DS1 has horrible political views

(37 Posts)
LornMowa Wed 29-Feb-12 18:27:50

I just overheard part of a conversation between by two sons. DS1 (17) said he hoped Rick Santorum would win the US election because he is anti-abortion and he doesn't agree with sex before marriage.

He has got really into Catholicism and his views just don't accord with mine. (husband is Catholic but moderate and pro-choice). I hate the idea of sending a misogynist out into the world

Would like your comments about how to deal with this and any stories of teenagers' views mellowing as they get older would be appreciated!

DilysPrice Wed 29-Feb-12 18:31:30

You don't have to be misogynist to be anti-abortion and anti sex before marriage - though admittedly it helps.

LornMowa Wed 29-Feb-12 18:33:17

True, but I am ashamed to say that his attitudes in other areas tend towards the MCP.

ImproperlyAcquainted Wed 29-Feb-12 18:44:43

Teenagers views do usually mellow.

I'm Catholic. I don't like abortion. Does anyone? Only as an individual can you say "I will never have an abortion, not if the child has a condition incompatible with life, not if my life is at risk, not if my pregnancy is a result of incestuous rape."

It is not up to anyone to compel others, through law, to take that stance, particularly as a man who will never be asked to walk a mile in those shoes. When you introduce legislation for a society, you have to do what is broadly best for every member. It is impossible to do what is best for every member. One of the reasons that the republican lost the last election is because there is a huge tendency in the USA to vote according to your faith. Catholics are often Republicans due to the Republican stance on abortion but 4 years ago the Catholic Bishops spoke out about respecting life, all of it. They basic point was don't give a knee jerk vote to the Republicans based purely on abortion law when they fall down so horribly in their respect for other life ie capital punishment, illegal wars, foreign policy. The Catholic vote swung.

Even if you are idealistically anti abortion, it doesn't work. Whats the point of supporting an unworkable policy?

Have you asked him why he believes women aren't entitled to autonomy over their own bodies?

Devora Wed 29-Feb-12 18:50:05

I don't know how to deal with it, but suspect the answer lies in the dynamics of your relationship with him. Does he listen to you, respect your views, trust your experiences? Or is he hellbent on shocking you and rebelling against your liberal values?

If the former, talk to him. Without getting adversarial, just gently explain your point of view and leave him to think about it.

If the latter, ignore ignore ignore!

Devora Wed 29-Feb-12 18:50:33

Or rather, don't ignore, but simply state your agreement and refuse to be drawn into an argy bargy.

Hassled Wed 29-Feb-12 18:53:55

I think all you can do is encourage tolerance. He can believe what he likes; what he can't do is impose his opinions on others. He needs to see the difference between holding his personal beliefs and living in a society where personal beliefs are forced on people, who then have no freedom to exercise choice.

alemci Wed 29-Feb-12 18:54:52

why is not having sex before marriage so bad or not being keen on abortion.

He isn't necessarily a mysogonist and it sounds like he would be supportive if his girlfriend got accidentally pregnant.

I think he sounds like a decent young man TBH.

fridakahlo Wed 29-Feb-12 19:08:35

In response to alemci, if he does not believe in pre-marital sex then hopefully he won't ever have to face a girlfriend being pregnant BUT if he did from the point of view he is coming from, he would only support her if she continued with the pregnancy.

uruculager Wed 29-Feb-12 20:20:39

He's 16, let go. He can have whatever political views he likes, even if they're not trendy (gasp).

uruculager Wed 29-Feb-12 20:21:07

17, in fact.

Are your views still the same as when you were 17? Things change over the years with life experiences.

Annunziata Wed 29-Feb-12 20:29:35

He's young, and his views will change.

I know where you're coming from though. I am utterly shocked at some of the things my DC say- for example, DD announced the other night that "wasters" should just be thrown out of school at 12, they're just a waste of everyone's time and effort etc.

The real world will sort them out!

LineRunner Wed 29-Feb-12 20:34:25

Luckily, Rick Santorum has no chance of winning the US election, and in this country abortion will not be banned, and neither will sex before marriage.

Even the future king has managed sex before marriage. smile

But your son is free to practise abstinence, to find a girlfriend who agrees with this, and to pin his hopes on certain election candidates in other countries.

If his views are really pissing you off, you might like to debate them with him. But he'll more likely change with time, especially if he goes to university.

cory Thu 01-Mar-12 09:28:24

What Devora and others have said. It could well be that his views are partly about finding his independence vis-a-vis you.

