The latest nontroversy to cause wingnuts to fire up the Faux Outrage Generator 2000: ZOMG! Obama is closing down our embassy to the Vatican, proving that he hates Christians and is a Kenyan Muslim terrorist who wants to force everyone to get gay married! As usual, it’s complete bullshit.
The internet is ablaze with some fairly shocking news: Obama is closing the Vatican embassy! “Obama’s call to close Vatican embassy is ‘slap in the face’ to Roman Catholics,” proclaims the Washington Times, in an article that has attracted more than 2700 comments and was prominently featured on the Drudge Report. “OBAMA ‘INSULTS’ CATHOLICS IN VATICAN-EMBASSY SHUTDOWN,” reports WND. The Daily Caller piles on with “Catholics furious over Obama plan to close Vatican embassy site.” Breitbart reports that “the Obama administration is trying to diminish and discredit the Vatican’s role in the world because it’s pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom values is at odds with the Regime’s pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage stance.”So you might be surprised to learn that, in fact, Obama is not closing the embassy — or diminishing U.S. diplomatic relations with the Holy See in any way.
There are no embassies for any country in Vatican City itself — there is simply no room. All countries locate their embassies in the city of Rome. The United States has decided to move its embassy from its current location — an unremarkable converted residence — to the same compound as the U.S. Embassy to Italy. It will have it’s own separate building and a separate entrance on a different street. The new building is actually a tenth of a mile closer to the Vatican than the old one. There will be no reduction in staff or activities.
And by the way, it was the Bush administration who bought the property adjacent to the Italian embassy precisely for this purpose. That did not stop Jeb Bush — the smart, reasonable Bush, remember — from tweeting:
Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.
Seriously, there is no fake story so ridiculous that the wingnuts won’t seize it and throw a fit about it.