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Friday, January 13, 2012

No Place to Call Home: The State of Catholic Young Adults in American Politics

This is one of the few political posts you will ever see me write, mostly because, as I will discuss later, I hate politics.  Why do I hate politics?

There is a movement among my generation of devoted Catholics to move towards the conservative and traditional aspects of the faith, perhaps in response to the (some would say) abusive implementations of Vatican II.  However, that's not the point of this post.  Rather, it is a platform for me to stage the conundrum my generation faces against the rising liberalism of the western world.

First, let me say this:  I am not educated in politics, I understand very little of it, and for the most part I'm relatively apathetic about it.  So if I say anything that objectively untrue, please feel free to logically and reasonably correct me with evidence.  However, if you care to spout partisan bias based off of something you hear from one of your catered news shows, please don't bother.

OK.  So why do I hate politics?  Quite simply, I view politics as a lose-lose situation.  The only reason I even vote is because its my obligation to do so as a responsible citizen and Catholic.  I hate doing it because there is NO mainstream political party or movement that correctly lines up with traditional Catholic views.  No matter who you vote for, the person you vote for will be against something in the Church.

I firmly believe that, from a Catholic (and hopefully mainstream Christian) perspective, we should be voting for "socially conservative--financially liberal" candidates.  This ensures that our culture is held accountable to live moral lives while providing for the poor and vulnerable.  It is the best balance between Social Justice and virtuous internal and family lives.  Now, "liberals", which fall mostly under the term "democrats" are obviously liberal on both axes, while "conservative" "republicans" are conservative (again obviously).  So the problem, in theory, is that we can either vote on fiscal matters and go democrat, or vote on social matters and go republican.  Still there are problems with this... many young Catholics have been brought up to think that voting democrat is near evil, and that democratic fiscal views are socialist, communist (yes there IS a difference), or at the very least want to take away what people earn.  Additionally, we've basically been told to "pro-life" (another term I loathe), and thus "socially" is the only way to vote.  The problem is, and let me try to be succinct in this, Republicans don't have a consistent pro-life platform either, and economic and educational status has at least a correlation with the likely-hood of getting an abortion.  Could the economy be at least a partial solution to reducing abortions?

This is the problem I, and I think a decent portion of my rational, un-brainwashed, catholic peers feel.  We have no political home.  And so, as a defense mechanism we either just don't care, or we try to rationalize why one party is better than the other.  Let me say this though: if there is ever a "pro-life" democrat (and mind you this includes: war, abortion, marriage, death penalty, euthanasia, etc.), they would most likely have my vote.

Let me just give a couple more reasons about why I hate politics (and excuse me for my rant).  I have seldom had a good discussion or experience with politics.  In fact, I find it to be one of the most irrational, stubborn, biased, and divisive topics I know.  Most people who claim to be from one party or another do it for one or two issues and don't actually know what they're party fully believes.  Political parties become more like a label and status symbol then they do for any platform for discussion about a better country.  If you can rationally think about what you believe, what you, the country, and the poor and vulnerable truly NEED, can get your head out of your butt, and take everything you hear from news channels with a grain of salt, and still say you're from one party or another, then more power to you.  However, if you think that being either republican or democrat makes you more or less American, please don't even bother discussing politics with me.


katharos said...

I fully enjoyed this posting. Agreed. Ever since high school I have rather despised politics because it is as you said a "lose-lose" situation.

R.D.L. said...


Good to know I'm not alone in my sentiments. Thanks for reading!


Nadine said...

THANK YOU!!! Sooo glad that someone is able to voice how I feel!