DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Democrats and a handful of Republicans are piling on President Trump for suggesting that deceased Michigan Rep. John Dingell, a self-identified Catholic, may be "looking up" from Hell.
At a campaign rally in Battle Creek on Wednesday night, Trump slammed Rep. Debbie Dingell, who took her husband's seat in Congress after his 2015 retirement, for voting for impeachment.
"Debbie Dingell, that's a real beauty," the president quipped, recalling that he gave her husband an "A-plus" memorial after his death in February: "She calls me up: 'It's the nicest thing that's ever happened. Thank you so much. John would be so thrilled. He's looking down. He'd be so thrilled. Thank you so much, sir.' I said, 'That's OK, don't worry about it.'"
"Maybe he's looking up, I don't know. I don't know. Maybe," the president joked. "But let's assume he's looking down."
On Thursday, Democrats trumpeted indignation at the president for his "shocking" and "hurtful" comment.
They failed to note that on Oct. 12, 2016, in the lead-up to the election, Dingell tweeted: "Please take two running jumps and go to hell, Mr. Trump."
On behalf of so many of my fellow veterans:— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) October 12, 2016
Please take two running jumps and go to hell, Mr. Trump. https://t.co/71EXxOcYnC
Dingell was the longest-serving lawmaker in Congress, having spent 59 years on Capitol Hill. The Dearborn Democrat was extremely influential, celebrated for his work on Medicare, civil rights and the environment.
He was also a relentless promoter of the Culture of Death.
In his six decades in Congress, Dingell blocked pro-life protections for the unborn, advanced embryonic stem cell research, fought for federal funding for contraception, voted against restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions and voted against a ban on federal health coverage that includes abortion.
Before stepping down in 2015, he voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have banned abortions after 20 weeks — the point at which the unborn can feel pain as they're suctioned or poisoned to death.
The congressman's backing for abortion was so egregious he was rated "100% pro-abortion" by the National Right to Life Committee.
In his final years in the House of Representatives, Dingell also embraced LGBT ideology, co-sponsoring in 2013 the Respect for Marriage Act, which would have federally recognized same-sex "marriages."
On Thursday, Dingell's like-minded colleagues lambasted Trump for implying that Dingell is damned.
2020 Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden took to Twitter to hail Dingell as "a patriot," adding that Trump's joke was "cruel" and "pathetic."
It is "beyond unconscionable that our President would behave this way," said Biden.
Biden — like Dingell, a pro-abortion, pro-LGBT self-identified Catholic — gave the eulogy at his colleague's February funeral Mass at Dearborn's Church of the Divine Child. The former vice president made headlines with his opening remarks, warning Divine Child's Fr. Terrence Kerner, "Bless me Father, for I'm about to sin."
In the course of his address, he cursed several times and took God's name in vain, steps away from the Tabernacle.
The archdiocese of Detroit came under fire from faithful Catholics for hosting the congressman's funeral Mass.