Under Every Green Tree:
Donald Trump and The Prostitution of Traditional Catholicism
“For on every high hill, and under every green tree thou didst prostitute thyself.” (Jer. 2:20)
It is an ever recurring tale, as old as original sin. Man, losing his trust in God, compromises and betrays the integrity of his own faith, and enters into alliances with fallen angels, persons, groups, powers, and nations who are ever so ready to receive his prostitutions. This was especially true of Israel to whom God spoke the words quoted in the above passage from Jeremiah. In the midst of their woes, instead of turning towards God and his promises, they sought political alliances with their pagan neighbors. In the very act of doing so, their minds were darkened and their wills became polluted with every conceivable sort of moral perversion which they absorbed through their spiritual and physical adulteries.
Very soon after my conversion to Catholicism, it became very apparent to me that this sort of spiritual prostitution was rampant – not only in those “liberals” who were at very obvious war with Catholic Truth and doctrine – but also among those who adamantly claimed to be orthodox Catholics. Oddly enough, it was through involvement in the Pro-Life movement that I soon learned the dynamics of this evil. A brief account of this experience will be valuable for illustrating this dynamic.
Thirty-one years ago we were living near Grand Rapids, Minnesota (at that time the population was slightly over 8,000). We discovered that Planned Parenthood was planning to open a clinic in town which, while not doing abortions (which were then available in three other Planned Parenthood clinics in the state), would of course be aggressively offering contraceptives and referral for abortions to their other clinics.
We began a petition drive which was eventually published in the Grand Rapids Herald Newspaper. It contained around 3,000 names (including 33 members of Catholic and Protestant clergy), all of whom signed on to the following stated position: “We the undersigned commit ourselves to the promotion of Prayer, and Increased Education of people concerning the evils of abortion, and CONTINUAL PICKETING OF ANY SUCH CLINICS DURING ALL OPERATING HOURS.”
We soon received a call from the President of Minnesota Citizens Concerned For Life (MCCL, the largest and most influential Pro-Life group in Minnesota) informing us that they wished to have a meeting with us (my wife and I, and another co-worker).
It turned out to be a sort of Kangaroo Court.
At this meeting we were informed by the President (and several other officials) that MCCL was deeply opposed to what we were doing – that Planned Parenthood was not going to be performing abortions in their clinic in Grand Rapids, but only contraception “counseling” and other health services, and that all we would be accomplishing by our picketing and other activities was free advertizing for Planned Parenthood.
When I objected that virtually all artificial contraception was abortive at least part of the time, and that almost certainly many times more babies were killed through contraception than through surgical abortion, and that this particular clinic would be referring many women for abortion to their other clinics, their response was that people had a very difficult time understanding or appreciating these complexities (babies killed by abortifacients were too small to be imaged – they could not use their baby-models), and that we must first get rid of legalized surgical abortion before going on to anything else. It was, and still is, MCCL’s position that the solution to the abortion problem lies almost totally in the political realm, and of course politicians cannot be expected to understand or act upon truths and realities which might be subtle or even invisible.
When I further proposed that RU486 (the so-called “Morning After” Pill) was soon to be approved, that it was the form of abortion for the future, and that our silence now in regard to the murder of those who are truly God’s smallest ones would then prove deadly in its consequences, I was told that Roe vs. Wade was going to be overturned within 5 years (which would have been 26 years ago), and that then we would have the political momentum to work on these other issues. After all, Ronald Reagan was President, he would be appointing truly Pro-Life Supreme Court Justices, and how could we possibly not be returning to some sort of sanity? The only solution to the abortion holocaust was political, and we must do nothing that would compromise our political chances.
We did not agree. I went home and made a large sign which stated in bold print: “The Pill Kills Unborn Babies”, which I always carried while picketing the Planned Parenthood Clinic.
