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Deacon Keith Fournier: Why I Accepted the Invitation to the Catholic Advisory Group of the Trump Campaign
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I am a Catholic Christian seeking to apply the principles of the Social teaching of my Church to my political, economic and social participation.I offer a few examples of how I have approached evaluating the two candidates for the Presidency of the United States based upon principles derived from my faith. I gratefully accepted the invitation to become a member of the Catholic Advisory Group to the campaign of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States of America. I did so because I love my country, my God, my Church and my family. I am honored to serve and will offer the kind of advice which I have expressed in this essay to the Trump/Pence campaign.
CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - I write as a private American citizen concerned about the future of the Nation I love. In this essay I am expressing my personal political views - and I have a right to do so.
I am a husband to my wife of forty years, father to our five grown children and grandfather to seven. I am a "family man", deeply concerned about the American family and its future. I am also a constitutional lawyer. I spent much of my career defending religious freedom as the first freedom and the right to life as the first right. I have stood at the intersection of faith and culture for decades in both ministry and activism.
I am a Catholic Christian seeking to apply the principles of the Social teaching of my Church to my political, economic and social participation. I am also a clergyman, ordained as a Catholic Deacon twenty years ago. I am trying to live my faith in the real world and apply my theological training to my daily life in that real world. Though I respect the Academy, I believe this teaching must move beyond the Academy f it is to bear real and lasting fruit.
Though I am a convinced Catholic Christian, my heart is broken over the divisions in the broader Christian community. I do not believe it was ever the Father's plan that the Body of His Son Jesus, the Church, to be separated. But, it is. There is plenty of blame to go around. It is time for repentance among the brethren. It is time to move beyond blame to reconciliation. It is time to pray, walk and work together.
In an age desperately in need of hearing the full message of the Church in order to find true liberation, I am committed to doing everything I can to see the prayer of Jesus in the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John fulfilled, "Father may they be one". I have worked with Christians from across the Christian confessional divides for many years. I am keenly aware that they bring great gifts to me - and I hope to offer gifts in this exchange.
My decision to choose one major Presidential candidate over the other is rooted in my love for my Church, my family and my country, the United States of America. It is also rooted in my understanding of what is called the Social teaching of the Catholic Church. I have spent years studying Catholic Moral Theology. The social teaching of the Church is a part of Moral Theology because we are, both by grace and nature, social beings.
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This treasury of insights called the Social teaching of the Catholic Church must not remain captive in the Ivy Halls of the Academy. It must be wrenched away from some who have used it as a mere proof text for left wing ideology, thereby severing it from its anthropological roots. It is a gift for the whole world which must be offered as leaven to the loaf of human culture by the sons and daughters of the Church.
Finally, I write to explain why I gratefully accepted the invitation to become a member of the Catholic Advisory Group to the campaign of Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence for the Presidency and Vice Presidency of the United States of America.
Catholic Social Teaching
The Social teaching of the Catholic Church maintains there are unchangeable truths which can provide a framework for viewing and structuring our social life. In an age reeling under the destructive influence of what was prophetically and properly referred to as a dictatorship of relativism by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, we need to again affirm that there is such a thing as truth!
As the erosion of the moral foundations of freedom continues, I am reminded of the encounter between Truth Incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ, and Pilate, the symbol of a corrupted worldly power. Here are the words from the sobering scene as recorded by John in the fourth Gospel:
Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" (John 18:37,38)
All Catholic Social teaching proceeds from the foundation upon which every other truth is built and from which every principle derives; every single human person is created in the image of God. Therefore, every human person has human dignity and a Right to Life.
This primacy of the human person explains why it is necessary to respect every life, whether in the first home of the womb, a wheelchair, a jail cell, a hospital room, a hospice, a senior center or a soup kitchen.
Another unchangeable truth is the teaching on the nature and ends of marriage. Marriage is solely possible between one man and one woman, intended for life and formative of family. Marriage between one man and one woman is the foundation of the family which is the first society, first church, first school, first economy, first government and first mediating institution.
Marriage is not some mere social construct which can be redefined by courts or legislatures. It is written in the Natural Moral Law and has guided human society, cross culturally. In the words of Saint John Paul II "the future of the world passes through the family."
Catholic Social teaching affirms the truth that the human person is by social by nature - and grace. We are made for relationship and community. The first community which humanizes, educates and civilizes all of us is the family.
