Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I tried to call my senator, but I guess she was in the cafeteria...

Well, true colors don't fade for long. Lisa Murkowski, one of Alaska's two senators, seemed capable of grasping the implications of the Blunt Admendment five days ago when she enjoyed local press coverage of her vote in support of it. One call from the intrepid Julia O'Malley, and the good Senator is now rife with regret.

Her explanation is best summarized with a direct quote.

      " I don't adhere to all of the tenets of my faith. I'm a Republican, I don't adhere to all of the principles that  come out of my party.  I'm also not hesitant to question when I think that my church, my religion, is not current. "
Such dismissive pride shows her fidelity for what it is: nonexistent. Three sentences, wherein she uses "I" and "my" nine times, as if these entities actually exist in relation to her ego. That she would draw a parallel between her sacred faith and a political party is evidence of a confused mind. Additionally, she seems to view both as inconvenient behemoths concerned with bossing her around.

To question a teaching or a party platform is often the beginning of deeper knowledge, but Lisa Murkowski makes it clear that she doesn't approach her faith this way. Her (in)consistent actions aren't questioning, but flatly rejecting these tenets, and far more grave --- offering public scandal by driving policy in opposition to it. She's instructing us, the wayward dullards who cling to Rome, Peter, and the Cross, or anyone who might be led astray by such teachings. To whom does Lisa Murkowski finally defer, the comment section of the Huffington Post?

This is not to claim superiority for Catholics in public life. In fact, a secular government leaves no need to dissect or even highlight a politican's religion. But it's in the personal connections that votes are largely won, and our Senator is abandoning ship left and right, in hope of a better gig somewhere on the horizon. That should would betray her own vote doesn't surprise me anymore, but the glib and shallow nature she's displaying disappoints me. To struggle, to question, these are often laudable paths to wisdom. What a voice she could have, if only she had the attention span and courage to find and use it.

Knowing she considers herself a Catholic, it'd be interesting to hear how she defines that since freeing herself of the Catechism and scripture. (As I said, I left her an inquiring message this morning. So far, crickets.) We strive for holiness, and we do so with obedience to the Church's loving authority. It's quite a trip. We insist on pursuing goodness, and we examine vice and virtue with humility and reason as our guides. We love life. We are colossally flawed, but called to mirror the Saints who brushed back fear and claimed victory in their lot. Where we see Goliath, David saw God.

Murkowski, however, has a job to protect. And an East Coast home to preserve (word is that she had begun a remodel of her DC digs before being tossed from the Republican ballot on 2010, only to bump Joe Miller with her write-in campaign. A campaign she mounted after giving her word not to challenge the expressed will of the primary voters).

Catholics have a term to capture this mindset: Cafeteria Catholicism, where one slides their tray along the happy road of human existence, scrunching their nose and waving off troublesome beets or dry mashed potatoes --- any fare which doesn't tickle the trendy palate. I've shared mass with Senator Murkowski, and my frustration with her arrogance and willful disobedience has been replaced by a desire to pray for her. I confront myself too, in prayer, that I will not mirror such a terrible example.

And if urban dictionary is your thing --- Alaskans are increasingly using one word which fits Frank's belle like a glove: Murky.


  1. What would I DO without your thoughts to parrot? I hardly need think about politics when I can read here!

    1. Pschhh. What would I do without a friend to clarify that the Confederates were not, in fact, the ones on the top part of the map!? You've offered oodles of clarity on so many different themes.

    2. And that Appomattox is not a medical condition! ... see, I need you lest I just go too far out onto my sneering limb without any actual grasp of America's history.

    3. Yeah. Not surprised. This is why I did not rejoice to see her win the election.

    4. It was SO disappointing to hear of this yesterday. I was so proud of Lisa before because I thought she could be a shining example to those who shared her beliefs (pro-choice, etc). To realize that one can be pro choice and still acknowledge that a religious institution should be free to act on beliefs which are opposite from yours: this is true intellectual maturity that one rarely sees these days (cough cough- especially from the left). How sad to see that she wasn't actually safe guarding our Constitution and our freedom of religion -but is actually more than willing to erode away our fundamental rights for these new found rights of "I should be able to have free birth control drugs and to remove perfectly functioning organs without cost".

  2. I was so. mad. immediately after reading this and violated my Philippians 4:8 blogging mantra. The SEAS mommy group has encouraged faithful Catholics to write to Senator Murkowski, thanking her for her initial vote in protection of conscience. I like their charitable and constructive spirit!

  3. Eh...not surprising. I was surprised she spoke out in defense of the Blunt Amendment and cast her vote as she did. Now my world can resume its normalcy.