Catholics Bracing For Attack on Another Trump Appointee’s Catholic Faith

Opponents expected to target nominee’s fidelity to Church teaching

[Will there be a questioning of his faith by liberal Democratic senators similar to that of Trump’s recent federal circuit court nominee Amy Barrett – especially “Catholic” Sen. Durbin’s “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” (reminiscent of the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings’ “Are you now or have you ever been a Communist?”)?]

by Stephen Wynne • ChurchMilitant • September 13, 2017

WASHINGTON – In the nation’s capital, a conservative Catholic lawyer is bracing for a grilling over his faith.

Late Tuesday night, the White House announced that President Trump is nominating James E. “Trey” Trainor III, an Austin attorney and political veteran, for a seat on the Federal Election Commission (FEC). According to the White House, Trump is appointing Trainor to fill an FEC vacancy and to serve the “remainder of a 6-year term expiring April 30, 2021.”

Trainor is being tapped to replace Republican Commissioner Lee Goodman who will step down by the end of they year. Goodman is applauding Trainor’s nomination, calling him “an excellent and thoughtful lawyer.

Observers note that Trainor is well-suited to the FEC, a six-member, independent regulatory body responsible for enforcing campaign finance law in federal elections. A seasoned attorney specializing in election law, campaign finance and ethics, he has a long and distinguished record fighting for conservative causes.

But in the wake of last week’s grilling of Trump’s Catholic, 7th Circuit Court nominee, some observers are wondering what sort of reception Trainor, another faithful Catholic, will receive.

The September 6 confirmation hearing of University of Notre Dame Law School professor Amy Barrett provoked a remarkable display of anti-Catholic bigotry. Seated before a Senate Judiciary Committee panel, Barrett was attacked for her fidelity to Catholicism.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein pressed Barrett on the depth of her faith, suggesting the appointee’s Catholic principles would compromise her ability to rule without bias.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein, the panel’s ranking Democrat, quipped. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country.”

Other leading Democrats swung away at Barrett, suggesting her orthodox Catholic beliefs were grounds for rejecting her nomination.

So egregious was the senators’ line of questioning, that Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse reminded his colleagues of the Constitution’s religious test clause, which bans “the imposition of religious scrutiny against public officials.”

Trainor originally supported U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s bid for the presidency. But after Cruz ended his run, Trainor embraced Trump’s campaign. At the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Trainor served as general counsel for the convention’s platform committee. He helped Trump secure the presidency by successfully blocking an uprising against the candidate’s nomination.

In January, Trainor left Austin for Washington, joining the Trump Administration as special assistant to the secretary of defense in the Office of General Counsel.

Before transitioning to the Pentagon, Trainor served as assistant general counsel for the Texas Republican Party. He also represented Empower Texans, a conservative nonprofit advocating fiscal responsibility, in its fight with the Texas Ethics Commission over public disclosure of its donors.

Trainor has served as an attorney for Texas Right to Life, the state’s oldest, largest and most comprehensive pro-life organization.

In light of these qualifications, Goodman is an enthusiastic supporter of Trainor’s candidacy. “Trey Trainor will bring a principled libertarian perspective to the FEC,” he remarked. “I believe President Trump has made an excellent choice for the future of the FEC.”

To claim his appointed seat, Trainor must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Republicans and faithful Catholics are expecting a fight.

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  1. Darth Vader: The dogma lives loudly with you!

    Princess Leia: But destroying an entire planet and enslaving the universe are contrary to Natural Law, human rights, and the Constitution, all of which can be understood by reason.

    Grand Moff Tarkin: Your dedication to the ancient Jedi faith is charming, Princess Leia.

    Grand Moff Tarkin: You are about to see exactly what modern technology can do to planets which place their hopes in ancient superstition.

    Princess Leia: My brother Luke’s a Jedi. You just wait until he and Obi-Wan Kenobi hear about this.

    Grand Moff Tarkin: A Jedi? [diabolical laughter]

    Grand Moff Tarkin: Is he an orthodox Jedi? Or a progressive modernist Jedi?

  2. Emperor: Dianne, Dianne, let the hate flow through you!

    [image credit: ]

  3. Darth Vader: The dogma lives loudly within you! But that Jedi brother of yours can be turned to the Dark Side.

    Princess Leia: You don’t impress me. You’re a B Count Dracula in a 1970s Buck rogers cartoon for people tired of Disco, Jimmy Carter, and Easy Listening on FM radio.

    Darth Vader: We shall see. Perhaps your brother will not be as orthodox on Jedi dogma as you are.

    Luke Skywalker: I guess I’ll be a Jedi.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi: Just like your father. But you’ll have to learn about the Force, Natural Law, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and Cicero.

    Luke Skywalker: I didn’t want to have to tell you, Ben. But I think I’m becoming a progressive modernist Jedi. I read Rudy Bultmann, Teilhard, and Hans Küng and I just couldn’t buy into any of your orthodox Jedi myths and superstitions after that.

