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January 09, 2014

Slow News day Editorial: Sanctifying Satire. [krakatoa]

So, this happened:


As Ace reminded us some time ago, there comes a time to put away childish things...

Adults should not accept that elected officials inadvertently diminish the office they hold, much less set out to do so consciously.

Winning an elected office used to require and reward someone with a great sense of sober responsibility befitting the job of representing the various values of their entire region. One did not need to necessarily share their values, but at least one would accept or profess to accept the seriousness with which those values were held.

Unfortunately, the electorate we live among appears to be dominated by people who wish to have their own failures and silly foibles excused or ratified by, if not society at large, then at least its elected officials.

So we get a buffoon with a colander on his head taking the oath of office, and vapid arguments that what began as a satire among disaffected individuals for whom sarcasm is currency should now be on equal footing with religions that have thousands of years of history, philosophy, and values.

And we get his supporters who play at real religion, poking fun at its teachings, customs and adherents by engaging in crude caricatures of that they mock with all the gusto of a true believer.

They point at the "wingers" who swear on their bibles and say "Oh how childish you all are."

But one can't help but question the intellectual underpinnings and maturity of a group of people that created a religion in order to satirize the "crutch" of organized religion they claim to not need, only to fervently invest themselves in all the rituals they bastardize to their own taste. One can't help but note in their flight from spirituality, they seem to crave something yet to fill that void, and that something is spirituality, however ridiculous its symbols.

Who is really being childish here?

I would submit that certain common societal symbols, regardless of their faith, lend to a shared sense of trust in their deeper meanings, and I would ask:

Is it more mature to put your hand on a bible you do not believe in and swear an oath to represent all the people?

Or is it more mature to imply "Your silly conventions do not constrain me", mock the religion of probably a majority of your electorate, and swear an oath under a symbol of satire?

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:55 PM

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