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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.

DorothyGherkins Wed 29-Feb-12 20:28:33

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).

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