Matt C. Abbott
Ohio priest prefers Trump over Hillary
By Matt C. Abbott
March 12, 2016

The following commentary (slightly edited) was written by the staunchly pro-life Father Joseph Klee, a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus.
    In the Church, overt partisan politics must be avoided, but that's not to say that we are to check our faith at the door relative to selecting earthly leaders. The Church and her leaders should assist the formation of the faithful's consciences so as to ultimately help them make morally-sound decisions in voting.

    Although the situation relative to the presidential candidates for this fall 2016 election is changing quite often (with 'revised' candidates' stands on issues, revelations of candidates' pasts, etc.), some basic principles seem to stand out, relative to how a Catholic should select a candidate, if the given front-running candidates should actually get the nominations.

    A very useful tool promoted in the course of recent elections has involved the 'non-negotiables,' or crucial moral issues, which any authentic Catholic should seriously consider in evaluating a candidate.

    At this time, many anticipate the final two candidates for the fall election, representing the two major political parties, to be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and are asking how a Catholic would/should thus vote. The reality is that the gap is closing between these two, as both appear to exude a certain radicalism, or recklessness, relative to significant life issues.

    The former has consistently shown a rabid, savage disregard for human life, marriage and any life issue – so at least she is predictable here. This woman, who wrote her doctoral dissertation extolling socialism, appears eager to implement this system of massive governmental control, which teleologically always leads to hardened atheism. Again, she is ruthless and consistent in these matters, and shows not the slightest hint of conversion away from such deep darkness.

    Our other major candidate is the poster child of unbridled capitalism, and has achieved great wealth through an equally-ruthless pursuit of his goals. He has worked hard, has made wise business decisions, and has reaped the fruits of his labors. He truly represents an American ideal, although many feel that this 'American way' is yielding fewer rewards to its practitioners than in the past.

    (Trump's opponent seems convinced that such a 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps' track to success in this country is practically unattainable for the average man, at least anymore, and so espouses a system in which massive expansion of governmental control is touted as the only solution for the future.)

    As is becoming increasingly the case in recent years, the long-time economic engine of this country – the middle class – sees itself in the middle, between these two extremes. However, the theological virtue of hope should really be brought to bear here.

    Self-surrender to ultimately-atheistic governmental tyranny is the epitome of despair. Using one's God-given talents, skills and sheer effort to attain whatever livelihood such endeavors would yield nevertheless is part-and-parcel of the fundamental principle of subsidiarity, which the Catholic Church strongly urges. We should collectively and strenuously resist capitulation to a system that inherently and eventually would devour every last human freedom.

    Roger Penske, the race car driver, when one of his race cars was failing to qualify in a racing competition many years ago, decided to pull one of his formerly-winning cars out of a museum to be reactivated. In response to speculators who had said that such a measure was rather extreme, Penske countered that 'desperate problems require desperate solutions.'

    Indeed, might the admitted rashness of our capitalist-candidate constitute the desperate solution this country needs to hopefully help stem or even undo the precipitous slide toward Godless Marxism the nation has suffered during the last eight years?

    Many have compared this consummate capitalist-candidate to former president Ronald Reagan (may he rest in peace), who himself was seen as 'too much,' or even extreme, in the course of his candidacy.

    It appears that many, even among those of a conservative bent, have subconsciously relinquished much of their personal capitalistic, work ethic-related convictions. They have despairingly felt that our nation has crossed a line, or has gone beyond the point of no return, and that to restore a society which would basically recognize St. Paul's words that 'Those that do not work, should not eat' (2 Thess. 3:10) is hopelessly harsh and no longer sustainable. Hence, we see the fear that Trump causes in the hearts of such voters.

    There have been disturbing and legitimate Catholic concerns relative to Trump's affirmations of the work of Planned Parenthood and ambivalence relative to the attacks on the sacrament of matrimony, let alone toward sodomy-based lifestyles. Yet let us not be cynical toward the possibility of an evolving enlightenment of a candidate toward a more pro-life stance.

    After all, Reagan, while then governor of the hyper-progressive state of California, had signed into law in 1967 that state's abortion law. Yet he went on to become the nation's most pro-life president ever.

    Trump has adamantly promised to end the half-billion dollar annual funding of Planned Parenthood, has shown support for the First Amendment Defense Act (restoring religious freedom), and supports the repeal of socialized medicine (Obamacare), among other positive stances.

    So let's pray that Trump's enlightenment will continue in this promising direction. The general election is still many months away!
© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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