President Reagan ended up appointing four Supreme Court Justices: Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy. Sandra Day O’Connor was pro-abortion, and it is the Catholic Anthony Kennedy who has so often provided the “swing vote” frustrating any Pro-Life efforts before the Supreme Court. So much for the Reagan legacy. So much, also, for an end to the Abortion Holocaust through a policy of political compromise. We now find ourselves in a parallel situation with the Presidency of Donald Trump, who has promised appointments to the Supreme Court who are Pro-Life, and who has now nominated a person (Neil Gorsuch) to this office who appears to be so.
Trump has been a great favorite among Catholic Traditionalists. It was in fact quite surprising during the election campaigning to see so many Trump stickers on the cars of those who attend the Latin Mass. Such a phenomenon could not be explained by the logic of “If you don’t vote for Trump, you are really casting a vote for Hillary Clinton, and therefore for unrestricted abortion” mentality. These same people would have never stooped to pasting a McCain or Bush sticker on their cars in similar opposition to Al Gore, John Kerry, or Bill Clinton, despite the fact that their positions on Pro-Life (exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother) were virtually identical to Trump’s stated position during the campaign . Trump also stated that he supported Planned Parenthood in everything except abortion, and also said that he would support and uphold the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage. So, obviously, something more was going on here when we consider the strange phenomenon of the enthusiasm of Catholic Traditionalists for Donald Trump. This “something” cannot be explained unless we first engage in an historical analysis examining the loss of true Catholic intelligence and will which has occurred over a much longer period of time. We will therefore return to examining the Trump phenomenon after this analysis.
We begin with a very simple, but all inclusive, principle which necessarily applies to every aspect of every Catholic’s involvement in social and political life. It is popularly known as “The Social Kingship of Jesus Christ”. While being the subject of many encyclicals of Popes such as Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII, it was possibly most aptly and succinctly stated by Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical to the French Bishops titled Notre Charge Apostolique, and was directed against the involvement of the clergy in a movement (called The Sillon) which promoted false democracy:
“No, venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker – the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be set up unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work. No, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. Omnia instaurare in Christo”. [To Restore all things in Christ].”
This teaching is a direct consequence of what should be the obvious truth that God has absolute right to Kingship over all nations, just as He does over every individual human being. It is incumbent upon all nations, and their rulers, to acknowledge this Kingship of Christ, and this entails submission to the intellectual and moral truths taught by the Roman Catholic Church whose infallible Magisterium is the visible expression of this Kingship. In the face of modern secularism and pluralism this may now seem a preposterous ideal. But what is in accord with God’s Will is neither impossible nor preposterous. It is an historical fact that this ideal was achieved to a large extent in what is called the High Middle Ages, and especially in the Thirteenth Century. Even more significant, we must know that the greater is the deviation from this ideal, the more is to be expected the intellectual and moral decay of nations and their descent into spiritual, intellectual, moral, and political chaos. This, of course, is precisely what we now see in virtually every country of the world. We therefore now have no hope except in a completely honest and integral pursuit of this ideal, and to trust that God will bless such a pursuit.
Opposed to this Catholic doctrine is what Popes have designated as the error of Indifferentism. In reference to individual persons, and their obligation before God, Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus Condemning the Principal Errors of Our Time, condemns the following propositions:
“Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.” (#15).
”Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.”(#16).
“Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ.”(#17).
And since governments were instituted among men for their common good and happiness, and since the ultimate happiness of man must lie in that eternal happiness which is only accessible through obedience to God’s will, it necessarily ensues that in regard to nations the following propositions are also condemned:
“The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church” (#55).
“In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.” (#77).
All of this is aptly summarized in the following two passages from the encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII:
“Men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, not less than individuals, owes gratitude to God, who gave it being and maintains it, and whose ever-bounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God … we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will …. ” [Immortale dei – On the Christian Constitution of States].
“Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids the state to be godless: or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness – namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were ingraven upon it. ” [Libertas Praestantissimum – On Human Liberty].
Diametrically opposed to these truths of the Catholic Faith is the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which contains the following statement:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….”
