A Most Tragikal Hystory of Obama I

Today is National Talk Like Shakespeare Day!

In honor of this day, I urge you to speak in iambic pentameter and use words like “fleer”, “prithee”, and “guerdon”.

In honor of this banner day, anniversary most auspicious, I have in the past posted some dramatic tidbits.

Here is this year’s offering:

Obama I

A Tragikal Hystory

Pres. Obama
Card. Dolan
Spokesman Carney
Sister Joan
Sister Carol
Sister Elizabeth

ACT I.  White House Rose Garden.
(Flash bulbs and journalists.  Enter three Witches.)

1st WITCH:
When shall we three meet once more
in controversy and in war.

2nd WITCH:
When the Magisterium’s done
when Obama’s lost or won.

3rd WITCH:
In November we’ll have done.

1st WITCH:
Where the place?

2nd WITCH:
At U.S.C.C.B.

3rd WITCH:
There Dolan to meet.


2nd WITCH:
Tom Fox calls.

3rd WITCH:

Fair is four and foul is fair.
So is the L.C.W.R.

SCENE 2 (Enter White House minions and spokesman CARNEY.)

Silence all! Let awestruck stillness reign,
for Fairness must descend again upon
this realm where rich, rapacious, take from poor
and poor their heavy shackles off must throw.
The President Most High shall speak
before plen’ry of U. S. C. C. B.
Bow your heads, and knees bend as to god.
Himself enters.  Let all be overawed.
Give trust to POTUS now.  All hail Obama.

Friends, unions, newsies, lend me your polls.
Let wealth of those who work absorbéd be
in programs leveling. Bring th’employed low!
Rise up ye unemployed and occupy!
Redistributed must money be
‘til Fairness is imposed, Obama’s will.
Where be these nuns of doctrine alternate,
the male prelates uppity to scorn?
We would have them cringing by our side,
the bishops of the Catholic Church to chide.

1st WITCH:

2nd WITCH:

3rd WITCH:

Come here and still your voices grating, crones.
Useful have ye been in all my plots,
O dupes of trappings worldly. Leave you now
those powers Roman and reforméd be.
Place now your hands beneath my waiting shoe
your fealty to swear, to C.N.N. and me.

ENTER DOLAN (to the sound of clanking)

Howya doin’ pal? Hi! Hey, you too!
Glad I am to be here! How’s it goin’?
Ah! Obama! Mister President!
Long since in Office Oval were we met.
Tell us before these mic and camera banks:
Woulds’t thou, incumbent, civil rights erode?
Never think we Catholics shall comply!
Nuns thou hast, of L.C.W.R.,
but God is on our side, and civic law.

Dars’t thou, sirrah, Cardinal though thou be
question here my dark theology?
Twenty years sat I with mine ear bent
to preaching liberational from forth
the lips of one who did not flinch to hurl
harsh curses and revilement on our folk,
this nation great once under one sole god.
Cardinals and bishops may embench
in councils sour, my rulings to defy.
My ministrix of Heath and Services,
Sabellian mayhaps, and heretic,
has writ that thine objecting cohorts dress’d
in purple gowns must swiftly knuckle down
with all thy conference. Make it so, I say!
Make no mistake. I say my will be done!
A scholar constitutional am I,
as thine own institutions gladly hail.
Did Jenkins, in the famous marian halls
of learning high, obsequious with praise,
on my most worthy neck not mantle drape?
These nuns thou seest here gath’red at my back
before the cameras still and video,
attest to Magisterium apart,
no role for bishops left. Thou shalt comply
or see both Church and clergy slowly die.
Seek paths obedient or feel my wrath.

Yadda yadda.  Should I be impressed?
Take this my chin protruding as a sign
that Catholic bishops never shall resign
our mandate sacred for thy dictates foul
though nuns dissenting nag and sisters howl.
We bishops are united. Hast thou seen?
Sixteenth polled I in last TIME magazine.
Allies to our cause have countless thronged
of leanings evangelic and beyond.
With protests and the phrase to ears most sweet
e’en they proclaim “we are all Catholics now”.
Clout have we.  Our pulpits will resound
as well as Twitter tweeting doctrines true.
Myriad bloggers bent on thy defeat,
shall herald truth and hold thee to account.
In blogger firmament most spherical
one stands as bulwark ‘gainst the perfidies
which our Amendment, primary in list,
you undermine with every word and act.
Thou know’st of whom I speak. The bearer of
the letter last of all but ampersand,
that cleric, low, by liberals most scorned,
by fish wrappers reviled.  And, yay,
for shame by some few prelates shun’d.
Let them repent.  Though last of all and least
he hopes by Gospel’s promise to be first.

