Father James Martin: Reconciliation and Dissent in the Age of Trump

Ernesto Vega of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Hispanic ministry. (CNS photo/Patrick T. Fallon, Reuters)

How does a Catholic move ahead after the election of Donald J. Trump as president?

For many Catholics this not a problem. Indeed, the majority of Catholics voted for Mr. Trump and are presumably delighted by his victory. White Catholics, perhaps responding to his message to promote job growth, shake up a political system widely seen as corrupt, and his opposition to abortion, came out heavily for him. For millions of other American Catholics, however, the election evoked disappointment, sadness, even fear. The majority of Latino Catholics, for example, perhaps alarmed by his comments on immigration, overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton.

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No matter who you are, the election evoked intense emotions. The last time I remember so many people coming to me for counsel was the day after 9/11. Moreover, I have never seen the United States so bitterly divided. So let me offer a way forward for members of my own community: American Catholics. There are two paths, which highlight two aspects of our life as Catholics in the modern world: the need for reconciliation and the need for legitimate dissent.

Reconciliation

Our country is divided most painfully. And the more we are divided, the less room there is for true progress and the more room there is for hatred and violence. Thus, even if some of us are angry, we must seek to lessen the divisions. What can be done to increase unity?

1. Reconcile by giving people the benefit of the doubt. At the beginning of his classic text, The Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius Loyola, the 16th-century founder of the Jesuit order, offers important advice: “Let it be presupposed that every good Christian is to be more ready to save his neighbor's proposition than to condemn it. If he cannot save it, let him inquire how he means it.” In Jesuit circles, we call this giving someone the “plus sign.” In common parlance, it means giving someone the benefit of the doubt.

In other words, as we seek to draw the country together it should be “presupposed,” hard as it may be, that both Trump supporters and Clinton supporters were seeking the good of the country. Giving someone the “plus sign” is a prerequisite for listening. Because how can you possibly listen to someone if you think they have bad intentions? It’s hard, but necessary.

It’s also important because we tend to judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. Remember that the other person probably believes themselves to have good intentions, like you. Besides, trying to reconcile is impossible if you think the other person is up to no good. Try to give them, as far as possible, the plus sign.

This is a hard thing to write. For I know that many of Mr. Trump’s critics wonder how his supporters could have voted for someone who made racist, misogynistic and xenophobic comments. People have asked me: How can someone give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt, given what he has said? As one friend put it today, “If someone says they’re going to punch you in the face, would you say, ‘See what happens’?”

That is a fair point. Many of our brothers and sisters are frightened by the election of someone who said, both in public and in private, hateful comments. But the only path to reconciliation, as Jesus shows us, is meeting someone who seems like your enemy with charity. “Love your enemies” is not something new. Or as Dorothy Day said, “It is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that saddens us.”

What happens if people prove untrustworthy? If our leaders do? If we give them the benefit of the doubt and they fail us? More about that in the second part of this essay, on dissent.

2. Reconcile by listening. Many Americans seem increasingly incapable of listening. Perhaps it’s because we are more informed of news through “narrowcasting”—TV stations catering to our own interests and social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, where we follow only those who agree with us and only people who share our opinions. Consequently, we tend to think we already know what to think. So why listen? Sometimes when you’re speaking to a person you feel that all they’re doing is waiting for you to stop talking, so that they can speak. This causes further division, as fewer and fewer people can even understand one another.

I’m guilty of this myself.

To reconcile, try listening. I mean really listening. If you want a surefire tip on how to do so, try what we used to call in spiritual counseling, “reflective listening.” See if you can summarize or “reflect back” what a person has just said. It will force you to listen. For example, “It sounds like you’re worried about what immigration will do to this country, is that right?” Or “It sounds like you feel the poor are being neglected by the government. Am I getting you?”

You’ll be surprised how much this not only helps the other person feel heard but increases your capacity to listen, and to understand.

3. Reconcile by avoiding name calling, ad hominem arguments and hate speech. This campaign season was filled with name calling at every level. Ad hominem arguments—that is, “against the person,” rather than about a particular topic—were rampant. “Nasty woman” was the least of these comments. Yet a little known, and less observed, saying of Jesus puts this kind of speech in focus.

“If you call your brother raca [idiot],” says Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, “you will be liable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says ‘fool’ will be liable to the fires of Gehenna” (5:22).

New Testament scholars say that when the Gospels preserve Aramaic words, like raca, we can be almost 100 percent sure they came directly from the lips of Jesus and were not added in the later editing of the Gospels. The words themselves made such an impression on the original hearers that they remembered the precise Aramaic phrase and passed it along in oral retellings.

In other words, the preservation of this Aramaic word for “idiot” means that it is one of the most historically authentic of Jesus’s sayings. Yet it may also be the most overlooked. Quite literally, Jesus says that if you call someone a bad name, you’ll be liable to either the Jewish council or, worse, the “fires of Gehenna.” Gehenna, the site outside Jerusalem’s city walls, where garbage burned incessantly, was the image Jesus often used for hell.

So if you call someone a name, or engage in hate speech, you’re not only coarsening our discourse, you’re not only being uncharitable, you’re also going to hell. Says Jesus. Remember this if you’re a Trump supporter and you’re tempted to call a Clinton supporter a “baby killer.” Remember this if you’re a Clinton supporter and tempted to call someone a Trump supporter a “fascist.” Name calling does nothing to advance reconciliation, whether in person or in social media. It simply perpetuates, and usually intensifies, hate.

4. Reconcile by forgiving. The Gospel reading the day before the election (Lk 17:1-6) recounted Jesus’s saying that if someone offends you seven times in one day, you should forgive him or her. Yes, it’s difficult, probably the most difficult of all Christian teachings. And it runs against the grain of revenge, bitterness and score-settling that seems to dominate American culture and our political world. Particularly unsettling were cries from Democrats and Republicans during the election about how they could never, and would never, work with “that man” or “that woman.”

Forgiveness is more essential than ever. And it’s a double gift. It is a gift to the one forgiven, because it enables healing to take place between them and yourself. And it is a gift to you, because it frees you from the burden of resentment that can sour a soul, and a country.

Forgiveness must be a part of our reconciliation.

