Saturday, June 4, 2016


   Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has now said that he will vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States.  Mr. Ryan is a Catholic.  How does his decision match up with his Catholic faith?  My answer is, "Not at all!"  In fact, "Tragically not at all!"

   Our Catholic faith is for real.  While we don't impose our faith on anyone, our faith requires us to live it out, to "give it flesh and blood" in today's society and culture.  For example, as a Catholic, Mr. Ryan is supposed to be able to discern what is politically best for our country in terms of the Spiritual Disciplines, e.g., order, peace, truth, humility, love, etc.,* and in terms of a special option for the sick, poor, vulnerable and outcast.  As a Catholic he should know that the greatness of our country is measured not on how rich some Americans are but on how well we care for the least among us.

   Yet, he has chosen to vote for Mr. Trump, who has clearly shown himself to be tragically lacking any ability to foster a society marked by the spiritual disciplines and by true social justice.  In fact, Mr. Trump openly attacks the vulnerable and outcast.  

   In all his public appearances, he shows himself to be lacking any kind of self-discipline, but presents himself as a severely narcissistic man who centers his every thought and feeling on himself.  For example, without giving any sign of understanding questions put to him, he says simply, "I will fix it!"  In sum, he shows no actual understanding or appreciation of the many deeply pressing challenges that fact America and the world today. 

   Any fact check will show that Mr. Trump lies with a regularity that would be monotonous if it were not so dangerous.

   This is the man that Mr. Ryan just said he will vote for.  His "reason" is that he believes this totally self-centered man will help the Republican party legislate its policies that will in turn help Americans in the areas of jobs, income parity, security, etc.  For two reasons, Mr. Ryan's explanation would be laughable if it were not so sad.  From a Catholic point of view, many of  the Republican party's policies favor the rich at the expense of middle and lower class Americans, and so will not solve many of today's problems.  And Mr. Trump has clearly shown that he won't help the Republican party because he is incapable of reaching outside himself to help anyone.

   The depth of the problem that Mr. Ryan has brought upon himself (and the country) goes beyond morality.  His coldly inhuman, "Ayn Rand" influenced political views, along with Mr. Trump's narcissism, are expressions of a deeply spiritual problem.  This problem requires that both men look into their basic humanity--into their human spirit that gives them life and meaning.

   As a Catholic, Mr. Ryan is given the ability to look into his spirit and to discern God's presence and intentions within himself.  And he is called and responsible to prophetically work to correct any humanly harmful ideas and policies that he--or Mr. Trump--may hold or put forth.  Instead he has chosen to contradict his Catholic faith and narrow his sights to a  gain for his political party, to the detriment of our country.  

   Mr. Ryan had the opportunity to be a big spiritual hero.  Most unhappily for himself and for our country, he chose to be small.  

* See the full list of the Spiritual Disciplines in this blog.   



  1. Valdea D, Jennings7:21 PM, June 18, 2016

    The limitations imposed by their narcissistically circumscribed worldview predispose them to miss the spiritual essence while groping for a shadow

    Valdea D. Jennings

  2. He iwas a disciple of Ayn Rand even before he joined up with Trump. Anyone who wants to call him/herself Catholic or Christian can do so. That is why these words have no real meaning. I really don't know anything anout the person who identifies as Catholic or Christian. They are bastardized terms.