    Luke Skywalker: That’s alright, isn’t it? You don’t think just because I’m not an orthodox Jedi that I can be more easily turned to the Dark Side?

    Obi-Wan Kenobi: Well….remind me to tell you more about your father sometime when you’re a little older, Luke.

    Luke Skywalker: Father, I want to join you and the Emperor to support Planned Parenthood and abortion rights. I want to turn to the Dark Side and formally renounce all orthodox Jedi dogma.

    Grand Moff Tarkin: I wonder if we shouldn’t quiz her more on these childish dogmas and primitive superstitions….

    Grand Moff Tarkin: Tell us about that quaint medieval notion of the right to life, Princess Leia.

    Grand Moff Tarkin: Oh, I don’t want to offend any pious orthodox Jedi sensitivities…

    Princess Leia: It’s the tall guy in the black suit and cape. He’s got a real attitude. Aim for the helmet.

  4. [The “mainstrem” media join the fray]

    Media Attack Trump’s Catholic FEC Nominee

    Establishment journalists bash Trey Trainor for fidelity to Church teaching

    by Stephen Wynne • ChurchMilitant • September 14, 2017

    WASHINGTON- Within hours of Catholic attorney Trey Trainor’s nomination to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), news media began mocking his fidelity to Church teaching.

    In a Wednesday Talking Points Memo article, reporter Tierney Sneed published a series of Twitter screenshots blasting Trainor for his conservatism and his Catholicism.

    Featuring prominently throughout the article, the anti-Trainor Twitter posts slammed the orthodox Catholic for, among other things, retweeting episodes of Church Militant’s flagship show, The Vortex. As followers of the apostolate know, The Vortex tells hard truths — truths like “There Is Only One Church” and it’s “Catholicism or Nothing.” Trainor retweeted these episodes and more. For this, establishment media rank and file are calling his character into question.

    Broadcasting his anger at Trainor’s nomination, freelance journalist Christopher Hooks, a political writer based in Austin, tweeted the Texas attorney “is gonna sit on the godd**n federal election commission. I can’t believe it.”

    An opponent of the Tea Party and Second Amendment gun rights, Hooks’ writing leans decidedly to the left. In a 2016 critique of Michael Bay’s film “13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” he characterized the honoring of the four Americans murdered by Libyan Muslim extremists part of “the new civic religion built around the worship of the most lethal among us.”

    Hooks has also referred to conservative Dallas-Ft. Worth as “the spiritual center of … a great galactic plane of young suburbs home to some of the most reactionary politics in the country.”

    Hasen called on the Left to redouble their efforts to take back Washington, “The only real solution is for Democrats to pray for the current justices’ good health — and then to take back the presidency and the Senate. And once they do, perhaps they’ll play hardball themselves by increasing the number of justices on the court and packing it with liberals.” Election law blogger Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, posted Sneed’s article on his blog, referring to Trainor’s views as “interesting.”

    In an April Los Angeles Times article, Hasen lamented the Supreme Court’s shift to the right. “Sad as it may be,” he wrote, “liberals may have no choice but to put faith in (Supreme Court Justice John) Roberts as a political actor.” Hasen has shown his hand by posting excerpts from The New Yorker, blasting red State voter protections.

    She offered no commentary, but in an August article on Trump’s military ban on transgenders, her bias was evident.

    Celeste Katz, senior political correspondent for Newsweek, retweeted Trainor’s retweet of The Vortex episode, “Catholicism or Nothing.”

    Katz is also a promoter of the ongoing “Trump-Russia” narrative. Wednesday, she retweeted a Newsweek article, alleging “right-wing” sites like Breitbart and Gateway Pundit spread “Russian fake news” in an attempt to delude American voters.

    “President Donald Trump gave himself a hearty pat on the back Thursday,” she wrote, “for trying to drum transgender people out of the U.S. armed forces, saying he’s ‘doing the military a great favor’ by clearing up a ‘complicated’ issue.”

    Trainor has been applauded by Republicans for his commitment to the conservative cause and by faithful Catholics for his steadfast adherence to Church teaching, both of which run counter to leftist ideology.

    The establishment media has launched its attack against him; observers expect the political establishment to follow.

  5. Neither of the liberal pet issues (abortion and same-sex marriage), in terms of their legal status, are primarily issues of faith. These are matters of reason, Natural Law, common sense, fact. That marriage is between a man and a woman and that an abortion takes an innocent life are facts. They can be determined by reason, observation, and biology. It is a mistake to assert that the pro-life and traditional marriage positions are contingent upon articles of faith or mysteries of theology. The USCCB needs to explain this clearly and issue a document of clarification on these areas of public debate. Laymen and lay women have the capacity to understand these issues on the basis of natural reason. It is not a question of faith whether an unborn child is a human being that deserves dignity, respect, and the right to life. It is not a mystery of theology or faith that marriage is between a man and a woman.

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