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Opinion: Another Uninformed Conservative Crusade

I’d say it’s definitely retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare. There really is no other option. Oh, and the embassy is not just being moved, it’s totally shutting down. Yeah, that’s right. Thanks for your informed tweets, Jeb. Now your 100,000 followers can go tell their friends the horrific news and everyone will know the truth!

Too bad that’s not the truth, and the former governor isn’t the only politician spreading false information on the subject. The truth of the matter is that the State Department has been considering moving the location of the  Embassy from its current location  to one that is actually closer to  the Vatican. Though in the same compound as the Embassy to Italy, the Embassy to the Vatican will have its own address and will be in a different building.

Some conservative politicians made statements on the matter after finding out some facts. Other politicians and organizations decided to freak out before knowing anything at all. As Winston Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Obviously that saying is one of his less remembered quotes.

Many previous ambassadors, all Catholic, have advised against the move. Former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson said, “It’s turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy,” and “It’s another manifestation of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican.” Catholic Vote, a Catholic publication, called the move, though they perceived it to be a complete closing of the establishment, “An unmistakable slap in the face” to our ties with the Catholic Church.

So, why the move in the first place? There are two main reasons. After the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed our ambassador and three other Americans, security has been a bigger concern than in the years since President Reagan’s 1984 decision to set up formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Moving to the better-fortified compound of our Italian Embassy would cost less than trying to equip the ill-designed building which is currently poorly protected.

That brings us to the next reason. It’s no big reveal that our debt is out of control and the economy is still limping along. We need to save some money, and moving the embassy would do just that. $1.4 million  per year, to be exact. The United States would not be the first nation to do this, either. Britain moved its embassy to the same grounds as its Italian embassy following a 2003 attack on the British embassy in Istanbul. Ireland, a Catholic country, did the same for financial reasons last year.

Now, if you still think this is the anti-Catholic evildoings of President Obama himself, think again. The request arose during the Bush administration in 2008. The entire process has been a State Department matter and only went to President Obama for  mere approval.

Finally, why would this administration want to strain connections with the most progressive pope we’ve ever had? Your points are invalid. Better luck with your next panic attack.

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Managing editor. Lover of history and all things 1960s. Lives by the lessons of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: "Don't dream it, be it."