Clown vs Cleric

One of the chief clowns in the circus that was once the federal government of the United States took it upon himself to fire the House chaplain, Reverend Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest.  Speaker of the House, soon to be just a plain-ol’-Joe like the rest of us, decided that the priest praying for the poor, for peace, and for equality was a firing offense.  Hmmmm … think about that one for a minute, folks!

Ryan has warned Conroy before about praying for the things that seem to have dropped off the agenda of the government, such as compassion, but the prayer that broke the camel’s back came last Friday when Conroy prayed “for all people who have special needs” and “those who are sick” and for those “who serve in this House to be their best selves.”

Now, folks … you all know by now that I am not religious.  However, I cannot find a darn thing in the Padre’s prayer with which to take umbrage.  Not.  One.  Thing.  Conroy’s firing may well be the clue to exactly what our government, such as it is, has become.  It has become a group of self-serving men and women who feel threatened when they are reminded of the majority of this nation whom they have harmed in one way or another.  They are offended by those who would have the gall to remind them that there are people in this nation who are suffering from such things as illness, starvation and homelessness.

Ryan’s statement of the priest’s termination came on April 16th, but was phrased in such a way that nobody realized what happened, for Ryan merely said that Conroy would be ‘stepping down’:

“As chaplain, Father Conroy has been a great source of strength and support to our community. He is deeply admired by members and staff. Father Conroy’s ministry here has made a difference, and we are all very grateful to him.”

Sounds fairly innocuous, eh?  Until this week when Conroy’s letter of resignation was made public.  The first line says it all:

As you have requested, [emphasis added] I hereby offer my resignation as the 60th chaplain of the United States House of Representatives.”

Paul RyanConroy later said in an interview that his resignation was requested on behalf of Ryan by Ryan’s chief of staff … he couldn’t even be bothered to do his own dirty work.  Or … was he afraid to face Conroy, knowing there would be questions?

One prayer that earned Conroy a rebuke from Ryan last November, when the bill that would give huge tax cuts mainly to the wealthy was being debated on the floor, included:

“May all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”

And Ryan took umbrage.  A few days after, a staffer from Ryan’s office came to Conroy and said that Ryan felt the prayer was too political and was upset.  And then one day, as Conroy and Ryan passed in the halls of the Capitol, Ryan said, “Padre, you just got to stay out of politics.”

I wonder if Ryan would have been happier if Father Conroy had prayed for the continued wealth of the members of Congress, or the good health of Donald Trump?  Perhaps he should have prayed for the people of the United States to all develop amnesia and forget the abominations that have been thrust upon us since 20 January 2017.

In the grand scheme of today’s environment in Washington, the firing of the House chaplain is not the most important issue, not the biggest news of the day.  But it speaks volumes and speaks them loudly, I believe.  It sends the message, once again, that among republicans in the federal government, there is little if any concern for the people of this nation, and any who believe otherwise will not be tolerated in the ‘hallowed’ halls of our government.  In truth, I no longer think of it as a government, but rather as either a circus or a train wreck, depending on the news of the day.

Some members of both parties are outraged and demanding more information regarding the priest’s firing.  Representatives Walter Jones, a republican from North Carolina, and Gerald Connolly, a democrat from Virginia, are circulating a letter for their colleagues to sign, asking Mr. Ryan for more information.  Jones said …

“I’m very upset. If this is true about the prayer, and we have freedom of religion in America, how about freedom of religion on the floor of the House? The members of the House vote for the chaplain. This is not a one-man decision. The House should have the facts of whatever the problem is.”

On Friday, House democrats attempted to establish an investigative panel to look into Ryan’s decision to fire Conroy, but the House republicans, predictably, succeeded in shutting down the idea before it even sprouted wings.  Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong issued a statement saying, “The speaker made the decision he believes to be in the best interest of the House, and he remains grateful for Father Conroy’s many years of service.”  Yeah, sure he does.  Ms. Strong must be practicing to get Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ job someday.

As one writer for The Washington Post puts it: “Only in this perverted time could a priest lose his job after committing the sin of crying out for justice for the poor.”  I think that says it all.

52 thoughts on “Clown vs Cleric

  1. Dear Jill,
    Father Conroy and soon to be former Chaplain of the US Congress was recently fired by the House Speaker Paul Ryan who just happened to ask for his resignation which he claimed had nothing to do with the Jesuit priest’s more liberal politics or his controversial November 2017 prayer where he prayed for fairness in the GOP tax cuts bill.

