Monday, March 30, 2009

Shock, outrage!

To the shock, consternation and outrage of right-wing bloggers everywhere, Hillary Clinton is not familiar with all the miracles of all the patron saints of Christendom:

The Catholic News Agency reports that on her recent trip to Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She left flowers on behalf of the American people.

The Basilica is the second most visited Catholic shrine in the world, and the Lady of Guadalupe is one of the principal symbols of the Mexican nation. The Basilica houses a cloak that belonged to a 16th-century Indian, on which an image of the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared. In the intervening years, no scientific explanation of the image has been forthcoming. Among Catholics (and many others), this is one of the most famous of all miracles...

The Catholic News Agency says that after viewing the cloak, Clinton turned to the priest who was showing her the Basilica and asked, "Who painted it?"

This is one of those stories that seem like it can't possibly be true. Could America's Secretary of State really be ignorant of a central cultural symbol of a country next door? It is as though a foreign minister came to Washington, was shown Stuart's portrait of George Washington, and asked, "Who was he?"
Er... no. It's not. It's as if a foreign minister came to Washington, was shown Stuart's portrait of George Washington and asked: "Who painted it?"

Now, for my money, it's far more disturbing that Hindraker seems to accept the painting's supposed magical origins (OK, miraculous origins... whatever) at face value than that Hillary was unaware of them: "In the intervening years, no scientific explanation of the image has been forthcoming..." ooooh, cue the spooky X-files soundtrack and get me a mass spectrometer. Should be easy enough to determine whether the image on the cloak is made of natural pigments or was instead painted with fairy dust mixed with the blood of Jesus and unicorn tears.

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

1 comment:

skorpeo said...

i was raised a catholic, received baptism, first communion, confirmed, and married in the catholic church. i'm 41 years old, lived in southern california for the past 30 years, seen the statues/tattoos/images of "our lady of guadalupe" for pretty much my entire time in california, and this is the first time i've heard of the origins of it....

these are the same people that want to remove crimes against gay people from hate crime status and want MSNBC to apologize for calling pro-lifers terrorists.