Any Catholic who would take an oath to defend this statement would be, at least materially, denying his faith. Every President takes such an oath (Article II, Section I), as does every Representative and Senator and Judge, both Federal and State (Article VI, Clause 3). In addition, every Judge is also bound under the following prescription of Article VI of the Constitution: “This Constitution…shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
In other words, the “Supreme Law” of this land is in direct contradiction to the Supreme Law of God. It is therefore not only men like Ted Kennedy or Joe Biden whose political live are in direct contradiction to their faith, but also people like Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, or any of our local congressmen, senators, or judges who at the same time claim to be Catholic. What is more, to try to excuse these men by surmising that they are unacquainted with this teaching concerning the Social Kingship of Christ is only to beg the question, and make their culpability seem even greater. One may simply ask why such men as these, who are required to study and pay attention to every nook and cranny of secular law, do not know this most elementary principle of Christ’s Kingship and of God’s law which human law is bound to reflect?
Nor is this self-contradiction something which comes into play only after such a person is elected, or nominated and confirmed. The day that a Catholic makes the decision to run for public office in this country, he commits himself to a life of lies. He knows that if he acknowledges a committed belief in Catholic truths concerning contraception, divorce and remarriage, freedom of speech and of the press, public education, usury, etc., he will be made a laughingstock and driven out of the political arena. His only recourses are silence, dissembling, lying, Jesuitical casuistry, or whatever is necessary to hide or lie about Catholic Truth. It would seem that in today’s political scene, the most frequent lie is that which is the most blasphemous towards God and destructive to the human soul– that his religious belief will have no determination upon his public life and political action. We can thank President John F. Kennedy for making this a staple of Catholic moral duplicity and schizophrenia for Catholic politicians.
What all of this points to is a darkness which has clouded the consciousness of Catholics in this country from the beginning, and which has now reached such a point that it is virtually impossible for Catholics to exercise political responsibilities in any way which significantly and integrally reflect the truths of Christ.
This brings us back to Donald Trump. Even more important, it brings us back to the Catholic voter who cast his vote for Trump.
Two days before the General Election, I placed the following at the top of the homepage on my website:
“If I voted for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, I would emerge from the polling booth feeling violated and corrupted in the deepest recesses of my Catholic being.
Democracy has come home to roost. I remember reading about two fundamental principles or methodologies of “illuminized” Freemasonry integral to its ultimate goal, which is the total destruction of the Catholic Church and Christian civilization. The first principle consists of unceasing efforts towards complete corruption of the moral sense of the populace. The second: the promotion of the universal right and obligation to vote. In this election, the marriage of these two principles is consummated. I believe that the collective act of voting for either of these two major candidates might constitute the single most spiritually corrupting event in the history of this country.”
It is completely unnecessary to go into details to justify the conclusion that a vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton was directly and immediately constituted as an alliance with horrendous evil. The Catholic who voted for her while knowing anything about her pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Catholic agenda committed a sin objectively mortal. Preliminary results indicated that this applies to 45% of the Catholic electorate.
It is my position, however, that a vote for Donald Trump, while not necessarily being objectively constituted as objective mortal sin, was deeply corrupting to the Catholic mind and heart (and of course non-Catholics also).
My own conclusion in this regard came quite early in the campaign for the Republican nomination. It only took two incidents for me to reach this conclusion.
In July of 2015 (one month after he had declared his candidacy) Donald Trump, at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa speaking in response to the question as to whether he had ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions, said the following:”I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so,” he said. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”
Further, he went on to say that while he hasn’t asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion.”When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed,” he said. “I think in terms of ‘let’s go and let’s make it right.’”
