Everyone hates me.
No, seriously. As a religious liberal, everyone’s out to get me. Liberals despise that I’m a devout Catholic. I don’t believe in abortion; we go to Mass every Sunday and I don’t think women should be priests. I think porn disrupts families, prostitution should be illegal, and I can’t get behind anything other than monogamy. My kids’ names are Blaise, Augustin, and Simon Peter. You don’t get more Catholic than that.
But the Catholics — mostly Republicans because of abortion — hate me for being a liberal. I agree with Dorothy Day’s methods of helping the poor, i.e., I don’t think people are poor by choice, but by social circumstance. I think we need universal health care and we need it yesterday, and our lack of it is barbaric. I firmly believe being gay is genetic and that the Church will eventually roll around to the idea of it. I think we need to expand welfare programs, give people housing, and provide them with jobs. I utterly reject the bootstrap narrative. I feel that global poverty and wage slavery are major issues we need to address, and I purchase things accordingly, i.e., most of our clothing is used. I also believe in radical forms of gun control, meaning unlike Hillary, I actually do want to take your guns.
The liberals say I’m anti-woman, anti-sex, and unacceptably prude because I can’t get behind polyamory. The Catholics (mostly Republicans) hate that I’m questioning the free market and don’t hold up abortion as the ultimate vote determiner.
This means I never like a candidate, not really. I won’t vote for a Republican, since most of them believe that if you just try hard enough, you won’t be poor anymore, suggesting that people are poor through their own fault and we shouldn’t help them with any kind of social programs. Their worship of the free market makes me question their ability to reason.
They keep waving that anti-abortion banner, and I do think that, yes, abortion is murder. But they’re unwilling to provide the social reforms we’d need to outlaw it — things like counseling and job programs and massive expansions of WIC and Medicaid. We would need a massive push for programs offering access to contraception and family planning; programs that curb domestic violence and sexual abuse, along with human trafficking; more education and career opportunities for young women, paying more than minimum wage, plus improved subsidized housing. We’d have to increase subsidized daycare and vastly expand the foster care system. We’d also have to have a 100% crackdown rate on unpaid child support. Republicans simply will not pay for that. And even if they did, after all that, sources claim that the number of abortions wouldn’t change, they’d just be unsafe. Women would be arrested and possibly criminalized for miscarriage. Republicans also want to arm us all so we can shoot anyone who looks remotely like a threat (remember: black people and the undocumented are threats!).
I also have a hard time voting for a liberal because, well, they get all Emily’s List on me. I’ll be jamming along with them as they talk about climate change, and gun control, and immigration reform and marijuana legalization. Then all of a sudden we’re talking about a woman’s right to choose, and I clam up, because I don’t think women have a right to choose, and to me, this completely kind and wonderful human is suddenly sanctioning baby murder. The fact that I said baby murder makes them hate me even more. I’m gonna lose friends over this.
Then Catholics start beating the drum about a candidate’s stance on abortion being the most important criteria for voting. This holds true for all candidates, including those who could have no practical say in anything abortion-related. Think of the president, for example: They can appoint Supreme Court justices, who can uphold challenges to Roe v. Wade. They can also veto bills that have to do with abortion. That’s it. The president can’t introduce legislation, write policy, or wave a magic wand and kill babies themselves. So I refuse to use abortion as a major criteria for voting, even though it makes me cringe and even though I hate it. So pamphlets and bishops claim I can’t take Communion and I’m going to hell.
And liberals start yelling about litmus tests and open Supreme Court seats and the ultimate need to protect a woman’s right to choose. And I stand in the corner cringing, because my first protest was an anti-abortion rally when I was 10, and the notion of partial-birth abortion or any abortion after 22 weeks gestation makes me sick to my stomach. I’m all onboard for universal health care and immigration reform and carbon tax and nixing the Dakota Pipeline once and for all. But candidates have to get all right to choose on me.
I’m about the only person in America who thinks we should ban porn and legalize pot.
I’m a Catholic liberal.
And you hate me.