    And I believe in the tooth fairy.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right, and the Easter Bunny too! Frankly, I no longer trust a word that comes out of any republican in Congress any more. There are some who I still respect, notably John McCain, but I trust none of the lot, for in one way or another, they are all beholden to backing up all Trump’s lies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are right … I would love to see all these rich b—-es in Congress have to see firsthand what it is like to struggle to put a little rice on the table and pay the rent. But, it’ll never happen. I look for Ryan to run for a state office, else set up a cushy law firm after his retirement from Congress. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. God bless Fr. Conroy and I’m sure He has. That’s so like a Jesuit to care more about following the teachings of Jesus than being afraid of insulting men in the wrong. I think Ryan’s conscience is bothering him and no wonder as Fr. Conroy pricked it. I wonder if someday when Ryan’s old and can only sit around and think about the past if his unfair treatment of the poor will come back and whack him in the conscience. Pray for him Fr. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Conroy is a good guy, even I, who am non-religious, can see that. If Ryan’s conscience is bothering him, though, I see no signs of it. I did, once upon a time, think Ryan had a soul, a conscience, but no longer. I think he is no better than the worst of the lot, for he has traded his integrity for a few $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If not his conscience, it must have got under his skin somehow. It seemed to be personal unless there was a motive we don’t know about which is possible. I wonder if he thinks that smile still works. It’s as though he’s pasted it on. 😦 — Suzanne

        Liked by 1 person

        • A year or so ago, I saw a clip of him playing with his young son. It was not a photo-op, but a moment, I think, when he didn’t even realize he was being observed. The look of sheer joy on his face at his son’s antics was what gave me hope that there was a human somewhere under there. But, as our friend David pointed out, even the most vile among us take joy in their children. Ryan may have, in the early days of his political career, been an idealist, but he has long since lost that, I think … blinded by wealth and power. So now, my question is … is it inevitable that this is what happens if entities like the fossil fuel industry and the gun industry get to these guys early enough in their career? Are there any who are strong enough to “just say ‘NO'”?

          Liked by 1 person

          • There was an interview on TV of an author–I can’t remember his name but he’s a reporter who’s covered the White House for some time– who wrote a book about a character who comes to Washington, DC with great ideals and bit by bit loses them due to the forces you’ve mentioned. He said he’s seen it happen many times. —- Suzanne

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m sure it has … so the question then becomes, what is it that makes some fall prey to the temptations, while others are able to maintain their integrity. Or, perhaps the question is … ARE any able to maintain their integrity? Sigh.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?”
    — Isaiah 10:1-3
    Just saying, that’s all…….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent and apt quote. But … to know that they may receive their ‘just rewards’ in some future, some afterlife, gives little if any satisfaction to those who are being hurt on a daily basis. Those who have no health insurance to seek treatment for their life-threatening illnesses. Those who will be homeless when Dr. Carson raises their rent by 300%. Those who are in prison for one crime only … their skin was too dark. I don’t really even care about revenge, about them getting what they deserve for mistreating the 99% … I just want them gone. Now would be good. And on a lighter note … 🤔 … 🤔 … 🤔 I actually slept 10 whole hours last night!!!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, Roger … I seem extra tired these days, and have had 2 long night’s sleep in a row, plus an hour or two kip after supper. Perhaps I can get caught up soon?

          Yes, I understood … the hypocrisy of the conservative Christians is near-complete, for I rarely see them “practice what they preach”. When I was a child, my mother used to say, “do as I say, not as I do”. That seems to be the mantra of the right-wing Christians, in this country, anyway. I cannot speak for elsewhere.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. It would be interesting to hear the religious views of these senators , I suspect they have a particular Christian standpoint. The old saying God helps those who help themselves ‘ might sum it up nicely , and since they believen the poor do not help themselves why should those who God has put in charge help them or even pray for them. It’s a smart get me off the hook theology .
    The beautiful hymn ‘ All things Bright and Beautiful ‘ has a rogue verse ‘ The rich man in his castle and the poor man at his gate ‘
    The London Education Authority banned it in 1982 yet those who wish to support it might well quote the scripture ‘ The poor will always be with you ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    • True … it would be interesting and even more interesting to see the process by which they rationalize their stance. Paul Ryan is actually a Catholic, as are may of the others in Congress, Catholicism being, a predominant religion in the U.S. But at the end of the day, it isn’t even about religion … it’s about humanity and humanitarian values, isn’t it?


      • If we claim to have religious faith then surely we can be expected to at the very least to attempt to live according to the dictates of that faith.
        For Catholics this is governed by Encyclical statements of which there are many on poverty. In a nutshell these all point towards caring for the poor and praying for them.
        Now the Catholic church just in Australia is worth $30 billion and the Church of Latter day Saints $40 billion which might lead some to believe these Encyclical statements are hypocritical. Perhaps Paul Ryan believes that is the case . Walmart is worth a colossal figure and at the centre of that group are the Walton Family . Bernie Sanders has a lot to say about that on utube. If you like facts nine of the world’s richest men have more combined wealth than the world’s poorest 4 billion people.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, it speaks volumes, I think, when one claims to be a Christian and says he supports taking care of those less fortunate, yet has more money sitting in offshore accounts collecting more interest in a day than I earn in a decade, and more than that person could possibly spend in a lifetime. Why isn’t he “putting his money where his mouth is” and giving that money to support starving people in underdeveloped nations? And worse yet, why is he supporting candidates who wish to cut benefits to the poor, stop providing birth control to African nations, and refuse to pass laws to legislate equity and a fair wage. And that’s just to name a few! I lean heavily toward socialism these days, yet realize that while on paper it looks perfect, once you factor in humans and their love of power and wealth, socialism, too, is doomed to fail.


