I live in a so-called “swing state,” but in an area that is more liberal than conservative. That extends not only to key “social” issues like marriage and abortion, but also to lifestyles, values, attitudes, etc. The country as a whole seems to be growing increasingly liberal, and even same-sex marriage seems like a real possibility this year depending on the Court’s ruling. So, do you live in a “blue” state? How do you do it without getting really discouraged, feeling overwhelmed, etc.? Would you move to a more conservative state if you had the choice?
My wife and I are currently considering the possibility of a move to, for example, Texas, a state where the governor today stated that he’d dedicate the next legislative session to protecting life. If the professional opportunity pans out, it’s hard to resist the temptation of living in a place like that.
How do you live a full, passionate Catholic life in a blue state? Does the liberal suroundings bother you?
It is simple, you live by YOUR morals. Do you understand what is happening in the WORLD!?!? unspeakable horrors everywhere, why should your state matter? Let your household matter, live by your own morality without trying to control everything.
It can be hard, but I don’t know if we should move to another area just to feel comfortable. I think we are called to defend our viewpoints and let others know that there is another way out there. I know that can be extremely challenging, but if every Catholic retreats from potential confrontation, how can we evangelize others and live out our faith? It is great to be around others who support you and are like-minded, but I also think it’s good to get out and challenge others (politely of course) who have dissimilar views and lifestyles.
I’m curious about which states people live in. I’ve read, for example, that the Boston archdiocese has something like a 15% weekly Mass attendance rate–in a state that is extraordinarily liberal. Or Minnesota, a state that used to be at least somewhat sane on moral issues, that looks primed to pass same-sex marriage in the legislature. Where do you live and how do you deal with what’s going on around you?
Come to Texas. We’ll take all the good Catholics we can get. I have lived several places in the USA, and YES it is easier to be a believer here. My evangelical neighbors do not understand me, but they know we’re on the same side, culturally. I love it here.
Virginia is a ‘swing state,’ but I live in a pretty ‘blue’ area. It can be very frustrating at times…but I try not to concern myself too much about it. I try to live my life as a faithful, obedient Catholic, and I try to share the faith with people when I can (if they’re willing to discuss it without being rude or judgmental). And of course I vote, and I advocate (politely) for the candidates and issues I support.
My wife and I do plan to move (eventually) to another part of the state, which is much more ‘red,’ but not for political reasons…just because we like the area.
Personally, I would not move because I am not in-line with the majority of my neighbors’ moral and political beliefs. I don’t mind being outnumbered. But some of the side-effects of bad political policy – crime rates, tax rates, respect for individual liberty, strictness of business and property regulations, etc. – do play into my choices about where to live. And the political leanings of an area might be a tie-breaker if I was having a hard time choosing between two possible places to live. But we Christians are called to cling to the truth, even if we’re the only one doing it.
When I do get frustrated about it, which happens from time to time, I try to put it in perspective by contemplating the early Church. Our forebears in the faith were outnumbered too. They were ostracized from the Jewish community they had sprung from, and were brutally persecuted by the Romans. If the Saints and Martyrs could stay faithful through that, I think I can handle being surrounded by ‘blue’ voters ;).
Well, I don’t agree with everything conservative, so there are some things about Texas that I don’t like and am not proud of because they don’t line up with my religious beliefs, particularly our status as #1 in executions in the nation.
But yes, we are also known for our restrictions/legislation on abortion, which is great. I got to hear the governor speak at the pro-life rally in the capital two years ago. He is very dedicated to limiting access to abortion.
If you are 100% in line with all things conservative, then you would probably like it here, particularly in the suburbs and rural areas. Cities are still liberal, though less-so than major cities in other states.
But then again, are you a very social person? I’m not, so the political views of those around me don’t really concern me. But if you are looking to go out and meet a lot of like-minded people, then you may want to be somewhere where most share your views.
I live in Pennsylvania, which is a strange state politically speaking. Where I live (Pittsburgh metro area) it’s about a 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans. I am not affiliated with either party, though I tend to vote for more Republican candidates than Democratic ones.
The big blue spots are around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Philly is definitely bluer than Pittsburgh. The rest of the state is red, but I think overall the state is fairly moderate, though becoming more liberal on social issues. Many people who vote Democrat though don’t do it for the social issues, but because either they or their parents were union. On social issues even the Democrats tend to be more conservative - I don’t think this is the case in many typically blue states but it’s common for pro-life Democrats to get elected at all levels of government. I am not sure what it’s like at the state level (I try not to think about it because it sets my blood to boiling) but definitely at the county and municipal levels here machine politics are huge. Maybe not as bad as Illinois ;), but sometimes I think we must live in the Gilded Age around here.
I am bothered with the trends in the country overall, and there were definitely more Obama signs in our neighborhood than Romney signs, but I get the feeling that politics are central to only a few people. The rest of us are too busy living and raising our families. :shrug:
We’re looking at either the Houston or Dallas area.
