A reader writes a thoughtful letter of complaint

A reader writes a thoughtful letter of complaint February 10, 2017


I have enjoyed how you have exposed the different hypocrisy’s and inconstancies in the varies positions of the right.

Thank you.

But I have to be honest  recently it has become so condescending that its hard to listen to.

I’m sorry my tone is offputting.  Flippancy is an ancient habit with me when I am in pain.  I am trying to break it, but old habits die hard.

Partly because you seem to think that all Catholics and Christians who support Trump are being hoodwinked, when honestly I’m not sure I’ve met one serious Catholic who voted for Trump that doesn’t have his or her eyes wide open to how phony this guy is on our values.  But I heard this line “we are aren’t looking for a pastor, we are looking for a body guard”, its true.  Clearly the “persecution” of Christians that you hear about from Rod Dreher types is over blown, but that fact that we need to be worried about making a case against gay marriage in the public square as a private citizen is enough to realize that we are in retreat, which is fine, but the desire to get 4-8 years to hedge some of the damage, over Hillary Clinton, is not something to look down on.

I hear you about that, but let me make the counter-case for why excuses for Trump are catastrophic for the American Church and, potentially, for the world.

The reality of the average Catholic Trump supporter is not that he talks about how phony the guy is.  The reality is that he voted for him telling himself that he would “hold Trump’s feet to the fire”–and then immediately began the project (still continuing at this hour) of responding to every idiotic, lying, crazy, and evil thing Trump has said and done since then with the appeal “But Hillary!”  More than that, when attempts are made to document the idiotic, lying, crazy, and evil things Trump does on a daily basis, the average, normal response of the Trump supporter is now

  • an overwhelming chorus of the cry “Fake news!” (even when the news is–as it nearly always is–well-documented).
  • silence (implying consent);
  • shouts to “unite behind the President” (why, when he is doing idiotic, lying, crazy, and evil things?);
  • deployment of the Genetic Fallacy (What? You listen to Keith Olbermann/WaPo/NY Times/CNN/all other sources critical of the President when they report thoroughly well-documented idiotic, lying, crazy, and evil things Trump is doing on a daily basis?  Well, I’m not going to listen to ritually impure sources like *that*!  I only listen to things that tell me what I want to hear!);
  • deployment of the tu quoque (Obama, whom we denounce as the worst president ever, did something vaguely resembling Trump’s cruel, draconian, immoral and unjust kick in the teeth to refugees, therefore Trump’s emulation of the worst president ever make him a genius and we will defend this act of stupid cruelty);
  • deployment of the unborn as human shields for everything Trump does: if you don’t support him, you want to kill babies
  • perpetual charges that opposition to Trump and his Bannonite Alt Right racist war on the Holy Father makes one a “liberal”.

In short, what I deeply feared would happen is, in fact, occurring: Instead of spending their time defending the unborn or the gospel, conservative prolife Catholic Trump supporters are devoting more and more of their energy to denying, excusing and defending Trump’s evils (and Bannon’s war on Francis the Commie pope).

Jesus never warned us to fear persecution.  He told us to expect it and to face it as he did.  What Jesus warned us of was *seduction*.  The prolife conservative Catholic in the US is radically immunocompromised against the virus of ethnonationalist blood and soil cult of fertility ideology that Trump and Bannon hawk.  It is buying the crap the Alt Right is selling and mainlining it.  And it is increasingly setting its face against the true gospel of Jesus Christ preached by and protected by the Holy Father in favor of a false ethnonationalist gospel preached by Bannon and enacted as policy by Trump.

I will congratulate you on your continued support for Pope Francis, what most on the right are missing is the same air cover on cultural issues that they think they are getting from Trump, they are really getting from Francis and they don’t even know it.

The left is made up of real bullies, and its ok to at least want a body guard,

On a large number of issues, the Left is correct and in line with the teaching of the Church.  It is long past time those on the Right who reflexively ignore the Church when the Left agrees with her learned some humility, realized it’s All Hands on Deck to stop Trump and Bannonite heretical racism, and reached across the aisle.

The Catholic Church in the United States is hemorrhaging to death.  6 people leave for every new Catholic.  Reactionary Catholics like this because they loathe converts and want the bulk of Catholics kicked out of the Church so she can become a Protestant Congregationalist model of people who like Latin, smells, and bells.  But this is not Catholic.  Catholic is “here comes everybody” and the communion is about catholicity and enormous diversity.  This pope has called us to evangelize, not drive away people with the embrace of  Bannonite Alt Right racism, misogyny, and defenses of lies.  The Church calls us to be more prolife, not less.  We are losing the next generation because they *see* how full of crap Trump is and how full of crap Raymond Arroyo was in lobbing him softballs and how full of crap KellyAnne Conway is and how full of crap her adorers are when they fawn over her for going to Mass in the morning and spending the rest of the day lying for Trump.  They see how full of crap a bloated, Machiavellian, thrice-married racist like Steve Bannon is.  And they see how full of crap conservative Trump supporters and Francis-haters are when they hold up an adulterer like Bannon and Trump as Christian defenders of the Faith while faking hysterics about Amoris Laetitia and their supposed love of family values.

And they are leaving in droves.

So yeah, my tone is not always so great as I watch the spectacular damage being done to the Church by Pharisees who are blind to their folly, cocksure of their superiority to the Holy Father himself, and bent on harming the livelihood of mothers of 10 who dare to argue with them.  I’m doing my best.  I don’t always succeed, but I’m trying.

I believe Trump to be the single greatest domestic threat this nation has ever faced. Why?  Because as bad as the Civil War was, Bobby Lee did not have the power to eradicate human life on earth. Trump literally has the power to end civilization.  And it is not at all out of the realm of possibility that he could do it because he is not a normal person.  He is crazy and unstable and  a liar even to himself.  And he has demoted the Chair of the Joint Chiefs and the Director of National Intelligence and placed a racist, conspiratorial kook who has said he has “no doubt” we will be at war with nuclear colossus China–one-fifth of the world’s population–in a couple of years.  More than that, his seduction of Christians is a grave peril to eternal souls and to the peace of the Church.

I don’t know a way to say that nicely to the people who are seduced by him.  So I’ve resigned myself to saying it the best I can and letting the chips fall where they may.  I pray God every day that the people who say they realize what a phony he is will stop writing me to complain I am mean and start writing Congress to say “Impeach Trump.”  I am not their enemy.  I don’t even know them, nor you.  Trump is your enemy.  Please direct your fire to him, the most dangerous domestic threat we have ever faced.  And, of course, pray for him as Paul said we should pray for all those in authority.  But bear in mind that when Paul wrote that, he meant Nero.  We have more power to protect innocents from Nero than Paul had.  We are called to use that power for the least of these.

Thanks for taking the time to write.  I know you genuinely have my good in mind and I appreciate it.  Please pray for me and I will pray for you.

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