Tag Archives: politics

Politics & Catholicism

I consider myself a born and raised, die-hard Catholic. I’m so committed to my faith that I keep a rosary in every purse I own, I drag my hungover body to church every Sunday, and I am forcing my boyfriend to take complete RCIA before he is allowed to propose to me.

With both vice-presidential candidates being Catholic, I think it’s so interesting to see competing views that are so different from one another. As Americans, we are so fortunate to live in a country where we are free to practice any religion we choose, and where we can openly express our religious views without being harassed for it. However, I feel that religion becomes a problem when it infringes on other people’s rights. As a Catholic, I PERSONALLY have made the choice not to use birth control. God forbid if I ever have too many martinis, wild out, and get pregnant, abortion would not even be an option for me.

But I don’t want to force my super conservative Catholic views on others. Ultimately, I believe it’s between the person and God if one decides to make those kinds of choices. Regardless of what I think, God is going to have the final say in any decisions any of us make. It isn’t right for me or for anyone else other than the Lord himself to determine what is right and what is wrong.

I wish it was this clear-cut in the law. I respect every religion, but I also think it’s important to keep it out of politics. In a world where people’s hearts and opinions are constantly changing, it is important to grow more tolerant and see each issue from different perspectives. Imagine if people never accepted interracial marriage, or what it would be like if women still couldn’t vote. Those two things were seen as BFD’s back then, and so many people fought for those rights, yet today they’re accepted and it’s hard to believe that it took so much effort by so many courageous people to convince people that this was the right thing to do.

I really admire how VP Joe Biden adheres to Catholic principles, yet he takes the same stance I do. He doesn’t believe it’s right to force people of other faiths to stick to the same principles he believes in as a Catholic. This is how it should be. These are tough, sensitive issues – gay marriage, abortion, and the individual mandate which forces employers to pay for birth control. But ultimately, people should have the right to make whatever decisions they choose, and we should let these decisions be between them and God.

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On Healthcare.

I knew delegates play an important role in the electoral process, but I didn’t realize how significant that role really was until I decided to get involved. It’s been really fun to be engaged and to have candidates reach out to me and want to talk about MY opinions. But being a delegate has coerced me to take a stance on issues that I honestly have a tough time deciding how I really feel about them. Issues that I normally just ignore reading about in the paper because they just aren’t something I’m that passionate about. Issues that I think are difficult to really choose a side on because I could see things either way.

One of them is healthcare. Personally, I have been lucky to have grown up with health insurance all my life. My dad is retired military, so we had Tricare until my mom started working at the University of Utah Hospital, and now we have Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield. If my mom ever heard me cough just once, she would freak out and immediately send me to the doctor. It was always nice not having to worry so much about how much a doctor’s visit would cost. But there were other times where I would get really sick and doctors would run multiple tests to figure out what was wrong. I would see the billing statements in the mail, and it would cost hundreds of dollars for one doctor’s visit – but since we had a good insurance plan, my parents wouldn’t have to pay very much at all.

That’s my experience with health insurance. But I’ve been relatively healthy all my life. I’ve never had surgery, let alone stitches. I’ve never had an IV or been taken to the ER or ICU. But not everyone is as lucky as me. Not everyone was born without a pre-existing condition beyond their control. And not everyone can afford to pay the rapidly increasing premiums and deductibles that the insurance companies demand. That’s why I think healthcare reform is important. Maybe the ACA isn’t perfect, but I think it’s a good start.

The New Yorker has a good article today highlighting some of the discussion taking place in the U.S.  Supreme Court review of the ACA’s constitutionality. Here’s a snippet of my favorite part:

The real justification for the A.C.A. is the same one that Congress has used  for virtually all economic regulation since the New Deal: the Commerce Clause of  Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, giving Congress the power

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several  States, and with the Indian tribes.

Medicare, Medicaid, not to mention the minimum wage—all have been passed,  without constitutional controversy, under the authority of the Commerce Clause.  To me (and most others, I am willing to bet), the A.C.A. is fairly  straightforward and uncontroversial application of this longstanding power. To  rule the A.C.A. outside the power of Congress would be a dramatic change in the  powers of the federal government.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/03/health-care-supreme-court.html#ixzz1qL5ZwpGO

I can see the burden that businesses are trying to avoid. It is already costly to run a company, and imposing additional costs of healthcare for each employee may be especially cumbersome. I also think it’s tough to have to deal with the HHS mandate in which businesses are ‘forced’ to include contraceptives, abortions and whatnot in their insurance coverage. I feel bad for people who have to deal with this, because I am pro-life. I personally try to be understanding of people’s situations when they choose to make that decision, but if I were a business owner and I had to actually subsidize the health insurance costs of procedures that include abortions, I’d be pretty upset.

