Voting with the Mind of Christ #4: On the Lie that Trump is Prolife

As we saw yesterday, the core lie of the MAGA “prolife” cult is the insistence that in this election we face the Manichaean choice between the Most Prolife President in History vs. a Monstrous Radical Pro-Abort who is just itching to kill as many babies as he can.

For an awful lot of Catholics, this Punch in the Face tactic of Catholic Vote works with crude efficiency. Here it is in all its simplistic Manichaean glory:

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'CV PICK ONE Abortion Catholic PAID FOR BY CATHOLICVOTE.ORG'

Changes can be rung on this basic message such as “Vote Trump or the Baby Gets It”, “If you vote for Biden, you will go to hell” or “If you support Biden, you are a babykilling fiend.” It’s all one.

Here’s the thing: none of that is true and the teaching of the Church makes that abundantly clear. Let’s recap that common sense guidance:

A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons. – Benedict XVI

Now let’s take a look at the Most Prolife President in History.

It’s no secret that Trump’s interest in abortion is less than zero. He himself refuses to answer the question of whether he paid for abortions for his sexual conquests. In 2016, he literally took five different positions on abortion in the space of a couple of days, transparently to see which one polled well.

Meanwhile, his reverence for the sanctity of human life is so profound that his main achievement has been to teach “prolife” advocates to lie that when he mocks the disabled, it’s all good clean fun because he actually does that to everybody:

Donald Trump Mocks GIF - DonaldTrump Mocks Disability GIFs

Three things are notable about this filthy lie about this filthy act.

  1. Show me another clip of him doing this to somebody who is not disabled.
  2. Even if this lie were somehow proven to be true, here’s reality: when the whole disabled community cries out in anguish at the mockery, normal people apologize, not double down. Trump taught the “prolife” MAGA cult to attack the disabled community for being hurt, not to apologize for his being a swine. There has, in fact, never been an apology for this.
  3. The pattern established here is what the MAGA “prolife” cult has done ever since: sacrifice every shred of integrity not to defend the unborn, but to defend this bullying swine.

Ah, but he is a Baby Christian and we have to overlook such peccadilloes as he grows and matures. The main thing is that he is prolife. He says bad things about Planned Parenthood and nominates prolife SCOTUS judges. That makes him waaaaay different than Biden who is endorsed by Planned Parenthood. You can tell because the prolife cult keeps recirculating that lie and when they tell the same lie over and over it ceases to be a lie and becomes an agreed-upon fact.

Until it doesn’t. For instance:

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says '10:10 0 x Lila Rose May 23 We must shut down Planned Parenthood NOW. Enough is enough. Lila Rose @LilaGraceRose Planned Parenthood's tax funding is rapidly increasing EVERY YEAR under the Trump administration 2016 $543.7 MILLION 2017- 8MILLION 2018 $616.8 MILLION They kill the equivalent of 2 preschool classrooms (39 children) EVERY HOUR SHUT THEM DOWN NOW, @realDonaldTrump Write a comment...'

What’s this? Lila Rose of Live Action pointing out that Trump has, in fact, raised PP funding to record levels?

That sent a tremor of shock through the “prolife” community. Then came this report from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, confirming it:

Image may contain: text that says 'TFW 6:35 PM 29% The Heritage Foundation Government Funding jovernmen Planned Parenthood's funding nearly doubled over the course of Richards' tenure. As of 2018, Planned Parenthood received over one-half billion taxpayer dollars annually. CHART Planned Parenthood's Government Funding INMILLIONS OFDOLLARS $700 $600 $500 $617 million $400 $300 $305 million $200 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 SOURCE: Author's analysis the appenda Parenthood more reports, BG3472 Private Funding'

And as a reward for his efforts, Trump saw the highest PP abortion rate in 15 years.

Image may contain: text that says 'CHART 2 NUMBER OF ABORTIONS 350,000 Planned Parenthood Abortions Have Been Increasing 325,000 345,672 300,000 289,750 275,000 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 SOURCE: Author's analysis of Planned Parenthood annual reports, 2006-2019. See the appendix for more information. 2015 2016 2017 2018 BG3472'

But wait! That’s not all! The biggest Participation Trophy in the GOP “prolife” arsenal of Pretend Measures Against Abortion is the Mexico City Policy. Prolifers love to point to it to show that the GOP is Totally Serious and Stuff about abortion. They always point to it when they vote the GOP into office to show that Voting GOP Makes A Difference.

It does. Thanks to that policy, abortion rates in sub-Saharan Africa have risen 40% under Trump. But since what matters to the Cult is performative piety, not actual real-world results, they don’t care. What matters to the Cult is saying you oppose abortion, not actually doing anything about it. That’s why they also don’t care that Trump’s allegedly “prolife” SCOTUS appointees have repeatedly refused to address Roe.

