A videotaped message from President Donald Trump is broadcast during the annual March for Life rally in Washington Jan. 18. CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

Charles Lewis: Trump doesn’t deserve pro-life support

  • January 31, 2019

Donald Trump has become a hero of the pro-life movement and the darling of conservative Christians. But there is ample evidence to question whether he is worthy of that mantle or even of our respect. Does he really live up to a Christian ideal of respecting life? 

Christians know that being faithful requires more than opposing abortion. For starters, it means being faithful to your spouse, treating all people with dignity, respecting family and telling the truth — which sounds nothing like Trump.

Yet, give credit where credit is due. On several fronts, Trump has bolstered the anti-abortion movement. He has appointed two conservative Supreme Court justices and, given the poor health of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may yet appoint another.

This holds out the promise of one day seeing Roe v. Wade overturned. But it is important to remember that overturning the landmark 1973 ruling that said women have a right to abortion would not end legal abortion in the United States; it would simply pass the decision to lawmakers in each state.

Buoyed by Trump, some conservative states have already enacted stringent laws to restrict abortion. With a conservative Supreme Court, pro-abortion advocates must think twice about challenging these restrictions because a legal challenge could end up in the Supreme Court with the result of Roe v. Wade being overturned. It is worth noting that for a variety of reasons abortions in the U.S. have been in decline — from 1.3 million in 1980 to 639,000 in 2015. Recent state restrictions should bring these numbers down further.

Another noteworthy Trump initiative is that he is pushing through legislation to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals — something desperately needed in Canada in the era of legalized euthanasia.

Yet, Trump has serious flaws that should concern Christians. To be blunt, he is a first-class liar. The Catechism says many things about liars but this says it best: “The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil.” 

He is also a serial adulterer. His affair with Stormy Daniels, a porn star, happened around the time his wife gave birth to his youngest son. 

He lied when he said Mexico would pay for the border wall. He lied when he recently visited troops in Iraq and boasted that he had gotten them a 10-per-cent raise when, in fact, the raise was 2.6 per cent. 

When recently pushing for funding for his wall, the one he claimed Mexico would fund, Trump said even former President Barack Obama had a 10-foot wall around his new home. There is no wall. Why would anyone lie about something that can be proved false by driving around the block?

He lied that his electoral college victory was the biggest ever. It was not. He lost the popular vote by three million votes so claimed massive voter fraud. There was none. Then he lied about the crowd at his inauguration. Photos showed otherwise. 

He claimed terrorists and other “bad dudes” were coming up in “the caravan” from Central America. The U.S. State Department responded, “There is no credible evidence terrorist groups sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.” It turns out terrorists would rather fly than wear out shoe leather.

Then Trump warned of another caravan harbouring more terrorists. The proof of terrorists infiltrating the migrant march came from a single rancher in New Mexico who said he found Muslim prayer rugs on his land. The story was unsubstantiated but that did not stop Trump from issuing dire warnings, mirroring his behaviour during the campaign when he threatened to ban all Muslims from entering the country — a grotesque and bigoted idea.

Trump shut down the U.S. government in December because he did not get his way on funding for the border wall. Roughly 800,000 employees received no pay for more than a month. The situation got so bad soup kitchens were opened up in Washington. 

And what about the crisis at the border? In 1980, 1.3 million immigrants tried to cross the southwestern border. The number has been dropping steadily. In 2018 it fell to about 400,000 — without a wall. 

Then there are the nearly 3,000 children living in American detention camps who were separated from their parents. Many of them will never be reunited. Two of those children have died. Sure, blame the parents for arriving with little hope of getting into the United States, but is it necessary to punish children in such a disgusting way? 

Trump once mocked the late Senator John McCain for having been a prisoner of war, saying he wasn’t a war hero and “I like people that weren’t captured.”

Frankly, I like my heroes to be truthful and live honest lives. Which is why I am pro-life but have no truck with Donald Trump.

(Lewis is a Toronto writer and regular contributor to The Register.)

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