O priest most pesky!  We shall call the I.R.S.
with microscopes to come, him to oppress.
Chains and taxes shall ye all endure
once internet is banned to such as he,
whose status shall be lower than a “Zed”.

Do not, Obama, from the matter stray.
Unanimous we are and set and strong.
Thou shalt not violate our liberty for long.

O Cardinal of Gotham! Bishop arch!
Thou of Republicans a mindless tool!
Thou art not “Fair”! Thou scorn’st the poor!
Thou Fairness spurn and women do oppress!
But I am in command here, and I say,
“Fiat, Fiat!” I shall have my way.

1st WITCH:

2nd WITCH:

3rd WITCH:


DOLAN (alone):
O that I might in seminary be
as rector affable, away from false
and dreadful politik, dour, dark and sly.
But in these days the lot to me has come
to guide a conference in times perturb’d.
No compromise shall bishops give or yield.
We cannot and we will not now comply
to President Obama’s orders rank.
Orders of nuns and sisters though there be,
who fleer and scorn and mock authority
of men to whom God gives that heavy charge
of office apostolic with the trust
of Magisterium clear, sound and true.
They gave themselves to service of Our Lord.
Gradually in worldly pomps they lost
their way, forgot obedience’s vow.
They must reforméd be. The C.D.F.
by means of letters patent have made plain
we must explain their situation new.
I pray the graying gals will not rebel
and seek some dodge through tricks canonical.
If that were not enough to trouble sleep,
there slithers ‘against th’ Amendment prime
Obama’s serpent, mandate H.H.S.
Unwilling must I stand in spotlight bright
to raise to God our urgent prayers and plight.



(Enter Witches, with tambourines.)



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Classic Posts, Lighter fare, Magisterium of Nuns, My Favorite Posts, Religious Liberty and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. irishgirl says:

    Huzzah, O thou Father Z! Huzzah!
    (sounds like a cross between ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘Macbeth’)
    Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! (or as I heard it on a Saturday morning cartoon show many moons ago: ‘Mr. ‘Snooky-sneer’)

  2. chcrix says:

    “The President Most High shall speak before advent of U. S. C. C. B. Bow your heads, and knees bend as to god. Himself enters. Let all be overawed. Give trust to POTUS now. All hail Obama.”

    What’s really frightening about this is that is how modern America does treat the president (And not just Mr. Obama). How have we fallen so far?

    My late mother used to tell a story about a cousin of hers in the 1920’s. He was taken on a trip to Washington D.C. by his family. During the afternoon the little boy (about 8 years old) wandered off on his own. He walked to the White House and asked to see the President (Coolidge I suspect). The president’s secretaries told him about the lad, and the president had him in for a visit and allowed him to see business transacted. He was returned to his worrying family a couple of hours later and surprised them by saying where he had been and having a White house staffer to vouch for it.

    The country needs presidents, not emperors.

  3. Liam says:

    Prithee, speak now of true intention, be those tambourines of Order Ecclesiastical born up by witches three in the incipit of Act II?!

  4. Mayhaps. It is thou who hast said it.

  5. Baylor_convert says:

    Fantastic! Though I do hope this doesn’t mean you’re being audited…

  6. discerningguy says:

    Father, that was excellent. I love Shakespeare. Please do continue!

  7. PostCatholic says:

    Methinks the priest dost protest too much. “Never till this day saw I him touchrd with anger so distempered.” For “wrath makes him deaf,” and in his creative writing “striving to better, oft he mars what’s well.” I worry that “burn’d up with inflaming wrath, a rage whose heat hath this condition that nothing can allay, nothing but blood, the blood, and dearest-valued blood, of” Obama, thou believ’st that all occasions do inform against ye and spur thy dull revenge.”

    But it is dull indeed. And unbecoming to a critical thinker and a scholar. “O, throw away the worser part of it and live the purer with the other half… Assume a virtue, if you have it not. ”

    And therein you have mine cry of havoc as I let slip the chihuahua of war. “That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat of habits evil, is angel yet in this: that to the use of actions fair and good he likewise gives a frock or livery that aptly is put on. “

  8. Finarfin says:

    O Father whose name is Zuhlsdorf! How well crafted is thy work! Methinks there be too much truth in the words. If these words of mine appear to be clumsy and false, prithee forgive me, for the olden use of the English language is rusted to the core, and hath very little development.

