I speak to author Dennis McGeehan at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show
By John Ruberry
Did you hear about the release of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s returns on from 2007 through 2014 on Friday afternoon?
If you didn’t–well, that was the goal of the Clinton camp. Both political parties do it–disclosing possibly bad news on a Friday afternoon just as reporters are leaving work for the weekend. It’s called a Friday news dump–or a document dump. And since August is a popular vacation month–some of those members of the media will be on the beach instead of at the computer this week. When these reporters return to work–whether it’s Monday or next Monday–they might dismiss the Clinton revelations as old news and neglect to report on it at all
What can we learn from the Clinton returns? Well, they are rich. There is nothing wrong with that–I want to be rich. The once and possibly future first family collected $139 million between ’07 and ’14. But in the last two years–after Hillary resigned as secretary of state, the Clintons collected $23 million in speaking fees in 2013 and $20 million last year. Many of those speeches were given to corporate and special interest groups–who of course may be seeking favored status from a President Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2017.
That’s a big problem because nearly all Americans can’t buy access to a president.
Thirty-five percent of the Clinton income went to federal income taxes–which is something we’ll be hearing a lot about from HRC. But don’t expect Hillary to brag about her family’s charitable giving–which was almost $15 million in the last eight years. Ninety-nine percent of those donations went to the Clinton Foundation–which is in actuatlity a slush fund and a jobs bank for Clinton cronies.
Please spread the news about the Hillary document dump. She doesn’t want other people to know.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.
Sheldon Cooper: The backwash into this glass is every pathogen that calls your mouth “home sweet home.” Not to mention the visitors who arrive on the dancing tongue of your subtropical girlfriend.
Raj Koothrappali: Hey! That’s my sister and my country you’re talking about! Leonard may have defiled one, but I won’t have you talking smack about the other!
Bernadette Rostenkowski: You guys ready to order?
Sheldon Cooper: Yes. I’d like a seven-day course of penicillin, some syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting, and a mint.
The Big Bang Theory The engagement reaction 2011
Saturday morning when I woke up I was brooding a bit. Like all Christians of all denomination I have to deal with my personal sins and the temptations toward them and like everybody else there are particular sins that I’m inclined toward while there are others that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.
The frustration comes when I consider that today I will go to confession and will find myself confessing similar sins to my last visit and while I remember what a priest once told me. (“What do you want? New sins?”) It doesn’t decrease the embarrassment or the frustration.
But the more I think about it the more I realize that I’m falling into the Sheldon Cooper trap.
What does Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory have to do with sin? It’s like this Sheldon has two types of issues compatible with sin. One type where he has absolutely no concept that what he is doing is improper such as these two scenes from the episode the Egg Salad Equivalency (2013) First with his assistant Alex
and then with the HR department
Or when he asks Penny this during the episode The White Asparagus Triangulation 2008
In these situations Sheldon is doing something he should not be but he’s completely oblivious to what he’s doing, he doesn’t see what it’s any kind of big deal, in fact he sometimes takes joy in them
Leonard Hofstadter: Hey, where you been?
Sheldon Cooper: I’ll tell you where I’ve been. You boys may have had gelato with Stan Lee and gotten autographed comics, but I saw the inside of his house and got an autographed application for a restraining order.
Howard Wolowitz: [ with sarasiam] Sweet.
Sheldon Cooper: Plus, I get to hang out with him again… at the hearing. This is going to look great, hanging next to my restraining order from Leonard Nimoy.
The Excelsior Acquisition (2010)
The other half of the coin is Sheldon’s obsessive fears. When something bothers hi, it drives him absolutely nuts
Leonard Hofstadter:Sheldon, let’s go!
Sheldon Cooper: To a hospital? Full of sick people? Oh, I don’t think so.
Penny:Okay, well, your friend and his mother are there. We’re going!
Sheldon Cooper:I can’t.
Penny:Oh, don’t tell me you’re afraid of germs.
Sheldon Cooper:Not all germs. Just the ones that will kill me. The same way I’m not afraid of all steak knives; just the ones that might be plunged in my thorax.
The Big Bang Theory The engagement reaction 2011
For those of you still unaware Sheldon Cooper is obsessively afraid of germs & illness as per this scene from the 2008 episode The Pancake Batter Anomaly.
And his fear crosses into every single aspect of his life:
Penny: If this takes off I won’t have to be a waitress anymore.
Sheldon Cooper: But then who will bring me my cheeseburger on Tuesday nights?
Penny: Another waitress?
Sheldon Cooper: What’s her name?
Penny: I don’t know.
Sheldon Cooper: And you’re going to let her handle my food?
The work song nanocluster 2009
And his fears beyond germs go to the point of comic absurdity
Leonard:Just till him to go home
Penny: He won’t leave, he says he’s afraid he’ll pass out on the bus and someone will harvest his organs.
The Pancake Batter Anomaly 2009
So Sheldon is an example of one who is either obsessed to the point of paranoia or oblivious to the point of destruction and there’s no better moment in the series that captures both of these points than the reaction to Penny’s dirty apartment in the 2007 episode The Big Bran Hypothesis.
Both the obliviousness to sin and the obsession with it are manifestations of the sin of pride (of which Sheldon has in abundance) , and while it makes for emmy winning comedy in the Big Bang theory it also sums up the way Satan plays with sin in ourselves.
If we are oblivious to sin we are willing to commit it with reckless abandon: it’s no big deal, it’s nothing to worry about, you can always go to confession , everybody sins, it’s just human nature and thus we minimize what we are doing, or we, like Sheldon did in the scene above, decide that our sins are actually a virtue (breaking into Penny’s apartment to clean it) either for a cause or for the good of others.
Then there is the other side of the coin where we obsess over our sins, where we let that obsession paralyze us, make us unable to function, Where we think our sins are so bad or so embarrassing that we don’t even want to confess them. We may, even get to the point where we become so obsessed with Sin that we spend more time hitting others concerning their sin than worrying about our own. Or we become obsessed with hiding our sin and become the Whitewashed tombs that Jesus compared the Pharisees to.
What is the answer? It’s both simple and hard. We acknowledge our sinfulness and strive to avoid committing it but remember that Jesus Christ had died for them and through the Church and the sacrament of confession they can be washed away. The Apostle John put it quite well:
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure 2 that we know him is to keep his commandments.
1 John 2:1-3
As has Pope Francis puts it almost as well (emphasis mine)
“‘Oh, Father, if you knew my life you wouldn’t say that.’ ‘Why? What have you done?’ ‘Oh, I’ve done bad things.’ ‘Good! Go to Jesus; He likes you to tell him these things. He forgets. He has the special ability to forget. He forgets them, kisses you, embraces you, and tells you only: ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.’ He only gives you this counsel. A month later we are the same … We return to the Lord. The Lord never tires of forgiving us, never! We are the ones who get tired of asking forgiveness. Let us ask for the grace to never tire of asking forgiveness, because He never tires of forgiving us. Let us ask for this grace.”
That’s the ultimate manifestation of the sin of pride, that we see forgiveness it as an entitlement rather than the gift from God for the asking to the point were we consider the act of asking God for this great gift as a burden an imposition placed on us by God rather than the path to eternal life.
Don’t fall for either extreme, have a healthy respect for the temptations that lead to sin but couple that with the humility to seek the forgiveness freely offered in the confessional when you stumble.
You won’t win an emmy for it, but if you persevere you’ll come home with an even greater prize.
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