Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oaf Of Office

I have been tangentially aware of conservatool Dennis Prager's latest struggle with reality, but have had to sort my sock drawer or something. Civilized discourse's loss is my clothing organization's gain, I suppose.

In case you have been sorting your respective hosiery as well, Prager is in a dither about newly-elected Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to higher office in this country, to be ceremonially sworn in on a Qu'ran, instead of a Christian Bible. Even as Prager swells against the putative narcissism of feel-good multiculturalism, he reflexively engages in his own arrogant brand of narcissism, that of allowing -- indeed, insisting -- on Christianity being declared the absolute standard for our "values".

There's something about Prager's typically tendentious, defensive "reponse" that gets me in particular:

Ceremonies matter a lot. As I told the Associated Press, ceremonies are essential to the continuity of a civilization. Therefore, the first time in American history that a congressman has decided to jettison the Bible for another text should not go unnoticed -- or elicit yawns, as it has from conservative and libertarian critics.

Please. Ceremonies "matter a lot" to tiresome little ninnies who need ritual and structure to prevent them from examining their own entropic realities with any real clarity. They "matter a lot" until they have been changed, replaced, or removed outright, and then the ninnies realize that they are just as able to go about their lives as they were during the enthrallment of said sacred ritual.

This is stupid. Is there any practical ramifications to whether or not a Bible is "in the room" at the time of a ceremonial oath? Does it matter if it's on a shelf, or a desk, propping up a crooked chair? Must it be within plain sight of both the person being sworn in and the person performing the ceremony? Binding in or out? Gilt-lined pages or red? King James or Vulgate?

Personally, I think we should dispense with the utter nonsense of this, and just encourage politicians to swear in on the Constitution of the United States. That is the document they are swearing to defend and uphold to their utmost ability. Not the Bible, not the Qu'ran, not the Torah or the Book of Mormon.

Tom DeLay, to take but one obvious example, was presumably sworn in on a Bible. Didn't seem to matter; might as well have sworn in on a copy of The Cat in the Hat or The Prince. Mark Foley may have laid his hand on a Bible, but was probably thinking the entire time about laying it on a stack of Inches or Honcho magazines, and making the pages (get it -- pages?) stick together.

For all of Prager's oh-so-serious bluster, he tragically doesn't realize just how meaningless and impractical his entire argument is. It is as airy-fairy and logicially useless as all those fearsome multiculti tracts he so vociferously detests. I have no reason to think he's racist, bigoted, hates Muslims, whatever, though a glance at some other blogs seems to indicate he at least sports a major boner for the looming threat of Islamofascistjihadiexpialidocious.

But whatever; we don't even need to bother with his track record on those things. The fact is that his argument -- about, let's reiterate, people going through rote little jerk-off rituals that barely qualify as "ceremonies", and doing so privately at that -- is, in the end, as utterly meaningless as the choice of book a person chooses to exemplify their view of the world, and their place in it.

When this country comes to its senses and finally votes me in as preznit, I resolve to take my oath of office on the first Dennis Prager book I can find. Hopefully it comes in two-ply.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

genius, thank you.