  9. Mike Morrow says:

    “from forth the lips of one who did not flinch to hurl harsh curses and revilement on our folk”

    That sound much more like Beowulf than Shakespeare!

    Shouldst not named the witches be Pelosi, Sebelius, yea Boxer, and a pox upon them??

  10. Mariana says:

    “be those tambourines of Order Ecclesiastical born up by witches three…?!”

    Then exeunt most speedylie!

  11. catholicmidwest says:

    Ich saye to thee, Fr Z, thine Tragikal Hystorie maketh swoone with mirthe.

    Tranfixéd Ich be, awaytinge Act II.

  12. Deo volente says:

    Whilst droll tale mayest appeareth last by league, let not be said it appeareth least by mirth…

  13. pm125 says:

    Act II

    Rose Gardeners

    Wouldst that God may hearest the poor Cardinal’s prayer.
    The times be frought with treachery and deceit.
    Hark! Come the sounds of hapless fools who
    can no hope for help provide the Lord.
    Enough done here – hie to the Chapel roses
    where the vines grow free in beauty – in silence blessed.

  14. pm125: You inspire me to make this a collective project!

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    I ontday noay oway ootay alktay ikelay hakespearesay,…

    alasay, I’mhay ootay tupidethsay.


    Fr. Z., that was so great. I laughed and laughed at the entire thing. I mean, that was STELLAR.

  16. Gail F says:

    Now those really ARE “weird Sisters”! No offense to your fine poetry, but my favorite bits were:

    Sister Joan
    Sister Carol
    Sister Elizabeth

    and “Enter Witches, with tambourines.”

    Lord, what fools these mortals be!

  17. Kathleen10 says:

    “Take this my chin protruding as a sign….” Oh my gosh….

    The IRS with microscopes……

    I wish I had some worthy superlatives…..

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    The rest of you are excellent as well…..I stand impressed!

  19. The Sicilian Woman says:

    ‘O priest most pesky’ Goodness, that will always be the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Cardinal Dolan. So enjoyed this and I needed the laughs. ‘(Enter Witches with tambourines.)’ Brilliant.

  20. James Joseph says:

    Ordination tambourines?

  21. KAS says:

    I am to my very core impressed by the skill of words pressed to the screen by pater of the zed. Laughed did I even as my inmost self cringed at the close strike of truth.


  22. Tantum Ergo says:

    O’Death, Where is thy Sting?

    For a charm of fetid trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
    Scissor lance now do thou plunge
    In tiny scull, then suck all from ! [wow]
    Into cauldron pour the brain,
    Ignoring silent screams of pain !
    Fair is foul, and Foul is fair,
    What wills the Self, the conscience dare.
    Tell the Self: “Tis’ not a babe !”
    To “Choice”, O’Death, thou Thane and slave !

    Whence is that Screaming?
    How is it that silent sounds appall me?
    What instruments here?
    They suck out my soul !
    Will all great Neptune’s ocean
    Wash this blood clean from my hand?
    No, this my hand will rather
    The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
    Making the green one red !

    Double, double, toil and trouble,
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble !
    Hail, O’Death, thou Thane of “Choice” !
    Thou King of banshee’s moaning voice
    That wails that thou for “Freedom’s” sake
    The breath of thine own child ye take !
    Fair is foul, and Foul is fair.
    What wills the Self, the conscience dare !
    Thy throne secure till Calvary’s Wood
    Doth come against thee, and Gibbit stood !

    King of Kings: Woe ! Woe ! Woe unto thee !
    For what thou do to these least, thou do unto Me !

  23. ContraMundum says:

    Obama I? If there is an Obama II it will be tragedy indeed.

  24. RichardC says:

    Holiness in a goat, wisdom from a hog;
    Ensared by an Obama, set free by a blog.

    I didn’t count the syllables. Shakespeare forgive me.

  25. Imrahil says:

    I loved that. Please continue!

    I especially liked the line
    though nuns dissenting nag and sisters howl.

  26. JonPatrick says:

    I am hoping to hear a speech like this from Obama in January 2013:

    “Out, out brief presidency!
    A term’s but a passing shadow
    a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    then is heard no more.
    ‘Tis a tale told by an idiot
    full of sound and fury
    signifying nothing!”

