Something very odd happened the other day in California during a visit by President Obama. The Orange County Register reports on a Catholic priestess who also claims to be a reporter, who turns out merely to have been a troublemaker:

A self-proclaimed Catholic priestess from Anaheim was removed from a press holding area at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday morning minutes before President Barack Obama was scheduled to arrive.

Brenda Lee, 58, of Anaheim, was carried off by airport security after she refused to leave the area, saying that she wanted to hand the president a letter denouncing the California Supreme Court for deciding Tuesday not to annul gay marriages in the state.

There are probably lots of people who’d like to hand letters to the US president, but none are allowed to, unless it’s been arranged by White House personnel. It’s not something a president has time to do.

Nevertheless, this woman, Brenda Lee, presumed herself to be the exception to the rule. She claimed to have had press credentials:

She called the White House to request credentials for Obama’s arrival, citing her involvement with the Georgia Informer, an independent black newspaper in Macon, Georgia.

I have no idea how genuine this Georgia Informer newspaper is. It has a Web site, which at the moment features Ms Lee rather prominently (no surprise). But I have no idea if it’s recognized by the White House press office … and assume it doesn’t, since Ms Lee didn’t appear to know what she was doing:

At LAX this morning, Lee asked a Secret Service agent to take her letter to President Obama after learning that the president wasn’t scheduled to take any questions at the appearance.

The staffer came and asked to see the letter. “He said his name was Worly but I doubt that was his real name,” Lee said.

After “Worly” gave Lee the letter back, another staffer asked to see it, Lee said. Lee said that she’d rather give it to Obama herself when he walked by.

“‘I assure you, he’s not going to come by here,'” Lee recounted the man saying. “‘I don’t want you to yell his name. I don’t want you to do anything disruptive.'”

When Lee refused to surrender the letter, the man had security remove her, Lee said.

She had a chance to give her letter to someone who could have handed it to Obama, but refused — preferring instead to wait for him to go by, in a place where she’d been told he wouldn’t be going.

If that makes any sense to you, you’re doing better than I am.

She was, of course, dutifully outraged and accused the White House staff of discrimination:

Lee said she thinks she was being discriminated against for being a priestess, and that a priest wouldn’t have received the same treatment.

I hate to say it, Ms Lee, but you were run out of there not because you were a “priestess,” but because you were hanging around where you were told not to. A priest — or anyone else of any other profession — would also have been run off, under the same circumstances. While the reporters at the scene refused to help her out, the media since then have been rather obliging toward her. CNN, for example, interviewed her. Her performance was pathetic.

What I have not learned about Ms Lee are answers to these questions:

  1. If she is a “Catholic priestess,” who ordained her, and when?

  2. How is it possible that she’s a “Catholic priestess,” given the Catholic Church’s refusal to ordain women?

  3. If she’s a reporter by profession entitled to a press pass, how is she also clergy, which is another profession entirely?

  4. How did a woman from Anaheim, CA get a job as a reporter working for a Macon, GA newspaper?

An even more pertinent question is … why are the mass media such as CNN now indulging her and taking her seriously? Why has she not, instead, been referred for the psychiatric help she needs?

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