She watches too much Fox News and loves Glen Beck. “Don’t you watch him?” she says, knowing very well that I don’t. She’s not sure Obama is really an American citizen, and she’s sure we’re about to become Canada or the Netherlands with all that socialized medicine. She’s scared silly of what she calls “one world religion,” and she really believes Rick Warren is a shyster. But when I try to disabuse her of her worries, I get brow-beaten for having departed from the straight-and-narrow.
But she’s my mother. Some functions in all of us are factory-installed, mothering being one of them, I’d guess—especially with respect to issues that define what is and isn’t “orthodoxy.”
So we fight.
Although I don’t know if I’d call it a fight, really. She’s troubled by the fact that her only son could be so misguided. “Sometimes I wonder where you went wrong?” she says, in full lament.
My guess is that she doesn’t know another soul who isn’t as convinced as she is of the evils of the gay agenda. In her estimation, to be lukewarm in the culture wars is to sup with the enemy.
I wish I could stay out of the fray. The arguments never go anywhere anyway. But then I’m not sure she’d like it if I’d pull a turtle in her apartment either, sit there a go mute.
So despite the scars I carry (as does she) from a Wisconsin weekend like my last, I’m thankful this morning that she can watch Fox News, that she can hold her own in the kind of scrapes we’ve had for years, that she still does care about faith and the nation, and that, finally, she cares enough about me to try to shepherd me back to the good and faithful ways of the religious right.
My mother is 90. I just have to learn not to tell her that I don’t think I could ever vote for Sarah Palin.