If you want to know more about the truths and principles offered by Catholic Social Teaching, go right to the best explanatory Source, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "The Church's social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action." (CCC #2243)
These truths are not simply "religious" positions, in the sense that only religious people need assent to them. They are revealed by the Natural Moral Law which is knowable by reason and written on every human heart. Thus, they are true for all people and for all time.
The social teaching of the Catholic Church also offers principles which are derived from these truths. These principles are meant to be offered by the sons and daughters of the Church to the whole world so they can be worked as leaven into the loaf of human culture.
This also includes principles to inform how we order our economies. Though the Church does not endorse or even propose a particular economic theory, Catholic social teaching insists that the economic order must be at the service of the human person, the family and the common good.
Because these are principles, they leave room for the application of prudential judgment in their application. I will attempt to offer some of those principles in this article. My intent in writing is to explain why I accepted the invitation to participate in the Catholic Advisory group to Trump/Pence 2016.
Further, I want to explain how I am approaching my obligation of citizenship by voting in the upcoming Presidential election as a Catholic Christian citizen. Of course, I will not cover every major issue of concern to Catholics and other Christians. I will only address the ones of most importance to me and consistent with a shorter essay of this sort.
First, some background concerning my political affiliation.
I do not consider myself first a Republican, or even a political "conservative". The word "conservative" has become hyphenated, with paleo, neo, alt, and traditional prefixes often attached. The Republican party is multi-faceted, breaking into factions, and in a state of flux. However, I believe the Republican party platform is clearly superior to the Democratic Party concerning the fundamental truths and principles of Catholic social teaching.
My friend, the great Pro-Life Priest Fr. Frank Pavone offers an excellent side by side comparison of the two platforms through Priests for Life. It is entitled "A Comparison of the 2016 Republican and Democratic Platforms A non-partisan guide on issues of concern to the electorate."
I am a Catholic Christian first, last, and all in between. I want to be what the Bishops of the United States refer to as a faithful citizen.
I reject the growing effort to separate social or moral issues from fiscal and international issues. You cannot separate moral, social and economic issues in the body politic any more than you can separate the spirit, soul and body of a person.
Human society is a form of corporate person, a body politic. Political, economic and international concerns all have a moral dimension because they concern the human person and our social relationships.
I am certainly not a political "liberal". The very word liberal, as it is used in current political parlance, has undergone sweeping changes in the last fifty years.
The liberal label and the Democratic Party were stolen by those who promote abortion on demand, substitute libertine excess for ordered liberty, and promote an approach to governance which is always top down. They propose federalized solutions to every social need, while failing to solve the root problems of poverty or respect the primacy of the family as the first government and the proper role of the other mediating institutions.
Finally, I am not what calls itself "progressive" in the political lexicon either. The dictionary defines progressive as "moving forward; advancing." The progressive agenda is regressive. The misuse of the word is an example of what C.S. Lewis, in his "Studies in Words" called verbicide. In "The Abolition of Man" he warned of "progressive" governing schemes wherein a collectivist ideology built upon moral relativism is unleashed.
Lewis astutely observed that "a dogmatic belief in objective value is necessary to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is not slavery." In one of his Essays in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics entitled Is "Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State", he warned:
"Let us not be deceived by phrases about 'Man taking charge of his own destiny.' All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . .. The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be."
An integrated approach
Political and economic concerns both have a moral dimension because they concern the human person and our social relationships. The reason we should care about expanding economic opportunity is because we respect the dignity of every human person. We should want all people to flourish. That means opening up the means for their economic advance.
The reason we should care about, and for, the poor is because they have human dignity and fundamental rights. They are created in the Image of God. And poverty is much broader than economic poverty. And, we really are our brother and sister's keeper. Solidarity is a duty.
However, the proper manner in which we discharge such an obligation to the poor, can lead well intended people to very different approaches to the role of government. The Church's social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action
A hierarchy of rights
There is a hierarchy of rights in our social participation as there is a hierarchy of truths in our doctrine. That hierarchy begins with the Right to Life. When there is no recognition of a preeminent right to life, what follows is the erosion of the entire infrastructure of all human rights. Human rights do not exist in a vacuum; they are goods of the human person.
