Dear Catholics…

10 Apr

Dear Catholics, please help me out here. I am truly and desperately trying to understand how those of you who supported Trump did so because of your identity around being Catholic. Sadly, I have family who have used the “we voted for Trump because we are good Catholics” excuse.

Here is some background information. I was talking with a white, heterosexual, cisgender, able bodied, middle class man last week. He was explaining to me that being gay or transgender had nothing to do with gender equity and more importantly that being gay or transgender was WRONG and those people would go to hell. Subsequently, this person explained why he supports Trump: “Because it is God’s will.” Sadly, this white heterosexual man then went into defensive mode by saying: “…by the way some of my friends are gay — they were even at my wedding. While I know they are wrong and will go to Hell, they are friends of mine.” Oy! I wonder if these “gay friends,” assuming they do exist, would consider him a friend?

Here is where I need some help. Please do chime in and illuminate and educate me. Does your God really support a man like Trump — a man who said it is okay to grab a woman buy the genitals? A man who appoints a white supremacist as the attorney general? A man whose behavior has demonstrated nothing but great avarice? A man who publicly mocked a man with disabilities? Is that the God you worship? Who would Jesus hate?

Furthermore, I thought Catholics were against divorce and adultery. How is that you are able to give Trump a dispensation here? Do the rules only apply to those who are poor and cannot afford to buy off a fraud case for $25 million dollars?

Just a quick history lesson here, for those Catholics that are climate change deniers and think science is just a bunch of poo poo, let us remember that in 1633 Galileo was locked up by the Catholic Church for heresy for asserting that the earth was round and revolved around the sun, which countered the wrong geocentric model the church subscribed to at the time. Damn that science! It took over 300 years for the church to acknowledge it was wrong and that Galileo was right. I’m horrifically sad to see that we seem to be repeating history.

Again, I am truly trying to understand how and why Catholics supported and still seem to support Trump and his administration. From my understanding of Catholicism and Christianity, his behavior seems antithetical to the teachings of Christ. I am also exceedingly sad for this man’s children. What if one of them is gay or trans-identified? This man made it clear he feels obligated to judge them and condemn them. Maybe it is just me, but this does not seem like good parenting, nor does it seem very godly. I welcome all voices on this issue to help better educate us all.


24 Responses to “Dear Catholics…”

  1. Bruce Kestelman April 10, 2017 at 6:20 am #

    Hi Michael, I’m not Catholic, so I’m not from the population that you are looking to to answer your question. You don’t mention Abortion. I would think that abortion is a key issue for many Catholics. And you can hold your nose, close your eyes, cover your ears and protect the rights of the unborn. This is very hard for me to write given my affinity with pro choice, but in trying to understand why, abortion would be at the top of my list. Bruce

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 10, 2017 at 6:29 am #

      Bruce, this is helpful in trying to unpack why people who are Catholic or Christian would have thrown their support to Trump. I know this was difficult for you as someone who supports women’s rights. Where I struggle is that the abortion issue then seems to indicate these people have situational ethics, as they are supporting cutting funds for children once they are born and in fact cutting funds for prenatal care. I also worry that the abortion issue was enough to throw the rest of the country under the bus–was it enough to condone the litany of horrific behavior we are now enduring? Again, thank you for helping start the conversation. Peace, Michael.

  2. bc1212cham April 10, 2017 at 6:45 am #

    I completely agree. I’m a Catholic.
    Regardless of which Christian faith you belong (Hipocrite Christian, Catholic, or any of the other ones), I’m tired of hearing “We voted for Trump because of our Christian Values”. That is mostly out of the Hipocrite faith. Trump is about the most Anti-Christian you can get. He is the Anti-Christ.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 10, 2017 at 6:50 am #

      Thank you for chiming in here, Brian. I appreciate your comments. So it sounds like you do not agree with the self-identified Catholic man I spoke to last week? Peace, Michael.

  3. Dr. Rex April 10, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    My god doesn’t support Drumpf … my god is a god of love! Catholics was my middle name!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 10, 2017 at 7:23 am #

      I hope we hear a lot more from Catholics like you, Dr. Rex! Lots of love, Michael.