The thing that worries me about Texas is that it seems like it’s quite good on politics, but the “Texas lifestyle” isn’t really all that conservative at all. The mayor of Houston is openly gay, Dallas has a huge gay community and has a culture of crass consumerism, and Texas has one of the highest abortion rates in the country, despite all of its pro-life legislation. I don’t say that to denigrate Texas, only to point out that one of the things that I’m wondering is whether Texas is conservative in politics only, but not necessarily lifestyle.
Virginia is very similar to Colorado. It’s odd because while we vote for Democrats, especially recently, legalize marijuana, look poised to legalize civil unions, we’re also a hotbed for evangelicalism and orthodox Catholicism. Apparently Bl. Pope John Paul II said that Denver would be the hub of the New Evangelization in the west.
Virginia is pretty similar, with Arlington being one of the strongest and most conservative dioceses in the country, with many major evangelical and Catholic colleges and universities (and even a law school). But the state still votes for Democrats and NoVa is incredibly liberal.
It’s like, do you take the good with the bad and rejoice in the great Catholic community and work to change the place and deal with the liberalism around you or do you go to a community that is more conservative but less robust in terms of evangelization?
Yes, central California, although the city I live in has more of the provincial sensibility of a midwestern town. During the dust bowl, many Oklahomans migrated over here and to this day the city is quite red politically. The annual rodeo is a pretty big deal and that’s one of the residual influences of the 1940s. The economy is HORRIBLE here and I would rather live elsewhere but that’s not really feasible.
Thanks for the correction. It looks like Texas ends up being more or less in the middle of the pack in terms of the abortion rate. The point I was making was that Texas doesn’t seem exceptionally virtuous, although it’s politics might make it seem that way.
In terms of the gay population, you’re right that almost every city in almost every state probably has a gay community. But Dallas’ is one of the largest in the country, and not every major city has an openly gay mayor like Houston. The impression I get is that Texas’ cities are generally liberal and even libertine just like any other city, but the rural areas give Texas its “red” flavor. We’re not going to move to a rural area, so that’s why I’m questioning whether city or suburban life in Texas is any different than city or suburban life in any other big city in America.
California seems more polarized than anything, with the coastal left winning elections. But some of the most conservative areas in the country are actually in inland California (Inland Empire, for example). Thomas Aquinas College is, I think, in Las Salinas, and it’s a real beacon of Catholic orthodoxy.
But that’s sort of my question. Assuming that economically all things are equal–which, they’re not, but let’s just suppose–are places really that different in terms of morals, lifestyle, etc.?
I was born in a blue state, New Mexico. I live on the NM/Tex border now. Texas is a great place to live if you are healthy, young and employed in the Oil Bussiness, and Southern Baptist or “non-denominational”.
Texas is not so great if you are disabled, had a stroke, or other dissbillity.
Mr Perry has chipped away at medicaid a great deal.
I wish that Mr Perry cared more about all life as well as the pre-born. IMHO once you are born you are to a great extent on your own.
I have a lot in common with Perry, ranch raised that got money from oil.
The huge difference is that I am not Baptist… I am Eastern Rite but all my ancestors were Baptist or church of Christ.
Texas has a low tolerance for diversity, everyone in this county has the same type religion, wears the same clothing, and listens to the same music on the one radio station.
If you are not anglo, or if you are Catholic, you just don’t count in this part (west) of Texas at all.
If you want to sink into the herd mentality, you have it made.
No of course, I live nearly 400 miles from Dallas in a town with only 9,000 people. In a big city people tend to self-segregate into more homogenous neighbourhoods which is impossible to do in a small town.
Here in west texas Germans, Irish, and Poles tend to join the herd and become Baptists and NDs, even latinoes leave the church for bapticostal. But must of the Catholics that remain are latinos…
If you avoid west texas and small towns you should be OK. Just stick to a suburb like Plano.
I live in the most democratic/liberal state in the country, IMHO. Between Deval Patrick, Ted Kennedy and (my personal favorite and from my district :rolleyes:) Barney Frank.
It’s tough living here and knowing I can’t really open my mouth about politics because I will be the minority every single time.
I’m not really a Republican, per se, but I’m very socially conservative for my age…which is actually far worse. It doesn’t fly well around here. Most people are accepted and understood if they are fiscally conservative but socially liberal. Most people I know are like that. My parents are libertarian but they are so socially liberal it’s scary. Same with my FIL and most of my friends who work, are married and own a house. However, they are all very liberal socially. So much so, that if I discuss my beliefs on abortion, euthanasia, contraception, divorce…and so on…I get looks of disgust. People are just dumbfounded I think that way. It’s a generational thing…everyone worshipped the ground the Kennedy’s walked on and they raised their kids to be “Catholic” in name only. Social liberalism is rampant here.
One thing I know I can’t touch or ever talk about is my thoughts on gay marriage. Not unless I want to start a riot or have my house and family targeted.
Why do we stay? Good question. My husband and I have talked about it at length.
We stay because our entire family lives here and we happen to have an orthodox Catholic church down the street from us that we absolutely love. Unlike the rest of the Catholic churches in our area…this one is truly Catholic and teaches the faith based on doctrine.