Among the many far-right, fact-averse Republicans in the United States House of Representatives is one from a district in the Florida Panhandle. You cannot feel sorry for Matt Gaetz when, pummeled Wednesday evening by Chris Cuomo, he stated
That’s why it’s so important that the current Uranium One investigation is happening at the Little Rock field office and not at the head shed in Washington, D.C.
But like the notion that a secret society is just an off the cuff comment is laughable. I can’t even believe you would make that with a straight face. A secret society is a group of people that get together in secret to plan.
It took less than 24 hours for Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson to start to walk that one back. Still, Charlie Pierce early Friday would announce "Good morning. The meeting of the Secret society scheduled for 11 am has been moved to 1 pm for astrological reasons."
The Secret Society stuff is too good to overlook. But so is the Immaculate Conception (or the concept of the Immaculate Conception), and another reason to put Matt Gaetz near the top of the list of value-free Republicans. And so it was that this exchange took place:
CUOMO: The president, who is not shy, never said anything about it.
One other thing and then I’ve got to let you go. You say that this is the biggest coincidence since the Immaculate Conception. What are you talking about?
GAETZ: Well, look, the notion — and, again, this will really be illuminated by the memo. But the notion that this five months, not any five months, but this particular five months is where the black hole is, I mean that is one hell of a coincidence because it’s precisely the time that someone would be hatching a conspiracy, meeting with their secret society, building out their insurance policy to deprive the American people —
CUOMO: Now, you have the meeting of the secret society, you don’t even know that one exists, but what do you mean by the Immaculate Conception?-
GAETZ: No, that was Lisa Page’s text. She said — she said that we need to be able to get together and have our secret society meeting.
CUOMO: What do you mean by the Immaculate Conception?
GAETZ: That was the substance — look, I was making a point that this is an absurd coincidence.
CUOMO: By what? Like what do you think happened with the Immaculate Conception?
GAETZ: The Immaculate Conception, it’s obviously a religious doctrine that deals with the Christian faith.
CUOMO: I know. But I’m saying like, where is the analogy? That’s what I don’t understand. What do you think happened with the Immaculate Conception?
GAETZ: Look, did you really bring me on to discuss my religious views, Chris? I mean, I’m a Christian. I believe that (INAUDIBLE) Jesus was born.
CUOMO: I’m saying you made the analogy, and I don’t understand. The Immaculate Conception is not how Jesus was born.
GAETZ: It was the conception. That’s the nature of the —
CUOMO: No, it wasn’t. It was Mary’s conception. It was the mother’s conception without original sin. It was not the conception of Jesus.
Facts matter, Congressman. If you’re going to make an analogy, at least know what you’re talking about because you’ve got to have a basis for these things. You only know what you show. You’ve got to release that memo. It’s got to have the facts and you better figure out what this secret society is before you say there’s a shadow organization within the FBI.
If your answer to any question about the Immaculate Conception is that it "deals with the Christian faith," you should know you're on thin ice. You also acknowledge what you don't know, because the theory deals with a theory of one branch (albeit the largest) of Christianity. Matt Gaetz, reportedly a Baptist, is not a Roman Catholic.
One website, run by "dedicated and trained theologians" under a CEO with a Master's degree in Christian Theology from a Protestant seminary, is less objective than accurate. Concluding "the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is neither biblical nor necessary," it explains
Many people mistakenly believe that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ conception was most assuredly immaculate—that is, without the stain of sin—but the Immaculate Conception does not refer to Jesus at all. The Immaculate Conception is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church in regards to Mary, Jesus’ mother. The official statement of the doctrine reads, “The blessed Virgin Mary to have been, from the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of Mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin” (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 1854). Essentially, the Immaculate Conception is the belief that Mary was protected from original sin, that Mary did not have a sin nature and was, in fact, sinless.
Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 8. Within Eastern Orthodoxy, December 9 is the date of the Feast of the Conception by St. Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos. (Anne is Mary’s mother, according to tradition.) The Eastern Church does not hold to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, although they do consider Mary “all-holy,” that is, she never committed a sin.
The Immaculate Conception is not a virgin birth. Catholics believe Mary was conceived the normal way, but God made her immune from imputed or inherited sin. For as long as she’s been in existence, Mary has been free of sin. This allowed her to be the “second Eve” to give birth to the “second Adam” (see 1 Corinthians 15:45). Overshadowed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), Mary was a pure and holy “ark,” fit to carry the Son of God. As the ark of the Lord in Moses’ day carried the elements of the Old Covenant within it, so Mary carried the Author of the New Covenant within her...
Matt Gaetz performed quite a feat when interviewed by Chris Cuomo, as he was exposed as shooting off his mouth ignorantly on both politics and religions. He showed little if any embarassment, however, because it was all in a day's work for a congressional Republican.