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athgarvan

CHRISTIANS AND TRUMP

Christians must assess Trump's policies on a case-by-case basis. He wants to 'destroy' Islamic fundamentalism. He also wants to defend America’s borders against illegal immigrants. He has an extremely provocative style and a very problematic temperament and personality.

What should Christians make of Trump? Certainly, it is difficult to approve of his personal lifestyle. Despite this, many Christian women appear to have voted for Trump. Many liked his (newfound) opposition to abortion just as others liked Clinton's staunch support for abortion-on-demand. Many Catholics voted for Trump for purely, or even partly, religious reasons.

Some Catholics will have voted for him because of economic factors. He won big support in working class areas because they have been unhappy to see their jobs disappear to China and Mexico.

If a Catholic were to vote based on religion it would have been impossible to give whole-hearted support to either Trump or Clinton. Few Catholics will approve of Trump's overly provocative style, his lack of compromise on seemingly any issue, his win-at-all-costs approach. Many will find his attitude towards climate change deeply objectionable.

All Catholics ought to approve of his support for the right-to-life, no matter how opportunistic it may be. Many will approve of his desire to do the right thing by working class communities. If he manages to lift them up through his policies, it would be hard for Catholics not to applaud that. But Christians also believe in ‘welcoming the stranger’.

Comments

I think that you may not have all the information about American Catholics. After the Birth Control Encyclical, American Catholics were very torn.Prior to it's enactment, many American priests had been counseling that birth control was fine. When the encyclical came out, many American Catholics decided to ignore it.

Here's a 2013 Pew Research pole that says that 76% of American Catholics don't have a problem with birth control. It also has the numbers on homosexuality, gay marriage and abortion.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/19/majority-of-u-s-catholics-opinions-run-counter-to-church-on-contraception-homosexuality/


I bring up birth control, because it set the stage for American Catholics to be what has been described as "Cafeteria Catholics" -- people who pick and choose which church teachings they will follow. If they use birth control, they may confess it, but they don't stop using it. They might not confess it at all. That research poll says that about 50% of American Catholics think that abortion should be legal.

I don't think that Trump's stance on abortion -- whatever it really may be -- played any part in the decision making of most American Catholics. In theory it played a part of Evangelical Christians, but they ignored a lot of other aspects of Trumps life that in theory they object to. In the endless exploration after the fact, it was found that most voters who had previously voted for Obama and then voted for Trump, did so for economic reasons. While people in white collar jobs did well under Obama, the blue collar workers had a very different experience as manufacturing jobs decline in the US.

(I couldn't be a Cafeteria Catholic, so I stopped being a Catholic. It was later on my spiritual journey that I realized that I wasn't a Christian either.)

Namaste!
Namaste!
It is really difficult to know how or why Catholics or Christians in general actually voted as they did. I was reflecting on how I might have voted myself if I had such a right. Very, very difficult.
I think that you may not have all the information about American Catholics. After the Birth Control Encyclical, American Catholics were very torn.Prior to it's enactment, many American priests had been counseling that birth control was fine. When the encyclical came out, many American Catholics decided to ignore it.

Here's a 2013 Pew Research pole that says that 76% of American Catholics don't have a problem with birth control. It also has the numbers on homosexuality, gay marriage and abortion.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/19/majority-of-u-s-catholics-opinions-run-counter-to-church-on-contraception-homosexuality/


I bring up birth control, because it set the stage for American Catholics to be what has been described as "Cafeteria Catholics" -- people who pick and choose which church teachings they will follow. If they use birth control, they may confess it, but they don't stop using it. They might not confess it at all. That research poll says that about 50% of American Catholics think that abortion should be legal.

I don't think that Trump's stance on abortion -- whatever it really may be -- played any part in the decision making of most American Catholics. In theory it played a part of Evangelical Christians, but they ignored a lot of other aspects of Trumps life that in theory they object to. In the endless exploration after the fact, it was found that most voters who had previously voted for Obama and then voted for Trump, did so for economic reasons. While people in white collar jobs did well under Obama, the blue collar workers had a very different experience as manufacturing jobs decline in the US.

(I couldn't be a Cafeteria Catholic, so I stopped being a Catholic. It was later on my spiritual journey that I realized that I wasn't a Christian either.)

Namaste!
on a personal level - in my catholic days, of course i used birth control!
i thought Paul VI had betrayed the Holy Spirit who was clearly speaking in the body of the church and in the commission Paul appointed
I stood at the altar Lector and Cantor - confess? to what? using my conscience and doing what i knew to be right
i resented being pressured to wear a red rose to show my opposition to abortion - i refused!!
i believed then and now that it is a legal medical procedure which a woman has a right to chose
it is her conscience and her belief system that must guide the decision she makes with her doctor

Maybe some Catholics based their vote on those issues but far fewer than might be supposed

it was economics - and they were sold a bill of goods not based in reality
yes, jobs have gone abroad - yes, companies must be encouraged to keep jobs here
but those factory jobs have been replaced by automation and robotics
most of those jobs are not coming back

Catholics who voted for Trump voted for a liar!
they bought an unsupported dream - a fantasy - that appealed to their "reality show" view of politics
a man's character should influence your vote - is he honest? - does he have a record of service for the people?

voting on the basis of religion has a history in the US
it can lead to some very poor choices



Edited at 2017-02-09 23:54 (UTC)
He may say he is anti-abortion, but I wouldn't go so far as to say he supports right-to-life. One needs only to consider the plight of the refugees he has refused entry to, and that many of them will come to a bad end. That's not right-to-life.
That is what I was thinking.

I think the anti-abortion movement is incorrectly named and should be referred to as 'right-to-birth' as many of its supporters seem to have no desire to do anything to ensure the child has a life past that point.

Please note that I do not include those Roman Catholics following their church teachings in this group; their church does a great deal to ensure that underprivileged children, refugee children and so on, get support.

But, as a member of a Reformed Protestant church, I do include many of the American Evangelicals in this group - and definitely the current US President and vice-president.