Open Letter from Prominent Catholics: Don’t Vote for Trump
An open letter written by prominent Catholic scholars Robert P. George and George Weigel and signed by more than 30 other Catholic leaders asks Catholics and “all men and women of good will” to vote for a “genuinely reformist candidate” — not for Donald Trump.
The brief letter published in National Review Online this week argues that while “in recent decades, the Republican party has been a vehicle — imperfect, like all human institutions, but serviceable — for promoting causes at the center of Catholic social concern in the United States,” and while the surprise Republican primary frontrunner “speaks to issues of legitimate and genuine concern: wage stagnation, grossly incompetent governance, profligate governmental spending, the breakdown of immigration law, inept foreign policy, stifling ‘political correctness’ — for starters,” the billionaire businessman is “manifestly unfit to be president.”
Co-signers include marriage advocate Ryan Anderson, Mary Eberstadt of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Brian Burch of Catholic Vote, Catholic National Prayer Breakfast founder Joseph Cella, professor Francis Beckwith, and dozens more.
Among the first 1000 comments to the letter were many from Catholics who are angry, support Trump’s candidacy, and said the authors were out of touch with the failures of the Republican party. Many, apparently unfamiliar with them and their work, identified the writers and signers as part of “the establishment.”
“Sorry but I already voted for him and I’d vote for him again if I had a chance. The chickens have come home to roost for the Republican Party. They should have listened to what we were saying,” wrote one.
“As a lifelong practicing Catholic, 20-year military vet and small business owner, I find this appeal, among all of the noise pouring out of the establishment, very disconnected from reality….” wrote another. “Meanwhile, out here in fly-over country… middle and blue collar Americans, both the R and D variety that attend church on Sunday, are voting for Donald Trump (and Ted Cruz) in droves because they are sick of losing their country and losing their salaries.”
National Review, a conservative weekly news magazine, opposes Donald Trump’s candidacy. To read the open letter, click here.
The complete list of signers:
Robert P. George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University
George Weigel Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies Ethics and Public Policy Center
Ryan T. Anderson William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Stephen M. Barr University of Delaware
Francis J. Beckwith Professor of Philosophy and Church–State Studies, Baylor University
Mary Ellen Bork Ethics and Public Policy Center Board
Gerard V. Bradley Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame
Don J. Briel John Henry Newman Chair of Liberal Arts, University of Mary
Brian Burch President, CatholicVote.org.
James C. Capretta Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Joseph Cella Founder, National Catholic Prayer Breakfast
Grazie Pozo Christie, MD The Catholic Association
Ann Corkery Founder, Catholic Voices USA
Neil Corkery Sudan Relief Fund
David Paul Deavel Interim Editor, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture
Mary Eberstadt Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Eduardo Echeverria Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary
Thomas F. Farr Director, Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown University
Matthew J. Franck Director, William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution, Witherspoon Institute
Anna Halpine Founder, World Youth Alliance
Mary Rice Hasson Director, Catholic Women’s Forum, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Stephen J. Heaney Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of St. Thomas
John P. Hittinger Pope John Paul II Forum, Center for Thomistic Studies, University of St. Thomas
Elizabeth M. Kelly Managing Editor, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture
Rachel Lu Senior Contributor, The Federalist
Bruce D. Marshall Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
Robert T. Miller Professor of Law and F. Arnold Daum Fellow in Corporate Law, University of Iowa College of Law
Kate O’Beirne former Washington Editor, National Review
C. C. Pecknold The Catholic University of America
Robert Royal Faith and Reason Institute
Deborah Savage Professor of Philosophy and Theology, University of St. Thomas
Timothy Samuel Shah Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown University
Nina Shea Director, Center for Religious Freedom Hudson Institute
Hilary Towers Developmental psychologist and author
David R. Upham Associate Professor of Politics, University of Dallas
Edward Whelan Ethics and Public Policy Center
Stephen P. White Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
To hear Anna Mitchell’s interview with George Weigel on The Son Rise Morning Show about the letter, click here.
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