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Have I Finally Found a Reason to Definitively Support Trump?     July 19, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, General Catholic, huh?, pr stunts, shocking, Society, Virtue.

Rorate ran an absolutely fascinating report the other day regarding statements Donald Trump has made concerning the Johnson Amendment, which for 62  years has severely limtited – one might even say throttled – the ability of religious institutions to endorse or condemn specific candidates by name.  That’s because the Johnson Amendment holds the church or religious institution’s tax exempt status under threat for so doing.

What Trump said, is that he would seek to repeal the Johnson Amendment and permit churches and religious institutions a much freer hand in terms of what is considered acceptable political speech on their part.  One can only imagine the quandary in which this would place the USCCB and many individual bishops.  Coverage from Rorate (my comments):

Now, enter Donald J. Trump. To be clear, we are not, have not and will not support any candidacy, but it is important to explain where the freedom of the Catholic Church will be better protected.

Back in 1954, when future President Lyndon Johnson was still a senator, he helped pass a change to the U.S. Tax Code called the Johnson Amendment. The amendment, among other things, prevents tax-exempt institutions and churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates. [Which imposition may be speculated to stem from Johnson’s ardor at having been opposed by certain preachers in the hotly contested 1948 Senate Election in Texas, which Johnson stole from Coke Stevenson by ballot-stuffing.  Typical for the despicable Johnson]

So, if Candidate A is a rabid pro-abort, and Candidate B is a man of faith, our priests, college presidents, bishops conference, etc., must stay silent, saying no more than something such as “we believe you should vote pro-life” (yes, we know, the USCCB and many “Catholic” school presidents would probably still not endorse over other issues not related to — or now, sadly, in direct opposition to the Faith — even if the law didn’t exist). [Yeah, no kidding.  I imagine most at the USCCB would assume the law remain in place, to prevent their having to remain either embarrassingly silent, or endure the wrath of scandalized Catholics when the refuse to endorse the obvious pro-life/morals candidate]

Because of this law — which really does fit nicely into a land that divorced God from its governance from the beginning — we have warned our prelates and priests to start their planning for a day when they have to pay taxes in order to prevent violating their consciences. [Or maybe they’ll just go along to get along]

Then, in a remarkable but little-reported line in Donald Trump’s speech announcing Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, he made a statement to the effect that we must allow religious to speak freely in our society and in their churches — and he promised the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.

First the work was done at Trump’s request at the GOP Platform Committee meeting a few days earlier…….. [Yes, the RNC did add this repeal to the platform, for what it’s worth]

……In the speech yesterday, Trump stated: “We’re going to get rid of that horrible Johnson amendment and we’re going to let evangelicals — we’re going to let Christians and Jews and people of religion talk without being afraid to talk.”

Will Trump act on this pledge? Will he be able to get a bill repealing the Johnson Amendment through Congress?  The left would lose their minds, they’ve been banking on breaking Christian adherence to doctrine through the club of threatening repeal of the tax-exempt status.  This is not just a clever end-run around yet another sacred shibboleth of the left, but yet another very clever tactical ploy from Trump to undercut cultural marxism on some of its most foundational assumptions.

And, repeal of the Johnson Amendment would be a pretty big deal.  Catholics could, for instance, run ads directly attacking pro-aborts and endorsing specific very pro-life/morals candidates.  It would greatly remove the threat to the church tax exempt status by forcing the left to focus on first getting the Johnson Amendment reinstated, or something like it.  It could have a quite positive impact on the culture.

Amazingly, Trump is the first serious candidate since ’54 to advocate for the Johnson Amendment’s repeal.  I don’t think I believe that Trump is more conservative than Reagan, but that’s an interesting fact nonetheless.  It’s the kind of thing that makes me reconsider whether he might be more sincere on a number of issues important to me than I have given him credit for.  I’ll certainly watch with interest what he does from this point on.

We shall see how the spirit moves me.


1. Matt Williams - July 19, 2016

April 21, 2016. CNN.

Currently, the Republican platform abortion policy reads: “We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”

Donald Trump said Thursday he would change the Republican Party platform’s position on abortion to include exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Trump made the remarks during a town hall on the “Today” show on NBC on Thursday morning when host Savannah Guthrie asked him about abortion exceptions.

“Yes, I would. Yes, I would

2. Richard M - July 19, 2016

The problem is that Trump won’t spend more than a second even thinking about the GOP platform, let alone bother to read it. Platforms tend to matter little to governance as it is; it will matter even less to Donald Trump.

I’d be happy to see the Johnson Amendment repealed, but it’s not going to be a high priority for the leadership on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Jack Lee - July 22, 2016

Trump created the GOP platform for 2016. Hello.