5. Reconcile by praying.You have to pray. Why? First, to ask for God’s help. Most of what I’ve just suggested requires grace. God needs to help you to give someone the benefit of the doubt, to listen, to avoid name calling and forgive. It’s hard. Prayer is a reminder that we are reliant on God. We need help.

Thinking about the Creator of the Universe is also a reminder that you can’t do it all. Dozens of people have asked me in the last few days about how they can help reconcile the country, to heal divisions. They seemed overwhelmed by the task. You can help, of course, but you can’t do it by yourself, whether you’re in public office or not.

And God doesn’t expect you to do so. As a wise Jesuit I know likes to say, “There is Good News and there is Better News. The Good News is: There is a Messiah. The Better News is: It’s not you.” You can’t do it all, because you’re not God. So just do your best.

So you need to pray—for grace, wisdom and courage. Reconciliation and unity are hard work. And while you’re at it, pray for those American you used to consider your enemies, but who are really your brothers and sisters.

Dissent

Reconciliation is important. But as Catholics we are called to do something else as well. We are called to voice legitimate dissent, to oppose repressive policies, to stand up for the poor and the marginalized. Catholics, for example, are called to be “pro-life.”And I myself am pro-life, standing in defense of all human life from natural conception to natural death. Because pro-life means being for life at all stages: this includes opposing the death penalty and euthanasia. This is one reason I didn’t agree with Hillary Clinton on everything that she espoused: she was strongly “pro-choice.”

But I also stand with the poor and marginalized, with anyone who feels excluded, and this was my greatest problem with Donald Trump’s campaign. Not his bluster and bombast, but his fear-mongering and his division of this country into categories of us and them.

Now that the election is over, Mr. Trump’s policies are a legitimate target for critique by the church. Before an election such a harsh critique would have been seen as “endorsing,” which the church should not do. Now, however, as has always been the case in the political sphere, the church and its members, may offer legitimate critique about political leaders.

We should pray that Mr. Trump  has a successful presidency, because that will mean success for the country, for all Americans. But we should also not be afraid to speak out, no matter what the costs. And when Mr. Trump says he wants to erect a wall to keep out Mexicans, forcibly deport undocumented immigrants and oppose ventures to help stop the effects of climate change, we should take him at his word. It is foolish to underestimate either him or his resolve.

In that vein, Catholics should oppose, vocally, forcefully and actively, those aspects of his political designs that would seek to marginalize or exclude people. Catholic social teaching asks us to stand in solidarity with the poor. And Catholic tradition has been filled with saints who stood up against repressive political systems: Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan, Oscar Romero, in modern times; as well as Joan of Arc, Thomas of Becket and Thomas More in the past. The Catholic has an absolute moral duty to dissent. To be “pro voice.” So stand up.

1. Be pro voice, on behalf of the poor. It was not surprising that many people believed that Donald Trump’s election would boost the economy. His public reputation is that of a master businessman. Nor was it surprising that he was seen as a man who would shake up the economic system, so that it might be made fairer, less corrupt, more inclusive. This was a man whose most famous utterance on his reality TV show was “You’re fired.”

But will his policies help the poor? I doubt it. So do many economists.

There is a saying in East Africa, Wapiganapo tembo, nyasi huumia. “When the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” In other words, in the middle of great political battles, it is the poor who always lose out. We can pray that things work out differently, but from my vantage point, it seems likely that the poor—the homeless, the unemployed, the underemployed, the disabled, the sick—will be the ones most to suffer in the coming administration. All the more reason for Catholics to speak up on behalf of the materially poor when it seems like their interests are being trampled, like grass.

2. Be pro voice, against racism. Mr. Trump’s election was celebrated by David Duke, the former “Grand Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan. “This was one of the most exciting nights of my life!” he said. And today it was announced that at least one “chapter” of the KKK was holding a celebration. During the campaign Mr. Trump initially refused to disavow the support of the KKK, going so far as to say he didn’t know what “white supremacy” meant. There have been numerous incidents of Mr. Trump’s election providing at least encouragement for racist elements in our country.

Racism is a sin. Period. It must be opposed by Catholic at every turn. Even the hint of racism, even thinly veiled racism, must be fought.  

3. Be pro voice, against xenophobia. Mr. Trump’s rhetoric often demonized refugees and migrants. Perhaps his most famous comments on the campaign trail was saying that the community of Mexicans immigrants in this country included criminals and “rapists.” It was another example of his tendency to divide people into “us” and “them.” Building a wall to keep “them” out was a key focus of his campaigns.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, however, have consistently been urging people to consider the needs of these migrants—not only Mexicans, but Syrians expelled from their country, and indeed everyone hoping for a better life. Indeed, just a few days after the election, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, acknowledging the fears of migrants in the wake of the election, called for greater attention to the needs of undocumented immigrants.

Pope Francis was correct last year when he said, in response to Mr. Trump’s plans that “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.”

Xenophobia, the fear of the stranger, should be anathema to Catholics. Especially to American Catholics. We are a nation of immigrants. And we ourselves were tarred with the same foul brush of xenophobia and nativism. We should not perpetuate this hatred. “You shall not oppress a resident alien,” as God says to the Hebrew people, “you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt” (Ex. 23:9).

4. Be pro voice, for the environment. Mr. Trump has said that he believes global warming is a hoax concocted by the Chinese. It is not. It is a clear and present danger, and as Pope Francis noted in “Laudato Si’,” an encyclical that is now part of the body of Catholic social teaching, we are required  to care for “our common home” and pay attention to the ways that climate change disproportionately affects the poorest among us. Why does this happen? For the simple reason that their lives are already fragile, and they cannot afford to move away from imperiled areas.

Of course, the profit motive, which Mr. Trump has championed, is seen to outweigh care for the environment. Pope Francis understands this clearly: “Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment.”

The environment is very low on Mr. Trump’s list of concerns. In fact, he has proposed to lead the transition in the Environmental Protection Agency someone who refutes the notion of climate change.

Catholics are called to reverence and advocate for God’s creation. Indeed, Pope Francis proposed as one of the new beatitudes, “Blessed are they who protect and care for our common home.” Be pro-voice, then, for the environment.

