Friday, October 23, 2015

Speaking With the Wolves

Hello! It's me again. Sorry to be so absent, but sometimes life overtakes me, and the first thing that I seem to surrender and put up as an offering to busyness is this blog. But this morning, as I was doing the office for St. James of Jerusalem, I found myself giggling. I know that's not consider reverent, but the readings, particular from the Gospel of Matthew, fit so well for the "Headline of the Day" yesterday where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat on the hot seat before a Congressional panel for eleven hours. Matthew says:

 ‘See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.--Matthew 10: 16-20

Seems from the Next-Day-Commentary, Secretary Clinton was able to slice and dice her Republican opposition on the panel, and in so doing, she 
got a boost to her ambition to become our next President by keeping her cool and appearing, well, in control and presidential. Add to that, there were moments during the testimony when she just sat back and watched the fireworks happening before her as Democrats blasted Republicans for making everyone sit there through a hearing that was going nowhere fast. 

Wise as a serpent. Innocent as a dove amidst the wolves who are still howling at the moon. So much of what I was reading from my friends who were posting to social media about this hearing sounded like the other incredible non-story that wouldn't die: Deflategate, the supposed scandal about an under-inflated football being used in the American Football League's Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. For months at the end of the season, NFL fans listened to pundits carry on and on about how Patriots QB Tom Brady was a cheater who destroyed his cellphone to hide evidence that he "more than likely knew" that two low level equipment employees had under inflated the game ball. And while Brady's ultimate testimony before a federal appeals judge did not enjoy wall-to-wall CNN coverage, the outcome of the hearing told it all: the judge lifted the league's suspension of Brady because there wasn't enough credible evidence to show that he'd done anything wrong, nor was he allowed to properly defend himself during the investigation, an investigation where the lead detective told him he didn't need to keep his phone, so he got rid of it for an upgrade. To me, Benghazi and Deflategate are cut from the same base instinct cloth: a pathological need on the part of others to drag someone down and make someone the goat for a failure of a system. Are there politics, both in the Republican vs. Democrat and sports rivalry sense, at play? Of course! But stripping all the many schemes and overarching desires really comes down to a need to blame and shame. And it has backfired in both cases.

Terrorist attacks have killed hundreds, even thousands beyond the four very tragic deaths in Benghazi. Football teams are always looking for an advantage over their opponents and one team will win and one team will lose; afterall, it's a game. The team that loses reassess, and learns what it needs to do better to win. Maybe that's what the Congressional committee should be doing about terrorism, too.

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