Roughly three months ago, a pretty intense and involved relationship between me and a young lady ended. I remember that final talk and I fought it until I ran out of energy and tears. My body literally checked out and I had nothing more to offer to stay what apparently was inevitable. I still could be wrong, but she was seeking from me how we could continue on with our ‘major’ differences: religion and politics. We knew from the start that those differences were there but avoided them. There were other differences – preferred types of music, favorite sport – but things like that didn’t matter (at least to me).
I maintain that I was willing to talk about religion and politics when she was ready. She, more or less, needed to me to force her to talk about it – but I didn’t want to pressure her. Oh, the ‘catch 22’…It all resulted in a painful break-up of two people who were really close friends and couldn’t see how they each could part from one another but knew what existed between them couldn’t continue as it was.
Dear Catholic Republican Ex-Girlfriend,
Where do I begin? First off, I still care for you and I wish that things would have turned out differently but I have accepted that we are probably not a good fit. I mean, how can a Catholic Republican Girl and a Baptist Democratic Boy maintain a relationship that can withstand not only time but our political and religious differences?
It goes without saying that there are differences between Catholics and Baptists; there are certainly differences between those who identify as Republicans and those who align as Democrats. We acknowledge that there are different ideas that group people into certain demographics but there have to be things that we agree upon, right? Yes, we had an off-and-on relationship but that was mainly because we let the differences out-shine the good things that we shared.
So, you’re Catholic. I’m Baptist. Guess what, sweetie…We’re both Christian. I know! Crazy, huh? Of course, Catholics and Baptists practice differently. There is a contrast with most Catholic worship services when placed against Baptist worship services. The two denominations perform different rituals or perform the same rituals differently but there similarities that we share. First, there is the Trinity where God is one in three and three in one to both of us – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; even after the Reformation, that hasn’t changed…and it won’t. We both believe that Jesus was God’s divine Son who was birthed by the Virgin Mary, lived wrapped in human flesh, died on the cross to redeem us from sin, and took victory over the grave by rising again from dead. We believe in the Holy Bible as God’s Word; the writers of the letters, parables, and teachings are all inspired by the Lord. We both celebrate the Lord’s Supper and it has the same meaning to the both of us whether with bread and wine or crackers and grape juice – it still represents the body and blood to Baptists and Catholics. All that we do is to bring glory and worship to Jesus Christ. How can we not find some way to make things work with all of that commonality? Yes, it would take some work but what relationship doesn’t? I was (and still am) willing to learn more about Catholicism and hoped you felt the same about learning Baptist practices; no converting, just learning. Raising a family would be interesting, but not anymore of a challenge than any other family; the children would be more well-rounded by being exposed to Catholic and Baptist teachings. I know of countless couples that come from different religious backgrounds make it happen – the relationship and raising a family. Why couldn’t we?
Then there are the politics. I read somewhere that dating couples with different political affiliations have relationships that last half as long as those with the same political affiliation…Why?!?! I understand the whole argument about having the same values when it comes to income and family economics but why does me having the ‘D’ next to my name and you having an ‘R’ mean that we can’t come to some middle ground in our relationship? I actually think that the political difference between us was one of the weakest things to focus on. Government and politics are extremely interesting to me; I follow it closely and actually hope to enter the political realm someday but it is not a determining factor in who will be my mate – honestly, you could have had no political leanings or interests and I can guarantee that I still would love you. Having opposing political views was an opportunity to have spirited intellectual debates with my lady. Instead, you formed it into a wedge that drove us apart – disappointing but not really surprising when you look at our government representatives. It’s just shameful when the political gridlock infiltrates a romantic relationship.
So, here we are. A couple of months removed from the end of our relationship. Ours was one that had its ups and downs. We had our arguments. We had our beautiful moments. We shared some scary times. We enjoyed extremely blissful memories. But ‘we’ ended. The Catholic Republican Girl and the Baptist Democratic Boy parted ways. We won’t end up like Mary Matalin and James Carville maybe in fear of a portion of the Catechism at risk or thought of losing one’s self. It’s a shame because I really thought we could have had something even more special than what we started. You use to set my heart on fire and I felt that I could conquer anything with you by my side. Honestly, I now feel that you just weren’t willing to take the same risks on us as I was…and that’s okay. You can’t force anyone to do anything they just can’t see him or herself being able to live with. I just wish you would have realized it sooner – before I fell in love with you.
You don’t have to worry about me, though. This is no plea to reconsider and try again. You’ll never get that from me. I just wanted to get my thoughts out. I’m not really sure if I communicated these to you before and if I didn’t then I’m sorry that it took so long. I wish you the best in life; I’m sure that we will have future dealings with one another I hope that they are pleasant.
I look forward to seeing you the first Tuesday in November. God bless.
Baptist Democratic Boy