Are you Catholic? And do you really know what your candidate thinks about your faith and your Catholic values?
It’s not often we get such a clear opportunity to read a “He Said / She Said” report emanating from the two political parties. But on Tuesday, October 11, there was another bombshell data drop from WikiLeaks, as almost 1,200 hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta were released.
In one email titled “Truth,” staffers acknowledge that Clinton has
One of the emails might be of particular interest to Catholics, a 2011 email titled “Conservative Catholicism.” The thread includes comments from several members of the Clinton team:
- Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta,
- Clinton’s 2016 campaign communications director Jen Palmieri, and
- Center for American Progress senior fellow John Halpin.
The three, who are close to Clinton, shared the viewpoint that Catholics are “backwards.”
In contrast, last week Donald Trump himself penned a letter to prominent Catholic leader Gail Buckley, president of Catholic Scripture Study International, apologizing because his schedule didn’t permit him to attend the meeting of the Catholic Leadership Conference.
Following, some details regarding the two political parties’ communications regarding Catholics.
1. THE CLINTON CAMP
WikiLeaks made the announcement of their latest email release via Twitter:
Among the documents released October 11, one email exchange in particular is particularly offensive to Catholics, particularly conservative Catholics.
The Media Research Center cites specific examples of blatant anti-Catholicism in the email chain:
Released by WikiLeaks as part of the alleged cache of “Podesta emails,” the email chain, titled “Conservative Catholicism,” begins with Halpin sending an email to Podesta and Palmieri chastising News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson for being Catholic. Halpin notes:
Ken Auletta’s latest piece on Murdoch in the New Yorker starts off with the aside that both Murdoch and Robert Thompson, managing editor of the WSJ, are raising their kids Catholic. Friggin’ Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the SC and think tanks to the media and social groups.
Halpin goes on to call conservatives who are Catholic an “amazing bastardization of the faith.” He asserts conservatives “must be attracted” to Catholicism for its “severely backwards gender relations”:
It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.
Palmieri, who was also with the Center for American Progress at the time, adds she believes Murdoch, Thomson, and many other conservatives are Catholic because they think it’s “the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion.”
She adds, “Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”
Upon reviewing the chain, Podesta claims Palmieri made an “excellent point.”
Excellent point. They can throw around “Thomistic” thought and “subsidiarity” and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.
Pretty ugly, isn’t it? I do realize these words came not from Clinton herself, but from her closest advisors. And I am not holding my breath waiting for Clinton to denounce these remarks as the ugly hate speech that they are.
The Trump Campaign’s Catholic Advisory Group has released a statement, denouncing the bigoted anti-Catholic statements of Clinton campaign staff and calling for an apology. The statement reads:
For 30 years, Hillary Clinton has harbored open and extreme hostility to issues of importance to Catholics. She is for partial birth abortion and thinks taxpayers should pay for it. She also supports denying full and free exercise of the Catholic faith of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have taken care of the elderly poor since 1839, through Obamacare’s HHS mandate, recently struck down by the Supreme Court. The mandate would have forced these Catholic sisters to pay for contraceptives and abortion pills in their health care plan or else face crippling government fines that would have shut their doors and ended their charitable work if they refused to abide by this onerous and unconstitutional rule.
The emails published by WikiLeaks reveal the depths of the hostility of Hillary Clinton and her campaign toward Catholics, and the open anti-Catholic bigotry of her senior advisors, who attack the deeply held beliefs and theology of Catholics.
These Clinton advisors, viciously mocking Catholics as they have, turn the clock back to the days of the 20th century “No Catholics Need Apply” type of discrimination.
Hillary Clinton and her campaign should be ashamed of themselves and should immediately apologize to all Catholics and people of good will in the United States.
2. DONALD TRUMP’S LATEST LETTER TO CATHOLICS
Standing in sharp contrast to the anti-Catholic vitriol emanating from the Clinton Campaign is a letter which Donald Trump sent on October 5 to Gail Buckley, founder of Catholic Scripture Study International, apologizing that he could not attend the Catholic Leadership Conference in Denver.
In the letter, which was read to attendees at the conference, Trump said:
Unfortunately, my schedule precludes me from meeting and talking with you at the Catholic Leadership Conference in Denver.
First, I would like to send my warm greetings to the Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila. In discussions with my Catholic Advisory Group, it is clear Archbishop Aquila’s leadership in the Denver Archdiocese has been exemplary, as was the leadership of his predecessor, Archbishop Charles Chaput.
Should I be elected President, I look forward to working with these two respected leaders of the Catholic Church in America, their brother bishops, and Congress, on issues of importance to the Catholic Church and Catholics.
Catholics in the United States of America are a rich part of our nation’s history. The United States was, and is, strengthened through Catholic men, women, priests and religious Sisters, ministering to people, marching in the Civil Rights movement, educating millions of children in Catholic schools, creating respected health care institutions, and in their founding and helping the ongoing growth of the pro-life cause.
I have a message for Catholics: I will be there for you. I will stand with you. I will fight for you.
As First Lady, US Senator, Secretary of State, and two-time presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton has been hostile to the core issues and policies of greatest concern to Catholics: life, religious liberty, Supreme Court nominations, affordable and quality healthcare, educational choice and home schooling.
For instance, Hillary Clinton supports forcing The Little Sisters of the Poor who have taken care of the elderly since 1839, to pay for contraceptives in their health care plan (even though they have never wanted them, never used them and never will), and having the government fine them heavily if they continue to refuse to abide by this onerous mandate.
That is a hostility to religious liberty you will never see in a Trump Administration.
Hillary Clinton’s hostility to the issues of greatest importance to Catholics is made worse by her running mate Senator Tim Kaine.
Once pro-life and against partial birth abortion, Kaine now has a 100% voting record from the National Abortion Rights Action League. Kine once was for traditional marriage, even saying “it is a uniquely valuable institution that must be preserved”, but as of 2013, Kaine no longer supported traditional marriage. And on religious liberty? Shockingly, even Kaine supports forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraceptives in their health care plan, and to have the government fine them heavily if they refuse.
On issues and policies of greatest concern to Catholics, the differences between myself and Hillary Clinton are stark. I will stand with Catholics and fight for you. Hillary Clinton has been openly hostile to these core Catholic issues for a long time, and is only going to be worse with Tim Kaine now following her lead.
On life, I am, and will remain, pro-life. I will defend your religious liberties and the right to fully and freely practice your religion, as individuals, business owners and academic institutions. I will make absolutely certain religious orders like The Little Sisters of the Poor are not bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs. I will protect and work to expand educational choice, the rights of homeschooling families, and end Common Core. I will repeal and replace Obamacare so you can have better and more affordable health care. I will keep our country and communities safe while respecting the dignity of each human being. I will help Catholic families and workers, and all families and workers, by bringing jobs back to our country where they belong. And I will appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench, like Justice Clarence Thomas and the late and beloved great Catholic thinker and jurist, Justice Antonin Scalia.
We are at a crossroads in our country. Much like 1980. But the stakes are higher now–the highest they have ever been. We have two candidates representing entirely different agendas for our country that will take it in two completely different directions for generations to come. And our direction offers a much brighter future for our beloved country.
Thank you for giving me the time to share my thoughts with you on some of the critical issues facing us today.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers.
God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.
Donald J. Trump
Image: By Jnn13 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons