So I wrote this blog post the other day, some of you may have read it.… the combox has 105 comments in it as of now. That is a crazy combox. I have read some of the comments and if I am going to be truly honest, I am so honored to be defended by pro-choicers who understood that I am 1. not a loser and 2. still against abortion. If there is one thing that makes putting myself the target of public scrutiny it is seeing people who don’t agree with me on a certain issue, like abortion, actually read what I wrote and be kind to me anyway.
Yes, I am still against abortion. I know that life begins at conception and I learned that fact in a Human Growth and Development class in college, not just from the Catholic Church. I also learned it when I saw the heartbeat of my grandbaby at 7 weeks gestation. I know for a fact that if her mother had aborted her, she would not be alive right now and I would be missing out on her kisses, love and her amazing sense of humor. There is no question about it, abortion ends a human person’s life.
People questioning my stance on abortion should really stop freaking out and go look at other posts that I’ve written. I still stand by them. What I no longer stand by is that I need to label myself “pro-life” and vote Republican. If people don’t understand that when a person says “I’m Catholic” it means they follow all the tenants of the faith, which include that abortion is morally wrong all the time, then that is a problem with Catholicism and how we teach the faith, not with me choosing to divorce myself from the Republican party and politics in general.
The only religious people in the the story of Jesus that worked with politicians were the Pharisees and they used politics to hang God on a Cross, so excuse me if I really don’t really think that laws and politics are the way to build the Kingdom of God. And even though a lot of people seem to have forgotten, building the Kingdom of God is what we are all supposed to be doing, not making sure Republicans get voted into office.
Why exactly do I have to make my political affiliation clear to anyone? I don’t like Democrats or Libertarians much more than I care for Republicans. Why do Americans insist that we align ourselves politically with someone? Or make sure we state that we are independents? Our obsession with being politically affiliated is weird. The only political statement that fits for me is Jesus Is Lord, and make no doubt about it, that was a political statement when the Apostles said it and it’s one now.
I won’t say that I’m willing to stand with anyone to fight for the dignity of the human person because that isn’t true. I am completely 100% anti-asshole. So, if you are an asshole, then I will pray for you but that’s about it.
The reason that I think that it is getting harder and harder to discuss issues with people who disagree with us is because we seem to think we can force other people to believe what we want them to believe by shaming them to believe it. And when that doesn’t work then we fight for laws to make them comply. It happens with all kinds of culture war issues and it’s only getting worse. It also happens in comboxes all over the internet.
If we want to be a part of the solution instead a part of the problem then we need to accept this one very important thing: we can’t make anyone do, think or believe what we want them to. What we can do is have civil conversations with people to understand why they do, think and believe what they do and explain why we do, think and believe what we do.
Then we set boundaries for ourselves to save our sanity. Boundaries are things that we will not accept and things that we won’t do. For instance: I don’t read comments once I read one that makes me want to reach through my screen and punch someone in the face. I also don’t deal with assholes as I’ve said. I don’t explain myself to them or even try to engage with them. I fully accept that God has plenty of people in that person’s life who loves them and knows them and can help them. It is not my responsibility to put my feelings on the line to try and help someone being rude and unkind to me on the internet when I don’t even know them. I hand them to God and walk away.
So to recap, I am Catholic. I am obedient to all the tenants of the Catholic faith but I will no longer be forced by anyone to label myself just because that makes people comfortable or helps them know which box I belong in. I can make it easy for everyone, I’m a sinner that needs prayers and finds hope in the Truths of the Catholic faith.