My brother was very conservative at this age, mainly because we lived in a social democrat country and right wing views were the only "other" on offer (I suppose he could have turned Communist, but they were less flashy, and seen as a bit dull and worthy, beetroot soup and lentil weaving). It has been interesting to watch his views waver according to the immediate needs of his family and friends. hmm

But I think my parents were right not to show shock or horror, but to encourage an atmosphere of mutual tolerance. I am very grateful they had that attitude as my own change of religion (from family agnosticism to Christianity) must have been equally shocking to them, yet they never tried to influence me.

Then again, their tolerance of my views presupposed equal tolerance from my side- and they made sure I stuck to that.

LornMowa Thu 01-Mar-12 11:51:09

Thanks for all your comments on this. It will be interesting to see what the next few years bring. Despite being very bright he doesn't seem to want to go to university after his A levels. I suppose I worry that he wont take the steps to fly the nest and will be still living at home being holier than thou well into adulthood

ahhhhhpushit Thu 01-Mar-12 12:03:22

BE glad he has views. Most boys his age grunt and shrug when asked for an opinion on something.

mrsruffallo Thu 01-Mar-12 12:08:12

I enjoy a wide range of views within a family and I do not expect my children to agree with all of my beliefs. What a boring existence that would be. I prefer a sparky dinner table conversation.

EdithWeston Thu 01-Mar-12 12:13:11

Congratulations - you have raised an independent person.

Lots of teens have views that are odd, under-informed, loathsome or deliberately provocative (just as lots have well-informed, rational, compassionate and insightful ones, but I don't think people feel the need to post about them).

All you can do now, with a near adult, is set an example of tolerance and how to disagree without being rude/strident/disrespectful. Learning how to be persuasive is also useful, and you can model this to him by insightful challenges to the weak points in his opinions.

Sarcalogos Thu 01-Mar-12 12:19:30

When I was 17 I didn't agree with sex before marriage, or abortion, and now several loads of years on, I still don't.

Fortunately I have also held the belief that everyone is entitled to make their own decisions without being judged by me for the same amount of time. Unless your son doesn't believe in tolerance I think it's a non issue.

Nb, I don't get why you would consider those two rules to be misogynist?

ahhhhhpushit Thu 01-Mar-12 12:22:08

And if you wnt a proper debate with him I certainly wouldnt start off by describing his views as "horrible".

Sarcalogos Thu 01-Mar-12 12:46:44

*two opinions

Haziedoll Thu 01-Mar-12 12:51:01

Challenge him and encourage debate.

MooncupGoddess Thu 01-Mar-12 12:54:33

Is he genuinely committed to Catholicism? If so it might be worth discussing the more compassionate aspects of the Gospels, etc, and what is entailed by seeing life as sacrosanct, as suggested by ImproperlyAcquainted above.

Also worth pointing out that disapproving of sex before marriage may lead to some rather frustrating years, or early marriage to someone unsuitable.

ragged Thu 01-Mar-12 13:12:28

I had a lot of naive political & social views as a teen, too.

Rick Santorum has so many despicable views that his statements on abortion are the least of what's wrong with him, really.

Romney will get nominated anyway, because he's the immensely pro-business candidate & for all the pretense of socially conservative agenda, it's the money that decides what Republican party do, not the socially conservative activists; Romney has backing of corporations, Santorum doesn't have a pro-business enough agenda. Some of the neo-cons abhor Santorum because he does believe in a bit of regulation (sigh).

ragged Thu 01-Mar-12 13:17:22

Good points by Mooncup, the Catholic church has huge concerns about social justice & equality. Things incompatible with most American religious conservatives' outlooks. People talk about the church's opposition to contraception & conveniently overlook their almost radically socialist statements.

albertswearengen Thu 01-Mar-12 13:20:57

Does he have a girlfirend? His views might change if he gets serious about someone. I had all sorts of embarassing views when I was a teenager and I was so adamant about them - it is embarrassing. A bit of life experience knocked the certainty out of me. Mostly I diasagreed vehemently with anything my parents thought.

"holier than thou" that describes my DS1 to a T. I have no idea where he gets some of his ideas, certainly not from me.
I remember being so rebellious and radical at 16 and I wonder whether it's a backlash against my liberal views. I try to emphasise tolerance and respect for other people's views even if he disagrees.

mathanxiety Thu 01-Mar-12 18:48:26

DS (18) is an American citizen and Catholic and is inclined to support Ron Paul in general; we have had many a discussion of how Paul's ideas are a load of hooey and predicated on the vital condition of a terrific rate of growth in the economy, sustained indefinitely. I think Ron Paul appeals to a lot of young people who haven't really examined their assumptions, especially young American men, because the self determination and rugged individualism philosophy that informs so much of American culture and ethos, and Ron Paul's platform, were basically dreamed up by and operate in favour of young men who have, through little effort of their own perhaps, arrived at a point in their lives when they can see themselves making it/fulfilling the 'American dream'. It's an intellectual trap many Americans never get out of.

