Often Feeling an Outsider


#1

Just venting, I guess, but this happens to me constantly. Today I went to a neighborhood gathering women about my age (over 50). The topic always turns to politics, it seems, and the politics are liberal. I don’t mind such discussion, but it invariably turns toward “women’s reproductive rights” and pro-choice matters, with all --literally all in this group of about 8, except me–vociferously agreeing together on the deplorable direction of the country in terms of this issue and the importance of protecting Roe vs. Wade. If and when called on it directly in such situations, I will quietly state my position, but even if I’m silent (being outnumbered and not wanting to be a kill-joy) I’m conspicuous by not chiming in in agreement. The general attitude is – well of course, we ALL think this way, who in the world wouldn’t? It is this attitude that there can’t possibly be dissenting voices that gets me.
I like being friends with people of all types and all opinions, if it is respectful conversation where you are not looked at like a person with two heads. Lately I’ve found myself not even wanting to attend such groups because of its inevitable direction. And yet I don’t want to merely hang around with Church people only.
I’ve found that being a practicing Catholic is a lonely thing, increasingly. Anyone feel this way?


#2

I have many political disagreements with many people in my circle of friends. Apart from the Catholic issues like abortion, most of my friends do not have legal training and they tend to see issues through an emotional rather than legal perspective. This makes it impossible to have a good discussion with them, and often that goes for the Catholics as well as non-Catholics.

Even the handful who have legal training are sometimes very married to one viewpoint, and if you oppose it you trigger all sorts of lawyer baggage and stereotypes as well as possibly setting off one of them on an argument spree where he or she is determined to pound you into the ground rather than being able to have a calm balanced “you say tomato, I say tomahto” discussion.

I find it most helpful to avoid any group focused on politics or activism and instead socialize with people around fun, relaxing, non-controversial (to us) activities, such as hiking, going to a concert or to dinner. And I really cherish my friends who are open to just having a discussion about different viewpoints without acting like it’s a contest that someone has to win.


#3

Avoid like the plague! Who needs the aggravation? If you can, seek out another group, form another group (any lefties will drift away soon), or simply stop by your parish for a little quality time with the Lord, either at adoration or when He is reposed in the Tabernacle.

You can offer your frustrations, loneliness and suffering for the conversion of those others.


#4

I agree with all you said, but the neighborhood gathering that spurred my post was supposed to be fun and light, and I am generally friendly and like to meet people. And then it turned political. It just seems that every group of women my age all belong to the same liberal group think and constantly want to reinforce it. The last election has really brought this out.
I guess my point is that I find it wearying to know wherever I go I usually find Catholic barbs, direct or indirect.


#5

That seems to be pretty much all I do these days.


#6

There may be other women who secretly agree with you but are afraid to speak out.

Just another reason why I often prefer hanging out with groups of men, or at least mixed sexes.


#7

You know, I sometimes think this may be true and maybe I did some good. Just hard, though, when you end up feeling like you have two heads or something.
I generally like speaking with men also over a gaggle of women. Especially elite secular women.
Oh well, pity party over for now. Back to our regularly scheduled show…


#8

Just stay away from these liberals. Speak up. If you continue to see them. Although i don’t know why you would. Stand up for everything or you will fall for anything!:heart::heart::heart: God bless yoy!


#9

Then, blessed are you! If you sense spiritual dryness, then look up ahead and see Saint Teresa of Calcutta struggling ahead of you on the path.


#10

It helps to define your purpose before you leave the house. If your purpose is to be well-liked and to fit in, you will have a very hard time as a Catholic. But if your purpose is to work for truth and to please the Lord, you will have a different experience.

So for instance, in a group of eight, you will feel great pressure to go along with them. Your best move might be to mention that Roe herself (Norma McCorvey Nelson) doesn’t agree with Roe v. Wade anymore, and that she petitioned the Supreme Court (unsuccessfully) to overturn this decision in 2005. The women won’t like you saying this and will come up with some argument such as women should have control of their own bodies. You can say, “I agree. But the child inside a pregnant woman isn’t ‘her own body’.” You will start a firestorm of anger.

But as soon as the tide turns against you, leave the gathering. “Thank you for the invitation, but I prefer spending time with people who support courageous women.”

You cannot do God’s work and be popular. Read the Beatitudes for inspiration.


#11

Since they do not understand how evil killing of unborn children is, perhaps you could try to explain it to them?


#12

Yes, it’s a lonely road, Join some catholic groups perhaps?


#13

In my line of work, college teaching, I am surrounded by mainly liberals, and I am one myself. Still, I recognize what you mean when you say that your group just assumes that you all must think the same way regarding abortion, as if there could not possibly be any other option. I never much cared for that way of thinking, and even pointed it out concerning another political issue at a faculty meeting. The reaction I got when I did so was not exactly positive; let’s leave it at that. So I understand what you’re going through. However, with my close friends (not my work associates), I can have spirited discussions, even debates about controversial issues on which we may not always agree. This kind of interaction I greatly appreciate. I would therefore suggest that you make an effort to meet people who, like you, are not so narrowly focused that they are afraid of disagreement on political and other issues. They may not be so easy to find but I know they are out there.


#14

Thanks all. I know I need to work harder on finding, not so much a like-minded group of friends, but those who as meltzerboy says are not afraid of honest disagreement. I cherish the few I know who may not have my opinions but are respectful and open. The abortion issue is incredibly intrenched, however.
Meanwhile, I resonate most with what Lara posted. You are right. This is a life-long lesson for me that I’m still working on.


#15

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