“If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”
So, for Jesus, joy overflows from an obedient, loving heart.
Therefore, it’s fair to ask, ‘can a joyful Catholic be a Trump supporter?’
Obedience starts from the foundational level. We first believe in God the Creator. There’s a reason the book of Genesis comes first. God is the author of life, inspired by Love. Life matters! Now, anyone with a shred of honesty must admit that Donald Trump has been a lifelong supporter of partial birth abortion. He has spent a better part of his adult life financing Planned Parenthood. He recently applauded Planned Parenthood ‘for the many good things they do for women.’ His more recent interviews with MSNBC reveal his continuing Pro-Choice perspective.
From the foundation of a Pro-Life stance, the foundation of every other topic, a joyful Catholic cannot support Donald Trump.
Similarly, a joyful Catholic cannot support both Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders for the very same reasons.
God is Love. Jesus is the face of this Love. The gospel is the good news of this Love. The Catholic, in imitation of, and participation in, the communion of saints, brings this love into the world. St Paul described this love as ‘patient and kind…’ Donald Trump is none of these. He is boorish, rude, selfish, crude, obnoxious, lewd, hate-filled, vengeful, angry, proud, boastful, vain, disrespectful, uninformed, unprepared, childish, immature, indecent, inappropriate, misleading, deceitful, and crass. He is the anti-saint on steroids. He is the antithesis of the gospel Christ. He is everything worldly. He is, in the ‘Art of the Deal,’ very much like the spirit which tempted the Christ in the desert.
From the lived experience of this man’s life, he is not only not an exemplar of Christian discipleship, he is the epitome of ‘postmodern’ worldliness.
Similarly, Hillary and Bernie fall into this category.
Obedience flows from love. It also flows from a knowledge of the beloved. For the Catholic this comes from prayer and sacrament and meditation and contemplation. But, first and foremost, it comes from both suffering and mercy. It flows from humility and compassion. It is built on mercy received and compassion shared. It is Paschal in nature. Donald Trump is neither humble nor compassionate. Eminent domain, divorces, manipulative bankruptcies, publicly disclosed infidelities, the financing of both Pro-choice politicians and Planned Parenthood, and years of aggressive, vulgar behavior bear witness to this.
Joy-filled Catholics, disciples of Christ, cannot support a perpetrator of worldly domination on the poor Christ they are supposed to witness their love to through compassionate service.
Ditto for Hillary and Bernie.
So, how can a Catholic justify voting for Donald Trump?
I dare you, dear Catholic Trump supporter, to articulate one good reason. One good reason backed by the Commandments, Church Teaching, and the gospel of Life.
I dare one ‘Trumpian’ to describe a valid Catholic theology of Trump support.
I bet all I have, that I will not get one response (not counting lewd, rude, Trump-like comments).