Normally, I hate discussing politics on the blog, but, since I had my Examiner.com articles yanked out from under me, I figured one post will not go amiss. especially since my novel, A Pius Man, involves a lot of things that have intersected with the real world as of late -- politics, world affairs, government and religion clashing, that sort of thing.
For example, did you see that VP debate? You had two "Catholics" going up against each other. The quotation marks are mostly for Joe Biden, whose rictus grin and high pitch giggle made the last three incarnations of the Joker seem perfectly reasonable and sane. One of the issues that came up intersecting politics and faith involved the HHS Mandate.**
Let us ignore that Biden was on "smiling, scoffing jackass" mode that evening. His general performance is so variable, it's almost like he's schizophrenic. The one part that makes it relevant to this discussion is where he talks about how he was on the side of the Catholic church "on all social issues," he's such a great Catholic, that over three dozen Catholic institutions have filed suits against the Obama administration, and that's what I noticed several months ago. Two were dismissed, and about 40 are still active, last time I checked. There seems to be very little middle ground on this-- either the administration is being malevolent, or there is the party of "screw the Catholics, Paul Ryan evil," etc.
But that ignores that Orthodox Rabbis and Southern Baptists have joined with the Church against the government over this thing. Even Chris "tingle up my leg" Matthews compared President Obama to some of the biggest anti-Catholic tyrants in history when the HHS mandate was first announced -- Henry II (who had St. Thomas Beckett killed), Henry VIII (who had St. Thomas More and a few hundred others killed), are just two of them.
Biden's reaction was just to dismiss the entire issue. And dismiss Ryan. And dismiss pretty much everything Ryan had to say. Supposedly, Ryan won on points in the debate, but I wonder how Ryan could have won any points since he was interrupted over a hundred times -- 82 times by Biden himself. I have issues with someone who can't even let his opponent finish a thought.
In A Pius Man, I have issues with stuff like that. When governments start dictating to religions, this is a problem. Consider that this is not the first time that the Obama administration had tried to take over a religion; the Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran church recently had to go up against the EOCC because the EOCC tried to tell Hosanna-Tabor who to hire as a minister. This is actually a tactic the People's Republic of China has used against the Catholic church. At least with the PRC, it's dictatorship by committee, like the Soviet Union, in the United States, who exactly does the EOCC answer to? Oh, that's right, President Obama.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Everyone has probably noticed that there have been some issues in Libya lately. Now, I don't know what's been going on in the State Department lately, what the hell is going on with the security arrangements on the ambassador there, or why there wasn't a marine detachment guarding him, even though ambassadors to Barbados and France have a full, armed marine guard. The answers given don't make sense, and the stories that have been given are so confused and uncoordinated, it's sort of worrisome.
Now, I fully expect my government to lie to me. It's expected. Classified information almost requires lies told to the population. I expect my government to lie to me when things are (seriously) in everyone's best interest. However, the narrative of the Benghazi attack on September 11 has turned into a deranged game of cover your ass, and it looks like the Oval Office versus the State Department are wrestling for the chance to throw each other under the bus.
And, honestly, I can't figure out why any of this is happening in this fashion. If one part of the administration is going to make an out-and-out lie to the general public, then it should at least coordinate with everyone else so that they all have their stories straight.
When Biden came up with a story that blamed Paul Ryan for cutting $300,000 from the budget, we knew that this had the air of the Mad Hatter's tea party. In a budget that's measured in the billions every year, a story that goes "we were going to either guard the ambassadors of Barbados and France, or the ambassador to Libya," holds about as much water as your average sieve.
One Democratic acquaintance of mine suggested that President Obama had taken an ambien before the first Presidential debate. Given the response of the entire administration this past month, that seems to summarize everything that's been going on.
Unfortunately, as a writer, I look at everything that's been going on, and all I can think is "damnit, stop stealing my novel" ... long story. I hope to say "read the book" at some point in the near future, but until then, let's just say that life is starting to imitate art, and I generally don't consider my writing art.
Sadly, if it continues to imitate my book any more, there will be machinegun fire involved. And explosions. And a lot of bodies on the deck.
**If you followed my Examiner.com posts when they were still up, you would know that part of Obamacare has a mandate from the department of Health and Human Services that all employers must pay for certain "medical services" -- which means that any religious organization that hires or serves anyone not of that faith must automatically pay for abortions, sterilizations, contraceptives, and other things that multiple religions are morally opposed to.