Friday, December 16, 2011

'Tis the Season to Be . . . Selectively Good-Spirited

The intellectual hypocrisy of the Republican party is a top-to-bottom thing, perhaps because the same handful of propaganda mills like the American Heritage Foundation feed them all the political pabulum that passes for thought.

A case in point is a recent contumely published in the local rag under the byline of the county Republican chairman.

In it, he dismisses as "pseudo-intellectuals" all the progressives in the United States, to whom he refers (in what he obviously thinks is the ultimate disparagement) as "socialists."

He would, I infer, have us reject the thoughts of Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Paul Krugman, E.O. Wilson, Steven Pinker and their ilk in favor of such luminaries as Michelle Bachmann, who doesn't know where the first shot of the American Revolution was fired; Rick Parry, who has trouble counting to three when it comes to his own beliefs; and Eft, the Republicans' great idea factory, who thinks the people of Palestine were "invented."

Heaven forfend!

The low-level GOP acolyte who wrote the piece dwells mainly, as a matter of fact, on heavenly inspiration.

He proudly wishes us "Merry Christmas" -- not "Happy Holidays" -- because the Dec. 25 holiday is by, er, God a Christian one. "Christmas," he lectures, "is not about the beginning of some season, Winterfest, or some other socially designed holiday. It is about the most revered religious holiday"  because "it has been celebrated in one form or another by Christians for 2,000 years."

Never mind that non-Christians have celebrated "in one form or another" seasonal festivals like Inti Raymi, Calan Gaeaf, Modranect, Hanukkah, Yule, Yalda, Chahar Shanbeh Suri, Saturnalia and Koleda far longer.  Tell their celebrants, after all these millennia, that they're wrong, it's about Jesus.

As they say on ESPN, "C'mon man!"

He writes, "Christ practiced compassion and brotherly love and Christmas provides us with many opportunities to follow his example." Yet he derides governments for keeping shiftless poor jerks on "the dole."  Charity, he says, should be "the province of individuals and churches."  Government has no damned business helping the nation's  sick, its jobless, its suffering.  Let them learn to fish!

Progressives, he says, don't acknowledge the rights of Americans to practice their individual religious beliefs.  But he seems to argue that those rights apply only to Christian beliefs.

"Merry Christmas to all," he writes.  "May each of us find that place in our hearts that urges us to reverently remember why we celebrate this day each year."

By the way, everyone.  On this Dec. 16, 2011, I'd like to wish each and every one of you a Happy Beethoven's Birthday.

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