Daily Archives: January 28, 2011

Exclusive Interview with Barack Obama: the President explains it all, right here!

Gadfly: Mr. President, your opponents often call you a ‘Communist.’ Would you please explain why this charge is false?
BO: Well, there are several reasons for that. Communism is an egalitarian system of people living as equals. I don’t believe in that. I believe I really am better than other people, and I believe that most people need government to tell them what to do and look out for them. Egalitarianism and democracy don’t work.
I’m not a Communist. I just believe that history will evolve to a point when we have totally eliminated poverty, wealth, greed, violence and inequality. I believe that we can push this along through the use of government, and I’m just the person to do it. I believe that democracy only works when the people elect the right person and give that person absolute and unopposed power. I believe that the best way to correct economic problems is to have the government buy control of major corporations and run them itself. How does that make me a Communist?
Gadfly: Mr. President, do you think the American people were trying to send you a message in the recent elections?
BO: I think the American people are as greatly disappointed in these election results as I am. I think this election was stolen by a handful of racists and fanatics who manipulated the vote. I was elected with a clear mandate to be the unquestioned dictator of this country, and I used that mandate to pass many of my goals, most notably my sweeping health care reform package. The American people are still behind me, and they know we’re working towards the goal of completely eliminating poverty, disease and injustice, but my administration needs time to complete these goals.
Gadfly: Mr. President, you frequently speak of unity and you denounce what you call “divisive rhetoric.” Could you explain what you think constitutes divisive rhetoric?
BO: Well, again, I am the One. Even Oprah said it. And Chopra too. And Minister Farrakhan. I know what’s best for America, which until my presidency has been a flawed nation with a flawed Constitution. That’s why I was given the Nobel Peace Prize just for being elected president: it shows how this evil country has changed. But there are still racists out there who oppose my agenda for no other reason than the color of my skin. They can’t stand the thought of a person of color as president, and they’ll do everything they can to oppose me.
Gadfly: But why do you insist your opponents are all racists? Isn’t it possible that they have intelligent viewpoints which simply disagree with yours? Isn’t it possible to have a different ideology without making it about race?
BO: Of course not! First, everyone knows that “conservative” is just a code word for “racist,” and “states’ rights” is just a code word for slavery. Just ask Rev. Sharpton, Rev. Farrakhan, Rev. Pfleger or Rev. Wright. Secondly, how is it possible for a position to be intelligent when it’s so blatantly wrong?
Gadfly: Indeed. . . .
BO: For example, all conservatives oppose basic scientific principles like evolution, abortion and that the world is round. Look at the opposition to stem cell research. They just oppose scientific advances. They don’t care about ethics or the value of human life. They just hate science.
Gadfly: Well, could you give an example of what you consider “hate speech” or “divisive rhetoric”?
BO: Yes. Some conservatives, for example, talk about Second Amendment rights. It should be obvious that anyone who talks about the Second Amendment or a “right to bear arms” must obviously want to overthrow the government and shoot anyone they disagree with. And rhetoric like “pro-life” or “abortion is murder.” This is violent, hateful speech that really promotes oppression of women and the murder of innocent humanitarian abortion doctors like Kermit Gosnell. Another example is people who say that homosexual acts are against God’s law, or that same sex attraction is disordered. This is blatantly hate speech, covering up a desire to put people with alternative lifestyles in concentration camps.
Gadfly: What would you suggest as a solution to this? What is the key to unity? Do you see any way of compromising with your opposition?
BO: Compromise is very easy. To compromise, my opponents just have to agree with everything I want to do and stop complaining. That’s the best way to have unity and bipartisanship.
Gadfly: Recently, you’ve talked a lot about how America needs to stop borrowing and start producing. Your critics argue that our government has borrowed more under your administration than pretty much all previous presidencies combined. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to say that?
BO: Of course not. First, any borrowing my administration did was on a strictly emergency basis. We felt that the best way to stimulate our economy was to borrow money from other countries and give it to corporations and rich people so they could stimulate the economy by investing it. This, by the way, is quite different from trickle down economics. Secondly, any problems we still have in the economy can clearly be traced to the Republicans, and it’s the Tea Party people who are promoting the idea that America can borrow, borrow, borrow. After all, they’re just a bunch of country hicks up to their eyeballs in debt.
Gadfly: Another common charge levied against you is that you’re a Muslim. Can you please explain this one?
BO: Again, this comes from racism. People hear my name, and see the color of my skin, and think I must be a Muslim. I could never be a Muslim because Islam, while it is a highly respected religion and far superior to Christianity in many respects, is just as bad as Christianity when it comes to respecting women and reproductive freedom.
Gadfly: Could you please give America a definitive answer about what, then, your religious beliefs are?
BO: I’ve said it many times. I believe in a Higher Power. I believe we call that Higher Power by many names, but we can find it best by looking into ourselves and finding the wisdom and divinity within us.
Gadfly: Speaking of which, you once said that the question of whether unborn babies are human beings is ‘above your pay grade,’ saying that it was a religious question, not a legal one. There was a time when people expressed doubts that certain races were fully human, and those people tried to use religion to justify their arguments, saying they couldn’t be certain that Native Americans, or Africans, for example, had souls. Aren’t you using the same kind of argument when you say that you can’t be certain an unborn baby is human?
BO: That’s a racist question, and I refuse to answer it.
Gadfly: Well, then. . . . One final question: what would you say to those who think you are selling out our futures to China and the Middle East by the exorbitant debt we owe them?
BO: America’s time of claiming to be the greatest country on earth is at an end. It was a pretense that had to end sooner or later. We need to learn to work together with those we once considered enemies. We need to stop our racist attitudes towards them and learn to accept them, because we’re going to be paying off this debt a long time, and we owe them a lot of money, so we have to be nice to them. You see, I knew that borrowing huge amounts of money from countries that some people consider our country’s enemies was the perfect way to bring peace and harmony to the world–it’s why I was elected, wasn’t it? Don’t forget: I won the Nobel Peace Prize just for being elected. I have to fulfill people’s hopes, and the best way to do that was to force the American people to be in a situation where they have to play nice to China and the Arab nations. This whole concept of being a great nation has to go away, because it’s not true now, and it never was true. I firmly believe that.

