A Trumped-Up Apology

A Trumped-Up Apology October 8, 2016

Donald Trump

This is going to be a political post. Originally I meant to keep this blog free of political discussion, but I think this is a subject that is important for Catholic women, especially Catholic women pro-lifers, so I am putting it here instead of my personal blog. If you are as sick of politics as I am, feel free to skip this post. But this needs to be said, in my opinion.

Today a story broke regarding an audio recording of Donald Trump making some appalling, misogynistic, sexually explicit statements. You can read about the controversy here if you have somehow been unaware of it until now.

Trump first issued a statement dismissing his comments as “locker room banter,” tried to shift blame on to Bill Clinton, and apologized if anyone was “offended” (I think we all can recognize that as a non-apology.) 

Ten hours later, apparently after he realized that this statement would not be sufficient to quell the very large public outcry instigated by his behavior, he released a second, longer “apology.” 

It’s sort of an apology… for saying words that he regrets. No apology for dehumanizing women, no acknowledgment that it’s wrong to dehumanize women, no acknowledgement that both sexual assault and adultery are wrong and that he was wrong for glorifying them. 

No apology from this alleged Christian for lusting after a woman in his heart, which constitutes adultery.

He only apologizes for the words he said, because he claims to regret them. But he doesn’t really explain why he regrets saying those words.

He makes no mention of the initial statement he released earlier in the day in which he tried to justify his words as mere “locker room banter.” (Bear in mind, he was a 60-year-old married man when he engaged in this “banter.”) 

So was that statement wrong? Was he lying to us in his earlier statement? If not, does it mean he’s lying in his second statement? Which one should we believe? He doesn’t say.

Then he tries to shift blame on to the Clintons, which he also did in the first statement. While I agree that Bill has also dehumanized women, and that both Clintons dehumanize unborn children, neither of them are claiming to campaign as pro-life candidates, as Trump does.

To be pro-life means that you recognize the inherent human dignity and worth of every person. That includes women. Treating women as objects for sexual pleasure, as Trump did (and still does) dehumanizes them. 

It is logically inconsistent to claim to be pro-life while dehumanizing human beings.

I’m going to repeat that, because this is important.

It is logically inconsistent to claim to be pro-life while dehumanizing human beings.

I am not surprised that the Clintons dehumanize human beings. They have always done so. They probably don’t think they’re doing so (oppressors usually don’t), but that doesn’t change the fact that they are. 

However, it is appalling on several levels that a candidate who has claimed to be pro-life since 2011 — who has reputedly hired a cadre of pro-life advisers (many of whom are faithful Catholics), and who just the previous day sent a letter to Catholics promising to defend the sanctity of life — cannot issue an adequate apology for his appalling behavior other than to say he regrets his words.

He makes a weak reference to wanting to be a better man, but otherwise he remains silent about the flagrant violations of human dignity that his “words” portrayed. 

This from a man who claims to be pro-life? Who claims to care about the inherent worth and dignity of unborn children? 

How can we trust him to care about the inherent worth and dignity of unborn children if he displays blatant disregard for the inherent worth and dignity of women?

I beg you, do not justify this. Do not downplay this. It does not matter that these specific actions happened eleven years ago. It does not matter that other people do this. It does not matter that other politicians do this. It does not matter that the Clintons are just as guilty. 

Trump claims to be a pro-life candidate, and if we as pro-lifers have any integrity at all, we will demand that he act like a pro-lifer. 

Stop making excuses for him. Stop saying that beating Hillary is more important then the integrity and credibility of our movement.

At the very least, we should demand a that he give a public and thorough apology for his words and his actions — an apology that actually demonstrates his understanding of the gravity of his actions as well as the evil that comes of dehumanizing other human beings. 

Ideally, we should demand that he withdraw from the race. Even if he truly is sincere in his desire to be pro-life — which I doubt, but let’s say he is for sake of argument — he is nowhere near mature enough in his understanding of human rights and human dignity to adequately defend the intrinsic worth and value of every human being from conception to natural death as President of the United States. 

Yes, this might mean that the GOP loses the presidential election, but frankly I think there is more at stake right now.

Movements die when corruption is allowed to infiltrate its ranks for the sake of political expediency. If we cannot root out the corruption in our midst, we have not only lost this presidential election, we have lost our integrity and our credibility. 

We cannot claim to respect the inherent worth and dignity of human beings if the person we choose to represent us in the White House regularly dehumanizes them. That is the quickest and most expedient way to end the pro-life movement as we know it. 

