As Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan read the benediction at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention last week, President Obama felt very uncomfortable.
He's kind of like that fellow in the hemorrhoid commercial.
You know the one I'm talking about.
It's the one where the gentleman taking his seat on the airplane feels like he's sitting on top of a cactus.
Here's the story.
Cardinal Dolan was summoned to a high-level meeting with the President last year.
As President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dolan had been expressing his concern regarding the free expression of religious practice.
Obama invited the prelate to the Oval Office to give assurances that Catholics need not fear government intrusion from this administration.
Like Neville Chamberlein leaving Munich with assurances of nonaggression from Der Fuhrer, the Archbishop of New York returned home echoing Obama's promise to respect the way Catholics put their faith into practice through thousands of charitable institutions throughout the world.
The church leader was stunned just a few months later when the Department of Health and Human Services dictated that abortifacients and contraceptives be covered in all healthcare plans.
Even Catholic healthcare plans.
The Cardinal, understandably, felt he had been double-crossed.
He launched an ambitious campaign to inspire Americans to protect their religious liberty.
Timothy Dolan recognizes that he has been called to serve in a battle between good and evil.
Catholics throughout America have been aroused from their slumber of apathy.
Catholics are embracing the First Amendment as a protection against the kind of insidious government control seen in the Health and Human Services mandate.
The Democratic party leadership resented the announcement that Dolan would give the benediction for the RNC in Florida.
Obama figured that he could diminish Cardinal Dolan's impact by telling the world that Dolan was merely a Republican partisan.
The fact is that Catholic bishops have prayed over many conventions, both Republican and Democrat, in the past.
Dolan even offered to give the benediction at the Democratic convention this week to demonstrate that the Catholic Church doesn't endorse parties or candidates.
Democratic strategists decided to test Dolan and take him up on his offer.
They invited him to give the benediction at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dolan Responded brilliantly.
He said yes.
And now you can understand the President's discomfort.
At the conclusion of the Democratic convention, a Catholic Cardinal will approach the podium to offer prayer.
If this prayer is similar to the one made in Florida, he will call upon the creator to aid men in demonstrating a respect for the sanctity of life and religious liberty.
A prayer to end abortion and to stop a government that forces Catholics to accept immoral healthcare plans.
That is why the president is uncomfortable.
Community organizer outflanked by an Irish priest with street smarts.
The White house needs some Preparation H.
And the H stands for Heaven.