I can’t help putting my two cents in response to Longhorns and Aggies can get along. I also went to a very liberal school, the University of Miami. I also disagree about the comments that Catholics are somehow conflicted on politics.
Ever since the shooting in Sweden I have tried to avoid violence and hate in my heart by keeping in mind what we generally have in common. Most of the time we both want the same thing, we just have very different ways of going about it. In order to avoid anger I remember that, for example, pro-abortion and anti-abortion both want the same thing. They both want to protect women and children from abuse, suffering, and being controlled. They just have different opinions about the best way to go about that.
I’m assuming the other primary issue which divides Catholics politically would be “social justice.” Again I believe that both Republicans and Democrats (at least according to their platforms) want to help the needy and protect individual rights. We just have very different ways of doing that. Democrats want to redistribute wealth and promote alternative lifestyles. Republicans want to create economic stability by cutting taxes and allowing a free market where people have freedom of opportunity.
I realize that since I am a Republican, this will be biased but I hope I have accomplished my goal of showing that I respect what Democrats are trying to accomplish. I try to love them by seeing them as individuals with different ideas from mine rather than evil-doers (even if I really do believe they are doing evil). However as far as I can see none of the platforms of the Republican Party conflict with Catholic values. There is a major problem with the Democrat platform which is at the core of our belief as Catholics in the dignity of the human person.
I was really shocked to read some of the responses to Pope Benedict at World Youth Day offering forgiveness to those who have committed abortions. Offering forgiveness is offensive now? This article in the Slate and the comments to Jen Fulwilers article in response where so full of hate and disrespect. I certainly can understand being furious when someone is keeping you from accomplishing what you think is right. It is such a struggle to show kindness and generosity to those who are doing something you find repulsive. I don’t think that offering confession at WYD is inhibiting anyone’s choice. Do you?
When I was a student at UM, for the first time I encountered the creature I have come to know as the “liberal Catholic.” I’ll be honest, I had never met one and never knew they existed. I had two friends in particular who were a lawyer and a political science professor. When the 2004 elections took place I put a Bush/Cheney poster in my window because the people I was living with had a big Kerry/Edwards sign in their yard. My friends who were Catholics in their mid-thirties turned out to be Democrats! I asked them “How can you be Catholic and Democrat?” They were also confused “How can you be Catholic and Republican?” I will admit I was, and for the most part am still, a non confrontational type so I avoid head on argument and never really engaged my friends in a debate. However I feel I am now ready to engage in a challenging conversation that will hopefully challenge my way of thinking or at least help me to understand my fellow Catholics on the other side of the isle better.
I look forward to being educated if my understanding of these issues needs some supplementation. I hope I have been charitable and I would invite others to do the same for me.