A Good 'Ol Fallen Away Catholic Votes Independent

Without the ire of religion or political party, I'm just voting issues!

My mother never worked an actual job or pursued a career after she married my father. Her days were spent horseback riding, playing bridge, bowling and going to the “hairdresser.” My father died when he was just 60, and my mother lived off of the money he left — and his social security — for 30 years.

Now, she’s run out of money and I am working long distance to get her into a nursing facility back east with a Medicare bed because she is being kicked out of her assisted living facility.

I never got the not working thing. It seems to me like day after day of a life with no purpose.

I think women and men should be able to work with vigor, and I think we need to accept this as the number one challenge in our country today. Lest anyone think the unemployment and underemployment stats are not “real” or it’s gotten better, I offer my horror story of the week: I just ran into a one time successful contractor and the son of a former Novato notable who is now schlepping botanical wrinkle cream via a multi level marketing company.

I am not sure what political party my parents belonged to, as they never talked about it. I am guessing they were Republicans, because my father’s family owned a small manufacturing business that was beleaguered by government regulations and union demands — at least that was how he saw it. My mother got her news nightly via Ted Koppel long after my dad was asleep, though. I think the Nixon-Kennedy contest garnered more political conversation between them than ever before, because Kennedy was a Catholic, as were we.

I never got the political party thing. It seemed to me then, as it does now, so limiting. Having been educated by the good nuns and priests, I just can’t relate to all the self-imposed rules, especially those social in context. For the most part, I hate rules that dictate things we should be able to decide ourselves. Many of us educated by the good nuns and priests have had a belly full of rules, and in retrospect, I wonder why they kept harping on the “free will” thing all the time, since they were so keen to take it away.

It seems to me, rigorous party platforms lead to hypocrisy, something folks hate the most about politics. I’ll use the simplest example I can think of: If I am “pro-choice” doesn’t that immediately incorporate “pro-life” as one of my choices? Why can’t I be fiscally conservative and be “pro choice” and therefore be a Republican?

Catholics actually can’t be Democrats, either, because you must be “pro life” or you are not in good standing with the Catholic Church. So logically speaking, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden aren’t really Catholics, although they say they are and follow those tenets.

Oh, and divorce is a no-no too, so there goes a lot of the Kennedy clan, the source of the aforementioned conundrum with my parents.

It just became way too confusing to me, so I happily became a “FAC" (Fallen Away Catholic — there are scads and scads of us if truth be told) and an Independent. I am absolutely confident God is OK with this honest choice of mine and He especially likes, I am also sure, that I don’t have to lie about my personal choices.

I have nothing against people who say they are Catholics even though they technically aren’t, nor people who are “pro-life” whether Democrats (which is OK with the Church but not with the party) or Republicans (which is OK with the party and the Catholic Church). It’s just too much for me, especially when I am so very, very concerned about the economics in this country, and if my kids will be able to have productive work and a good family life as I have.

I just filled out my absentee ballot. I looked at each candidate and issue and said in each and every case, will this help our country, state and county - and my work and family? Then I voted accordingly, without a whit of a thought to party affiliation or the biased mailers and TV ads, or the spouting surrogates. It’s the only way I can get beyond the rules and to the issues. It’s the only way that works for me.

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jack October 24, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Most conservateves are very very much in the middle. 5 or more Presidents have not helped the poor. For every parent on welfare 300 if their child ( only one) graduates from college in their social security extra/ and I am voting for Romney :). Planes turrn slowly/ education is the only answer
Scott Yeager October 24, 2012 at 04:43 PM
A few thoughts: Your mother didn't work because your father owned a business. Many women of her generation didn't because even those of modest means could live on one income. Besides women wanting to work and have a career, many have to work not as a matter of choice, but of economics. That second income is needed. Your mother is still alive and you can ask her what her party affiliation, if any is now, or was, when you were younger. You can't be Catholic and Republican because they are pro death penalty, pro-war and they all voted for the Ryan budget which the Catholic church condemned. There are anti-abortion Democrats just like there are pro-choice Republicans. Yes, I use the term anti-abortion and not "pro-life". It's hard to square that term with those for the death penalty and supportive of war and yet they still claim to be "pro-life". For someone who claims not to be Catholic anymore, you sure are passing a lot of judgement about those who still are practising Catholics and are not, according to you, "technically" a Catholic, such as Pelosi and Biden. Most Catholics in the U.S. haven't been following the church on a lot of issues for many decades, one of the big ones being birth control, which most are using even though the church is against it. You don't need to be a member of a party to be hypocritical. Or a human being full of contradictions, like 99% of us are.
Maribeth October 24, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Love the line about free will. Love you, cuz.
Belle (Orchid Lady) October 24, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Thank you for writing this, it is very true.
Just me On_consignment November 06, 2012 at 03:54 PM
really? Just cause you went to a Catholic School does not make you the authority on Catholic teaching. I mean really, all that judging you do, makes uninteresting reading. As I read your article, I could not help but think you have a 3rd grade understanding of the Catholic Faith. Then, you go on to preach the Gospel of SCIOLI. I know if you had a deeper understanding of the faith, then you would see that most FAC, as you put it, are just breathing and not living. Read some GK Chesterton and learn something.


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