“Prolife” Christian Trump supporters have wrought more destruction on the prolife cause and done more harm to the witness of the Church in the past three months than the Left have achieved in the past three decades. And for what?
I have worked for years writing about and trying to explain the Faith for those outside the Church and for those within it struggling to believe. One of the things I therefore have to do is try to describe the distinction between the guidance the Church offers and the sometimes unbelievably stupid and evil acts of Catholics. Many is the time I’ve had to point out that just because there is a picture of some bishop or priest offering a Nazi salute, this does not tell the whole story. I have to point out that two million Polish Catholics were murdered for resisting Hitler. That the pope resisted. That thousands of priests and religious resisted. That we have to remember all that as well and not get suckered into easy anti-Catholic narratives based solely on the foolish Catholics (and there were many of these) who somehow could not see the visible-from-space obvious that was plain as the noses on their own faces. In short, I have to, in defense of my Faith, constantly address the question “How could they *not* have seen?”
We are entering a period of unprecedented threat to the international order that has prevailed under American leadership since 1945. After eight years of President Obama’s retreat, the three major revisionist powers — Russia, China and Iran — see their chance to achieve regional dominance and diminish, if not expel, U.S. influence.
At a time of such tectonic instability, even the most experienced head of state requires wisdom and delicacy to maintain equilibrium. Trump has neither. His joining of supreme ignorance to supreme arrogance, combined with a pathological sensitivity to any perceived slight, is a standing invitation to calamitous miscalculation.
Two generations of Americans have grown up feeling that international stability is as natural as the air we breathe. It’s not. It depends on continual, calibrated tending. It depends on the delicate balancing of alliances and the careful signaling of enemies. It depends on avoiding self-inflicted trade wars and on recognizing the value of allies like Germany, Japan and South Korea as cornerstones of our own security rather than satrapies who are here to dispatch tribute to their imperial master in Washington.
It took seven decades to build this open, free international order. It could be brought down in a single presidential term. That would be a high price to pay for the catharsis of kicking over a table.
That’s why I oppose Trump. Because my grand-daughters are going to ask that question about my generation. They will have all the videos of the Catholics now loudly condemning their fellow Catholics to hell while proudly making the stupidest political decision of my lifetime and I don’t want to have to say to them, “There were lots of us who resisted. Don’t abandon the Faith because of the folly of some Catholics. It is Jesus who is the Truth, not we foolish, blind and sinful members of his Body. Forgive us for the catastrophe we marched the world into with both eyes open. Remember always that it was the Catholics who hated, fought, ridiculed, and opposed the Holy Father the loudest who were at the forefront of falling down before the Golden Ass and that it was serious, Mass-going Catholics who respected the Pope and the Magisterium who were the ones with whom Trump polled lowest. And pray for us that God will forgive us too.”