At this point, I care more about helping women in crisis and saving babies than I do about saving Donald Trump’s reputation.

Do you?

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  • jen


  • Mary

    In his statement, Trump said, “I’ve said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between words and actions.”

    I don’t get it! We’re not talking about his words, we’re talking about *what he said he DID.* He is on tape admitting to seducing a married woman and bribing her with furniture (wth is that even about?) and “laying on her hard” or whatever. He is saying that he did it! His words ARE his actions!

    And yet, everyone’s like “der I don’t care what Trump says because Hillary’s done worse.” They have both DONE worse. I’m so tired of his sycophantic defenders acting like he’s not a scumbag because Hillary is.

  • Silvina

    Yes. All of what you said. 1000%. Moral relativism is tainting the pro life movement and corrupting it from the inside. We accuse liberals of that relativism, but when we bend backwards to call evil good, we do exactly the same. It is so tragic.

  • Edward J. Mayer

    This is my Comment! I myself am sick&tired of the politics of this country,When I go To VOTE,Its the lesser of TWO Evilly persons,Just remember our country is ALL Most Finish!So when we go to VOTE, Think real hard about the Future of this once Great COUNTRY of ours. May GOD bless us all.

  • Dan

    I didn’t decide to vote for Trump because I thought he was Christian or even a “nice” person – I decided to vote for Trump because he released a list of his picks for the Supreme Oligarchy and they are all fairly benevolent rulers. As opposed to Hillary’s radicals who will either shred the Constitution for all time or push the country over the brink into chaos (as I sincerely doubt that any of us would meekly submit to an Australia style weapons round-up OR the imposition of immorality on our pulpits) – neither of which is appealing to me in the slightest. Neither Trump nor Hillary can do anything to overturn Roe vs. Wade – only a change in the Supreme Court or a Convention of States to Amend the Constitution can do that. The President only has one real power in this matter – nominating the Judicial Oligarchs. Peace.

  • We cannot claim to respect the inherent worth and dignity of human beings if the person we choose to represent us in the White House regularly dehumanizes them. That is the quickest and most expedient way to end the pro-life movement as we know it.

  • Edward J. Mayer

    You are so RIGHT, THE people do not KNOW THIS,The Supreme court Makes The LAWS of this once Great Nation.

  • Cassie

    Well written. Thank you. It is words like yours that show the pro-life movement as caring about the humanity of all people and not as “a war on women”. Again, thank you.

  • Sue

    Fools have been brainwashed to believe Trump cares about the Supreme Court. He originally said his liberal sister would make a good justice. So Republican leadership gave him a list to make him look good. Now he threatens people with the list to get them to vote for him.
    Both Clintons and Trump are liberals who care only about their own selfish desires. There are better choices in 3rd party candidates.

  • Sue

    Well-written. Neither of the major candidates is Pro-Life.
    Evan McMullin, Independent Candidate for President – “Our respect for life is the most important measure of our humanity. From conception to death – and any time in between – life is precious and we have a responsibility to protect it. A culture that subsidizes abortion on demand runs counter to the fundamental American belief in the potential of every person – it undermines the dignity of mother and child alike.” McMullin will appoint originalist justices who are also firmly pro-life. He would like to have Roe vs Wade overturned.

  • I’m planning to write him in!

  • Agreed!

  • Karen

    This was behavior of over 11 yrs ago. Do I think Trump is a good candidate? NO…do I think that he is perfect? NO…you have to ask yourself how much damage you want your president to do… as Christians we are to hope and believe all things…this is what I believe. God is in control of EVERYTHING, He has a plan and I believe if Clinton or Trump wins – His plan will not be thwarted. That being said, it is important that we don’t fall into the grips of “GOTCHA” politics. When I was a young woman I was a rabid, liberal Democrat who rallied for abortion. Even after becoming a christian, when I was not in a church and not discipled, I smoked pot and hung with the same friends….for a while…. I have come a very long way from there and I am a much different person now. WHY? Because of the good people I had around me who gently led me to Christ for each and every thing. I do not think that Trump has that around him, but I do have to believe and hope that he has changed about these issues surrounding pro-life matters as he says he has. Instead, a LOT of christians are judging him by past WORDS – believe me I don’t think Trump is an icon of morality – but to vote in a manner that will let the Clintons back in the WH with their overwhelming load of lies, sexual issues, horrible policies, ANTI-Christian policies, their intents to shred the Constitution is so very anti-christian in and of itself and because they LIE or CHEAT with “nicer” words makes me understand how critical thinking has left the arena.

