Matt C. Abbott
October 11, 2016
Pavone: Clinton 'monumentally worse' than Trump
By Matt C. Abbott

In wake of the recently-released recorded lewd remarks made by Donald Trump in 2005 and in interviews with radio personality Howard Stern, I asked Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, to comment on how this development should affect pro-life voters.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Father Pavone is a member of a coalition of Catholic leaders formed last month to advise the Trump-Pence ticket.)

Father Pavone's response is as follows:
    These unfortunate comments from Mr. Trump's past should not affect pro-life voters at all in terms of how they vote in the presidential race, because the alternative to Trump is monumentally worse – not only in terms of the candidate personally, but of the entire army that follows him or her into so many offices like secretary of state, of HHS, surgeon general, attorney general, and thousands of other positions, not to mention the courts.

    We don't just elect an individual to the presidency; we elect an entire army of people whose worldview is marked by the party platform.

    Moreover, in light of the specific faults of Mr. Trump, I offer the following observations:

    • Voting for someone isn't a score on a personal virtue test; it is a transfer of power in order to qualify someone to do a job, which includes signing bills into law and nominating judges. The ability to do that does not diminish because of sins committed in the past.

    • Either we have a religious test for office or we don't. A religious test doesn't only mean that the candidate does not have to adhere to any particular confessional creed; it also means that the candidate does not have to have lived up to one.

    • What an incredible reparation Mr. Trump is making now for any past faults by the very fact that he is running as the Republican nominee for president and is ready to nominate the right kind of judges and sign the right kinds of legislation, which will steer our nation away from so many morally corrupt public policies. A penitent sinner could hardly have a more substantial opportunity to make reparation.

    • Repentance for the past is Mr. Trump's current stance (as that of so many Americans!); continuing in a morally corrupt policy posture is the current stance of the Democrats.

    • It takes a great deal of moral courage, actually, to take the step Mr. Trump is taking by running for public office. He knows his past and knows what will be brought up about it. Yet he is willing to move forward both personally and professionally for the good of the country. The Lord is the one who says, 'Your sins I will remember no more.' The one who is known as the 'accuser' is the devil.

    • It is particularly hypocritical for the other side, whose policies and worldview (like that of Planned Parenthood) destroy and distort any meaning that human sexuality has, to be concerned about sexual behavior and comments. Sins of the past are one thing; embracing a bankrupt view of sexuality today, and in public policy, is worse.
© Matt C. Abbott

 

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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's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


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