5. Be pro voice, for all the marginalized. Undocumented immigrants were not the only ones who expressed fear in the wake of Mr. Trump’s election. And by this I do not mean that they profess his election to be somehow illegitimate. Rather, they are fearful for their livelihoods and their lives. L.G.B.T. people, women, African-Americans, and many minorities, ethnic groups, and other communities who feel marginalized, now fear for their future. Those who are marginalized often feel and often are voiceless. All the more reason to speak out in favor of minority and marginalized groups when they feel that their communities and even lives are being threatened. These are the “least” of our brothers and sisters, and Jesus asks us to stand with them (Mt. 25).

These two paths—of reconciliation and dissent—may seem contradictory. But this was Jesus’s dual path, and he invites us to follow him. He urged people to come together. “That they all may be one,” he said (Jn 17:21). But he was not afraid to speak out, even if it offended people. Even if, paradoxically, it caused disunity. “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Lk 12:51).

Catholics have a special responsibility to work with charity to reconcile in the midst of this divisive time. They also have the responsibility to stand up, clearly, loudly and passionately, for the rights of the poorest and most marginalized among us.

Be pro unity and pro voice.

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Luis Gutierrez
1 year ago
Trump is the personification of patriarchy. Lamentably, the papacy is another personification of patriarchy. Not sure which one is the greatest obstacle to the kind of integral human development that would be conducive to civilized reconciliation and legitimate dissent as outlined in this article.
C Walter Mattingly
1 year ago
While the first part of Fr. Martin's section emphasizing tolerance and good will is fine, had he included under the "dissent" portion, numbered and in bold print, be pro life, it would have been much more credibly following the principles he outlined in the first section of tolerance and open-mindedness. As Hillary not only staked out a position as pro-abortion for any and all reasons, including not only aborting females because they aren't male but even is on record saying the unborn have no right to life, I'd think that too would have been worthy of inclusion, especially considering that Hillary's SC appointments would likely have set back the cause of the innocent unborn to be born for a generation. By not including this most serious issue to protect the most innocent and helpless from extermination at will under his dissent section proper, with its own heading and number, Fr Martin places himself to close to selective, partisan dissent rather than open minded dissent based upon justice and charity for the most innocent and marginalized and violated in our society, our own unborn children.
John Campbell
1 year ago
C Walter Mattingly, work for pro-life service is an important part of work for social justice, but it does not include futile rants against well-established judicial precedents in the US civil law, nor support of any kind for the bigoted near fascism of the Republican candidate. We need to work for inclusive means to protect the unborn, including an all-out effort to root out patriarchy where it is.
C Walter Mattingly
1 year ago
John, what you describe as "futile rants' against unjust SC rulings and laws derived from them don't always turn out to be futile. I recall segregationists describing such rants against separate but equal in similar language. Slavery was law in Massachusetts for 160 years until it was repealed. Plessey vs Ferguson was law for over a half century. Likewise Roe/Wade. But as Churchill is quoted as having said, you can always count upon Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried everything else. The pro-life movement is still dealing with part of that everything else, and Hillary would have set back moving from everything else to what's right on this issue at least another generation.
Alan Chandler
1 year ago
When it comes to the choice between Hillary or Donald Trump I couldn't get past the abortion issue as most catholics couldn't. Much of what is said about Trump is greatly exaggerated and within all of us, to some degree, at times. Donald Trump is not hateful...the media has said it in a conclusive way and the people often accept words they read as truth and fail to search for themselves. Since the MSM is obviously bias the internet was and is the only means of communication he and we have where the truth can be found. Climate change is a hoax; Carbon is not a pollutant but an element found in hydrocarbons and carbohydrates and both are a fuel that's byproduct enhances the growth of the other. This is God's balance and not a flaw that spells doom as they say. The author of this article is bias in the discussion of Donald Trump. He criticized Trump for suggesting that we should build a wall, while the Pope said to build bridges, although he is living in a city surrounded with walls. Trump is obviously not a perfect man, but then none of Jesus's deciples were perfect. The liberals use the minorities as political fodder while Trump is comming from not a political background. He has stated that the illegal Latinos are not to be mistreated and he knows, as we all do, that they are all Christians and at worst just our latest addition to our melting pot. I believe that he is a God-sent and we need to embrace this man who defied all the corrupt government and media and stood alone with only the people to make the choice between the truth or the lies. This is God's world and I see his subtle hand in changing it's direction. Thank You Jesus....
Edward McAssey
1 year ago
Sorry Alan, it is carbon dioxide not carbon. Carbon dioxide blocks radiation leaving the Earth. As CO2 accumlates in the atmoshpere it blocks thermal radiation from leaving the Earth. The science is right.
MaryRuth Stegman
1 year ago
Jesus didn't have anything to do with this election that was rigged by James Comey, Vladamir Putin and God knows who else!
Annette Magjuka
1 year ago
As I come to terms with my shock and intense disappointment that Donald Trump is our President-elect and that all three branches of government will be controlled by the GOP, there are a few things that make "coming together" very difficult for me. I live in Indiana, and I am used to being a progressive in a very conservative state. I thought I had found a sweet spot where I "agree to disagree" about almost everything. I smile and sometimes engage a little, but realize that I will not change anyone by arguing. A few times in the past four decades, someone has said, "Oh, I see what you have been talking about all this time." But those times are few and far between. I have seen first hand what Pence has done in Indiana. Schools are defunded to the bone. Many things people rely are "privatized" so that they cost people money out of pocket. Pence refused to expand Medicare under Obamacare, so we have many uninsured. We have lots of minimum wage jobs and lots of poverty. We don't even have recycling in every neighborhood. But our budget is balanced! People are suffering. The GOP has been on a 40 year march to get to the very place they are today. Now they control the whole government, and will make the entire country look like Indiana. I have always resented how those who would deny people health care, a decent wage, quality public education and a social safety net insist that they are more religious and godly than the rest of us. In particular, the issue of abortion has been used like a club or trump card. All the other ways we can support "life" are ignored or made worse. Only abortion matters. I fear that this is because it has been such a powerful political tool rather than out of a real concern for the unborn. While I am used to being surrounded by people who have dramatically different