    • Yes, it is wrong, and just one more step toward a government not of our making, to say the least. I had never heard of Mindszenty, but I did read the article … thanks for the link! I am not religious at all, am an agnostic, but still, I support the rights of others to practice their religion and I respect that as long as they aren’t hypocrites or trying to shove their ideas down the throats of others. This priest, it is said, was well-liked and respected by all, and he was fired for … doing exactly what he was supposed to do!!! It is yet another sign that things are not right in our government.


  5. Jill, this will not be confused with a wise move. What baffles me is Senator Richard Burr, the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee meets with Ryan to share that Congressman Devin Nunes is acting unethically again and is over-politicizing his role as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He also said Nunes slandered another Senator. So. Ryan does nothing and fires the Chaplain.

    Further, people ask him to be critical of the President’s routine lying, demonizing of colleagues and hard working bureaucrats and racist remarks and he chooses to give him
    a hall pass and fire the Chaplain.

    He passes a tax bill that blows up our excessive debt while giving the predominate share of tax relief to the wealthy and he fires the Chaplain who asks for fairness?

    This is certainly not his finest hour and proves he is not much of a leader, in my view. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nunes, like Trump himself, seems to be teflon-coated. I wonder why? He should have been disciplined by Ryan for his actions last year, but again … nada. My best guess would be that he is ‘un-touchable’ as per the orders of Donald Trump. A snitch. Or am I becoming a conspiracy theorist?

      I wonder if the priest firing may have been more smoke and mirrors to direct our attention away from other things? It seems to be a full-time job just trying to interpret what comes out of the executive and legislative branches these days. No, my friend, he is not much of a leader at all. But we knew that two years ago. You were kinder than I and gave him a fair chance in the beginning. I wish he had earned it, but he has slapped us all in the face. Stole our candy and ran away with it.


      • Jill, I wish he was Speaker of whole House not just the Republican Party. Two examples – the ACA repeal and replace bill passed by the GOP in the House was God-awful and mean-spirited. The tax bill is heavily weighted to the rich and made to deep of cuts for corporations while making our huge debt problem worse.

        In contrast, Denmark is under sea level, so when they passed climate change action plans to keep water out and use more renewable energy, they developed a multiparty plan that would last beyond the tenure of current incumbents as it takes awhile to do execute the plan.

        This logical Denmark approach is lost on current leadership and Dems need to avoid skin what the GOP does when they are in power. Even John Boehner realized he need bipartisan legislation on big items. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Our Congress, including McConnell and Ryan, no longer represent the whole of the population of the U.S. They represent only those who have enough money to buy the policies they wish for their own greed. The debt is one of the biggest issues, of course, and we, the 99%, will pay that bill when it comes due as we did in 2008. But more concerning still, as you mention Denmark, is the environment and the treatment the current political ideology is giving to our home, planet earth. There is a “put me blinders on, Jack, for if I cannot see it, then it will go away and not exist” mentality. The earth has always been here, there has always been clean water, fresh air and food aplenty, so what are those bloomin’ democrats and scientists blathering about, eh? Even some of my intelligent friends put forth this notion, and … I don’t know how to waken them! We are no longer the ‘leader of the free world’, nor should we be, for we are leading only straight into the mouth of hell.


          • Jill, ask those friends, who can’t see climate change so it must not exist, if they would buy ocean front property today? Pending that answer, ask them if they would buy it if they could not get full or any property insurance on it?

            Here is also what we can see, forest fires are more frequent and severe, drought areas are worse and weather patterns are stalling and dumping more. All of these are per climate change models. But, I guess it is all OK since Trump and Pruitt said don’t believe science. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • Good questions to ask … I shall try them out on my friend Jerry who is convinced that this is nothing more than naturally occurring weather patterns. He, like many, do not understand the difference between ‘climate’ and ‘weather’.

              Yep … go to sleep now, little kiddies … here, drink some of this lovely Kool-aide to help you sleep …


  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Yep, he’s a TRUE CATHOLIC … NOT!!
    ‘One of the chief clowns in the circus that was once the federal government of the United States took it upon himself to fire the House chaplain, Reverend Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest.’
    What can anyone say? … ‘As one writer for The Washington Post puts it: “Only in this perverted time could a priest lose his job after committing the sin of crying out for justice for the poor.”

    Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, I would LOVE to see her walk out on him and sue the heck out of him! I would like to think that Mueller’s investigation will be what brings him down, for his crimes of collusion and obstruction of justice have compromised our national security and are the ones I would like to see him pay for. But … to be honest, I think it may be the whole Stormy Daniels thing that finally brings his realm to an end. Time will tell, and at this point I will just be happy to see him brought down, regardless what the reason. If Melania set his bed afire some night, I would start a GoFundMe to pay her legal bills!!! 😀 Yes, I am getting snarkier in my old age, aren’t I?

          Liked by 1 person

          • “If Melania set his bed afire some night, I would start a GoFundMe to pay her legal bills!!!” LOL I’d contribute! I think she ought to have a fan club, to be honest. Did you know she speaks seven languages?

            Liked by 1 person

            • I knew she spoke several, but wasn’t sure exactly how many. I have very mixed feelings about her. On the one hand, I feel sorry for her, because you can see that he almost completely ignores her in public and has cheated on her more than once, one time (Stormy Daniels) shortly after Barron, their son, was born. But … on the other hand, she married him for a) his money, and b) to gain citizenship, which she did within a year of their marriage. So, one part of me thinks that when you marry for money rather than love, you pay the consequences. I think that in the long run I feel more sorry for her than not, and won’t be surprised if she walks out on him AFTER his presidency is no longer, but I think she’s afraid to before then.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Maybe so. I just think there’s probably no other woman in this country who had been so publicly humiliated time and time again. If she’s smart, she’s building a bank account somewhere where he’ll never find it when she high-tails it for the hills!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Oh, I fully agree with you … I would love to see her take him straight to the cleaners and help the world see him as the fool he is. She’s smart, so I’m betting she’s got a stash of notebooks full of information … diaries … journals … 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

  7. The Extreme Oath of the Jesuits:

    “1, _ now, in the presence of Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the blessed Michael the Archangel, the blessed St. John the Baptist, the holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and all the saints and sacred hosts of heaven, and to you, my ghostly father, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in the Pontificate of Paul the Third, and continued to the present, do by the womb of the virgin, the matrix of God, and the rod of Jesus Christ, declare and swear, that his holiness the Pope is Christ’s Vice-regent and is the true and only head of the Catholic or Universal Church throughout the earth; and that by virtue of the keys of binding and loosing, given to his Holiness by my Savior, Jesus Christ, he hath power to depose heretical kings, princes, states, commonwealths and governments, all being illegal without his sacred confirmation and that they may safely be destroyed. Therefore, to the utmost of my power I shall and will defend this doctrine of his Holiness’ right and custom against all usurpers of the heretical or Protestant authority whatever, especially the Lutheran of Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the now pretended authority and churches of England and Scotland, and branches of the same now established in Ireland and on the Continent of America and elsewhere; and all adherents in regard that they be usurped and heretical, opposing the sacred Mother Church of Rome. I do now renounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or state named Protestants or Liberals, or obedience to any of the laws, magistrates or officers.

    Above is the first part of the oath that all Jesuit Priests take. There is plenty more of that ilk.
    Cheers Jamie


  8. One of my thoughts upon reading about this the other day was…I wonder what “Filosofa’s Word” on this will be?! You have not disappointed a bit! While this is no longer a surprising event in what passes for government these days, it is still unconscionable. It seems honesty, truth and justice are disappearing concepts in today’s world of politics. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU for such a supportive statement! You’ve made me smile and bolstered my ego!

      You are right … it isn’t surprising, or at least shouldn’t be, but is disappointing, as is most of the news coming out of Washington these days. Integrity is gone, and without integrity, there can be no trust. And when politicians and leaders have lost the trust of the people, they are ultimately doomed … unless … they take steps to ensure their power remains intact. This, then, is the real danger. Sigh. We must work hard to make changes in November!


  9. When I look at Paul Ryan I see evil personified. He is the embodiment of everything about Republicans that I despise. HE is the reason Trump is running what amounts to a criminal conspiracy out of the White House. He’s a sorry excuse of a human being and someone I truly, deeply, find revolting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you. I used to think that deep down, he had a conscience, that his boot-licking bothered him, offended his sensibilities, and that eventually he would get tired of it and stand up for what is right. But now … no, I think he is no different than all the rest. Greed and power have corrupted him to the core.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He was put in to Congress by wealthy donors to give them tax cuts and weigh everything else about our country that he could entirely in their favor. Now that he’s done that, he’s leaving. He’s a spineless coward who sees a wave of blue coming and doesn’t want to risk being voted out of office or being the minority leader in the House. Coward. And what is most sickening to me is the way he, and Republicans in general, have used populist rhetoric to get poor, working class people to vote against their own best interests by voting them into power. It enrages and sickens me. I literally lose sleep over this shit. UGH!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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