And they also don’t care that when Trump released his wish list of fantasy promises and goals for the convention last week, it included such priorities as a Moon Base, but said not one single word about abortion. Only as an afterthought did it occur to him to throw a meager bone to the prolife MAGA suckers, who gratefully accepted it with lickspittle cravenness. Because he does not care about the unborn, never has, and never will except insofar as the occasional invocation of the unborn is useful in making them human shields for all the lies, cruelties, crime, treason, and negligent homicide that Trump, his crime syndicate, and his prideblind cult really care about.

Here’s reality: The All Lives Matter cult only cares about the unborn when they need to defend the murder of brown and poor people and shout down Black Lives Matter. The moment that need passes, their contempt for human life reasserts itself and they are ready to offer all sorts of people as human sacrifices to the glory of Trump, including unborn children in the wombs of COVID victims, as well as schoolchildren, old people and those who inconvenience them with calls to wear a mask for a couple of minutes.

No photo description available.

Indeed, as we speak, the Leader of the MAGA “prolife” cult is busy freezing out sane public health advisors and surrounding himself with unqualified quacks who will tell him what he wants to hear. And what he wants very much to hear is that he can simply walk away from responsibility for the Pandemic because he is bored with it. Increasingly, this feckless criminal is determined to embark on a program of passive euthanasia for hundreds of thousand of Americans (possibly as many as 1.5 million) by endorsing what he calls “herd immunity” but which essentially means leaving the Pandemic to rage through the population killing without check on the theory that if everybody gets it the survivors will be immune.

So the reality is that we don’t have a choice between a “prolife” president and a “pro-abort” Dem.

One the one hand, we have a a pro-choice Dem whose administration successfully handled ebola and created a Pandemic Response Plan and team and responsibly handed them to his successors.

On the other hand, we have a pro-Trump narcissist who burned that response plan to ashes, fired the response team, irresponsibly abandoned us to suffering and death who does not care if you or the unborn live or die. And given such a choice, the issue is precisely what Benedict XVI describes: “When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

Because of this, it becomes necessary to talk about how our abortion regime works and what “proportionate reasons” are. And most especially it becomes vital to distinguish between supporting a lesser evil (which no Catholic may do) and working to lessen evil (which every Catholic must do).

Of which more tomorrow.


23 Responses

  1. That’s why they also don’t care that Trump’s allegedly “prolife” SCOTUS appointees have repeatedly refused to address Roe.

    The strategy is to kill Roe by a thousand cuts. Roberts is worried about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court (that train left the station), and the strategy permits the GOP to keeping dangling abortion before its base. It’s clear that the GOP, which is now simply the Trumpist Party, is willing to sacrifice democracy to stay in power, and I for one will never forget its enablers.

      1. I don’t, either. If Roe was overturned, the GOP would have to

        1) Face the fact that overturning Roe doesn’t make abortion illegal.

        2) Face the fact that making abortion doesn’t *stop* abortion, forcing them to deal with abortion in other ways.

        3) Decrease their ability to say, “You have to vote for the GOP because of Roe.”

      2. @ tierney

        That is what I’ve been saying for 40 years. It was obvious a long time ago that the antiabortion movement was neither pro-life noR a movement, But is an industry. Millions of men hours spent, billions of dollars buying politicians, Sending letters, and fueling outrage, and in the nearly 50 years since roe, they have nothing to show for it.

        Well, nothing but some nice fat bank accounts. My favorite examples of this I commented on a few months ago, I think in Marks old site. There are the anti-abortion superstars,Who go to the antiabortion conventions and meetings and rallies to speak to the bands of true believers who are already there, and don’t need to be told that they are of course, 100% morally, spiritually, politically, and godly correct. Yet, those speakers speaking to those conventions of true believers get paid $10,000 basically to rally the troops yet again, while not actively accomplishing anything.

        Did i mention $10,000 A pop, to play the game of “Let’s you and him fight” On a Society wide scale? For each one of those speeches, how many children could have been fed or educated? How many fetuses could have been carried to term because the mother had some financial support?

        $40 million was spent trying to stop my marriage under a load of funny concerns about the family and society, marriage and children, and faith and freedom. By funny concerns, of course I mean out right lies, distortions, half truths, and fear mongering. How many children could have been fed and educated for that $40 million? The same people behind the Anti-abortion industry are also the people that are behind the anti-Ex-gay industry.There is a reason that the five non-negotiables all turned out to be negotiable.

        And it turns out it has very little to with god.

  2. Mark, if you read the Heritage report you’d see that abortion numbers have been going up since 2016 with the approval of the drug mifepristone.

