Wednesday, June 6, 2007
An Army of Devils is horribly broke in upon the place which is our center . . . . And the houses of the good people there are filled with the doleful shrieks of their children. . . tormented by invisible hands.
— Cotton Mather (1692)
The Puritans are back and who more worthy to lead them than Cotton Mather and John Hathorne (now known as James Dobson and Bill O’Reilly) successful witch hunters of the 17th century whose successes were hanged and in one case, pressed to death.
James Dobson is the founder of Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family as its name suggests, is a reincarnation of the 17th century Puritan tradition. It and its leader focus on things going on in other people’s lives as the Puritans did in the 17th Century, alerting a fearful populace to signs of witch craft and other heretical activities among their friends and neighbors.
In 2006 Mr. Dobson campaigned against four California bills that were proposed by the legislature but perceived by him as dangerously tolerant of homosexuals whose practices invoke his wrath, if not the wrath of his boss, the Lord who, after all, created the homosexuals and bears them no animus. Mr. Dobson said that if the proposed bills became law, the legislature would be delivering California children “straight into the arms of the homosexual activist community.” Continuing he said: “If these bills are signed into law, who knows what the liberal courts in California will be able to make out of this in the years to come? There goes the next generation of children.” His crusade successful, all but one of the bills was vetoed. Continuing in his search of other places from which the Devil could be driven, Mr. Dobson discovered Boulder High School in Boulder, Colorado.
Boulder High School sponsored a panel discussion with participants from the University of Colorado Conference on World Affairs, an annual conference that this year featured, among others, lectures by Paul Krugman of the New York Times, Senator Joe Biden and former Senator Tim Wirth. The conference is celebrated nation-wide for bringing together distinguished scholars from around the world to engage in spirited discussion and debate.
The panel selected by the students for presentation at the high school was entitled “STDs: Sex, Teens and Drugs.” To everyone’s great surprise the panelists discussed sex, teens and drugs. The language and responses to questions from students by some of the panelists were provocative, and designed, at least in part, to stir students’ bile, as lecturers frequently do. Her bile riled, a student complained to the panel that the panel discussion was a one-sided discussion that discredited religious views and abstinence. She reported her dismay to her mother. Her mother complained to the school board. The complaints were reported in the media. Mr. Dobson read the reports and he and Bill O’Reilly, a television personality of empty mind but head full of words, appointed Mr. O’Reilly to serve as judge in a media trial of those who permitted this devilish invasion of the halls of lower education. Hearing of the trial, a Republican mob consisting of 10 state legislators demanded that the superintendent of schools (who is to retire in 3 weeks) be fired, together with the school principal (who is not retiring). Mr. O’Reilly put on trial not only school officials, but the town and, for good measure, its district attorney. He reminded listeners that the murderer of JonBenet Ramsey remained at large and that another criminal case involving a dead child had not yet come to trial. Summing up his indignation, Mr. O’Reilly said: “This is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. It epitomizes what happens when secular progressives take over.” Thanks to the Devil hunters, the Devil may soon find Boulder an inhospitable place.
When the Dobson-O’Reilly empty heads met to exchange vacuities on Mr. O’Reilly’s television show, Mr. Dobson said: “In this stage of my life, little makes me angry. But this is outrageous and I can’t believe it.” Of course he does believe it and intends to put a halt to it. Powerless to organize a mob to take all offenders to the public square for an informal hanging, Mr. Dobson has suggested another, although less efficient way, to drive the Devil out. He is exploring the possibility that the school board, the superintendent and the principal violated the criminal laws of the state of Colorado. If so, he will demand that the district attorney (who, though Mr. O’Reilly believes her to be incapable of prosecuting murderers, may have more luck with witches) prosecute the Devil’s disciples.
I’m sure Messrs. Dobson and O’Reilly regret that those who have conspired with the Devil can’t just be hanged without a trial. It would be faster and would avoid cluttering up the courts with the kinds of justice that Messrs. Dobson and O’Reilly routinely dispense.