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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Harry Potter, Bob Barr, And George Washington

One of the lesser publicized issues lately (within the 5 or 6 years) has been the recognition of Wicca — a form of witchcraft — as a legitimate religion. The U.S. military announced in 1999 that it would facilitate practitioners of Wicca on military bases. The Department of Defense has recognized Wicca as a legitimate religion, deserving the same status as Judaism, Islam, or Christianity.

This issue is further agitated by the rising popularity of the Harry Potter series by author J.K. Rowling. In it, the young wizard Harry attends a magical school where he and other blooming wizards learn spells, potions, and the art of being a wizard. There are some who claim that the series teaches children witchcraft. They believe that these books are the Devil's work. Satan is clearly among us, and he's in the "Children's Literature" section. Just ask these lords of reason. Considering that the newest Harry Potter book is scheduled to release in mid July, I thought it would be an interesting idea to look into. And by "look into," I mean I will casually reference it and then wander off on some semi-retarded tangent.

We see more and more the influence that religion has within our country. I won't say which religion in particular, but it rhymes with "Gristianity." Kind of sounds like it, too. So much so that it really defeats the whole purpose. Never mind. It's Christianity. There, I said it. Anyway....

Former Georgia Representative and Favorite Person Bob Barr says that the Defense Department's move "sets a dangerous precedent that could easily result in the practice of all sorts of bizarre practices being supported by the military under the rubric of 'religion.'" Rep. Barr, in defense of the good old days, refers to a painting which hangs in his office.

"A print of the painting, 'The Prayer At Valley Forge,' depicting George Washington on bended knee, praying in the hard snow at Valley Forge, hangs over the desk in my office. If the practice witchcraft ... is permitted to stand, one wonders what paintings will grace the walls of future generations."

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To be fair, though, it should be pointed out that Mr. Barr uses this painting to back up nearly every issue he's ever argued. You may ask how it is possible to use a painting of George Washington to argue a political issue. Let's not forget that Barr is a self-proclaimed homosexual.* Or is it Christian? I can never remember.

When the issue of healthcare came up on the floor of Congress, Barr said,

"I'm reminded of the painting that hangs above my office desk — 'The Prayer At Valley Forge' — depicting a kneeling George Washington, clearly suffering from some sort of debilitating arthritis of the knee. Would he have asked for assistance? Hell no, he wouldn't. In fact, without the help of healthcare, he went on to become the first president of the United States of America — some might say as a direct result of."

When the issue of Missile Defense was raised at a press conference, Barr replied,

"Have you ever seen the painting 'The Prayer At Valley Forge'? It hangs in my office. The painting shows George Washington kneeling in prayer. Could it be that he was praying to God for some kind of...defense. Maybe in the form of a — oh I don't know — a missile . We never had Missile Defense back then, and to this day George Washington remains dead. Coincidence? How much more persuasion does one need?"

And while being interviewed on a political news show, the issue of Affirmative Action was raised. When asked his stance on Affirmative Action, Barr replied,

"Funny story. I've got this painting. It hangs in my office, over my desk. Perhaps you've heard of it, 'The Prayer At Valley Forge,' featuring George Washington kneeling in prayer next to his horse? Great painting.

"Now I think George Washington would have whole-heartedly rejected Affirmative Action. And not just because he lived in a time when Blacks were considered property. But let's just say, hypothetically, that Blacks were allowed to go to college in George Washington's day. He surely would have wanted them thought of as intellectual equals. That's just the kind of freedom-loving man he was.

"But Affirmative Action, to Washington — again, this is him speaking — would have caused his freedom-infringing alarm to go off. To him, Affirmative Action would give Blacks an unfair advantage. It would be like chaining up the entire white race against their will. Such a thing cannot be tolerated."

After seeing Barr reference this painting so many times, I began to wonder: How close of a relationship does Barr have with this particular painting? Does he consult with it often?

The Prayer At Valley Forge

They'll never understand you the way I do, Robert.