politics than I do, this election has shown me something I wish I could unlearn: I have seen just how low people will go to get their way. The people who voted for Trump cannot all be horrible bigots, misogynists, race-baiters, and bullies. But they voted for one. None of Trump's language or actions were too much. He did not hide under a KKK hood so we would not know his identity. No, he was a bigot, misogynist, bully, nationalist, and espouser of authoritarian rhetoric right in front of everyone, no shame. Now that he is our President-elect, I look around me. I think, "You voted for Trump. And you, and you, and you. All of you were OK with his tactics and rhetoric." It makes me feel isolated, alienated, and so very sad. I realize that some of the things I thought were shared values are NOT shared values. They are values that are very much under attack. I am a 60 year old white woman and I am scared. If I had brown skin, I would be terrified. As an educator, I see the reports of children harassing Mexican schoolmates and attacking girls wearing the hijab. this horrifies me and makes me realize that I do not live in the country I thought I lived in. I know that it is my obligation as a Catholic and Christian to find a way to love and respect these people I now see in such a new and frightening light. But I feel overwhelmed at where to start. So much is under attack. So many Americans are under attack. So far, all I can do is cry and pray for all of us.
Jude Gallagher
1 year ago
Very well thought out and I empathize with your feelings. Please know you aren't alone as so many of us struggle with a new view of family and friends who we thought were more aware of the impact of systemic racism and misogyny.
Rudolph Koser
1 year ago
Very nicely put. While there are many issues with Ms Clinton including life positions, Mr Trump has the morals of an alley cat which have been well documented. God knows what else will come out. No one including Mr Trump seems to know what he believes or supports. He has used the politics of resentment and fear to divide. Fr Martin is right. We need to seek reconciliation and hope the office he will be in will make him greater than he is and not as I fear bring the Office of President of the United States into disrepute along with our nation in the world community.
Brenda Bush
1 year ago
You captured the way I have felt. I have never had this type of reaction to an election before - however there has never been an election like this before. I feel like the campaign was the universal story of good verses evil, except that we saw evil from both sides and the good kept getting swept away by insults and cursing and lashing out at one another. People felt free to demean and slander and no wonder - they supported a figure who led by his example. I have been in the same state - crying and praying, fretting and trying to find ways to reconcile with those who let this happen. I decided that I had to shut down Facebook and news outlets, avoid reading anything political and refuse to speak for or against anything that was taking place in Washington. But I know me, and what I believe - and I know that I must speak out for religious freedom, for the rights of all people, for human dignity and fairness. I remember my parents speaking about poor houses, before Social Security gave older Americans a chance to survive their senior years. I know I must speak and write about this and other laws that protect innocent women and children, protect our environment, and make work places safer and more secure. I must continue to let my feelings about health insurance and fair wages be known. If we don't continue to watch and learn and speak - then evil will surely win, and America, which has been a GREAT country, will become what we fear the most.
Anne Chapman
1 year ago
Brenda, I understand what you are saying, as I have the same thoughts, the same emotions. I find it hard to avoid news of Washington, as I live here, and even casual conversations related to work (friends, neighbors, family) often touch on policy and politics because government is the town's main industry. But I am retired now, and trying to avoid these types of conversations as much as I can. I plan to be out of town - a long way out of town - on January 20. I will find it impossible to even be around the people who will come here to celebrate this election - which is a tragedy for our country. Peace and blessings to you.
BARBARA LEE
1 year ago
Thank you for this. We all need to reflect on the future of our divided country. There is blame enough to go around, and time to set aside the polemics.
James MacGregor
1 year ago
I always enjoy reading Fr. Martin's writing and find them very useful. Before I start reading this one, however - "the Age of Trump" and "the Era of Trump". Really? Typically American hyperbole!
Charles Erlinger
1 year ago
"We should pray that Mr. Trump has a successful presidency, because that will mean success for the country, for all Americans." If we follow the pledges made by Mr. Trump to their logical conclusion, to take specific actions against specific humans whom he specifically named, and if the fulfillment of these pledges is defined as success, then the statement quoted above cannot possibly be true.
MaryRuth Stegman
1 year ago
Any one who truly believes that there is anything good about Trump is very naive. He is not pro-life (he wanted two children he fathered to be aborted and said he didn't know how many abortions he was responsible for). He is a sick man-child. I lived through WWII and to my mind he is a Hitler-figure. We all know how that ended! I am sick that this country has sunk so low, but I am especially disturbed that Comey, Rudy Guliannia (spelling) and the Russian government rigged the election. I am sorry that Hillary Clinton will not be the first woman president. There may never be a woman president since the perpetrators of this election were so skillful with their dirty tricks. So, those of you who think that abolishing Roe Vs Wade will end abortions or get them back in back alleys where they belong are in for a rude awakening. Unfortunately, Catholics have been sold a bill of goods ever since Reagan kissed up to the bishops. We don't have a pro -life president, we have someone who will drop the bomb as soon as he can and hasten the destruction of the planet by denying climate change!
E.Patrick Mosman
1 year ago
4. Be pro voice, for the environment." Mr. Trump has said that he believes global warming is a hoax concocted by the Chinese. It is not." "Global warming is a scientific hoax but it was concocted by US government, Al Gore, US government employees at NASA/NOAA/GISS and government funded academics not by the Chinese. By the way how do AGW supporters explain away the historic cyclical climate history of the earth over the last 12,000 years is well known, starting with the end of the last great Ice Age and in the last 1000 years the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice age of the Middle Ages, the warm dust bowl of the 1930-40s, the cold period of the 1950-70s and the warm period of the 1980s-1990s which ended in 1998-2000? It doesn't take computer modeling to study the past, actually today's computer models cannot model the past's history, and today's the AGW driven computer modelers continue to predict disasters based on worst case scenarios based only on C02 despite a cyclical cooling trend over the last 18+ years. Archeologists and geologists have a better knowledge and understanding of the earth's climate history as described in a recent Smithsonian article on the secrets of the Sphinx "The Sahara has not always been a wilderness of sand dunes. German climatologists Rudolph Kuper and Stefan Kröpelin, analyzing the radiocarbon dates of archaeological sites, recently concluded that the region's prevailing climate pattern changed around 8,500 B.C., with the monsoon rains that covered the tropics moving north. The desert sands sprouted