To claim to be a Christian, while at the same time claiming that this does not necessitate asking God for forgiveness, speaks of a total falsification of Christianity. And to speak of “drinking my little wine” and “having my little cracker” as constituting in itself a form of asking for forgiveness and receiving cleansing (especially from any sin which is to be considered mortal) necessitates, to say the least, complete spiritual obtuseness. Donald Trump, in his spiritual life, is a man living a lie in the deepest recesses of his human identity. Therefore, just as I cannot believe that he is a Christian, so I cannot believe in any of his other stated policies or promises.
This conclusion was confirmed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on November 11, 2016 (3 days after the election). Donald Trump was asked if he had gone too far in his rhetoric during the campaign. His reply consisted of three words: “No, I won.” This statement comes from a man who during the campaign had labeled countless others with disgusting names, made obscene remarks and inferences about the anatomy of women, used the “F” word in public, mocked a handicapped journalist, and been accused by at least 12 women of unwanted sexual advances of one sort or another, and then threatened to sue them. This answer amounts to a perfect formulation of the principle that “the end justifies the means”, which can be seen as the first principle of all evil acts. Operating under such a principle, Donald Trump has defined himself not only as a man who does not need to ask God for forgiveness, but cannot.
Secondly, during a campaign rally in Sioux Center, Iowa on January 23, 2016, Donald Trump stated, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” This speaks of a man who sees himself not only as possessing some sort of preternatural power above and over multitudes of people, but also of a man who considers that he is a law exclusively unto himself. It corresponds very closely with a Tweet he sent out the following month, which quoted Mussolini: “it’s better to live one day as a lion, than 100 years as a sheep.” [Our Lord, in contrast, seemed to have a strong preference for the latter]. All this, along with his “No, I won” justification of his immoral past behavior , entails that he has defined himself as a “man of lawlessness” in regard to all objective standards, both human and divine. The phrase “man of lawlessness” is in fact a title which Holy Scripture gives to the Antichrist. This of course does not necessitate that he is the Antichrist, but only one of his many precursors who abound in these days of general apostasy from Christ and his Church. It is incumbent upon all Catholics, if they are not to be deceived and seduced by the spirit of Antichrist, to discern these forces and personalities.
We now come to that point where we must try to discern what constitutes this spirit of seduction in its obvious strong appeal to traditional Catholics.
I believe the common denominator behind all of the appeal of Donald Trump to self-proclaimed traditional Catholics is anger. Donald Trump is punching in the face all the very same people and institutions that Traditional Catholics would like to punch in the face: the liberal establishment, entrenched political elites, crony capitalists, the liberal Media, and even (and maybe especially) the Pope. At the same time, of course, this anger is also nourished by a great many fears: militant Islam, out-of-control immigration, civil violence and disorder, economic instability and loss of jobs, militant abortion and homosexual activism, vastly increased control of government over our lives, etc.
We do a great injustice to Catholic truth if we believe that anger is not an integral and necessary part of human personality and Catholic life. Our Lord was obviously angry a number of times. According to the teaching of St. Thomas, anger can be integral to the practice of the virtue of fortitude, especially in that act of courage which is necessary for militant combat with injustice and evil. He quotes St. John Chrysostom: …”for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes un-checked”.
But it is equally true, however, that anger is only just to the extent to which it is subject to right reason. There is no other passion more subject to blindness in regard to reason, and therefore more easily used by the unscrupulous to further their own immoral or evil agendas. This is especially true in the political realm, and immeasurably so in regard to those who wish to promote political revolution. Playing upon, and exploiting, the anger of a populace is the quickest and most effective means by which multitudes of people can be deceived into first electing a tyrant, and then forced into complicity with his evil agenda and profound lack of moral principles.
Now, let us come back to what I said earlier – that the goals of illuminized Freemasonry are most effectively accomplished through two principles or methodologies: the corruption of morals and the vote.