Regret is a sin against Providence

From a worldly perspective, I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in life.
From the perspective of someone who’s tried to model my life after the saints, I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in life.
The bad decisions in those two categories only occasionally overlap, and often come from the fact that those are counterproductive goals.

In any case, when I look on my life, and on the things I regret, very few of them really hold any water when I look at my life as a hole.

Then there are things which aren’t so much regrets as “What if’s”–what if our lives had gone the way we would have preferred in matters we don’t have any control over.

This is something I tell people all the time now: students, internet friends, etc. Don’t regret. From a secular perspective, if you’ve learned something from an experience, and if you’re trying to do better, there’s no such thing as failure. From a spiritual perspective, if you’re doing your best to live in accord with God’s will (at least now, if not then), and if you can see how God brought good out of the evil in your life, why regret?

A friend brought this up in chat once, a while back. He’s very happily engaged, and he’s had a very difficult spiritual journey, but he had one regret in life. Without getting into too many details of his personal story, he has had a long spiritual journey, partly due to bad romantic decisions. While he’s quite happily engaged *now*, he wondered about a girl in high school who was a seemingly good Catholic girl, who was also quite pretty, who had always been nice to him and interested in him. Perhaps, he wondered, his life might have been different if he’d pursued a relationship with that girl instead of the more liberal girls he did date in high school. I told him I don’t believe in regrets–that even his bad experiences have contributed to the good Catholic man he is today. This girl had no Internet presence, and he had asked some high school acquaintances if they knew what happened to her. A day or two later, he got his answer: she had died of a drug overdose a few years ago. Whatever her story was (and, as Aslan says, we can only ever really know our own stories), she was obviously more troubled than external indicators would suggest, and perhaps my friend would have been in a worse place today if he had followed that path.