When a society fails to recognize that human persons are more important than things, and loses sight of the inviolable dignity of every single human person at every age, every stage and of every size, it embraces a form of practical materialism and begins to worship a new golden calf. The deluded may dance around that calf mouthing slogans of freedom and liberation, but they are forging their own chains and losing their soul.
Without the freedom to be born, all of the talk about compassion for the poor and economic freedom is hollow. Our failure to recognize that our first neighbors in the womb have a right to be born is a fundamental failure in our obligation in solidarity. It is also an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper and its implications.
There can be no enduring, lasting solidarity upon which to build a future in a culture that kills its own innocent children and calls it a right. It can never be right to do what is always wrong. Freedom is much more than a freedom from; it is a freedom for responsible and virtuous living. The American founders spoke of the pursuit of happiness with reference to virtue as a key to living a happy life because they came out of the Western Christian tradition with its roots in two mountains, Calvary and Sinai. There is a moral basis to a truly free society.
Principles for Evaluation
I will now offer a few examples of how I have approached evaluating the two candidates for the Presidency based upon principles derived from my Catholic Christian faith. Yes, I said two candidates, because those running as third party candidates are both completely unacceptable to me based upon their espoused positions.
Additionally, I have determined that not voting for President is to throw your vote away at best or worse, to help elect the wrong candidate. Finally, I reject the notion that the choice we face in this Presidential election is a "lesser of two evils" choice.
"Freedom makes man a moral subject. The morality of human acts depends upon the object chosen, the end in view or the intention and the circumstances of the action." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1749,1750) I believe that the current Presidential race in the United States presents two candidates between which we can decide. One will soon be sworn in as the President of the United States and lead this Nation for at least four years.
Freedom is not only about having a right to choose - but choosing what best points this Nation along the path of what is true and good. What most contributes to the true common good of society and is in keeping with the cardinal virtue of justice. (See, Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1807)
Freedom must be exercised properly, in order to promote life, human flourishing, the family and this real common good. Freedom must acknowledge our obligations in solidarity to one another - because we are our brother and sister's keeper. It must recognize the poor as another self and reach out to our neighbor.
That obligation in solidarity must be fulfilled with a respect for the principle of subsidiarity. "The political community must be "inspired, at least implicitly, by a vision of man and his destiny, from which it derives its point of reference for its judgement, its hierarchy of values, its line of conduct." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2244)
The Right to Life
Though abortion is currently legal in the civil law of the United States, that does not make it moral. While restrictions on the practice are being enacted in the States, the federal law has not changed. Our youngest neighbors in the first home of the whole human race can be killed by surgical instruments, chemical weapons or suction, at any time and for any reason.
There is no such thing as an "abortion right" even if American civil and criminal currently protects the act of choosing to abort a child, even using the police power of the State to enforce it. Abortions have no rights, only human persons do. Every procured abortion takes that right away. It is a violation of the Natural Law and thus an unjust law.
We actually know what occurs in every procured abortion; an innocent human person is killed. Medical science has exposed the rhetoric of choice once used to deceive people. We routinely reach into the womb and offer surgery to these same children to help them live fuller lives after birth. The contradiction is clear to any decent person.
It must also be clear to any political candidate, unless they have deadened their conscience and shut down their brain for the sake of being elected. We prosecute a criminal offender who, in the course of committing another felony, takes the life of a child in the womb as well as their mothers. We take 4D and 3D images of these children and send them to our friends. Yet, the same technology guides the abortionist in executing those children who are simply unwanted.
That child in the womb is our neighbor. There is a Natural Moral Law written in every human heart. It gives us the basis for our criminal codes and guides our obligations to one another. The real Right at issue is the Right to Life. Without life there can be no other derivative rights and the entire infrastructure of human rights is placed in jeopardy.
Defending the intentional killing of children in the womb is grounded in a counterfeit notion of freedom as a power over those who are vulnerable. I can only choose the candidate who affirms the Right to Life and pledges to help to do the most to ensure that it once again becomes the law of the land. I do not care when that candidate came to recognize the truth about this first Right to Life.
The next President of the United States will name four Justices to the United States Supreme Court. I have been to that Court as co-counsel in cases of great constitutional significance. There is little doubt that the consequences of those appointments will determine whether the scourge of killing innocent children in the womb under the subterfuge of a court manufactured, counterfeit "right" to abort the innocent will continue - or be jettisoned to the dust heap of atrocities allowed by past regimes gone astray.