      • Dr. Rex April 10, 2017 at 7:24 am #

        Hugs back … to you and yours! Peace .. __/l\__

  4. Central Oregon Coast NOW April 10, 2017 at 7:53 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  5. Central Oregon Coast NOW April 10, 2017 at 8:00 am #

    I have a gay relative who is Catholic and who definitely did not vote for Trump. He is also pro-choice. He tells me his Catholic Church is affirming and welcoming.

    It is not just the Catholics who voted for Trump who I question(in fact, I don’t think any of my Catholic friends voted for Trump), but it is the fundamentalist “Christians” who so strongly support “Christian” and “Family Values” who I don’t understand.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 10, 2017 at 8:05 am #

      Nancy, thank you for chiming in here. I really am trying to get my head around how people of faith could support Trump. I am baffled at best. Peace to you, Michael.

    • brianarbenz August 17, 2017 at 9:22 pm #

      I worked for a Catholic archdiocese for two years and I saw that Catholics overwhelmingly were caring and open minded people, in the practice of their religion and in other ways.

  6. Gronda Morin April 10, 2017 at 9:25 am #

    Dear Michael Hulshof-Schmidt,

    Let’s get real. There are more than a few fundamental right wing folks who self identify as Christian who voted for DDT. The gentleman who used the excuse that he voted for DDT due to his Catholic faith should be required to read some of the writings of Pope Francis. He strongly supports the science of climate change, providing universal healthcare etc. In short Pope Francis who is the leader of the Catholic Church and this gentleman are not cut from the same cloth.

    Ciao, Gronda

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

      Gronda, I always love hearing from you! Yes, I should have suggested he read the most recent writings from Pope Francis. Peace, Michael.

      • Gronda Morin April 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

        Dear Michael Hulshof-Schmidt,

        Pope Francis does tweet and I am a follower.

        Hugs, Gronda

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 10, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

        As always, thank you for your voice! Hugs, Michael.

  7. bevanyardleigh April 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

    Thank you for calling this out. I accept that many good people find support and comfort in their faith. Sadly, too few use any critical thought, allowing some form of “big sky guy told me so” to give themselves artificial moral cover. On the whole, I find religion to be communal, complicit, cognitive dissonance.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

      My assessment of religions is the same as yours, Bevan. I truly am curious to understand this better, and I’m worried I am dealing in a rational format, which may not be a format adopted by those of faith who support 45. Peace, Michael.

  8. caelesti April 11, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    Is there much of a point to asking people why they voted for Trump & agonizing over it? The abortion part is pretty ridiculous in this case, as it was totally clear he was pro-Planned Parenthood & legal abortion, he shamelessly dumped that & any support for GLBT rights to get elected. Just as conservative Catholics have long ago sold their souls to the Religious Right. I don’t need to “understand” I already do!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 11, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

      Perhaps you are right. I do worry you and Bruce are absolutely correct; that my attempts at understanding in a rational way are futile. Certainly a side of humanity that does not feel good. Thank you for commenting. Peace, Michael.

    • brianarbenz August 17, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

      The U.S. Catholic church for years opposed the religious right and fundamentalism, with the U.S. Conference of Bishops releasing a statement saying fundamentalism “arrests the spiritual development.” Then Charles Colson, the Watergate felon, cut a deal with Catholicism. He would bring protestant fundamentalists in to do the heavy work of anti-abortion activism to fill in for the masses of Catholics who didn’t care about the cause. In return, Catholic church officials would stop criticizing fundamentalism. That was the selling of the soul of the church.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 18, 2017 at 1:38 am #

        Not only a sad selling out of the Catholic Church but I would underscore how many women, queers, and queer women of color are being hurt today by the Catholic Church. Very sad in deed. Will there be Catholic voices that come out and do the right thing for human rights and social justice and resist the racism, migogyny, and homophobia, of 45 and his administration? Thank you for adding to the conversation, Brian.

  9. Rich McIntyre April 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    You should brush up on your history. In 1633 Galileo was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church, not that the earth was flat.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 19, 2017 at 7:48 am #

      Rich, thank you for noting where the Catholic Church got it wrong again in their subscription the geocentric model, which Galileo proved wrong. I’m quite sad that you offer a comment on this but go hurtfully quiet around the primary thesis of this article. Your silence here makes me reflect that having a personal relationship with people who hold identities other than those held by the dominant discourse does not open space around empathy and compassion. I hope that is not the case.

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