Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Golden Dunce Award

Sometimes you hear something so spectacularly stupid that it makes you choke on your morning coffee. I've created the Golden Dunce Award to give these utterances the honor they so richly deserve.

Andrew Sullivan has a post this morning that quotes from an email sent out by Lanier Swann, the Director of Government Relations for a group called Concerned Women for America. Since, as Sullivan puts it, "the fag-bashing and flag-waving didn't go over so well," right-wing Christians are looking for other ways to foul up our culture. Swann's email was written in support of the Pledge Protection Act, a piece of legislation that would protect the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Sounds useful. Here's the award-winning passage from the email:
Our country's founding fathers were men of faith who intentionally included the phrase "under God" in an oath that serves as a symbol of loyalty and patriotism to our great country.
My brain hurts. First, the Founding Fathers largely followed a religion that modern-day Christianists would regard as the basest heresy. Second, as Sullivan tells us, the Pledge was "invented by a socialist in 1892." No matter how early to bed or early to rise, none of the FF had quite that kind of longevity. Finally, the phrase "under God" wasn't added to the Pledge until 1954, where it has made agnostics and atheists uncomfortable and—worst of all—ruined the poetic rhythm ever since.

Congratulations, Lanier Swann, you have won the Golden Dunce Award! (You're also on the short list for WASPiest Name honors.)
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