  3. “The All Lives Matter cult only cares about the unborn when they need to defend the murder of brown and poor people and shout down Black Lives Matter.”

    Rather incredible Mark that you have no problem accusing conservative Catholics at places like Catholic Answers, EWTN and NCR of being murderers. Why isn’t that calumny? And while you are at it, name names so people can sue you.

    1. He didn’t call them murderers, just accessory to people who are indifferent to systemic racism and murder.
      And given that conservative catholics really do seem to believe that the ends justify the means or the man, it’s quite easy to agree with Mark’s point.

    2. The land of the free, where people can be sued for imaginary crimes and cases presented by imaginary prosecutors. You’re the best.

    3. I am torn. Should I let you stay in my comboxes to let you be a foil for sensible people or just go ahead and kick you out as the time-wasting slanderer you are? Decisions, decisions.

      1. I’m tempted, for mercenary reasons, to let him stay. He draws readers who want to waste their time arguing with him.. And his arguments are so dumb that I’m not worried he will convince anybody.

      2. @ Mark

        Mark, it’s your website, and you can do what you want. But as I said when you were at your old site and we were dealing with that death penalty and going to advocate – Dudley sharp? Deadly Sharpe?— I think that the answer to bad speech is more speech. Learning to deal with sociopaths like Mr. Miller is a good exercise for the non-sociopathic. From my point of you, there’s a great deal that somebody would have to do before I would consider kicking him out. Mr. Miller has not done any of that

  4. I don’t think its either fair or accurate to use funding for Planned Parenthood as a barometer for an administration’s support for abortion. The simple reason is that by law, the things they get federal funding for, are either unrelated to abortion or are for things that actually help prevent them.

    I know the usual reply to this is that “funds are fungible” or that “it helps keep the lights on”. The first is simply not true. They can’t move funds around the way its being implied; not without landing themselves in serious trouble, especially the way they are constantly being scrutinized.

    As for the second, that might be somewhat true, but here’s the thing: the stated goals of Planned Parenthood and those who support them, are NOT to go out there and perform as many abortions as humanly possible. All we want in that regard is to ensure that abortion remains legal, accessible and safe. As long as those conditions are met, we’d be perfectly happy if the actual number of abortions totaled zero.

    Case in point, this is purely anecdotal, but a while back, I remember hearing from a commenter at a blog that at a Planned Parenthood event, when they announced the news that at the time, their abortion numbers had dropped by a significant margin, it was met with a standing ovation.

    I see it as analogous to having a Fire Department; just because we fund and equip them with the ability to put out fires does not mean that we are actively trying to make fires happen. There is a reason why a big part of what the Fire Department does is centered around prevention. Yes, they have the ability to go out and respond to an emergency call, but the preferable option is that it doesn’t come to that.

    I remember you once wrote an article about the dangers of desiring to see your opponents as being worse than they actually are.

    Which do you think is more likely, that the Trump administration deliberately and directly tried to increase the number of abortions by funding an organization that is actively trying to perform as many abortions as possible, or that the increased demand for Planned Parenthood’s services, all of them, are a result of the current administration’s incompetence, failed policies and general feeling of unrest and despair?

    There is a case to be made that without that funding, the actual number of abortions would be even higher. As satisfying as it might be to use Planned Parenthood as a scapegoat for everything related to abortion, the problem is that it detracts attention from the real underlying issues and in the process, lets the Trump administration off the hook.

    1. The point is that the same people who scream every time a Dem gives money to PP are silent now. Because they don’t care about it really. They care about it as a stick for beating Dems and pretending they care about abortion.

      1. And its a fair point to make, to illustrate their hypocrisy on that front. But I think that its just as important to challenge their framing of the issue, especially when it can be so misleading.

      2. To your point Mark, its sort of like the issue of the debt. The Repubs scream about it when a Democrat is in office and are ususally completely silent about it when a Republican president doubles the national debt. Reagan/Bush did that and so did George W. Nary a peep. But when Obama did it, during the Great Recession, it was a catastrophe! And they went silent again when their tax cut to help the top 1% hugely expanded the debt. Nary a peep.

  5. As the Heritage report fails to disclose, federal funding of PP is mostly Medicaid reimbursemenrs for non-abortion procedures. This is something that rarely is admitted when federal funding of PP is duscussed by abortion opponents.

    1. And the case against the Globag Gag Rule mostly rests on the assumed reduced availability of contraception. Nothing is entirely black and white.

  6. I swallowed that “money is fungible” line hook line and sinker, and then I realized that my local public school had state-of-the-art sports complexes and one textbook for every two or three students.

  7. I also find it ironic given that, among the Presidential candidates in the last few cycles, Biden is the only one I’ve ever seen talk about the importance of his Catholic faith outside of a campaign context.

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