One candidate affirms the Right to Life of children and the other denies it. The candidate who acknowledges the Right to Life is Donald Trump. He is explicit in his support of the Right to Life and has committed his administration to restoring this Natural Law Right to the Civil Law of the land.
From 1991 through 1997, I served as the first and founding Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice, a public interest law firm engaged in religious freedom, pro-life and pro-family work. During that time, I wrote a booklet entitled "Religious Cleansing in the American Republic".
I was accused by some of overstating the problem. I did not.
The soft persecution of faithful Christians, across the confessional spectrum, is obvious to anyone who cares about religious freedom.
The growing hostility toward the symbols of our religious heritage, the mocking of the values informed by religious faith and the overt and open hostility toward people of faith and religious institutions is increasing. Religious freedom is called the first freedom for good reason. It ensures that the leavening role of revealed truth helps us to form our conscience and shape the choices we make as individuals, families and, as a society.
The American founders fled coercive approaches to religion which compelled adherence to a particular sect of all citizens. An incorrect interpretation of the Establishment Clause has arisen in the American polity which promotes a notion of a Church/State separation that is hostile to religious institutions, discriminates against people of faith and seeks to censor religious speech and expression in the public square. Such a hostility does not serve the common good.
John Adams, in a speech to the military in 1798, proclaimed, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Religious faith should be encouraged and accommodated by the federal and/or state government, not treated with hostility.
Rightly understood and applied, religious freedom means a freedom for religious expression; not a removal of such expression. Religious faith, religious institutions and religious speech are protected by the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights. The Birth Certificate of our Nation, the Declaration of Independence, affirmed the existence of inalienable rights and self-evident truths.
The Rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness are endowed by our Creator and not conferred by a Federal Government. Implicit within the classical understanding of happiness is the pursuit of virtue - and virtue requires religion.
The First Amendment prohibition against the establishment of a National Religion was never meant to be used to justify governmental hostility toward religious faith, religious persons or religious institutions. It was intended to protect against the establishment of a National Church and a forced adherence to its doctrine. It was more aptly understood as an Anti-Establishment Clause.
It should be interpreted in light of the Free Exercise and free Speech clauses of that same First Amendment. The Right to Religious Freedom protects people of all faiths to participate in the public square and to be a part of the daily social interactions that constitute the very tapestry of our social life. Religious faith is a human and social good.
The drafters of the First Amendment used the phrase "Free exercise of religion" for a good reason. The protection which it guarantees to American citizens goes beyond the freedom to worship within the four walls of our church buildings. Exercise involves action. So does living faith. The First Amendment protects our fundamental right to bring the values informed by our faith into the social, economic and political arena as good and faithful citizens.
The Free Exercise Clause has been turned on its head.
The errant interpretation is increasingly being used to silence the Church and the religious speaker and actor. There is a dangerous trend of labeling anyone who supports the value of the undeniable Jewish and Christian roots of the West as backward, bigoted or, worse yet, trying to impose a theocracy and undermine freedom. The fact is, the Church was and is the guarantor of authentic freedom. Hostility toward the role of faith in our life together and efforts to censor the vital role it has played in our history and founding, is corrosive to true freedom.
The Free Speech clause has also been subverted when applied to speech deemed by an increasingly hostile regime when the message and the messenger being examined under its increasingly hostile scrutiny is determined by the State to be speaking a religious or moral message. Then, its important protections no longer apply. Such hostility is repugnant to the very concept of ordered liberty and fundamental human rights. The free exercise of religion is not only a constitutional right in the American polity, it is a fundamental human right in Catholic teaching.
I support the candidate who affirms religious freedom in the richness of what the American founders and the western Christian tradition affirmed and will protect it. That is Donald Trump. He has pledged to correct the abuses unleashed by the Johnson Amendment which gags the speech of the Church and to support the First Amendment Defense Act.
Marriage and Family
Marriage is only possible between one man and one woman because only such a relationship can achieve the ends of marriage. This is not only a religious position. It is an ontological truth. The Natural Moral Law reveals - and the cross cultural history of civilization affirms - that marriage is between a man and a woman, open to children and intended for life.
