My social circle is full of interesting people. From artists to economists to activists, my friends are very unique, which is why I love them dearly. After graduation, they take their own paths, whether through Teach for America, Peace Corps, the military, entry level jobs (private, public and non-profit), or other adventures. For many of my friends, these paths take them along a journey to work toward their ideals for the world. This includes my friends who work for pro-choice organizations. Of course, people wonder: As a Catholic, should I support these decisions?
While I am irrevocably pro-life, I believe the answer is yes. For one, I believe that pro-life and pro-choice activists, those ardent and pure in their intentions, truly believe they are fighting for the best quality of life for all women and children. While they both disagree on the methods and importance of the life of the fetus (the latter causing a huge divide), there is a genuine desire to reduce situations that leave women feeling stuck. They both find a need to increase access to education and health care, to remove stigma against pregnant women (especially low-income women, women of color, young women, and single women), and to love a woman no matter her choices (note I am not speaking of the judgmental, hypocritical, violent anti-abortion activists out there). While none of my money will go to these organizations, I do understand where my friends are coming from and commend them for fighting for a better world for women and children.
I also find it the same for friends who choose other adventures. For example, I can support my soldier friends, even as I find myself disagreeing with the war in Iraq. I can support friends in the Peace Corps, even if I have major problems with the organization. I can support friends in Teach for America, even if I don't find it an effective solution for America's educational issues. I can support my friends in the Foreign Service, even if I am not a fan at all of U.S. foreign policy motives. I have my ideals to live by. However, they do not include alienating everyone I know for the sake of following them. I can fight for my own and pray that God's will be done in this world. That's the best I can do.
Of course, people will tell me to admonish the sinner. First, who am I to tell someone that they are in a state of sin? Second, my faith teaches that there are levels of culpability. If you are doing something with the best intentions, even if it turns out wrong, God does not hold that against you as if you knowingly and willingly committed it with evil in mind. Third, at this point, my friends know where I stand on everything and they know what I fight for. I can only live by what I know inside is right. They can only do the same for themselves. We live in a broken world, we're doing the best we can.
I pray one day, we can all see the full picture, whether we be right or wrong. I pray that we see the beauty that was intended from the beginning of time. Until then, we're simply trying to fight for what it was. Yet, as humans, beauty is all about perception. We see what we see and we can't acknowledge what doesn't pass our field of vision.