Before we go any further, I should inform you that, no, I'm not endorsing Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. But Anne Rice is. On her website she gives the many reasons why. And while I disagree with her endorsement, I applaud her thoughtful decision.
As many know, Anne Rice has come back to the Catholic Church. Within Catholic, and other Christian circles, there seems to be a huge push to move a certain way politically. A push that leaves no room for disagreement or discussion. I'm a Conservative. A proud Republican. But I can't say as I agree with everything in the party. For instance, I'm coming to find some frustration with the idea that only the Republican party holds to "Family Values". My father is a long time Democrat, and I have known few men that I consider to be as great an example of what it means to have "Family Values".
My best friend, moved by what Ms. Rice wrote on her site, sent the following e-mail. It said much of what I was thinking, and I was so impressed that I asked permission to print it here, which she graciously gave me.
Dear Mrs. Rice,
I just finished reading your statement regarding your endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton for President. I am overwhelmed! As a Christian, and a Reformed Christian at that, I am a firm believer in Christian liberty and following one's conscience regarding matters about which the Bible is silent. I am saddened when churches and Christian organizations make political statements or seem to make it a "sin" to be a Democrat. We are to vote with our conscience and for what we know to be right and against what is wrong. I am a registered Republican, but this party no longer holds my conscience. Of course, neither does the Democratic party. I'm a conservative of the Crunchy-Con variety, but I've become so politically disillusioned in the past eight years. I believe in voting, but I'm not sure it makes much of a difference who is President. Isn't that sad?! I will be voting, of course, but I'll be voting according to my conscience and not along party lines.
All this is to say thank you for speaking candidly. Thank you for explaining your thinking on this matter. You've given me a lot to think about. My husband encouraged me to give Mrs. Clinton a listen- that she's not as extreme as Republicans suggest- and I will do so. My conscience will not allow me to vote for a candidate who favors abortion rights. Unfortunately, that's a deal-breaker for me, but I am willing to listen and that's more than I could say for myself a few years ago. I admire your willingness to come out against the mainstream and say what will certainly shock people... but what choice do you have? You MUST vote your conscience. To not do so would be sin, in my opinion.
And thank you for addressing the abortion issue. This is a big one for me. I agree that overturning Roe vs. Wade isn't the solution. We must change the hearts and minds of individuals. I believe that is where the battle will ultimately be won.
God's laws are black and white, but humanity is colored, I think. Some things are simple and others are not. I'm not as afraid of going against the tide of mainstream Christianity as I used to be. It IS a matter of conscience, isn't it?
You are a courageous woman. I've long thought so, ever since I found Lestat back in high school. And now your return to Faith... thank you for sharing yourself with us.
All the best,
I don't agree with Jennifer on everything. I agree that abortion will never be stopped through law, for example, but still believe that the laws should also be changed. At the same time I think she makes a profound point about allowing liberty on issues where Scripture is silent (or for us Catholics, tradition and the Magesterium, also).
This isn't a political blog, and I don't wish to make it so. At the same time, I weary of being made to feel that if I favor something which is currently unpopular within the Republican party, that I am not truly Conservative, or worse, not truly Christian.
A strong faith will always affect one's world view, but it will not effect everyone's world view the same way. Democrats and Republicans will differ on issues, as will Christians, but I don't think it's necessary to vilify one another just to make ourselves feel more righteous.
Okay, down off my soap box again!