Reader Dan C.

sends me a somewhat mysterious note, presumable concerning a combox conversation with a reader that I missed.  I reprint it here in the hope that whichever reader he means will see it, as well as because I thought it was pretty good and figured others might profit from it too:

Is this an answer for your reader?

I find the poor are an important salve to the wounds.

I do not vote.  I refuse to be a part of that system and it has done me well.  I voted once in the past 20 years, for THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF ALL TIME.  In 2004.  I felt dirty afterwards and will not vote in national elections any longer.

Understand, I felt that the nation was ruled by ungodly men who awoke each day determined to crucify Christ during the Presidency of George Bush (who I consider as you consider Obama-and I consider Obama as I considered Bush).  Bush is a man who compelled, in my view, a nation to fight unjust wars.  (The fighting of an unjust war is an intrinsic evil, but the way, and compels a nation to do so.  I have friends who went to jail in both the Bush and Obama administrations protesting these wars.  I live on the other far side of the political spectrum.)  Many conservative Catholics agreed with Bush on this matter who were, as I recognized, good (if incorrect on several matters) Catholics who fought to live their lives as Christians.  I discussed these matters on Catholic blogs and was villified (two terms flung about to describe non-Republican Catholics were CINO and “Heterodox”)  at that time on blogs entitled “Catholic Kerry Watch” and another blog which promoted the Battle of Lepanto as symbolic of the way Catholics should view the 21st century Christian relationship with Islam (never mind it was the opposite of what was coming out of the Vatican from the pope down).

I recommend having discussions with good Catholics who disagree on politics.  But one must start out with the knowledge that these folks struggle with their faith too, like you.  That will help the faith, in Big Terms “The Faith” and small aspects, such as “my faith.”  Michael Sean Winters is a liberal whose writings promote thoughtful engagement.

Divorce oneself from partisan politics.  Care for the undeserved poor.  Engage and love the enemy, (which quite frankly for the conservative American Catholic is a liberal Catholic and for liberal Catholics is a conservative Catholic).  Pray the psalms. 

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