A reader writes:
I also was raised as a Catholic. I was married in the Catholic church to a Catholic-raised woman, and we baptized all of our kids in the Church. Still, over the years, as I came more knowledgeable about the origins of our universe, I found myself struggling more and more as to the existence of God, let alone the faith of Jesus as His son. I desperately want to believe as my wife and mother do. I believe in, and love, Jesus' teachings of love and tolerance, and find comfort in the traditions of the sacraments that have been practiced through the generations. This is in large part why I decided, along with my wife, to send my kids to Catholic school....because, at the end of the day, I want my kids to have that same foundation of love and tolerance that Jesus taught.
However, my knowledge of the Church's ancient and modern history has left me deeply disillusioned with the Church, and made me question my faith in God and Jesus even more. Its rituals have become to look more and more silly to me as its credibility for me waned with its handling of gays, marriage, women and pedophiles.
Furthermore, I'm a registered Republican who has seen the idealism of my youth extinguished by politicians. I never did associate myself with the far-right members of the party who seemed more concerned about the culture wars. I became a Republican because I felt that the role of the government was to protect us, and society was much better served by it staying out of the way. However, now, all I see are politicians who take stands not because that's the way they feel, but because that's what they feel will get them re-elected. My youthful idealism has transformed into aged pessimism. It was why I could not come to vote for Obama. I was, and remain, fearful of the oftentimes (from my viewpoint) blind loyalty that he enjoys from the media and the public (and my wife). To me, he's still a politician.
Once again, as with my Catholic faith, I desperately want to have that same feeling of hope and trust in my government as my wife does, and struggle with this everyday. Now, reading all that, you may think that I'm this extremely bitter, sad and angry individual. But, surprisingly, all of these struggles have actually made me a happier person. Why? Because I've recognized the "little" things in life that make me happy (laying in bed with my wife; playing and talking with my boys; watching the Red Sox), and more fully appreciate these little things that make me happy because I know that they are a peaceful time-out from the big issues of life.
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