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January 09, 2021

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I’m personally struggling with how to deal with the sure knowledge that some people I considered real friends are just so not on the same page that I’m on. Having someone who “doesn’t believe in germ theory” is wacky enough in regular life—but when that manifests as refusing to mask / social distance / etc. ... I’m just really having trouble.
I thought these were My People: the ones who also have a million kids and drive big vans and eat lots of beans-and-rice because they’re living on one income, and are homeschooling and don’t have tv’s, and are maybe even converts like me, who know how counter-cultural this life is.
Sigh. I’m feeling lonely and sad about it. It feels permanently life-changing.

I echo all of this, substituting “evangelical” for “Catholic.” My rage at the church that has chosen power over Christ is monumental.

Jamie,

I have read your blog(s) for more than fifteen years, and have always appreciated your wisdom, even if I didn't always agree with you. This is probably the last time I will read.

I was a few months too young to vote in 2000. I am a first generation immigrant and was raised socialist but cradle Catholic. I have never voted for a pro-choice candidate, as I have lived in states that we very red or blue and felt I had the luxury of voting third party. I did not vote for Trump in 2016, but I did this year (although I do not support the Capitol Hill protest, etc).

Why? Not because I have any delusion that Trump is the most pro-life president, but certainly because Harris and Biden are not. Abortion regulation in the state of California is an excellent case study of what to expect if she ends up having to take over. Because the goal posts of what is mainstream have shifted so much since 2008. In the next county over, a story time involving a certain kind of performer was held with few objections, Because I want my daughter to be fairly compete in women's sports without someone who has a hormonal advantage over her assaulting her in a locker room. Because I believe in faith based adoption agencies (how pro life is that?) and sectarian colleges not having to compromise their moral positions rather than be called bigots. Because who sues nuns providing corporal works of mercy? I don't have kids in public school, but even in our tiny red state town, the school board has approved certain kinds of clubs.

And, sadly there is plenty of anti-science on both sides. It is mostly Democrats saying keep schools closed, even though research is showing with precautions they aren't a major source of transmission (see the peer reviewed case study on the Archdiocese of Chicago schools). The trans stuff.

I meant to write this as a comment to a different post but will leave it here. In my block of a small rural town, there is a new family with a handicapped adult child, an older man who provides most of the caregiving to his wife, a new immigrant family, a single mom feeling shunned, one empty nester, and three big Catholic families. One of our elderly neighbors passed away suddenly from non Covid reasons the day before yesterday. No amount of porch deliveries or check in texts is touching their isolation and in some cases, desperation. We too have had the ice storms that you mentioned, and my side of the street - the one with the low risk big families- lost power on a below freezing night. Fortunately it was resolved quickly, and if the situation were reversed I would have taken any one of those people in, to hell with Covid.

You might consider reading
https://dwightlongenecker.com/the-divided-states-of-america/

I think a lot of people are really angry, for vastly differing reasons, but we can't beat each other up.

Also, I'd be really reeeeeeally careful about suggesting that the Pope can speak in an obedience-worthy way on science (=/= faith or morals) so there is no call for repentance necessary on that. Unless you're coming down on the side of "down with Galileo for his science" (which never happened, even back then). That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be looking at the MORAL implications of treating the environment badly, and the outsize consequences bad behavior has on the poor and disenfranchised. That would be a question of morals, and definitely within the pope's purview. But don't conflate "climate change denier" with "rank polluter" just because there is often overlap.

All the best, Jamie - back to reading just your non-Trump posts and wishing you peace :-)

Thank you so much for this. I feel very lonely as someone who is a Democrat and a Catholic. (Remember when to be Catholic was to be a Democrat? - Oh well). And you are right that the problem is single issue voting which much (most?) of the Church hierarchy supports.
Again, thank you for your voice. It helps a lot.

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