I decided I would discuss a few events that occurred this week surrounding Barrack Obama and Fred Phelps.
First, I will focus on Obama. As usual, Obama worked on his predictions for the NCAA Tournament. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. However, the media decides to make a public spectacle about it ever since he moved into the White House. Thus, they roll out the red carpet for his bracketology when instead he should just do it in private within a matter of minutes. Last year, Obama admitted that the University of Louisville (my alma mater) ruined his brackets. This year, Obama has picked Michigan State to win it all, so time will tell if his prediction will come true.
Meanwhile, Obama does not seem to mind the Affordable Care Act being referred to as Obamacare. A few days ago, Nancy Pelosi chided a reporter for using the term Obamacare, telling the reporter that it was called the Affordable Care Act, and that it was a winner (something we know is not true). But Obama is okay with the nickname. In fact, he went so far to say that he passed the bill.
Wait a minute, since when do presidents pass bills?
Presidents do not pass bills, they either sign them into law, veto them (in which case the bill is returned to Congress and can be overridden with a two-thirds majority from both houses), take no action within ten days (in which case the bill becomes law), or pocket veto (take no action and Congress adjourns within ten days, in which the bill dies).
So was that a Freudian slip (via his teleprompter) or was it Obama’s disregard for (and ignorance of) the Constitution? Apparently he is unaware only Congress can pass a bill.
Then, there is Fred Phelps, the head of the Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps’s church is known for its members picketing funerals (military funerals in particular) and blaming the deaths of the individuals on America’s tolerance of homosexuality (although they pretty much hate everyone except themselves). Phelps died a few days ago, and Steve Drain (the WBC spokesperson) refused to give details on the WBC’s future. Although Drain said that Christ is the head of the church, it does have a board of elders (including Drain himself).
Apparently, Phelps began to soften his views regarding church members prior to his death (details are sketchy on this matter). As a result, the board of elders excommunicated him. Meanwhile, Steve Drain had replaced Shirley Phelps-Roper as spokesperson, due to church members wanting an all-male board of elders. Such action led to a power struggle, which is not surprising given Fred Phelps being in poor health (he moved out of the church and into a hospice care facility before he died). Although the WBC doesn’t plan to stop picketing funerals, this power struggle could prove to be a thorn in its side.
I should point out that Fred Phelps used to be a civil rights attorney.
So how does one go from championing civil rights to being a hate monger?
And what does the future hold for the Westboro Baptist Church? Time will tell.
Image: Courtesy of; http://www.atoast2wealth.com/tag/westboro-baptist-church-protest/