue voters is willing to give him a pass on coarse expressions of moral depravity, affronts to tolerant decency and assaults on social justice. What ranks this particular constituency ahead ...

Religious leaders’ electoral rush to Trump is a self-interested betrayal of trust

“Ecclesiastical establishments” James Madison wrote to his friend William Bradford Jr. in 1774, “tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.” If ever there was proof of Madison’s preternatural wisdom it was the role of organized religion in Donald Trump’s recent electoral victory. In fact, for those of us who take faith and politics seriously, the conduct of America’s major religious voting blocs—Catholics and evangelical Protestants—and, particularly their leaders is further evidence of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy that ought to disqualify them from further influence over the minds of reasonable Americans. Such people, even ...

Regarding Trump’s new pro-life stance: Catholics recognize a con man when they see one

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By now, I think we all know that Donald Trump would hock his kids’ kidneys to win this election. I’m probably being over fastidious, then, to note that I find his most recent attempt to exploit the painfully wrenching issue of abortion particularly offensive. I use the adjective wrenching, I suppose, because I’m a Catholic who personally opposes most therapeutic pregnancy terminations, but still supports the woman’s right to choose. I do so, in part, because the question of abortion’s morality hinges on a question to which we currently have no convincing scientific answer: At what point does life begin? Given our ...