I had a really interesting reply sent to me privately regarding my take on being 'Best Friend-less'. A woman from my parish, a devout married mother (those things are not always a given nowadays), told me that she understood exactly what I was talking about in my blog. She also told me that she is oftentimes surprised to hear herself described as someone's 'Best Friend', knowing that she does not think of the proclaimer in the same fashion. I have that in common with her as well. She told me she feels this speaks to OUR behavior - that people know we will do what we say we are going to do, when we say we are going to do it and so they can count on us and trust us and isn't that a fabulous reputation to have?
She is right. And quite frankly, I am amazed that I have this reputation because 20 years ago that was not how people thought about me at all. Today, because of sobriety, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, a sponsor and the CCC I can count myself among those labled 'responsible adults'. How weird that is; how weird and wonderful!
I am bracing myself for the onslaught of negative postings about Cardinal Dolan's decision to pray at the DNC. Like my buddy Mark Shea, however, I have the same opinion about his Eminence deciding to participate (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/ ) as expressed in his writings today. I think he is trying to stay non-partisan, to remind people that being a follower of Catholic Social Doctrine defies the world's insistence upon labels and boxes. We, us faithful Catholics, are going to confound the pundits at every turn and unless the issue is one that is a non-negotiable (Abortion is evil, The Eucharist is not symbolic, Hell exists and so do Angels) we are free to make our own decisions according to our presumably well-formed Catholic Consciences. It is why I cannot vote for President Obama. I do not think he was born in Kenya or is a secret Muslim. I do not think Mitt Romney believes he is going to be crowned God of the US or that Paul Ryan wants to push old people in wheelchairs off of cliffs in order to save money. I do not think Obama is a communist and I do not think Romney wants to put Black people in chains.
I do not agree with Mr. Obama's Health Care mandate for religious institutions or his support for abortion under any circumstances and I am not comfortable with his economic policies. I do not support his use of the term 'freedom of worship' as opposed to 'freedom of religion' - for a Rhetorician like myself, that is a dangerous distinction that most people would not understand or even notice.
While I understand that many people think I am stupid because I will support the Republican ticket this year, I also know that I am voting my conscience. It is a well-formed conscience, I hope. It is a Catholic conscience.
I support my Cardinal. Dolan is ok by me.