Politically Stuck in the Middle on the Knife’s Edge

Knife Edge Capital Peak Colorado

Rod Dreher, over at The American Conservative, received a letter from a reader that feels that they are stuck in the middle of the political spectrum. A friend told Rod that “The problem is that you are in the middle, but the middle has shrunk to the size of a knife’s edge, which is why it’s so painful.”

Yes! That is exactly how it is! I am not a liberal (old school or progressive). I am not a political conservative. There are some policies where I am more aligned with Democrats, and some where I am aligned with the Republicans. But the Democrats radical stance on abortion and their often hostile rhetoric on religious freedom makes it impossible for me to vote for them.

Too often I end up voting third party or writing in a candidate. The problem is that there is a growing mentality in this country that if you aren’t on one side you must be on the other side.

Perhaps that is one reason, in addition to the summer riots and the even worse 1/6 assault on the Capital, that there is some concern that a civil war is brewing.

Not sure. But we the people are more divided than ever. It came a little too close too home for me recently. I was talking to a very dear family member who seems to have accepted all of the hashtags, slogans, and axioms of the woke crowd. It is not insignificant that this person also has rejected Christianity (especially orthodox beliefs). The more I tried to explain that I am Catholic and vote accordingly, the angrier they became.

This person seemed to think that I and my favorite deacon are to the far right of Q Anon. I think it is because of the you are either with me or against me mentality that is becoming more prevalent.

It. Is. Frustrating. And very sad.

Until recently we Americans could agree to disagree. There was an understanding that you could love a friend, parent, adult child fiercely and still have very different viewpoints. But few seem to understand the concept of unconditional love, i.e “I love you no matter what” anymore.

Now in order to prove our love, we must approve. This has baffled me for quite some time. Then I discovered–through Rod Dreher– Carl R. Trueman’s book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.

I am just stating to read it, but I think that it is a very important book for orthodox Christians of all stripes to read in order to understand the culture we are living in. We have a traditional understanding of self and of what it means to be human that is going the way of the Dodo bird.

Carl Tureman has a two part essay over on Public Discourse which is a good introduction to his thinking. Part one is here. Part two is here.

I will be addressing this issue in future posts.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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