So in other words, my views on this are pretty mixed up. I think it’s important that everyone who wants health insurance should be able to have access to it. I especially think it’s important to get health insurance when you’re young even if you have perfect health because emergencies and accidents do happen. And I was happy that something was finally being done about it now because this is something that the government has tried to tackle for several decades. And I hope the Supreme Court sees it the way I do. It’s a start, and it’s changing so many people’s lives for the better, and I think it’s something worth being happy for.

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Why I am a Democrat

Living in a country with a two-party system isn’t easy. It doesn’t offer any flexibility for the voter by forcing them to choose one side or the other. I constantly grapple with this problem on a daily basis just when reading about all the different issues these parties are arguing about, and I really wonder if there is a Democrat out there that is a pure Democrat or a Republican that adopts the entire Republican platform.

I consider myself to be a moderate because I have mixed views in so many areas, but since I feel it is important to be affiliated with a party, I chose to be a Democrat.

Originally, I thought of myself to be a Republican. I believed in human nature – every man for himself. I believed in the Horatio-Alger Myth, where working hard will ultimately get a man to achieve the American Dream. Those at the top are there because they worked hard to get there and similarily, those at the bottom are there because of the choices they made too. I thought welfare spending was a waste of money because people would give into moral hazard and become reluctant to find a job. I guess you could say I was pretty “hands-off” when it came to the economy, and I believed in pure capitalism. You work for your money, so it should all be yours. I was elitist and an asshole, but it all made sense to me.

But as I was exposed to the wonderful, terrible and messed up world of politics and economics, I started to change my mind. I guess I’m still an asshole, but a more enlightened one in that I realize that the way the world works isn’t black and white. There are a ton of gray areas where you could see both sides of an issue. As an econ major, I learned that the average American income hs been stagnant for over 30 years, while the very top 1% of American incomes have gone up by over 200%. I felt as if the Republican ideology didn’t care about this. While I was in Washington, the Republicans didn’t put together one jobs bill. Instead, they would tie jobs into another bill that is important to them, like the Keystone Pipeline. When the Super Committee was trying to cut $1.2 trillion out of the budget, the Republicans wouldn’t budge when it came to tax reform and they refused to raise taxes on the top 1%, who I feel could clearly afford to pay their fair share of taxes. Instead, Republicans wanted to cut spending in all departments. This is when I realized that the GOP is the Rich Man’s Party.

The problem with not giving a damn about anyone but yourself is that everyone in society is interconnected whether you like it or not. A lot of our most successful entrepreneurs went to public colleges on government financial aid, and now they want to cut spending in higher education. Many Republicans formerly served in the military, but don’t want to be bothered with policy that assists veterans in assimilating back into civilian life after being overseas. A lot of them also never had to deal with discrimination and fail to acknowledge measures to create equal opportunities for minorities, women and the disabled.

I think a real problem in our system is the intolerance of people’s differences, and the lack of willingness to see things from a different point of view.

It’s easy to be selfish, and ignorant to the lives of others. But it really is important to be open-minded and understanding toward people’s differences. This is why I’m a Democrat – because I care about the interests of everyone, even those who I don’t understand. I was lucky to get into a good college and have parents who worked hard to pay for what my minority scholarship didn’t pay for. But not everyone is this lucky, and some people have to work right out of high school to support themselves or their families. Being raised a Catholic, I’m pro-life and I would never put myself in a situation where I would have to get an abortion. But I know people make mistakes, especially teenagers being raised in this type of generation, and if they feel that now is not a time they are able to support a child, they should make the decision they feel is best. I have always had health insurance and my mom would send me to the doctor’s office for everything from a mild cold to preventive care, and this may have made a difference in my health that I may never realize. I think it’s important for everyone to have an opportunity to have health insurance just as I do for anything else.

I’m not very good at organizing my thoughts. I’m not a very strong writer. But I just wanted to explain why I decided to align myself with the Left and why I feel what it advocates is important. Our system most definitely is not perfect because human nature is not perfect, but in order to get closer to a better future, I’ve always thought it was important to ‘be the change you want to see in the world,’ as Ghandi said. And whether you agree or disagree with what I believe, I hope you all do the same.

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