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Irreverent Thoughts

I always find it curious in American elections that those running for public office often say they hate politics, hate Washington and hate the political elite (this is particularly true among Republican candidates). They do this while spending literally millions of dollars trying to win enough votes so they can become politicians (if they are not already politicians, which most of them are), go to Washington and join the political class. Politics seems to be the only job where ignorance is desirable. Many campaigns boil down to this: “I don’t know shit about politics. Vote for me.”

Imagine going to a dentist and hearing: “I don’t know shit about dentistry. Open your mouth.” Or, just before you fall asleep for your triple bypass surgery you hear: “I don’t know shit about heart surgery. Hand me the rib spreaders.” Would you hire a plumber who didn’t know shit about plumbing. A lawyer who didn’t know shit about the law. A electrician who didn’t know shit about wiring electricity. But choosing the person to run for the United States of America. Well, then it’s OK. I’m voting for the one who doesn’t know shit about politics but who does know how to run a corporation, a pizza business, and/or a political lobby firm. 


I heard a Born Again Family Values Republican Christian being interviews on the radio the other day. He was asked to reflect on Newt Gingrich’s three marriages and two affairs (well, at least the two we know about). The Born Again Family Values Republican Christian said: “Christianity is about forgiveness.” The interviewer should have then asked why the Born Again Family Values Republican Christians didn’t forgive Bill Clinton instead of impeaching him. He didn’t ask. I real opportunity missed. I suspect the only place we would ever see that exchange would be in Doonesbury.


Which reminds me. Christianity has always had problems with penises. In the beginning Christians argued about whether or not a real Christian had to cut the end of his penis off (of course, women don’t have penises so were left out of that particular debate, as they were no doubt left out of most everything else; and the fact that women are now allowed in the debates, at least in most churches, is less to do with religion and more to do with Enlightenment values). Today Christians argue about where we can stick penises (women are allowed to participate in this debate, however, during the height of the debate about gay inclusiveness and rights in my church I got an angry letter which said: “We all know what this is about. It’s about men having anal intercourse”; to which I replied: “Thank you for the clarification. So, lesbians can be ordained, gay men who do not have anal intercourse can be ordained, but straight couples who do have anal intercourse cannot be ordained).


Which reminds me. Years ago a minister friend of mine had a cartoon on his refrigerator door. It was a drawing of Abraham looking up into the stormy sky obviously talking to God. Abraham was saying: “Now let me get this straight. You want us to cut the ends of our dicks off.” Anyway, Born Again Family Values Republican Christian are experts on the touchy issue of what to do with penises.


Last week on Facebook I wrote: Some good entertainment in today’s Guardian. Simon Jenkins, the Guardian’s somewhat conservative voice, wrote about the bishops’ rebellion in the Lords, you know, those unelected guys: “The bishops pay their vicars less than the proposed family income ‘poverty threshold’ of £26,000, yet they bizarrely want the benefits cap set at double that.”

An American asked me who the bishops belonged to. The answer is they can only belong to the Church of England. There are 26 unelected Church of England bishops in the House of Lords, and this in a country where only about 6% to 8% of people go to church, and those 6% to 8% are not all Church of England folk either. There are no United Reformed Church, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Church of Scotland clergy appointed to the House of Lords. And certainly no Jewish rabbis, Islamic imams, Buddhist monks or any other kind of holy man or woman.

When you think of the English Establishment, think of the aristocracy, the military and the Church of England. The three great pillars of society.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t object in principle to bishops being in government, but they should be made to run for office, like everyone should have to run for office, declaring that they hate politics, hate London and hate the political elite: “Hi, I’m a bishop and I don’t know shit about politics, so vote for me.”

Copyright © 2012 Dale Rominger

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