  27. Supertradmum says:

    Then yield thee, coward,
    24 And live to be the show and gaze o’ the time.
    25 We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
    26 Painted on a pole, and underwrit,
    27 “Here may you see the tyrant

    Words for another character, Bishop Jenky MacDuff…maybe, Notre Dame will put off your play.

  28. Supertradmum says:

    sorry, meant “on” not off…is anyone else in the world having trouble with the Internet except southern England and France? Keeps going on and off….and skype is not working.

  29. Patt says:

    THANK YOU Father Z for taking the trouble to write “A Most Tragikal History of Obama I”.
    I pray daily that we may knock off the emperor’s manacles which have made us lowly in his glance. Let us not be preservers of his throne, but rather send a heartless hind and his minions on their way. May our citizenry rise up as one to oust those who want us to betray conscience by following godless mandates. May Obama’s “reign” end after 4 years, as so much damage has already been done.
    May God protect our country and help us to end the evil of abortion.

  30. Scarltherr says:

    Cardinal Dolan to the weird sisters:

    Fie, Fie, unknit thy threatening unkind brows,
    And dart not scornful glances at thy priest.
    Dost he not offer Eucharistic service for thee?
    Hast he not prayed for thy eternal soul?
    Dost he not provide for the sustenance
    that furnish those very tambourines
    with which thou dost now accost him and his people?
    Thou shouldst rather bend thy knees and kiss his ring,
    placing thy hoary hands beneath his shoes
    in right subjugation of thy will to the Vicar of Christ.

    Fie, I say, Fie. Thou art the blackest of cats that heardst cannot be.

  31. Pete McNesbitt says:

    Lost in translation is the basis of the HHS mandate came originally from the Heritage Foundation. A Karl Rove, creation. Largely supported by the Republicans before MR. Obama, supported it. I was always taught by nuns and priest that even though you may not support the current administration you should always support the Office. Would the vitriol and out right hatred shown on many Catholic/Christian websites to this President be supported if he were white, [?!?] and didn’t have the unfortunate middle name of Hussein? If you would check your Old Testament, you would notice the name Barack, who was a Jewish general. Politics can bring out the most negative emotions in other wise polite people, I beseech all to remember you can disagree without becoming offensive. [What is offensive is your playing of the race card.]

  32. Patt says:

    Pete –what a droll observation–but I don’t buy. I did expect this tired rebuttal to all that post a comment on a Catholic website, though. It is intended to make everyone feel ashamed and guilty–right? You forgot to throw in the “don’t judge” part.

  33. Pete McNesbitt says:

    Well zealots I didn’t mean to play a race card, and Patt, I didn’t say “judge not” because of course all right thinking people know it isn’t directed to them. It is always the other, — you know that sinner. Actually i was thinking about Al Smith and John Kennedy, getting painted as the Pope’s boys. So other the insurance mandate what else do you dislike about the President. I’m not thrilled with way he keeps shipping out illegal aliens and I’m really ticked that he didn’t say hey what about raising taxes to pay for this war, I mean its only been running the country on empty for 10 years. No I just don’t understand all the dancing around the May Pole demanding blood and vilifying politicians. Its not like they have ever done any thing right any other time. And before we start jumping on the band wagon of a Catholic theocracy, its been tried and failed already.

  34. wmeyer says:

    Pete: Things I don’t like about O:
    – use of executive orders to bypass Congress and Constitution
    – failure to get and use a budget
    – spending like a drunken sailor, least of all on the war
    – lies, lies, lies
    – sealing his entire past

  35. Pete McNesbitt says:

    Okay wmeyer, not to get all civic lesson here but the President has submitted a budget every year as required by law. The House and Senate have chosen to ignore it. The old Sarah Palin charge about Obama not doing his job would be accurate, if she knew what she was talking about. Article 1,Section 9,Clause 7.. refers to Congress. Under the 1921 Budget and Accounting Act he is required to submit a budget, which he has, and it has been ignored by both Democrats & Republicans. As to the charge about executive orders, if you had gone the National Archives site you would find from 1945 -2012 there have 4072 Exec. orders. Truman alone had 896. The total count is Rep.#2735 – Dem,#1337. Obama’s # is 115 and the next lowest number was Ford with 169. As to the assertion about sealing his past I’ll assume you are a birther, and pray for your ignorance.


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