rolling grasslands punctuated by verdant valleys, prompting people to begin settling the region in 7,000 B.C. Kuper and Kröpelin say this green Sahara came to an end between 3,500 B.C. and 1,500 B.C., when the monsoon belt returned to the tropics and the desert reemerged. That date range is 500 years later than prevailing theories had suggested. Further studies led by Kröpelin revealed that the return to a desert climate was a gradual process spanning centuries. This transitional period was characterized by cycles of ever-decreasing rains and extended dry spells. Support for this theory can be found in recent research conducted by Judith Bunbury, a geologist at the University of Cambridge. After studying sediment samples in the Nile Valley, she concluded that climate change in the Giza region began early in the Old Kingdom, with desert sands arriving in force late in the era." No evidence was found of CO2 emitting SUVs, coal fired power plants or oil refineries. No doubt many have not studied or glanced at the latest IPCC assessment report Executive Summary page 3 which confirms the hiatus in warming despite a slight increase in atmospheric CO2.Most simulations of the period do not reproduce the observed reduction in global mean surface warming trend over the last 10 to 15 years. "There is medium confidence that the trend difference between models and observations during 1998–2012 is to a substantial degree caused by internal variability, with possible contributions from forcing error and some models overestimating the response to increasing greenhouse gas forcing. Most, though not all, models overestimate the observed warming trend in the tropical troposphere over the last 30years, and tend to underestimate the long-term lower stratospheric cooling trend. {9.4.1, Box 9.2, Figure 9.8" https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter09_FINAL..
Rudolph Koser
1 year ago
Sorry Mr Mosman there is strong scientific agreement on this. You must work for a fossil fuel company. The cigarette industry PR people were the same shills who concocted the myth that climate change does not exist. Data says you are very wrong. So does the Pentagon and Pope Francis.
E.Patrick Mosman
1 year ago
Since there has been no increase in global warming for the last 18+ years despite a slight increase in CO2 perhaps it is time to take step back and stop citing every severe weather event or forest fire as a result of climate change. For the record all of those islands that Al Gore predicted would disappear because of rising sea levels are still there. The following was sent to the Attorney General of New York State who is a leading climate change advocating the criminalization of those who disagree. In order to prove that a person or a company is a "denier" of a theoretical scientific proposal hardly a criminal act, it is first necessary to prove without a doubt that the theory ie, climate change, nee global warming, is a scientific fact with unquestionable data and is the result of human activities and that CO2 resulting from use of hydrocarbon based fuels is the cause. Organization and individuals issued a subpoena for their writings,studies on climate change,nee global warming should have the legal right to ask for the raw data, the adjustments, corrections made and the scientific justification for these and results with and without man made corrections that prove conclusively that CO2 is the cause of any warming and the reason for the 18+year pause in warming. They should also be able to question how the proven historical climate changes, the end of the last Great Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age of the Middle Ages without significant human input by use of hydrocarbon energy sources. Perhaps bringing climate change before the court will force Michael Mann,the government employees at NASA/NOAA/GISS and government funded academic "scientists" to testify and provide the "scientific bases" for the "Hockey stick" graph, the multitude of manipulations of past and current temperature data, the warming of Iceland's temperatures and the Climategate conspirators' admissions including "Kevin Trenberth a government NASA/NOAA/GISS employee who wrote in one of the Climategate emails: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." and now he is one of the 20 asking the the President and the Justice Department to begin a RICO investigation into those who agree with his "lack of warming travesty" remark. Once all of the pseudo- science of the government paid or funded AGW "experts' is put under the glaring light and with questioning under oath testimony this whole house of cards will be tumbling down.
George Farahat
1 year ago
To Fr. James Martin, S.J.: Donald Trump said that he supports the Catholic Church. If so, please stop campaigning for liberalism.Give him the benefit for once...
Lisa Weber
1 year ago
Donald Trump is a con man. An article in the Washington Post quoted a senior Russian diplomat and the deputy foreign minister as saying that the Russians had contacts with the Trump campaign. The article also said that the Clinton campaign refused to communicate with the Russians. The source of the Wikileaks emails has not been confirmed, but the Russians are the primary suspects. The source of the emails is unlikely to remain concealed forever. We have to remember that the Russians have been our enemies for decades, with a few exceptions. They have an interest in either destabilizing or embarrassing the USA. This election has been the most divisive, scorched-earth episode I have ever witnessed. If the hacked emails are their doing, why are they now saying that they had contact with the Trump campaign? If they did obtain the emails and provide them to Wikileaks, they have all of the information and they can release it when they choose unless someone else learns it first. If they choose to release the information soon and it becomes clear that Donald Trump will never be able to hold office, this country will have to step back from the hate and misinformation and calm down while we sort out what to do. Thanks to the Republican Party, we do not have a full roster on the Supreme Court. The electoral college has not voted yet. We could be very vulnerable. Donald Trump may take office, but I doubt he will hold it long before his past catches up with him. "Wait and see" is how I am coping with the thought of him in the White House.
J Cosgrove
1 year ago
This is a great column till the word Dissent. Then it enters into personal opinion about what is right which seem like Democratic Party talking points. For example,
Racism is a sin. Period. It must be opposed by Catholic at every turn. Even the hint of racism, even thinly veiled racism, must be fought.
I agree with this statement but it has to be examined more carefully. Is racism a thought, an action or a policy that blindly implemented leads to the oppression of a racial group? If one wants to consider it as an action or a policy then the greatest force for racism in the United States has been the Democratic Party. Their policies over the last 80 years have led to a deterioration of the Black community here in the United States. They have done more damage to Blacks than the KKK or people like David Duke could have ever dreamed of.
So if one is against racism, why not be against the policies that have created the dysfunction in the Black community and the organization that has implemented these policies?