Representative Bob Barr
I know, baby. You've been so good to me. Providing
me with the guidance I need to lead this great nation.

The Prayer At Valley Forge
The way you polish my masterfully carven oak
frame, the way you sing hymns to calm me
during a violent storm. I will always love you for that.

Representative Bob Barr
And I, you.

The Prayer At Valley Forge
"You" what?

Representative Bob Barr
You know...

The Prayer At Valley Forge
You mean "I love you"? Why you should have such
trouble mustering the courage for those three little
words is quite beyond me. I'll bet George Washington
wouldn't have had a problem with it.

Representative Bob Barr
Bite your tongue!

The Prayer At Valley Forge
Honestly! It's a wonder your third wife
stayed with you as long as she did!

Representative Bob Barr
Oh not this again! I work very hard to provide
for you and this office —

The Prayer At Valley Forge
— As if I do nothing! Not that I don't hear it again
and again from your mother. "Why is this painting
still here?" and "It looks so dreadful in this room."
She's the one whose dreadful.

Representative Bob Barr
You leave mother out of this!

It makes you wonder what other kinds of decisions are being made in Washington under the consultation of inanimate objects. Since writing this, I've discovered other political figures with similar consulting rituals involving inanimate objects. Here's a list I've compiled thus far:

Political Figure
/ Inanimate Object

Trent Lott / Cabbage Patch doll (white)
Rick Santorum / Collection of show tunes, in order of fabulousness
Hillary Clinton / Al Gore
Dick Cheney / Ronald Reagan
Strom Thurmond / Cabbage Patch doll (black)
John Ashcroft / Giant plastic penis
Tom Ridge / Duct tape and plastic wrap

* This was uncalled for. I need to apologize. So, if there are any people reading this who happen to be homosexual, I should never have associated you with Bob Barr. Please accept my humble apology.


At 1:07 PM, Blogger Rob said...

you forgot to put the asterix key from the homosexual comment

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Ripsy said...

Strom Thurmond probaly would have two dolls. The white one and the black one. In public he would ask the white one, but once in the confines of his house he'd have consultations with the black one.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

you forgot to put the asterix key from the homosexual comment

Aha, so I did. I think I was going to cut that out, but forgot... but I just thought of something. :)

At 6:28 PM, Blogger kooody said...

Hii, Super Andy.

Supper blog you have here!

I nvr read your Intern one, though.

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

What a coincidence. I often "consult" with a giant plastic penis myself. Oh, *ahem* never mind. Yeah, that was some damn funny shit. Thanks for the lift-up. I needed one today.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger AgeofAquarius said...

I accept your apology ;)

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Carney Man said...

Nice. Oh, and just so ya know, you misspelled scheduled when you talk about pot or Potter or potting or whatever it was. "book is cheduled to release". Just so ya know.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

Oh, I guess I get the proofreading crowd now.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger jazz said...

that's usually me proofreading. a few thoughts:

my brother actually got dog tags in every religion he could think of. i have my brother's dog tags for the wiccan religion. they've cut him off though. he has too many. they said he has to pick. my brother cracks me up.

andy, it's good to see you back. this stuff is you. its genius.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger kooody said...

0oh, wow. *proof reads her own comment*

Supper blog???



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Looks like I'm late to the party?

A fantastic blog! Check out Last Ditch for a cool little link that gets your site ranked based upon hits. I reckon you will do lank well.

VERRRRY funny post!

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Keener said...

Diddy you are my world and I am your stalker. I see you right now sitting at your computer writing some witful blog. And yes, the background of your computer is either my face or falcor. but most likely my face on falcor's body. How hot is that. Yea i

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

Keener! Oh, now this comment house is really a home. :)

At 8:56 AM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

Andy, excellent. This is the kind of shit I dig reading from you.

Weird, but really, really fun. :)

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Katie said...

You totally rock my socks! That's right, all the way to the moon. ::cough:: Thanks for the wonderful blog, it's always a joy.

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