Writer’s note on April 4, 2015: this was actually written yesterday, on Good Friday.
This is not the sort of thing I wanted to write on Good Friday. Â As a Catholic of the Latin Rite who never misses the Triduum (the three liturgies of Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday Service, and the Easter Vigil) for me, this should be and usually is a day of quiet contemplation with time spent at church with quiet, some sublime music and remembering what Christ sacrificed so that we may all have eternal life.
In 2015, however, I find myself most distressed to find out that a “nuclear deal” has not only been hammered out between Iran, one of the most vile sponsors of terror currently on the planet, and MY country (not that we weren’t expecting this, but on Holy Thursday, of all days), but that the Occupier of the Oval Office, Barack Obama, announced the deal in a speech where he publicly “shamed” those who would oppose him and the deal. Â (Brian Hughes of the Washington Examiner called it shaming. Â As a cradle Catholic who grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of Jews, I know a guilt trip when I hear one.)
“If Congress kills this deal not based on expert analysis, and without offering any reasonable alternative, then it’s the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy,” the president warned Republicans â€” and even a handful of Democrats â€” from the Rose Garden. “International unity will collapse, and the path to conflict will widen.”
Hate to argue with the O-man, but if Congress votes down this deal or features of it (like lifting sanctions) with veto proof majorities in both houses, there’s a lot of countries out there who are going to take deep breaths, and sigh in relief. Â To announce it in such a fashion – willing to blame Congress for failed diplomacy when the Obama Administration is negotiating with terrorists – on Holy Thursday, a sacred day for Christians and the day before the beginning day of Passover, one of the most sacred feasts of the Jewish calendar, adds insult to injury. Â We are the people that hard-core Islamists swear fealty to destroy. Â And then Obama tries to guilt Congress if they don’t endorse a clear path to a bomb for Iran, thus touching off an arms race in the Middle East among tribes that are not known for being rational? Â Oy.
On top of that right now in the USA, there’s the whole gay-lesbian lobby who are stomping their collective feet when state governments across the nation pass legislation to bolster the rights of those who disagree that a gay/lesbian coupling ceremony rises to the level of marriage. Â (Even the Romans didn’t think that to be honest.) Â When it comes down to it, gays and lesbians are behaving like the Debbie Reynolds character in the movie “In & Out.” Â As the mother of the groom who was outed by one of his former students for being gay, she tells him, “I need that wedding. Â I need some beauty and some music and some place cards before I die. Â It’s like heroin.” Â They want what they want, and the want specific people to do it for them. Â And if the business owners don’t want to serve them based on the conviction that marriage is the joining of a man and a woman, well, then they must suffer. Â (It honestly seems like this is all about wanting to have a big wedding and all the adoration that comes with it. Â Of course, heterosexual people know life doesn’t always work that way in the end.)
George Will puts it best: the gay lobby is the epitome of sore winners. Â It wasn’t enough for them to guilt the courts into distilling marriage down to a contract rather than treating it like a social covenant. Â Oh, no, when the rights of those who disagree with them come into play…those anti-gay people shouldn’t be allowed a say, and no state should seek to protect them. Â The courts have already ruled even if the people and the legislatures voted no to the concept of “gay marriage”. Â To do anything else would be intolerant. Â [Insert indignant foot stomping here.]
To be honest, this whole episode is not unlike the entire pro-life vs. abortion argument. Â Government sanction signals social acceptance. Â These are the sorts of cases where perception becomes reality even if it is not true.
Then, of course, there is the usual whining and complaining from Muslims in western countries ranging from getting sick from the aroma of bacon, to having to actually see symbols of Christianity, to hearing church bells, to taking refuge in Sharia Law when caught doing something illegal, to…name it. Â Dress code at work doesn’t accommodate a head scarf? Â Complain until it does. Â When getting food from a charitable organization, insist that it must be on a shelf with no pork products. Â A judge in Texas called this sort of thing “bullying.” Â To an extent, yes, but what it really is is a collection of guilt trips meant to shame the kafir – that would be non-Muslims – into giving them their way.
This is what all cultural Catholics and Jews recognize as guilt. Â There is an implication in the complaint, that the complainer’s wants, desires and convictions weren’t taken into account and it’s the fault of the accused even if that person or persons had no intention of offending anyone – or knowledge that they were doing so. Â That the generous people donating food to a food pantry weren’t considering halal, or that employers who want a uniform look from their work force weren’t thinking of the wardrobe demands of a religion, or the sentiment that business owners should use in their company simply entails “be happy to have the business” even if the people soliciting services are engaged in activity that is abhorrent to the business owner.
To publicly shame a legislature charged with actually writing law and holding an executive accountable for good faith diplomacy when it was the executive who negotiated what amounts to a treaty without the clarity that any approval or actual law changing had to happen via passing legislation is just ludicrous. Â No president of the United States can make any treaty or international deal happen without Congressional action. That was a check put into the system in the beginning to keep exactly what Obama has been doing with Iran from becoming law. Â There is simply no way around that. Â And Obama tried to guilt Congress into giving in to his demands Thursday morning when the majority have pledged to block his deal. Â And he did it onÂ Holy Thursday right beforeÂ the beginning of Passover.
This is not what I wanted to write today, Good Friday, which is all about prayer, sacrifice, and thanksgiving for eternal life. Â But it is what it is, because Americans are being guilted into giving up our rights, security, and culture by people who do not demonstrate love for the country. Â How are they doing it? Â With one of the oldest tricks in the book. Â Guilt. Â Well, from an American who happens to be Catholic with many Jewish friends: take your guilt trips and shove it. Â If you don’t like life here, leave.