What to think?

I really hope that my disappointment today is misguided. I hope that the economy is, indeed, on a recovery. I hope the unemployment numbers are accurate and continue to improve. I hope that our nation is not as divided as it seems. Truly and deeply, I hope I am way off base with my worries.

But something did discourage me about last night’s numbers. After skimming a few post-election analyses, it seems that CatholicsJews, and Hispanics swung the election for Obama.

This is shocking to me.

Catholics? Don’t we take immense pride in our hospitals and health care workers who care for folks rejected at other places? Weren’t we the only ones to voluntarily take in AIDS patients in the 80s? Aren’t we the ones who provide truly dignified care for the elderly of families with little means? Aren’t we the ones who run shelters bursting at the seams for homeless women and their babies? Don’t our schools in the inner cities kick the pants off the public school alternatives? Even if you waffle on the abortion issue, don’t you see how the Catholic education, healthcare, and nursing home networks now face extinction from an administration hostile to beliefs we hold dear?

Hispanics? Isn’t the American Dream compelling to you? Doesn’t Marco Rubio’s view of our great countryand its best path forward strike a chord in your soul? Aren’t you horrified by the cult of cool surrounding the killer Che Guevara?

Jews? Aren’t you in deep fear for Israel? Don’t you think the ineptitude of our administration in the Middle East threatens the peaceful existence of your biblical homeland?

I knew movie stars, hipsters, college students, East Coast elites, union members, academics, and public schools teachers and administrators would all vote Obama. Understandable. They believe he improves their lives and will continue to do so. I get it. I figured they would probably win the election for Obama.

But, I’m just mystified … near horrified … at learning who really controlled this outcome. I just don’t get it.

Yet, I was buoyed and motivated by an email that was forwarded to me several times today, from a few diverse friend networks.

Apparently, this message is really striking a chord with mom friends who either 1) value the core traditions of the Catholic Church or who 2) worry that our American culture is being ripped apart by half-truths, lack of discipline (financial, sexual, etc.), and blasé attitudes toward education.

The message came from Helen Alvare and was written to her followers at http://www.womenspeakforthemselves.com/.

Alvare is a law professor at George Mason University.

Here is her email from this morning:

Well, I guess I see it this way… We cannot fool ourselves for a minute that the main work we have to do is anything but cultural — at the level of ideas and practices. We will continue to press our cause before every branch of government, of course, but each of us, working in our spheres of influence, will likely do our most important work where we live. 


One of the women on WSFT wrote me yesterday saying that she was worried that if the Republicans won, we would fool ourselves (again) that politics could save us. It is clear as can be at this moment (again) that it will do nothing of the kind…if anything, our government is growing more and more secular in the manner of the secularism one sees in various European nations. 


So, as for me, I will double down on what more I can do…be more consistent about praying the rosary to ask Mary to give us wisdom and to intercede for us…learn Spanish faster than I am so that I can speak to our increasingly Hispanic population about where our common good lies…work harder and harder to come up with ideas for winning the “religious liberty” and “women’s liberty” questions. 


I will do all of this with HOPE, as I HOPE you will carry out your part. And I cannot THANK YOU enough for sticking with us in this fight.




Photo from Daily Mail.



  1. As a secular liberal, I am looking for a government which allows you freedom to practice your religion while allowing me freedom from having your religion imposed on me. That being said, I thoroughly enjoy reading what you and Matt have to say because you express your beliefs and experiences so eloquently.

  2. As both a union member and public school teacher I’m not really sure how to take being lumped in with the killer Che Guevara and the sexually undisciplined…

  3. Sorry – that wasn’t meant to be anonymous : )

  4. Ursula Reel Hennessey says:

    Hi, Coll. I *think* this is a joke, but I’m not sure.

    If not, you can see above that union members and public school teachers are “lumped in” with movie stars, hipsters, college students, and East Coast elites. Not a bad crowd to be in with!

    I was unaware of any Hispanic roots on your side or of any resurgence of church-going 🙂 It is these folks’ voting preference that I am mystified by.

  5. Ursula Reel Hennessey says:

    Hello, Krista. Thanks for your comment. I think we are on the same page!

    You write “As a secular liberal, I am looking for a government which allows you freedom to practice your religion while allowing me freedom from having your religion imposed on me.”

    I am in a similar spot. I am a church-going conservative who is looking for a government which allows me freedom to practice my religion while allowing me freedom from having anyone’s secularism imposed on me!

  6. Urs – I’m mystified by most people’s preferences in most things, which is why I try to spend as little time on Facebook and as much time watching ‘Chopped’ and ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ as possible 🙂

  7. Dang – it’s me again. I’m not good at this blogging thing.

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