Richard M - July 22, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the new Republican Party. It’s one in which we aren’t welcome any longer – not save in a posture of surrender:

“Stop worrying about gender issues and turn your attention to the economy and other matters.

“That’s the message to Republicans from controversial tech investor and Trump supporter Peter Thiel, who delivered a speech Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“The PayPal co-founder and early Facebook backer — who had a prime speaking spot, just a few slots before Trump himself — became the first-ever speaker at an RNC to announce that he’s proud to be gay. He also said GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump would be the right person to bring Silicon Valley’s level of success to the US as a whole.

… As for Trump and LGBT rights, it’s complicated. The candidate is said by some to be more accepting of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community than GOP leaders have been. “He will be the most gay-friendly Republican nominee for president ever,” Gregory T. Angelo, president of LGBT-rights group the Log Cabin Republicans, told The New York Times in April.”


Tantumblogo - July 22, 2016

Yeah, I was not terribly edified last night.

3. Daze Inde - July 19, 2016

Sorry it’s taking you so long to get on board with Donald Trump. Maybe you should talk with Catholic writer-author-lawyer-intellectual Phyllis Schlafly

MFG - July 19, 2016

Daze- It should be the opposite. Who reads and writes about Dom Prosper Guaranger, St. John Vianney, and St. Alphonsus (among many)? Phyllis Schafley should talk to Tantum! 🙂

Richard M - July 19, 2016

“Phyllis Schafley should talk to Tantum!”


Brian E. Breslin - July 20, 2016

MFG, you are awesomely correct about our man Tantum. Talk to Phyllis- as if!

4. MFG - July 19, 2016

Trump uses lusts of victory, success and amazing proposals to lure our hearts (not our minds) to support him.

It’s still not a given that he’ll even accept the nomination or even want to be inaugurated if elected. Who at age 70, wants to give up all the freedom of NYC, riches, and Mar lago to live in a old White House in tiny Washington DC for 4 years. Mike Pence may be our Pres. come Jan.

Even if Trump means what he say on this repeal that doesn’t mean we are obligated to vote for him. The ends (pro-life victories) do not justify the means (voting for an unfit, decadent man —who may have forced his girlfriend to get an abortion—that endangers our country).

Tantumblogo - July 19, 2016

Which is why I framed it as such a personal matter/decision. I did not make recommendations for anyone else, strictly myself.

But I’m still pretty far from being convinced.

Tim - July 19, 2016

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but how can you unconvinced at this point in time, especially considering the alternative? I understand the misgivings people have about him, but now it’s either him or Hillary.

Tantumblogo - July 19, 2016

Because I remain unconvinced that there is really much difference between the two. How many quotes from Trump’s past can be referenced to cast severe doubt on his present stands. You cite a huge difference between Trump and Hillary, but historically, they’ve been in alignment more often than not. And then there is the issue of his personal conduct, which is a big issue for me.

I totally understand your distaste for HIllary. I cannot stand her. She is far worse than Obama and close to evil personified. But I don’t hold with the view that refusing to vote or finding some other alternative (should one emerge) is effectively a vote for Hillary. I argued that with respect to Romney in 2012 and aside perhaps from having a somewhat better chance at having a truly conservative replacement for Scalia, I’m hard-put to know just what would be different under a President Romney than what we’ve had with Obama. And I fear the same will be the case with Trump, that he’ll revert to his lifelong liberalism once elected.

But, as I noted, I’m wavering a bit.

Tantumblogo - July 19, 2016

I should add I very much comprehend the reasons for supporting Trump. I know a number of local trads who are supporting him, ranging from feverish day oners to those who just see no alternative. I understand much of his appeal. I do like the idea of shattering the Republican elite’s hold on the party and also attacking the nightmare conceits of cultural marxism. I like how he seems to be pretty much teflon in breaking the unbreakable “rules” imposed on us by the Left. But his past remains his past and I can’t help but feel he may squish out on a lot of these issues if he is elected. Bringing up something as detailed and forgotten (and powerful) as repealing the Johnson Amendment, however, does make an impact. I’m observing, waiting to see what develops.

I did like Marcus Luttrell at the Convention last night.

Richard M - July 20, 2016

Folks should really go listen to his appearances on the Howard Stern Show (though I strenuously advise doing so with no minors in the room). And then ask themselves if they can live with electing *that* to the presidency.

I know some of our past presidents have been less than moral men in their personal lives. But none who has so proudly and publicly shared their reveling in their debauchery and total contempt for women.

Tim - July 19, 2016

“voting for an unfit, decadent man”………that’s pretty much what the majority of what we’ve had from day one. Only the particulars differ. So how is Trump any different?

MFG - July 20, 2016

Tim, please consider Richard M’s suggestion about Trump’s interviews with Howard Stern. No nominee has ever discussed those impure matters before like Trump did. His intemperance crosses the line and makes him unfit. Regardless of how spineless or uncommitted prior GOP nominees have been; they’ve had more temperance than Trump.

