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SALT LAKE CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The head of the Salt Lake City archdiocese's Peace and Justice Ministry is downplaying the evil of abortion in her comments on voting. Research shows she once ran as a Democrat politician, and has supported laws advancing the LGBT agenda and has opposed laws restricting abortion.
Jean Hill, who acts as government liaison for the diocese, published an article Friday, October 7, on the diocesan website titled "In Upcoming Election, For Whom Should Catholics Vote?"
She begins, "One political candidate appears to oppose abortion, but would leave thousands of refugees to die in war-torn countries and send thousands more back to countries plagued by violence. One would care for the refugees, but is an adamant supporter of the 'right to choose.' For whom should Catholics vote?"
There is no easy answer, nor can any entity or organization tell a Catholic voter for whom they must vote. ...
Despite a tendency to oversimplify our pro-life beliefs, being a pro-life Catholic involves much more than saying "no" to abortion. In fact, protecting life requires us to be concerned about multiple issues, including economics, racism, criminal justice, immigration, health care, poverty and climate change.
Rejecting "single-issue voting," Hill writes, "Some would like to simplify the process and insist we must vote for a particular candidate because of his or her stance on specific issues. That is not consistent with Catholic teaching."
She then proffers in effect the seamless garment argument, first coined by Cdl. Joseph Bernardin of Chicago. "What political parties and special interest groups often obscure is that no political or social issue exists in a vacuum. Marriage, for example, requires not only support for the institution, but also support for families through economic and health care policies."
Church Militant spoke with Hill, who further clarified, "We have to look at the causes. Every issue is interconnected."
We asked Hill to comment on Denver's Abp. Aquila, who said early last week, "The right to life is the most important and fundamental right, since life is necessary for any of the other rights to matter."
Hill sidestepped the question and responded, "Trump supports torture, deportation and war." She then urged Catholics to review the USCCB voters' guide "Faithful Citizenship," and added, "We can't make blanket statements." No mention was made of Hillary Clinton's problematic positions on abortion or gay rights.
Hill has written on the need for the Catholic Church to "protect" the LGBT community. In a 2015 op ed in the Salt Lake Tribune, writing on behalf of the diocese, she urged the passage of an "anti-discrimination" law (SB 100) that included sexual orientation and gender identity among its protected classes. "[F]or the Catholic Diocese, passage of SB 100, as introduced, is imperative," she wrote.
Hill ran as a Democrat for Utah attorney general in 2008 and was backed by Planned Parenthood as well as the homosexual lobby group Equality Utah. Hill also advocated for contraception education in public schools, and fought restrictions on abortion.
Hill was appointed head of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in Salt Lake City in 2011.