Abortion, Religion and Politics

Abortion, Religion and Politics May 14, 2016


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.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Fr.Sean

    I’m very sorry that you were treated negatively by people who were pro-life or republican. I appreciate your thirst for truth and desire to share your thoughts on the faith and life issues.

  • Hilary

    Sounds good to me.

  • captcrisis

    “Safe, legal . . . and rare.”

    There is wide consensus on this formulation from Bill Clinton from 1994. Some might object to parts of it (there are pro-choicers, for example, who think abortion should not be at all “rare”) but in a healthy culture people have to live with compromise.

    Again, thanks for your courageous post.

  • Why label yourself as anything other than what you are? You are Catholic and faithful. How very wonderful.

  • captcrisis

    Such as victims of carpet bombing, torture, unnecessary wars, and a frayed social service net. Most of them children by the way. Lusty cheering points for Republican crowds.

  • I commented on the other page but in case you are giving up on reading those (lol), I am devoutly Catholic and pro-life but I have never voted for a Republican candidate except for Ron Paul and I had to register in the Republican Party to do that because I am generally a registered independent. The Republican claim to be pro-life is a political scam, because if we judge them by the criteria of John Paul II in his encyclicals, they can’t claim the title prolife. At most, they are marginally anti-abortion, and I say “marginally” because their constant harassment and oppression of the poor makes the lives of poor women and poor families every more miserable and brutal and thus we can fairly and truthfully accuse them of giving low income families financial incentives to choose abortion (financial desperation being one of the primary drivers of abortion, an incontrovertible fact). I cheer on the visibility you have speaking out against the Republican pro-life scam. Where were the Republican pro-lifers defending the rights of the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq to life “from the moment of conception to the time of natural death” when the greed and fury of the United States empire turned their way? I tell you where they were, they were screaming CRUCIFY THEM CRUCIFY THEM in the streets with the rest of the bloodthirsty mobs. This includes the US Catholic bishops, by the way, as I explain in the April issue of the Oklahoma City Catholic Worker, online at http://www.justpeace.org/cwapr2016.pdf .

    The hypocrisy of so many pro life people who support war and vote Republican is one reason the pro-life movement is dead in the water. Everyone knows that the organized pro-life movement, and this includes the US Catholic Bishops, don’t really believe that EVERYONE has the right to life from the moment of conception to the time of natural death. Anyone who doubts this should simply look at what they do, not what they say, and 99% of these folks stood on the sidelines of the Iraq/Afghan wars and cheered on the bloodthirst.

  • SloVicto

    Thank you for your courage. I also went through a change in how I dealt with these issues, and it isn’t easy or comfortable. I commend you.

  • I think it is unfortunate that you’re maybe seeing the label as something monolithic or exclusively one thing. I don’t think “Pro-Life” has to mean “adjunct to the GOP” and there are Pro-Life groups that don’t fit that. PLAGAL, Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, I’m assuming isn’t exactly a GOP front as one of its leaders links to the Green Party. And being Pro-Life doesn’t mean you’re not all sorts of other things.

  • Tacitus

    And there are millions of children alive today that would have never existed had their mothers not had an abortion before they were conceived.

    In fact, if you take a moment to apply a little cold hard logic to the situation, assuming you believe that all aborted fetuses have souls and will ascend to heaven some time after death, then abortion results in millions more souls being saved, especially when you consider that those who are aborted do not have to endure the dangers and uncertainties of life on Earth, including the very real (in Catholic terms) threat of going to Hell when they die.

    To put it in even starker terms… What percentage of the children who grow up in radical Islamist families will ascend to Heaven when they die, vs. what percentage of miscarried fetuses in those same families?

  • Kevin William O’Bryan
  • Slocum Moe

    I’m OK with you living your own life, however you decide.

  • jim_luvs_Jesus

    All are sinners and in need of God’s mercy. Continue to vote pro-life and speak against evil.

  • Tacitus

    I like the way you dodge the questions…

    It’s only garbage because the doctrine of salvation and the concept of Heaven and Hell is nonsense.

    If it were all true, then the destination of a person’s eternal soul should be above all other considerations. What possible justification is there to force anyone to spend a few uncertain and often painful decades here on Earth, with a very high chance that they will never know the Christian god as their savior and thus find themselves damned for all time, when the alternative provides almost complete assurance of an eternity in Paradise?

    What Christian mother, if they were being truly honest, and were made fully aware of the choice on offer, would allow their child to be born knowing that (in many cases) there was almost no chance of them joining them in Heaven one day?

    I’m sorry if this question offends you, but deflection doesn’t make it go away.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    How would you suggest someone “deserves” to live in this context? How do you “protect” a fetus in utero? Perhaps you would rather people didn’t think too much and ignorantly ride the feels?