DENVER (ChurchMilitant.com) - Donald Trump is telling Catholics he will stand with them and fight for them. In a letter sent to Catholic leaders at a three-day conference in Denver this week, he laid out his views on life and religious freedom.
"I have a message for Catholics," he wrote. "I will be there for you. I will stand with you. I will fight for you."
Trump highlighted the historical influence and contribution of Catholics in building the country.
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.
Trump also noted the animus Hillary Clinton bears towards Catholics.
Hillary Clinton has been hostile to the core issues and policies of greatest concern to Catholics: life, religious liberty, Supreme Court nominations, affordable and quality health care, educational choice and home schooling. For instance, Hillary Clinton supports forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor who have taken care of the elderly poor since 1839, to 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.
He continued speaking about Clinton's vice presidential pick Sen. Tim Kaine, who calls himself Catholic yet supports abortion and gay "marriage."
"Once pro-life and against partial birth abortion, Kaine now has a 100% voting record from the National Abortion Rights Action League," Trump clarified. "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?" He continued, "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."
Trump has begun surrounding himself with faithful Catholic heavyhitters. In late September, he appointed 33 orthodox Catholics to an advisory board for his campaign. Members include Republican senator Rick Santorum, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, and Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.
Trump hired Irish-Catholic Steve Bannon, on hiatus as chief editor at Breitbart.com, to oversee Trump's campaign. Also hired to run the campaign is Kellyanne Conway, a longtime Catholic from New Jersey and the first woman ever to run a Republican presidential campaign.
Trump's letter ended with a warning for America's future:
We are at a crossroads in our country. Much like 1980. But the stakes are higher now — the highest they have ever been. We have two candidates representing entirely different agendas for our country that will take it in two completely different directions for generations to come. And our direction offers a much brighter future for our beloved country
He closed the letter beseeching prayers for him and for his family.