Tuesday, March 8, 2016

We are off to a good start picking our group up at the airport and settling in at the hotel. The best part of the day was our first Mass — at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Sassia which is dedicated to the Divine Mercy and St. John Paul II.

What a GREAT WAY to start a Year of Mercy Rome pilgrimage by praying and celebrating Mass at the relics of these two great saints of the Divine Mercy.

I also gave an 18-minute talk at St. Peter’s Basilica telling the group about my first experience at St. Peters as a Catholic, after writing my book Crossing the Tiber. I hope you enjoy the story of my emotional pilgrimage.






by Steve Ray on March 8, 2016

I have received several e-mail blasts from an organization opposing the Trump candidacy. I wrote to them not because I am a Trump supporter — because at this point I am not, though I am certainly watching things very closely during this election cycle. I wrote to them because they asked my advice and because I felt they were not objective and setting the stage for a lose to Hilary on election day. Here is what I wrote them:

Here is a follow up to my first e-mail that I wrote in response to your several correspondences lambasting Donald Trump. To be clear, I am not writing as a Trump supporter since my wife and I watch the whole process with amazement and curiosity, joining with conservative and Christian Americans in their anger and frustration with “the establishment” and “the system” and hoping for something or someone to bust up the logjam.

Here’s my issue and why I reacted negatively to your strongly worded diatribes that you sent out  against Donald Trump. 

All four have strengths and weaknesses

Your e-mail did not mention any of Trump’s strengths and overemphasizes Trump’s weaknesses. I question this approach because it makes you and your arguments sound weak and non-objective almost as a hasty and emotional reaction to someone you personally don’t like. I question the wisdom of ignoring strengths while overemphasizing and exaggerating his weaknesses. All of the candidates have both strengths and weaknesses in varying degrees and we should be honest about them in assessing each of the candidates. 

Here's the one I'd like to vote for!

Frankly I’m not overly impressed with any of the four candidates still in the race – especially in regard to their ability to unite the Republican party and beat Hillary. I wish I could vote for Ronald Reagan! No current Republican candidate is an ideal. Sometimes I wish I could put them all in a blender and get what’s best out of all of them. Unfortunately that’s not possible in an imperfect world where politics is the art of compromise. 

However, having said that – here’s my concern.

The one thing I don’t hear from people against Trump is – what they will do if what seems almost inevitable happens. Trump could very well be our nominee even with the best efforts of many to stop him. If so, here’s the big question, what will “anti-Trump” organizations like your’s do?

Are you going to continue your hostility to Trump and split the party? Are you going to suggest a third candidate? Are you going to suggest that people not vote? 

He wants her to cement his legacy in history

Any of those options will hand the election over to Hillary and the Democrats which will doom our country and enshrine Obama’s policies, laws and executive decisions forever.

Sometimes folks can go so hostile against a candidate that if he DOES becomes the eventual nominee you’re going to have to eat crow or else split the conservative vote. I suggest in your future letters that you do what the three candidates did in the last debate — pledge support for whoever becomes the Republican candidate. 

On election day there will only be two names on the ballot for us to choose from Hillary and “Not Hillary”. I hope the anti-Trump forces don’t change that scenario and make it a three way race of “Hillary” or “Not Hillary” or “Not Trump”. You know what’s going to happen then. (Remember Ross Perot?)

Unhappily, even in your last letter you sent out signed by others, the hostility is so strong that it’s going to make it very difficult for you to backpedal and support Trump if he becomes the eventual nominee — which is looking very likely. 

We must not fight so hard to win the current battle (deposing Trump during the primaries) that we lose sight of the big picture and lose the war to Hilary on election day. Remember that Obama won his second term because for many Romney “was not conservative enough” and for others because they “would not vote for a Mormon.” No vote for Romney was a vote for Obama. 

I sure hope we don’t play the fools again this time around. So you asked for my advice, and there it is.