By Mel Carriere
When I was in High School I had a friend who was a Catholic. At that time I was not one. I eventually converted to Catholicism, but at that moment of my life I was pretty much an annoyingly vociferous evangelical who liked to thump the poor little lost souls of my friends over the head with my Bible.
Every time I would broach the subject of religion with my friend he would try to ward me off with the old adage "There are two things you should never talk about; politics and religion." It might have been three things, actually, but I can't remember what the other thing was. At any rate the tactic would not work. I just wouldn't shut up. I'm surprised we stayed friends as long as we did, but he eventually moved back to Texas and not surprisingly I have not heard from him since.
At any rate, I've been thinking a lot lately about the bold proposals President Obama is making in the waning days of his presidency, all of which I agree with. My problem is the timing of these measures. Where were these ideas 6 years ago, when he had a friendly Congress that could actually pass them? Does he really think the Republican majority in Congress we have now is going to enact a higher minimum wage, a guaranteed seven days paid sick leave per year, or family medical leave? In his defense I guess one could say that he was busy with Obamacare in the early stages of his Presidency, but if he had really wanted there were a lot of things he could have shoved through at that stage; throwing his Presidential weight behind them.
But referring back to my opening story about my Catholic friend who told me not to talk about religion, I am hesitant about opening up President Obama to any sort of criticism here because I am afraid of offending anybody's religious sensibilities. Excuse me Mel, I'm sure you mean political sensibilities, don't you? No, I mean exactly what I said, because people are sometimes so devoutly, fanatically blind in their choice of political heroes that they defend them with a fervor that borders on the religious in its level of zealotry.
People's pet politicians become like gods to them; gods who are above reproach and criticism. When things go right they bow and thank their gods for their bounty and generosity, even though the good times may only be due to the current cyclical upswing and the gods have little or nothing at all to do with it. Conversely, when things are bad perish the blasphemous thought that we rebuke our gods; the demonic forces in the other party are most assuredly to be blamed for these calamities.
I expect to be shouted down at this point by the ranks of the militant acolytes who have ignored everything I have been talking about up until now and are going to instantly pulverize me with the reminder that the Satan worshipers on the other side of the aisle are even more fanatically devoted to their absurd, pernicious cause. In fact, our side is completely open minded about everything. We always just look squarely at the facts, and the facts tell us that our wonderful leader is above reproach; he can walk on water, every jug of toxic, polluted, BP oil tainted H2O that he lays hands upon turns to the sweetest of wines at his touch.
I know there are crooks and criminals on the other side of the aisle, believe me I know. I have written about them time and time again until the "c" key on my computer I use to write "crook" and "criminal" has now been completely worn away by my greasy fingerprints. I mostly agree with what the "left" proposes simply because it makes more sense, but this dogmatic reverence we give to politicians just because of their party affiliation has to stop. It clouds our minds to the true benefits and downfalls of their plans. As my banner above reads, such dogmatic devotion is "mental murder," and is the reason why nothing ever gets done in Washington that does anybody any good.
I hope my Texas Catholic friend is reading. If so I apologize, and I hope the Bible I beat you with as a youngster didn't leave any permanent bruises on your skull.
Image from: http://bringingtruth.com/Objections/NeverTalkAboutReligionOrPolitics.aspx