The society founded upon the institution of the family is best secured by recognizing the uniqueness of faithful monogamous marriage above all other relationships. In addition, the rights of children are best secured by such an approach. Marriage is the foundation for the family which is the privileged place for the formation of virtue and character in children, our future citizens. The family is the first society, first economy, first school, first civilizing and mediating institution and first government.
Certainly, all men and women have a fundamental human dignity, including those with same sex attraction. They also have rights which must be recognized and protected. However, no Court, executive, or legislature has the right or authority to redefine marriage.
In rejecting marriage as a unique institution which preceded civil government and institutional religion, the majority of the United States Supreme Court in its horrendous Obergefell opinion has now become a willing ally of a cultural revolution. In the scathing dissent written by Chief Justice Roberts he referred to the majority as "five lawyers", noting that "the majority's decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court's precedent." He was absolutely correct.
The natural law is the basis for the positive or civil law of every Nation. It places limits upon the civil or positive law. It is the foundation for taking the position defending marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to new life, and formative of family. I support the candidate who affirms this understanding of the nature and ends of marriage and will protect the Church and people of faith to live and advocate for this position, free from governmental coercion and persecution. That candidate is Donald Trump.
It is time to move beyond the ineffective top down federal educational model and enact real educational Reform. Education outside of the home is an extension of the parent's primary educational mission. The family is the first school. We have forgotten that objective truth as a Nation and we are reaping the consequences. Good government is always bottom up, not top down, deferring first to the smallest governing unit; not usurping but empowering families.
Those who oppose school choice often argue that it will detrimentally affect the public school system. They claim that supporters of school choice are against public schools. This is not true, the proponents simply call for all parents to have access to good public, private, parochial, virtual, classical, charter and home schools.
That can be accomplished through enabling legislation which makes it possible for all parents, no matter what their socio-economic situation, to choose where to send their children to school. As a constitutional lawyer I know this can be done in a constitutionally sound way through properly drafted voucher legislation, tax credits, or opportunity scholarships.
I grew up in a blue collar home in the inner city of Dorchester, Massachusetts. My parents struggled to give me the first four primary educational years in a parochial school. The remainder of my education was in a public school. My parents moved, at great sacrifice and hardship, to make sure I attended a good public school. School choice will give parents greater say in their local schools and make such disruptive moves less necessary.
The origins of the public school system began with families pooling resources in small community schools. Now, parents and local communities have an increasingly smaller role in the educational process. Public schools were first local, community schools. School choice educational reform will return the leadership to parents and the local community.
Some opponents allege that supporters want to "privatize" education. However, it is an effort to "parentize" education, by again affirming that the family is the first school and parents are the first teachers. Parents and not federal bureaucrats should make the choices concerning the education of their children outside of the first school of the home.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms the right of parents to choose a school for their children:
"As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise." (Catechism #2229)
In "The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World" John Paul II wrote:
"The right and duty of parents to give education is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children; it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others."
In "Letter to Families", he wrote:
"Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents. They share their educational mission with other individuals or institutions, such as the Church and the State. But the mission of education must always be carried out in accordance with a proper application of the Principle of Subsidiarity. This implies the legitimacy and indeed the need of giving assistance to the parents, but finds its intrinsic and absolute limit in their prevailing right and actual capabilities. The principle of subsidiarity is thus at the service of parental love, meeting the good of the family unit."
School Choice is a matter of true social justice - not leftist ideology masquerading as social justice. The opposition by some in the leadership of teachers' unions shows how these mediating associations have strayed from their proper social role.
Some of these leaders seem less concerned about poor children getting a good education than they are about maintaining control over a system which is failing. I support the candidate who wholeheartedly endorses school choice. That candidate is Donald Trump.
Finally, I want to briefly mention two other areas which guide my choice. I understand that some of my fellow Catholics and other Christians can and do disagree with me. They are issues of prudential judgement. I offer them as an example of how social teaching principles can lead to policy positions.
I am an advocate for smaller government. However, I am not anti-government. As a Catholic citizen, I affirm the application of the principle of subsidiarity. The word is derived from a Latin word which means to give help. It stands for the principle that governing should first be done at the lowest level and any other governing entity should defer and assist the smallest governing unit, not usurp their role.
Certainly, self-governance is key for understanding individual liberty. However, we are by both nature and grace social.