Look at the growing physical threats Trump supporters have lobbed at conservative delegates and non-Trump supporters both this week and countless other times in the last year. By their fruits you shall know them.

Tantum, is Hillary worse than Obama? Wasn’t he was the more radical candidate in 2008. She’s as evil but more clumsy and less effective. No?

Also I

Tim - July 21, 2016

Those of you who without sin cast the first stone.

Richard M - July 21, 2016

I’m not casting any stones. I’m just not casting a vote, either.

5. Edison Frisbee - July 19, 2016

If Trump does what he says….or at least makes a sincere attempt….he will be greater than Reagan.

6. Branch - July 19, 2016
7. Brian Springer - July 19, 2016

Good article. I think I’m voting Trump for sure. He is by no means perfect, but he’s advocating for policies that would actually benefit the conservative cause.

8. c matt - July 20, 2016

Repeal of the Johnson Amendment sounds good in theory, but given our current episcopate, be careful for what you wish.

9. Jason Liuzza - July 20, 2016

Some of the responses here defy all reason. The author is correct and repealing the Johnson amendment is a big deal. Some of you won’t be satisfied no matter what the man says. And to Richard M “The problem is that Trump won’t spend more than a second even thinking about the GOP platform, let alone bother to read it.”

You are clearly not paying attention. The repeal of the Johnson amendment was added to the GOP platform AT TRUMP’S REQUEST. That was made clear in the article. Your statement, aside from being demonstrably wrong, is spiteful gibberish. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Clinton regime if that comes to pass. I’m certain I won’t. She’ll get to appoint, what, four SC justices? Think please!

Richard M - July 20, 2016

If the Johnson Amendment was such a big deal to Trump, why did we hear nothing about from him until *now*?

In fact, he’s trying to shore up his support among white evangelicals, who were the ones who put the bug in his ear to do it.

Trump has a track record that suggests little respect for the First Amendment when it poses a problem for him. He’s repeatedly warned of cutting into Freedom of the Press by “opening up” American libel laws to make it easier for politicians such as himself to sue newspapers that write things of which he disapproves. So what will happen religious groups express serious criticism of President Trump? Bear in mind that he was the only GOP candidate to refuse to sign a pledge to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA).

So I feel skepticism is warranted. In any event, Even if, in the unlikely event that Trump shows interest in actually following up on this pledge, he’d have to get it through the Senate, and there’s almost no chance of that happening. As is, the GOP is likely to lose control of it next year.

Look, I’m not telling anyone how to vote. I understand how horrible Hillary is, and how hostile she is to my interests as a traditional Catholic. I know what sort of judges she would nominate. I know how enthusiastic she is for abortion. Because of that, I do understand why some have decided to vote for Trump. But I know what Trump is, too. And I am tired of being brow-beaten by other trad Catholic friends and bloggers into voting for Trump. For me, at least, the fact that Trump is not Hillary is simply not enough to earn my vote.

I shan’t try to talk anyone here into not voting for Trump – it’s a dumpster fire of an election, and there are no pleasant choices. But I would like the same restraint from others, too.

10. Trump voter - July 21, 2016

What’s that old saying ? There’s no saint without a past, and no sinner without a future (or present).

Tantumblogo - July 21, 2016

Yes, but the Saints expressed enormous contrition for their sins. Trump extols his as a badge of honor. That’s an enormous and key difference.

11. Rosey - July 21, 2016

Read the first comment on this post:
To see what we are up against. They ultimately want the mere mention of religion driven from the public square, of which Hillary will support.

Not voting for Trump by Staying home, or writing someone else in, is a vote for the end of our country as we have known it.

12. tg - July 21, 2016

It looks like Catholics are going to help get that cow into office. I still think Trump is not as bloodthirsty for abortion like her and that’s a better choice.

13. Susanne - July 23, 2016

There is only one evil Presidntial ticket that is Clinton/ Kaine totally 100% pro abortion record from Planned Parenthood! Those of you who question the Trump/ Pence Republican Platform .. (The most Conservative .. yes even the Reagan administration).. because of Mr. Trump’s “past indiscretions”, “bravado way of speaking” or whatever has you all tied up in knots are being “Prissy Purists”. If you stay home, vote third party or write in candidate you will not have “clean hands” No! You will have blood on your hands! Stop getting your information from elites .. globalists New World Order radio show hosts and commentators inside and outside the Church.

14. Bishop Gracida: Between Hillary and Trump, Vote None of the Above    | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - July 26, 2016

[…] from good priests and bishops on this subject – even though that might mean a violation of the Johnson Amendment!  There hasn’t been enough clear moral direction on this most conflicted of presidential […]

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