A Trumped-Up Apology

Donald Trump

This is going to be a political post. Originally I meant to keep this blog free of political discussion, but I think this is a subject that is important for Catholic women, especially Catholic women pro-lifers, so I am putting it here instead of my personal blog. If you are as sick of politics as I am, feel free to skip this post. But this needs to be said, in my opinion.

Today a story broke regarding an audio recording of Donald Trump making some appalling, misogynistic, sexually explicit statements. You can read about the controversy here if you have somehow been unaware of it until now.

Trump first issued a statement dismissing his comments as “locker room banter,” tried to shift blame on to Bill Clinton, and apologized if anyone was “offended” (I think we all can recognize that as a non-apology.) 

Ten hours later, apparently after he realized that this statement would not be sufficient to quell the very large public outcry instigated by his behavior, he released a second, longer “apology.” 

It’s sort of an apology… for saying words that he regrets. No apology for dehumanizing women, no acknowledgment that it’s wrong to dehumanize women, no acknowledgement that both sexual assault and adultery are wrong and that he was wrong for glorifying them. 

No apology from this alleged Christian for lusting after a woman in his heart, which constitutes adultery.

He only apologizes for the words he said, because he claims to regret them. But he doesn’t really explain why he regrets saying those words.

He makes no mention of the initial statement he released earlier in the day in which he tried to justify his words as mere “locker room banter.” (Bear in mind, he was a 60-year-old married man when he engaged in this “banter.”) 

So was that statement wrong? Was he lying to us in his earlier statement? If not, does it mean he’s lying in his second statement? Which one should we believe? He doesn’t say.

Then he tries to shift blame on to the Clintons, which he also did in the first statement. While I agree that Bill has also dehumanized women, and that both Clintons dehumanize unborn children, neither of them are claiming to campaign as pro-life candidates, as Trump does.

To be pro-life means that you recognize the inherent human dignity and worth of every person. That includes women. Treating women as objects for sexual pleasure, as Trump did (and still does) dehumanizes them. 

It is logically inconsistent to claim to be pro-life while dehumanizing human beings.

I’m going to repeat that, because this is important.

It is logically inconsistent to claim to be pro-life while dehumanizing human beings.

I am not surprised that the Clintons dehumanize human beings. They have always done so. They probably don’t think they’re doing so (oppressors usually don’t), but that doesn’t change the fact that they are. 

However, it is appalling on several levels that a candidate who has claimed to be pro-life since 2011 — who has reputedly hired a cadre of pro-life advisers (many of whom are faithful Catholics), and who just the previous day sent a letter to Catholics promising to defend the sanctity of life — cannot issue an adequate apology for his appalling behavior other than to say he regrets his words.

He makes a weak reference to wanting to be a better man, but otherwise he remains silent about the flagrant violations of human dignity that his “words” portrayed. 

This from a man who claims to be pro-life? Who claims to care about the inherent worth and dignity of unborn children? 

How can we trust him to care about the inherent worth and dignity of unborn children if he displays blatant disregard for the inherent worth and dignity of women?

I beg you, do not justify this. Do not downplay this. It does not matter that these specific actions happened eleven years ago. It does not matter that other people do this. It does not matter that other politicians do this. It does not matter that the Clintons are just as guilty. 

Trump claims to be a pro-life candidate, and if we as pro-lifers have any integrity at all, we will demand that he act like a pro-lifer. 

Stop making excuses for him. Stop saying that beating Hillary is more important then the integrity and credibility of our movement.

At the very least, we should demand a that he give a public and thorough apology for his words and his actions — an apology that actually demonstrates his understanding of the gravity of his actions as well as the evil that comes of dehumanizing other human beings. 

Ideally, we should demand that he withdraw from the race. Even if he truly is sincere in his desire to be pro-life — which I doubt, but let’s say he is for sake of argument — he is nowhere near mature enough in his understanding of human rights and human dignity to adequately defend the intrinsic worth and value of every human being from conception to natural death as President of the United States. 

Yes, this might mean that the GOP loses the presidential election, but frankly I think there is more at stake right now.

Movements die when corruption is allowed to infiltrate its ranks for the sake of political expediency. If we cannot root out the corruption in our midst, we have not only lost this presidential election, we have lost our integrity and our credibility. 

We cannot claim to respect the inherent worth and dignity of human beings if the person we choose to represent us in the White House regularly dehumanizes them. That is the quickest and most expedient way to end the pro-life movement as we know it. 

At this point, I care more about helping women in crisis and saving babies than I do about saving Donald Trump’s reputation.

Do you?