Providence is amazing.

There is only one thing I *really* regret. It is that I always wanted an art degree, and I let my advisors talk me out of it. Everyone expected me to get my Ph.D. and go work for some great university. Now, I wish I’d had a back up plan. I could have had a job teaching school right out of college. Of course, even then, I stop to think about what they might have done to my health. . . .

There is the temptation to say we had children too early in our marriage–it’s what people told us early on. Yet, had we waited, they wouldn’t be here. Mary would have eventually found out about having POTS. My health would have deteriorated as it has done in the past couple years. Where would we be?

And we tried spacing with NFP, but had trouble with CCLI and Billings Methods, yet after Clara was born, discovered Marquette Model, which has worked amazingly for us. To see the world Providentially is to recognize that God gave us the knowledge we needed when He wanted us to have it.

A few years ago, we were visiting a friend who is a nun with the Dominicans of St. Cecilia in Nashville. She said she had been studying Theology of the Body, and, if she’d known when she was younger what she knows now, she might have chosen marriage. I said, “If I knew then what I know now, I might have chosen the priesthood–which is exactly why God didn’t give me that knowledge then.”

I could go through so many aspects of my life, so many key points and decisions and say, “if only we’d stayed in that place instead of moving,” or “if only we’d moved sooner,” or “if only we’d waited for a better house,” or “if only I’d been able to get that job,” or “if only Mary had taken that job.”

Yet in every situation, there are innumerable benefits that have sprung from a decision which also brought hardship. Life is always going to be hard. And we look back with “20/20 hindsight” and forget things we’ve learned that we simply didn’t know then–and, again, perhaps God didn’t want us to know them. And if we hadn’t lived there, then we’d never gotten close to that relative before he or she passed away. And if we hadn’t moved there, we’d never have met our best friends. And if we had taken that job, then this other opportunity wouldn’t have presented itself.

Most recently, we moved to North Augusta because we thought I was getting a full time job at a local college. I didn’t get the job. Imagine if I had gotten the job, though: I’d have just started my “big break” full time job and had my aorta dissect!
If we *hadn’t* moved here, we’d still be in our three story townhouse when I had my aortic dissection and stairs became an absolute impossibility. Did walking up and down those stairs for 3+ years contribute to it? I’m sure they did. Did the stress of the move contribute to it? I’m sure it did. But ultimately it was going to happen when it happened. As I always say, I’m 33 with a life expectancy of 20. Every day since June 10, 1996, has been a gift, and while I may not have always lived that fact as well as I might have, I definitely know that it’s far better to look back at how God has kept me alive than it is to look back and say where I might have done better to preserve my life.

God gave me the perfect person for me as a wife. Is she a perfect person? No. Does she meet every fantasy criterion I might have listed for the “ideal” woman? No. But she’s the perfect person to be my wife, and I cannot imagine being married to anyone else, and if I try to imagine it, I only come back to, “but then I wouldn’t be married to Mary!” Even when presented with another woman in a dream, I refuse to be unfaithful to my wife. My one frustration in my marriage is that I wish I had known her much earlier in life, but even then there are reasons that probably wouldn’t have worked.

And then I just figure all those “what ifs” in my head are just opportunities for writing–if I could ever get myself to write them.

But that would be my biggest regret, and is still my biggest fear in life. It would be nice to think that the six+ years of effort on this blog will outlive me, or my scattered articles. I certainly have a legacy in my wife and children, and my students and friends and family. But my continuous regret and frustration in life is that I have been given so much talent, and yet the combination of pain and fatigue and practical daily realities has always impeded me from expressing it. To have but one success–in my art, my writing and/or my music–to feel like I had truly honored God’s gifts to me in those regards–then I could really say I’ve been a success.

Please pray that God will provide me with the time and energy and strength to use the gifts He has given me in whatever time I have left.