Hil­lary, Don­ald and the greater good

‘Val­ues vot­ers’ have the power to de­ter­mine the win­ner on Nov. 8

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

The 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion sea­son has not been kind to val­ues vot­ers. It’s hard to imag­ine how Amer­ica can re­cap­ture its place as “a shin­ing city on hill” when most cam­paign cov­er­age is about sex, lies and video­tape. Val­ues vot­ers may be tempted to tune out in dis­gust and stay home on Elec­tion Day, but they have an obli­ga­tion to weigh ne­ces­sity against their wishes. Catholics and Protes­tant evan­gel­i­cals alone com­prise half of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion and to­gether very nearly hold the votes to choose the na­tion’s pres­i­dent. They can hold their noses in the vot­ing booth and count on their hearts to make the right choice.

Among the emails made public last week by Wik­iLeaks was an ex­change be­tween John Podesta, a Catholic and the Clin­ton cam­paign chair­man, and a left-wing Catholic ac­tivist who wants to start a “rev­o­lu­tion” within the Ro­man Catholic Church. “There needs to be a Catholic Spring,” wrote Sandy New­man, pres­i­dent of Voices for Progress, “in which Catholics them­selves de­mand the end of a mid­dle-ages dic­ta­tor­ship and the be­gin­ning of a lit­tle democ­racy and re­spect for gen­der equal­ity in the Catholic Church.”

Mr. Podesta agreed with an af­fir­ma­tion that plans for the rev­o­lu­tion are in the works: “We cre­ated Catholics in Al­liance for the Com­mon Good to or­ga­nize for a mo­ment like this. But I think it lacks the lead­er­ship to do so now. Like­wise, Catholics United. Like most Spring move­ments, I think this one will have to be bot­tom up.” The “spring” ref­er­ence refers to the “Arab Spring,” a pro­lif­er­a­tion of dis­sent that spread across the Is­lamic Mid­dle East and set off armed con­flict in Libya, Iraq, Ye­men and most re­cently and de­struc­tively, in Syria.

Catholics should be­ware that Mrs. Clin­ton’s elec­tion would em­bolden her schem­ing al­lies to fo­ment change within the Catholic Church to match their sec­u­lar views on “gen­der equal­ity” and other core be­liefs, in­clud­ing the right to life. Hil­lary says sup­port for Roe v. Wade would be a lit­mus test for any nom­i­nee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hereto­fore, no pres­i­dent has ad­mit­ted to ap­ply­ing a lit­mus test, even when he does in fact ap­ply one.

Many evan­gel­i­cals scourge val­ues vot­ers for stick­ing with Don­ald Trump fol­low­ing the “Ac­cess Hol­ly­wood” video that recorded his boasts of vul­gar be­hav­ior to­ward women. In a Na­tional Re­view es­say ti­tled “Evan­gel­i­cals with­out stan­dards,” Rich Lowry ac­cuses such evan­gel­i­cals of us­ing the “King David de­fense,” the king’s less-than-sin­cere re­pen­tance for adul­tery. David’s one night of lust with Bathsheba, told in the Bib­li­cal books of Sa­muel and Kings, was a calamity for his Is­raelite king­dom, and Mr. Lowry sug­gests the evan­gel­i­cals who stick with the Don­ald “find them­selves de­fend­ing the in­de­fen­si­ble . . . and they are do­ing it for a cam­paign that is sink­ing, more than any­thing else, from the char­ac­ter flaws of the candidate.”

Mr. Lowry is right, of course. Mr. Trump’s locker room talk is re­pug­nant and he’s clearly an ap­pren­tice at re­pen­tance. But his sup­port­ers are not chip­ping away at the na­tion’s re­li­gious foun­da­tion. Hil­lary’s are, with ham­mer, chisel and maul. There’s more in the Bi­ble story: De­spite his sin­ful be­hav­ior, David still be­came the pro­gen­i­tor of Ju­daism and from his flawed earthly lineage came the Mes­siah.

For­tu­nately, the Cre­ator of heaven and earth does not wait for per­fec­tion to ap­pear but pro­ceeds with the blem­ished hu­man ma­te­ri­als at hand to ac­com­plish a greater good. The na­tion’s 70 mil­lion Catholics and 94 mil­lion evan­gel­i­cals have the elec­toral mus­cle to de­ter­mine who wins on Nov. 8. The heart will show the way.

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