We were made for relationship and society. The first government is the family. All other governing should seek to assist and not usurp the family. Flowing out from that first government are the mediating associations, local governments, State and Federal Government. All of these forms of ordering our life together participate in governance. Each has their proper role.
I support the candidate who affirms this understanding of good government and will best apply the principle of subsidiarity in honing in the abuses caused by the federalizing of governance. Hillary Clinton is a huge advocate of an increasingly large and federalized approach to governing. What I personally believe is a statist model. Donald Trump is committed to devolving government back to the State and local level, while recognizing and affirming the role of mediating associations in the governing enterprise.
To acknowledge our obligation in solidarity to one another, and to the poor, is not to condone the modern approach of big, federalized government as the best answer to all social needs. Nor is improperly restricting a free and expanding model of economic participation through a fair but free economy the answer. In fact, both impede enterprise and stifle creativity and participation.
However, the free market is made for man and not man for the market. Economics is not only about monetary capital but about human capital and human flourishing. Expanding economic participation is among the most important goals of a truly human economic order. Markets can only be truly free when more and more free people are engaged in them.
A free economy should continually expand by opening the way for the participation for as many people as possible in it, while promoting enterprise and awarding initiative. A free market should not be controlled by either a massive federal bureaucracy or a massive corporatist elitist class who control the power.
Yes, we have an obligation to the poor. However, this principle of solidarity is to be applied through the principle of subsidiarity, rejecting all forms of dehumanizing collectivism, either of the left or the right. Subsidiarity in government - as well as in economic policy - rejects the usurping by a larger entity of participation what can be done at the lowest practicable level.
Larger governing entities must never usurp families and the mediating structures of society such as religious institutions, associations, businesses, charities and small self-governing structures between the family and the institutions of civil government. I support the candidate who comes closest to inculcating these principles of economic freedom. That is Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton refuses to recognize the Right to Life of our youngest neighbors in the womb, wants no restrictions on procured abortion, and will direct federal funds to pay for it. She will repeal the Hyde Amendment. Donald Trump recognizes the Right to Life and has pledged to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will overturn the egregious decisions of Roe and Doe which opened the door to killing of sixty million children. He will de-fund Planned Parenthood and support the Hyde Amendment.
Hillary Clinton is a vocal opponent of the positions espoused by the Church on marriage. She wants to keep people of faith from advocating for marriage as solely possible between one man and one woman. She is an advocate of using federal law to squeeze people of faith out of participation in commerce, public service and full social participation if they remain faithful to the Bible and the teaching of the Church. Donald Trump will defend the Church in her right to advocate for marriage as a unique institution, solely possible between one man and one woman and ordered toward the rearing of children.
Hillary Clinton carries forward the growing hostility toward the Church which has been evidenced by the Obama Administration, associating orthodox Christianity with bigotry. She has a horrible record on religious freedom. Donald Trump respects religious freedom and the role of the Church. He will defend the free exercise of religion and provide the Church with the maximum freedom to be leaven, light and salt in society. He will repeal of the Johnson Amendment which, in its application, has been used to silence the Church in her prophetic vocation to speak to the Moral Issues of the hour. He also supports the First Amendment Defense Act which Clinton opposes.
Hillary Clinton is an ardent opponent of school choice, openly committed to opposing any form of school choice. Donald Trump is a strong advocate of school choice. His support ids open, dynamic and unequivocal. He will surround himself with able advisors and a strong cabinet who will implement this vital educational reform.
Hillary Clinton is in favor of a command and control economy and an ever expanding role for the Federal Government. Donald Trump respects the market economy. He rejects both big government and big business manipulation of free competition. He will expand economic participation, bring industry back to the United States and revitalize the inner cities through vibrant initiatives which will be geared toward economic and social recovery.
I gratefully accepted the invitation to become a member of the Catholic Advisory Group to the campaign of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States of America. I did so because I love my country, my God, my Church and my family. I am honored to serve and will offer the kind of advice which I have expressed in this essay to the Trump/Pence campaign.
Deacon Keith Fournier is the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online and the Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. Both are dedicated to the conversion of culture. An ordained minister, a married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and seven grandchildren. Attorney Fournier is a constitutional and human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. He serves on the Catholic Advisory Group of the Trump Campaign
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