It certainly not the Republican Party. It is certainly not Trump (and again will repeat that I am no fan of Trump.) A comment I made elsewhere that is relevant here. The voters who elected Trump voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. http://bit.ly/2fsdZf7 So lets cut any mention of racism in this election by commenters and authors. And if one is going to criticize the KKK (justly so) then why not criticize the communists who supported Hillary Clinton and who are thought to be behind a lot of the demonstrations now going on in the country. The communist have caused more destruction in the world than any single group in the history of mankind. Rather than answer each point, I will leave it except for the comment on economics. If anything what the Democrats have proposed and implemented has if anything exacerbated the plight of the poor in the last 8 years and were intending to double down on their counter productive economic policies under Hillary Clinton. So if one wants to help the poor then advocating for Democratic party policies is the wrong way.
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
Are there any stats showing that Republicans help the poor? Going back to JFK, the three best presidents for median income were Democrats and five of the seven worst were Republicans. Where are the stats that counter this? Just irrelevant history? No, the U.S. Census Bureau reported median household income increased over five percent in 2015 and poverty fell faster than it had in any year since the 1960s. http://politicsthatwork.com/graphs/median-income-president
J Cosgrove
1 year ago
Mr. Kotlarz, I do not know where you get your data from. It is usually wrong or irrelevant or misleading. Here are median household income from 2007-2015. US - median income % change from previous year 2007 - $57423 1.34% 2008 - $55376 -3.56% 2009 - $54988 -.7% 2010 - $53568 -2.58% 2011 - $52751 -1.53% 2012 - $52666 -.16% 2013 - $54525 3.53% 2014 - $53718 -1.48% 2015 - $56516 5.21% Source: http://bit.ly/2eRi0Io Your data for 2015 is correct but extremely misleading given the previous numbers. The income for 2015 is less than that for 2007. I suggest you abandon your favorite website as it will never give you a true picture, only a misleading one. You should learn how to access the actual data directly. Also, look at all the measures and not one somebody says looks good if you pick this particular year. For example, here is a chart over the last 30 years which will give you a clearer picture. http://bit.ly/2g4kBV6 Probably the most interesting chart on the page is the one for hourly wages for production and non-supervisory workers. Their wages peaked in 1973 and have been suppressed ever since. The reason is immigration brought in low skilled workers who competed for their jobs. These production/non-supervisory workers are the people who just put Trump in the White House. http://bit.ly/2evqBoG
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year ago
In Obama’s first term, median income for a male fell 1.5 percent. It’s lousy, but better than the 6% drop under Bush 43. Median income rose 14% under Clinton. On the contrary, immigrants appear to improve median income. http://politicsthatwork.com/graphs/foreign-born-population-median-income Second request for stats showing where republicans have helped the poor. Show me what I have missed. Try DYI stats on dental health. Californians perhaps have the best smile in America. I will post the numbers sometime.
MG Harrington
1 year ago
Thank you for this guidance, Father Martin. I have been going to Mass Saturday mornings throughout this campaign, to pray for our country, our candidates (both) and our world. And again I went this past Saturday morning to pray for the grace to love those who voted differently, for our new leadership and for those of us left bereft at who that is. I am shaken that our country would elect a man who mocks people with disabilities, mistreats women as subhuman objects of his impulses, and condemns immigrants as unworthy of the same rights to pursue liberty and happiness. I know good men and women, some in my family, who cast their ballots for this GOP nominee. I respect their right to exercise their own judgment even as I expect never to understand it. So your guidance is welcome. But as to your suggestion that now we exercise a kind of loyal opposition to this man's heinous positions on the vulnerable among us... Fine idea, and those of us who voted otherwise are planning to do just that. But would the most effective course of action and the loudest possible way to champion these marginalized souls actually have been not to vote Nov. 8 for the man who promised to hurt them all? What if you all chose instead to truly give a pure, clear, catholic voice to these vulnerable among us by casting your ballot -- when these our brothers and sisters needed it most -- to prevent the danger your votes have now set loose? That you want it both ways -- elect him and cleanse your consciences by fighting his cruel positions in the wake of putting him in office -- leaves me only more mystified. And profoundly more sad.
Nicholas Clifford
1 year ago
Thank you for this column. Much needed in these uncertain days, and I'm afraid much will need to be repeated in the future. May I raise another point? I don't think the country can survive another so-called political campaign like the one we've just been afflicted with. Perhaps students of politics, constitutional lawyers, and -- yes, even political leaders and the press, both electronic and otherwise -- should put their heads together and suggest ways in which our electoral campaigns could be more rational and more democratic. Do they really need to last almost two years? Do they really need to cost billions of dollars? Do they really need to be a hate-filled race to the bottom? Is it really necessary that if You disagree with Me, I must call You a bigot and a racist? or for that matter, a loser? Perhaps we should ask ourselves who really profits from the sort of spectacle we've just seen.
Brenda Bush
1 year ago
I think the answer to your question - evil profits. Evil.
James Sullivan
1 year ago
Though a practicing RC for so many years I don't want to hear one word about healing. DT based his campaign on racism - overt and even swaggering racism and most White Catholics voted for him. I told my very conservative DT relatives that I will never visit Staten Island for a baptism, wedding or funeral. With much reflection and prayer Staten Island is now dead in my mind. The dirty little secret in white RC parishes is how much racism and misogyny there is in these parishes. The word N---r is used more than you imagine-- the covert racism and misogny are worse. I will say the rosary, do my spiritual reading, meditate, but no longer attend Mass with known racists. As my Jewish friends say, " Never forget!" The election of monster DT has created a freedom I never thought possible. Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.
Anne Chapman
1 year ago
Thank you, James Sullivan for saying what I feel. I am a lifelong Republican who was so thoroughly horrified by Donald Trump and everything he said and stands for that I was forced to hold my nose and vote for someone I would have never imagined I would vote for. But she was by far the lesser of two evils. I have never before voted for a Democrat at any level of government, since my first vote in 1972. I am not ready for "healing" and "reconciliation". I see the election of Mr. Trump as betraying every value I have ever held during my life - as an American, as a Republican, as a christian. That so many "christians" could vote for a man whose entire campaign was based on hatred of "the other", shows that this has not been a christian nation for a very long time, especially among those who so piously proclaim that they are "Christians" or they are "true Catholics'. I have difficulty right now even talking with or seeing relatives who voted for Trump. Fortunately none live very closes to me and I don't have to see them often. I may never see some of them ever again, may never go out of my way to buy a plane ticket for a visit. I fear for our country, I fear for the values of western civilization, of christian civilization, built up over two thousand years. Can they be destroyed so easily, so quickly, by someone who is basically a con artist with a glib tongue? Not even a successful businessman, in spite of his wealth, but a failure who very often used his