Now that the individualism has been harnessed to the religious fundamentalist wagon I anticipate a wild ride downhill with much yeehawing, and a crash at the bottom when they all reach Wall Street, where sanity will be forced to prevail. You can see something like that happening with the plodding progress and unenthusiastic anointing of Mitt Romney. It remains to be seen whether the right will be able to get over themselves sufficiently to back Romney or whether Ron Paul will declare as a third candidate just because he can.

I don't despair of DS. He is definitely able to think logically about things and as time goes on and he learns more of life I think he will be able to accommodate more factors into his thought process than he does at the moment. Right now he is in the grips of the late teen early twenties tunnel vision thing that many young men get. It allows them to be very single minded about studying when it is really necessary, pull off great exam results after years of swinging the lead, and single-mindedly pursue careers. That will change, and partly because there is more to Catholicism than a list of Thou Shalt Nots.

His beef with Rick Santorum is that he seems to have an improper understanding of the disestablishment clause (which is not as simple as separation of church and state, which is a colloquial sort of shorthand for it but doesn't really grasp its essence.) I personally think the longer the race goes on the more likelihood there is of Rick Santorum succeeding in making Romney look good.

WRT abortion or one-issue voters, DS thinks (like me) that to vote for someone because you have isolated one issue on which you agree with that candidate is an abuse of your voting privilege. He also believes as I do that abortion will probably never be repealed in the US and that even if it was, abortions would still be performed; like me he believes there is a wider context to abortion that makes this inevitable. Last time we discussed the matter we sort of agreed that opposition through voting to legal abortion alone doesn't fulfill your duty as a practising Catholic and that having a baby and bringing it up is not as easy as it should be in a country where people are not shy of proclaiming themselves pro-life. DS would not vote Republican because most Republicans support the death penalty -- this goes against the tenets of the Catholic church just as much as abortion does. He might find himself without any appealing candidate to vote for for a few years.

As far as voting in accord with his religious beliefs then, I think DS would do this and I think he will eventually be inclined to support a Democratic candidate as his understanding of his religion widens.

lucykat Tue 06-Mar-12 18:17:31

Teenagers can be very idealistic; I was myself. Things were black or white at that age.

It's only life experience that teaches us to see other points of view.

Osomec Sat 05-Jan-13 18:11:00

If your love for your son is conditional on him sharing your political views, I hope you won't have any complaints (including unspoken complaints) if he ever decides that he doesn't love you because you don't share his.

You need to sit down and think about your own attitude to tolerance and respect for other people's point of view. You seem to have fallen into the American media trap of thinking that there are only two views of the world, liberal-permissive and religious-conservative, and one is good and the other bad. You must know deep down that there are many bad people who oppose abortion, just as there are bad people who support it. The same applies to good people. Personal morality is about how we behave in the face of the challenges and temptations we face, not about what we believe.

I am an English atheist, and I oppose abortion. My mum is an English atheist and a woman, and she also opposes abortion. Do you condemn both of us as bad people on that ground alone? If not, please don't condemn your son for holding to the same point of view. You need to show him tolerance and respect, and that is not the vibe you are giving off.

Osomec Sat 05-Jan-13 18:46:51

I should also have said that the idea that you have to be a misogynist to oppose abortion is so absurd that it would be funny if it wasn't so widely accepted. It just isn't true. It is myth derived from black and white thinking.

My mum's dad was born in 1914, and he enjoyed cooking and ironing. I grew up thinking it was normal for men to help around the house. I wasn't even aware of the concept of traditional gender roles and the problems they caused until I was introduced to them from a theoretical point of view as a teenager. But my granddad was also against abortion.

flow4 Sat 05-Jan-13 23:24:28

Zombie thread alert!

Pineneedlesandsuch Sun 06-Jan-13 18:27:10

Well you're being quite prejudice and judgemental by describing those views as horrible. I'm pro-life, very anti abortion as I think it's selfish but those are my views, I have total respect for other peoples views and I would expect you to respect mine AND YOUR SONS opinions and views.

Pineneedlesandsuch Sun 06-Jan-13 18:45:31

:/ And as an afterthought, why are you trying to indoctrinate him. Let him have his own opinion?

Harrysmummysarah1 Sat 12-Jan-13 19:20:10

People disagree
You can't be angry because his opinions differ to yours
I disagree with him but so what
His views don't make him a bad person

lljkk Sat 12-Jan-13 19:34:26

ZOMBIE MOMBIE BOMBIE ZOMBIE LOMBIE
OP's DS is probably a hippy dippy tree-hugger by now.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now