Based on what I offered earlier (and there is much more), there is little question or doubt as to the immoral character of Donald Trump. Any serious Catholic, who possessed any power of spiritual discernment and followed his campaign, would have to be chin-deep in self-deception not to have detected this fact. It would therefore be one thing for such a person to proverbially “hold his nose” while voting for such a man simply because he was the only alternative to Hillary Clinton, and because he had actually made some statements which appealed to Christian values (including Pro-Life). In so doing, such a voter might be naïve and deceived, and might indeed be very wrong in underestimating the evil likely to ensue through Trump’s Presidency, but such a vote could be considered an honest error of judgment. But the same cannot be said for someone who voted for Trump with any significant degree of knowledge, enthusiasm, and support.
I know that it has become a very “liberal” thing to suggest parallels between Donald Trump and Hitler or Mussolini. But the fact is that it is often our enemies who detect our faults sooner than our friends. It was “conservative” Germans who flocked to Hitler’s delusions and deceptions, while it was often the “liberals” who saw through his vulgarity and brutality.
It is well known that what led to Hitler’s ascension to power was his ability to tap into the anger of the German people who, through the Treaty of Versailles and the aftermath of World War I, had been subject to severe reparations which produced economic chaos, cultural degradation, ineffectual leadership, and deep bitterness in the German people. It was Hitler’s promise to restore Germany’s greatness, and punish those who had brought her to such a state, which furnished him with the votes necessary for his ascension to political power.
But it not that well known that Hitler was a baptized and confirmed Catholic, and that in a 1928 campaign speech (between his release from prison in December,1924, and his appointment as Chancellor in January, 1933) Hitler stated, “We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity…in fact our movement is Christian,” After his appointment as Chancellor, and in his proclamation to the German Nation on Feb 1, 1933, Hitler stated, “The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.” During negotiations leading to the Concordant with the Vatican, he stated, “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.” And, as late as 1941, Nazi General Gerhard Engel wrote in his diary that Hitler had stated, “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” These are only a fraction of Hitler’s quotes which would have appealed to what were then “traditional” Catholics.
Hitler of course made many other statements which should have telegraphed to the conscience of any discerning person the holocaust that was to follow. But this simply illustrates my central point. Political man, especially when motivated by anger coupled with a particular agenda, readily dons blinders to what he does not wish to see, prostitutes himself to the half-truths or outright deceits of future despots, and rushes towards eventual complicity (through a kind of willful blindness) in horrendously evil acts. I would suggest the reader refer to the Wikipedia article on “Religious Views of Adolf Hitler” for extensive documentation in regard to this dynamic.
Because I did not vote for Donald Trump, I have been accused in effect of voting for Hillary Clinton. In order to uncover the calumny that lies beneath such an accusation, I offer the following scenario.
Let us imagine that Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the last election would have been Adolf Hitler. Would I have been accused of voting for Hillary if I did not vote for Adolf? Or rather, would I have been accused of voting for Adolf because I did not vote for Hillary? The fact is that, in Catholic conscience, I would not have voted for either. For the reasons I have detailed above, the same was true in regard to the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I would, however, gladly stand accused of voting for God’s intervention as our only hope.
All of this comes down, as I said in my original statement, to the question of the vote as a satanically inspired tool to corrupt the integrity and spirituality of the Catholic voter (and of course everyone else). It has been my experience that there are many Catholics who are far more vehement in condemnation of someone who refused to vote than they would be if this same person admitted that they missed Sunday Mass without good reason. It has in fact been my conclusion for quite some time that many Catholics consider the U.S. Constitution, and along with it the duty to vote, to be something more “sacred” than following the prescriptions of the Gospel.
This, in turn, all comes to rest in a very un-Catholic, and in fact contra-Catholic, belief in what is most aptly called messianic democracy – the belief that democracy, and its placing of power and authority in the people is a natural right and the source of salvation for peoples and nations. I intend to explore this error, and its enormous destructiveness in both the political and spiritual realm, in Part II of this series. As a conclusion to this article, and as a kind of preface to this subject, I offer the following brief quote from Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical on The Sillon:
“We do not have to demonstrate here that the advent of universal Democracy is of no concern to the action of the Church in the world.”
– James Larson