wealth to buy expensive lawyers that allowed him to protect his personal wealth at the expense of thousands of small businesses and contractors who were never paid.. I spent hours doing research, gathering facts about Trump and all of his lies. But I found nobody wanted to know the facts, nobody wanted the truth about Donald. The only thing they cared about was that he wasn't Hillary. The bishops tacitly endorsed a man whose entire platform is the anti-thesis of Jesus' teachings, and whose entire life is the anti-thesis of christian moral teachings. Those who fell for his very recent conversion to being "pro-life" also refused to see the truth about the man, who was simply manipulating conservative christians and Catholics. Over at dotCommonweal, there is an excerpt of an interview with Charles Taylor, a philosopher. It perfectly describes the devastation I am feeling. Fr. Martin may be ready to move on, to "reconcile". It will be a long time before I will be. This may cause a permanent rift with some members of my family. It is not what I want, but it may be what happens, because I will never agree that this was just a normal election and that my candidate lost and that my devastation is simply "sour grapes". I used to wonder about families torn apart during the Civil War. Now I understand. This is not a shooting war, but it is also a war involving foundational values, values that if betrayed by we ourselves in order to be "nice", will destroy our very souls.. Taylor believes that, as individuals, we derive our sense of selfhood from shared values that are, in turn, embodied in public institutions. When those institutions change, those changes reverberate within us: they can seem to endanger the very meanings of our lives. It’s partly for this reason that events in the political world can devastate us so intimately, striking us with the force of a breakup or a death. There was an excellent reflection published in the New York Times a few days ago. It is worth the time to read it. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/magazine/a-time-for-refusal.html
Lisa Weber
1 year ago
Thank you for this thoughtful reflection.
Kim Baldinger
1 year ago
I am thrilled with a Trump victory and confused and dismayed by those Catholics who voted for Hillary Clinton. For goodness sake, they CHEERED the abortion speaker!! Trump was the only pro-life candidate and although not my first choice, when it came down to it, he was the ONLY choice for pro-life America. I am hopeful for my country again. It seems we do, after all, still have a conscience.
Lisa Weber
1 year ago
I see no evidence to support the statement that Donald Trump is pro-life except that he says he is. He is immoral - looking in the list of fruits of the Holy Spirit for a virtue that describes him is an exercise in comedy. Nothing about his personal life suggests sexual morality - he bragged about committing sexual assault, commented on how good troubled teens (you know, the ones with no father, i.e. vulnerable) are in bed, three marriages... The only explanation I see for his victory is that we now live in a world without facts.
Larry Alvarado
1 year ago
Ok, lets take these points. Be pro voice on behalf of the poor. How about making the economy so much better so there are many fewer poor people - that's better than just caring for the poor and not doing much to help them out of poverty Hillary was also supported by the head of a KKK chapter and many in that chapter and supported BLM and other anti American people and groups - Abortion is a sin. Attacking others is a sin. So don't give me.... Xenophobia - that you want to stop the immigration of certain people or groups or control immigration until we can verify things for the protection and safety of those legally here does not make you a zenophobe. The pope can say what he wants but countries have the right and responsibility and right to control its borders for its citizens That you don't believe in climate change as described by liberals does not mean you are anti environment (climate change is the new name for global warming using unproven computer projections many of whose predictions have not come true, as the same groups predicted the coming ice age decades ago) Members of minority groups voted for Trump including women, Muslims, Latinos, Blacks, women, etc. even if many supported Hillary as well If words used are a sign of racism, then JZ, Hillary and blacks are racist and sexist as much as anyone they accuse No one wants to repudiate Hillary for smashing and ridiculing all the women who were abused by her husband Bill - If Bill Cosby can be held for what he did decades ago, so can Bill and Hillary - Bill actually abused, raped and mistreated women, and Hillary defended him - Trump said some things but never went as far as Bill - Where's the outrage from the left and feminists on behalf of women? Hillary tried to negotiate with Russia and failed. Regan negotiated with the Russians, Nixon negotiated with the Chinese. Trump trying to negotiate with and cooperate with Russia can turn out well - the left just can't do it and the left supports communists, socialists, dictator regimes, cultures that slaughter Christians & gays, mistreat women and are authoritarian Be sad if you must but don't act like liberals and liberalism is the true way - its not Christian in so many ways
John Palatucci
1 year ago
Exactly right, Mr. Alvarado.
Stanley Kopacz
12 months ago
Your senseless comments about climate change foreshadow the possible Darwinian elimination of the human race as a failed experiment by God. In other words, the stupid will die.
Mary Sweeney
1 year ago
Best article ever on "taking sides": https://www.scarboromissions.ca/Scarboro_missions_magazine/Issues/1990/February/taking_sides.php
Anne Chapman
1 year ago
Thank you, Mary Sweeney. Excellent article.
Lisa Weber
1 year ago
This article deserves more publicity. Thank you.
Vincent Gaglione
1 year ago
The New York Times headline of November 14 states that Trump appears to soften his stand on immigration but not on abortion. They are wrong and have misunderstood his abortion rhetoric entirely. First, the contradiction in his statements that gay marriage equality is a settled issue by the Supreme Courts but that Roe vs. Wade is not, is political double-speak. Ironically the latter pleases his evangelical and Catholic supporters, the former does not! Second, he indeed does soften his rhetoric on abortion. With control of both houses of the Congress as well as the Oval Office, legislation to ban abortions in the country is immediately possible. I confidently predict that such a bill will never see passage. I have said it before, I repeat myself, the Republicans have used this issue to garner political support from evangelical and Catholic pro-lifers, not to insure the passage of such legislation. So the most effective and extreme method of dealing with the abortion issue will not be implemented. Third, Trump does not oppose abortion. In his “60 Minutes” interview, when asked about abortion, he implied that Roe vs. Wade might be overturned, but that the issue did not end abortions, the issue reverts to the states. When told that some states do not allow abortions already, Trump stated that women could travel to other states for abortions. That is not, to my mind at least, the rhetoric of someone who is anti-abortion. Trump cobbled together a coalition of voters for many different reasons. In most instances his overblown rhetoric helped persuade large numbers of voters like evangelicals and pro-life Catholics to convince themselves that he would implement policies that the Republicans have always been reluctant to effectuate.
Laura Giles
1 year ago
Excellent article Father Martin. Keep up the good work.
E.Patrick Mosman
1 year ago
