United States: Conservatives pay tribute to Donald Trump’s first moves

February 17, 2017
Source: fsspx.news
Donald Trump
Donald Trump

On January 23, 2017, three days after his inauguration, Donald Trump signed a ban on financing international NGOs that support abortion. The new American President took this measure the day after Roe v. Wade, the emblematic Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States, in 1973.

In signing this ban, Donald Trump has drawn down the fury of progressive and “women’s defence” groups. According to news agency cath.ch on January 24, “liberal Catholic Americans” in the Catholics for Choice (CFC) group, condemned on their web page “a huge step back for the United States as a responsible world leader.” Jon O’Brien, president of CFC, lamented this “cynical gesture,” stating that this policy “will do nothing to improve the health and well-being of millions of the poorest women in the world.”

However, pro-life leaders paid tribute to Trump’s decision. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the American Bishops’ Committee for Pro-life Activities, applauded this measure in a statement released January 23. He stated that it was “a welcome step towards the restoration and application of major federal policies” that respect “the most fundamental human right—the right for life—and the long-established consensus against the fact of forcing Americans to participate in the violent action of abortion.”

In the headlines of its Italian version, daily L’Osservatore Romano of January 24, 2017 applauded the decision as well. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, also rejoiced at the news, on January 24th on the Academy’s Twitter account. He emphasized that this decision shows a “commitment to protect human life and dignity.”

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, on his part, has suggested that the Catholic University of Notre Dame offer a honorary degree to President Trump. In an editorial of January 27, published in the diocesan bulletin and quoted by cath.ch on January 29, the conservative prelate lamented the criticisms of the new head of State, criticisms that are becoming louder and louder, since, according to American media, Donald Trump is supposedly preparing an executive order that will extend religious liberty significantly in the United States.

The order, far from a mere rumour, would offer a much more broader protection for institutions opposed to homosexual marriage, contraception or abortion. According to cath.ch on February 2nd, American news source The Nation has laid hands on a draft version of the order. The text grants a protection for freedom of conscience for all organizations operating in the religious realm. It includes in particular all entities that “act in accordance with the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, and that sexual relations are reserved for marriage.”

The order would clearly permit religious organizations to refuse to reimburse contraceptives or abortions for their employees, and to refuse to hire persons who do not match their doctrinal criteria. As website Reinformation.tv emphasizes on February 3, “conservatives with strong religious beliefs are riding high” in the US. After “multiple defeats under the Obama presidency with regard to homosexual marriage and abortion,” they have placed “their hopes in Trump.” He has promised to defend “religious freedoms” and their “right to practice completely and freely” “as individuals and economic or institutional leaders.” And as Reinformation.tv points out, Donald Trump has taken the first step by announcing, on January 31, the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Gorsuch has already declared himself to be in favour of the right of businesses to refrain for religious reasons from providing their employees with health insurance that refunds contraceptives.