  • His two non-apologies were October 7. He clearly demonstrated an utter lack of understanding as to why his actions and words at that time were so egregious.

    You know, Bill Clinton’s crimes were much longer than 11 years ago but he is still getting raked over the coals about them (and rightly so).

  • Susan

    Donald has read a piece of paper with names of people he would nominate for the supreme court. He has also said his sister would be a great judge. His liberal, Planned Parenthood supporting sister.

    We don’t need laws or the supreme court to end abortion anyway.

    Hillary will win in a landslide.

    If pro-life people don’t denounce this man, kiss good-bye any idea of ever ending abortion for several generations. The voters in America are on to the idea that many Christians and the GOP don’t care about the mothers. Supporting Donald Trump just furthers that idea.

  • Why should we trust him? He has proven that he has no credibility or integrity. If he can’t keep his marriage vows, why should we trust him to keep promises to voters?

  • BTW, I agree with you, just echoing your agreement 🙂

  • Right on,We all have past sins to bear ,But we learn to change our ways.


  • Michael Davis

    Your bias is completely evident here, but that aside, your FACTS are wrong as well. At the time of these recordings, Trump was 59 years old, not 70. Even that aside, you presume that “locker room banter” has an expiration date based on a person’s age and not their personal choices.

  • I did not say he was 70, I said he was 60. (Actually he was 59.) and yes, I’m absolutely biased in favor of NOT using dehumanizing language, not objectifying women, and not bragging about sexual assault and adultery, especially when one claims to be pro-life.

    Just because it is allegedly locker room banter does not make it right, acceptable, or something people should condone or minimize.

    You’ve also missed the entire point of this post. My point was that if Trump truly understood what the pro-life cause was, and why it was important, he would have demonstrated a deeper understanding about why it is wrong to talk about women that way, and why sexual assault/adultery is wrong. But he did not display any such awareness. Therefore, he is not, as he claims, pro-life.

  • Susan

    I am biased too!

  • Brenda

    Thanks for writing this post ! I am also tired of politics but agree that your post was needed. Trump was never the ideal candidate to begin with for any Catholic , if we are talking about supporting someone who promotes catholic values. His lack of charity (see how he bullied Jeb Bush and everyone else off the ballot and how disrespectful he is when talking to others who disagree with him or challenge him, including pageant queens). Look at the offensive comments he has made about various groups of people! I don’t see how I can defend someone like Trump. This is not about saying you will vote for him because Hilary is worse on many accounts. This is about acknowledging his troubling behaviors , comments and actions.

    Catholics who insist on defending trump by saying “this recording was 11 years ago” or who downplay the many troubling aspects about Trump, undermine our important pro-life message (that we care about all lives) and just our overall message of love and pursuit virtue as Catholics. (For example, no one is perfect but it’s virtuous to own mistakes and apologize vs halfway non apologies) Let’s call a spade a spade! Side note : IMHO , There were other pro-life candidates who ran who I think would have been better options (Jeb Bush being an example ) but for whatever reason, many people decided to support a man who used very inflammatory language in public and as we now know- also in private .

    Also, I think it’s good to hope that Trump means what he says about being pro-life but his actions say otherwise. He has flip flopped so much on life and other issues . I am not trying to attack Trump from a personal level. I just wish that people would stop acting as if simply because he is the (current ) seemingly only option to stop Hilary , that his bad behavior and poor witnessing can be justified .

    Praying for our country !Our Lady of Guadalupe, help us!!

  • bam

    It really doesn’t matter how you interpret Mr. Trump’s apology. It all boils down to Trump or Hillary. You know Hillary supports abortion. Trump says he is pro life. In my opinion; I have to take a chance on Trump because Hillary is definitely a known murderer.

  • It doesn’t boil down to Trump or Hillary. I am voting third-party because I cannot vote for either of them in good conscience.

    I see no point in taking a chance on Trump when his election would certainly be the death knell for the pro-life movement. Whoever wins, we lose.

  • bam

    Third party voting is a vote for Hillary. Trump is not perfect; nor is your third party candidate. So Trump did that years ago. He claims he has changed. I don’t know if that is true or not. Neither do you. I do know that Hillary is a MURDERER by openly supporting abortion, queers marrying each other, killing Americans in Benghazi, and many other crimes as well. Anyone who has been alive in America and paying attention knows that a third party vote is a waste. The man held less than 10% of the population vote. He has NO chance at winning to help in any way. At least with Trump there is a chance to stop the abortions. Any other vote is no chance at all, and any other vote is for the murderer. So, it still boils down to having a chance to stop abortions with Trump, or no chance at all with Hillary.