3. Be pro voice, against xenophobia. "We are a nation of immigrants." A much used canard to justify illegal entry as actually America is a nation of legal immigrants who arrived here through government immigration locations, Ellis Island in New York for one. Immigration police patrolled the streets of New York with authority to ask individuals for their immigration papers and if they could not produce proof of legal entry they were arrested and deported. Most while while holding on to their homeland's customs, became Americans, learned English, voted legally, raised their children as Americans and insisted on a good education and never returned to their country of origin. The Federal government's failure to enforce its own immigration laws and to secure the borders has completely shredded the ideal that the USA is a nation of laws by allowing and funding individuals and religions to aid and abet illegal activities.
Brenda Bush
1 year ago
Thank you for giving me hope that you will help us see how to come to terms with the disappointment and fear that have been made manifest since the beginning of this campaign. I appreciate your words very much. I have had such a hard time understanding how the Catholic Church that follows Jesus' teachings and has such a large presence in the United States could defend, and vote for, a person who by his words and actions showed contempt for the very teachings that we hold dear. I have been so very disappointed in some of the people whom I have loved and respected for their unselfish giving to the church and community, and for them to have supported this type of individual is something that has baffled me. I want to talk to them but cannot with the emotions that are inside of me. I am thankful for those priests who have shown great respect, and have opened their hearts to all people. I will continue to follow your words, to help me in the months ahead to look at what will happen to our country with an open mind - not being afraid to express those feelings that should be shared if I am to stand up for the teachings of our faith.
Michael Caputi
10 months 3 weeks ago
This is all well and fine. But it seems to me that for most of this election cycle, America magazine—like most media across the country—has spent too much time normalizing Donald Trump and the Catholics—including the bishops—who supported him. We needed some other measure: WWDBS. What would Dan Berrigan say? Where is his unequivocal, prophetic voice now? Missed certainly.
Vincent Gaglione
10 months 3 weeks ago
I only wish that some of the principles and teachings that Father Martin provides had been spoken from our pulpits nationwide. The pap that passes for homilies from priests and deacons in USA churches was no match for the moral issues raised during the presidential campaign vis-à-vis Catholic teachings. Father Martin speaks to America readers. Who is speaking to the nation's Bishops and clergy because even Pope Francis' example, model, and homilies appear to fall on too many deaf ears and blind eyes?
Bless Dog
10 months 3 weeks ago
Tolerance and forgiveness are necessary qualities for understanding - however this article and James Martin float the FALSE narrative, whether by ignorance pure or willful, that Donald Trump is "racist", "misogynist", "anti-Semitic"," homophobic", "Islamophobic", or any of these types of diseases - precisely the same FEAR MONGERING narrative that the MSM has blasted and PROVOKED us with, relentlessly, for the past year and a half. Campaign rhetoric of an extremely charged election cycle aside, it's worth noting that the President-Elect has said NOTHING that would confirm those false allegations since November 8, And yet I hear comments today, that Mr. Trump continues to "spew hateful, racism, anti-semitism etc etc etc." Ridiculous - Donald Trump is not and has never been any of those things. His inner circle of friends is mostly Jewish / Ivanka converted to Judaism and he will be the FIRST president to enter the White House with Jewish grandchildren / He surrounds himself with strong women, respects them, and values their advice "more than men" / Kellyanne Conway should be being celebrated for smashing the glass ceiling of first woman to run a SUCCESSFUL presidential campaign and for being a high integrity, mother of 4 / women in the Trump organization and in his campaign are paid EQUALLY to men (while Hillary Clinton paid her femail staffers 20 percent less) / Ivanka should be celebrated by other women as a STRONG champion of women, and a successful business person in her own right / Jesse Jackson has praised Donald Trump for his work towards inclusion in his Rainbow Coalition, and Trump has MANY black friends, associates and employees / when he bought Mar-A-Lago, he battled to make it the first club of it's type in southern Florida to accept Black and Jewish members. Of course if ones SOLE source of information were the liberal progressive media, it's small wonder that they would be fearful and upset - but that's no excuse...Do your own research - go within your hearts and create your own thoughts - don't allow your reality to be shaped by the 24/7/365 FEAR and DIVISION delivered to us in 5 second soundbites for those of every agenda and flavor. Otherwise, you're doing a tremendous dis-service to the 60 million plus American citizens who elected Mr. Trump, the 15-20 percent of the LGBQT community, the highest numbers of Blacks and Hispanics to vote for any Republican candidate in 60 years, the 55 percent of white women who voted against Hillary Clinton and were probably MOST responsible for electing Donald Trump, the Jews, Catholics, poor working class white Christians, 80 percent of evangelicals... we MUST stop dividing OURSELVES and living in self imposed fear, hatred and ignorance
Roth Ira
10 months 1 week ago
Jesus said if you are not welcome in a place shake the dust from your sandals and move on. This essay, seemingly, encourages people to linger in the foyer hoping the host changes his mind about their welcome. At what point do we stop giving "thumbs up" to those who reject the gospels and, instead, turn our eyes to the Lord and beg him for redress? Please write, next, about the difference between listening and hearing.
Roth Ira
10 months 1 week ago
By their fruits you shall know them. The new president's taste bitter.
Linda Quinlan
10 months 1 week ago
Why didn't you say the same when I felt marginalized in a world of pro-choice and late term abortions? Also, it is rather disingenuous to say that Donald Trump is against immigration - he is against illegal immigration and is married to an immigrant who sought and attained citizenship. The majority of your article was healing but definitely made some inferences I am sure you did not mean. Many Hispanics that I know and are here legally were in favor of having a simplified visa process, for work and family visitation, that I hope will become a focus rather than whether or not we enforce the border.
Teresa Fannin
10 months ago

I think you have it wrong, Father. It's not Mr. Trump. It is us and how we practice our faith. "See those Catholics, how they love one another," was always an admonishment when my sisters and I fought. So here I am decades later trying to live that out. I believe life starts at conception. I believe we all started out as equals and it is how each of us prepared for and takes the journey that determines our lives. I believe every human being should have the opportunity to make a decent and productive life. And I believe it is for every human being to get there, but not at another's expense, i.e, the taxpayer. I believe in social justice, but again, not because the government says so but because my faith says so. My faith says to accept others as they are. My faith also says that I must, morally, oppose the parts of government that violates God's laws. To practice my faith, I must oppose abortion which includes not voting for those that advocate for abortion and I must stand for individual rights. We have lost many individual rights in this country. Your 'let them all in' advocacy does none of any favors.

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