Presidential candidate Donald Trump has written to Catholic leaders pledging his commitment to pro-life causes, religious freedom and school choice.
In his letter he said: “Catholics in the United States of America are a rich part of our nation’s history. The United States was, and is, strengthened through Catholic men, women, priests and religious Sisters, ministering to people, marching in the civil rights movement, educating millions of children in Catholic schools, creating respected health care institutions, and in their founding and helping the ongoing growth of the pro-life cause. I have a message for Catholics: I will be there for you. I will stand with you. I will fight for you.”
Donald Trump then went on to list all the practical ways in which he would support Catholics, including by reversing much-criticised parts of Obama’s healthcare legislation. He said: “On life, I am, and will remain, pro-life. I will defend your religious liberties and the right to fully and freely practice your religion, as individuals, business owners and academic institutions.
“I will make absolutely certain religious orders like The Little Sisters of Poor are not bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs. I will protect and work to expand educational choice, the rights of homeschooling families, and end Common Core.
“I will repeal and replace Obamacare so you can have better and more affordable health care. I will keep our country and communities safe while respecting the dignity of each human being. I will help Catholic families and workers, and all families and workers, by bringing jobs back to our country where they belong.
“And I will appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will strictly interpret the constitution and not legislate from the bench, like Justice Clarence Thomas and the late and beloved great Catholic thinker and jurist, Justice Antonin Scalia.”
In his letter Trump also highlighted the ways in which a Clinton-Kaine administration would be bad for Catholics. He pointed out “Hillary Clinton supports forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor who have taken care of the elderly poor since 1839, pay for contraceptives in their health care plan (even though they have never wanted them, never used them and never will), and having the government fine them heavily if they continue to refuse to abide by this onerous mandate. That is a hostility to religious liberty you will never see in a Trump administration.”
He also said that the addition of vice-president hopeful Tim Kaine would only make things worse. He said: “Once pro-life and against partial birth abortion, Kaine now has a 100 per cent voting record from the National Abortion Rights Action League.
“Kaine once was for traditional marriage, even saying ‘it is a uniquely valuable institution that must be preserved’, but as of 2013, Kaine no longer supported traditional marriage. And on religious liberty? Shockingly, even Kaine supports forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraceptives in their health care plan, and to have the government fine them heavily if they refuse.”