  • There is no chance with either of them. Both of their actions prove they are not pro-life.

  • bam

    Apparently you have not read Gary Johnson’s web site is PRO ABORTION ! So, now what?

  • I’m not voting for Gary Johnson. I am writing in Evan McMullin.

  • bam

    Oh, ok. That’s a real possibility of help.

  • Whoever wins, we lose, at this point. So I am voting my conscience. And it may very well help for 2020.

  • Bina

    Nicely written argument. And Mr trump deserves it all.But following your example will only lead to a Democrat for President and nothing close to prolife in that administration as against a Republican president. At least we know the party line.I don’t think we are voting for a person based on his or her morality because most Americans believes in moral relativism and anything can be justified with that belief( and neither candidate would qualify).

    I attended Cardinal Dinardo’s talk in our parish last week where he spoke about Catholics and voting and the USCBC’s document on “Forming consciences for faithful citizenship”. To quote” The bishops do not tell Catholics how to vote; the responsibility to make political choices rests with each person and his properly formed conscience, aided by prudence. This exercise of conscience begins with always opposing policies that violate human life or weaken its protection”
    Disgusting as Donald trump’s personal behavior and talk sounds, we have to go by his prolife stand rather than a woman with no hesitation to back partial birth abortion. Voting for a third party will in essence give your vote to Hilary but assuage your conscience but will you be alright with the path that a Democratic President will lead this country down? Maybe for the greater good, we should all examine our consciences and not be the stone throwers. Aren’t we all responsible for the locker room talk, the fact that young girls are proud to be hanging on the arms of the school quarterback, that a date with the football captain has no equals? Maybe as mothers, we can do a better job of teaching our children values. The election period seems to be the only time that America brings out its moral police. At other times we tolerate or even enjoy the disgusting immorality around us.

  • Donald Trump’s allegedly pro life stand is a sham. Both candidates will damage the pro life cause. Whoever wins, we lose. I would rather cast a vote for a third-party and try to affect positive change for the 2020 election than compromise my morals and my conscience by voting for either of these substandard, morally reprehensible candidates.

  • bam

    Very nicely done Ms. Bina! We either vote for Mr. Trump, or we welcome in the murderer Clinton.

  • Or we vote third-party and send a precise and clear message that neither of the two major party candidates are remotely acceptable.

  • bam

    They don’t listen to third party! NOBODY listens to 3rd party! Ross Perot was the closet one in history to get any where on 3rd party, and he missed it by miles! He did not even garner 1/5 the vote. Get with the real world JoAnna! A third party vote IS a vote for Clinton. Whether you wish to admit it or not; that is the way it is!

  • But Clinton says a third party vote is a vote for Trump, so it cancels out.

    I can’t in good conscience vote for either of the two major candidates because they both advocate for intrinsic evil. If your conscience allows you to vote for evil, that’s on you. Mine does not. So I will vote third-party in good conscience.

  • bam

    HA! I can’t believe you will believe ANYTHING that woman/criminal says. Go ahead, vote for the murderer, criminal, lying, conniving woman. I wish we had better choices too, but we don’t.

  • I’m not voting for Hillary. She advocates
    for evil. I am voting for third party candidate.

  • Bina

    As a lay Catholic,I’ve always found help in the Catechism of the Catholic church and would recommend it highly.
    1780 The dignity of the human person implies and requires uprightness of moral conscience. Conscience includes the perception of the principles of morality (synderesis); their application in the given circumstances by practical discernment of reasons and goods; and finally judgment about concrete acts yet to be performed or already performed. The truth about the moral good, stated in the law of reason, is recognized practically and concretely by the prudent judgment of conscience. We call that man prudent who chooses in conformity with this judgment.
    1787 Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral judgments less assured and decision difficult. But he must always seriously seek what is right and good and discern the will of God expressed in divine law.
    1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

  • Absolutely. The USCCB voting guide is very good as well. Using both of those resources, I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot vote for either Trump or Hillary in good conscience.

  • Maea

    I’m a little late to this, but I’m glad you made a few of the points you did. For one, I can’t consider Trump to be pro-life if he’s okay with abortions toward unborn babies who were conceived from rapes. Of course, rape is terrible, and there should be mercy extended to the mother, but claiming to be pro-life while making a disclaimer that the circumstances of one’s conception makes abortion justifiable isn’t pro-life. It’s still includes advocating for abortion, with limits. I personally don’t use the term “pro-life,” as much as I find using anti-abortion to be a better descriptor of the movement’s goals.