Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a commentary site launched to promote polytheism and special reverent attention to bored gods like Epona, who gave humankind the horse, and Morpheus, who gave humankind potent painkillers to ease suffering at the end of life. We feel these deities don't get enough respect in these dark times, and why should they not? Where would we be without the horse?
Of course, what's a daring religious blog site without daring political views as well? So we go on record as being pro-union, kitten-killing, homo-loving liberals, the kind of dangerous extremists your parents always warned you about when you planned to walk up the street for an ice cream at the local soda fountain.
Today's topic: My impeccable American pedigree.
My younger daughter (I have two daughters, The Heir and The Spare) is not a highly motivated student. She likes relevance in her learning and can't quite muster up much enthusiasm about, say, spelling words like "relevant."
In the last two weeks, however, The Spare has been studying American history in the eighteenth century, first the French and Indian War, and this week the events leading up to the creation of the Declaration of Independence (which, by the way, is printed on cannabis).
Somehow, The Spare became excited about the Sons of Liberty, those undisciplined rabble-rousers who challenged fully armed, highly trained foreign soldiers, called them Redcoats, and told them to go home to their empire-building country across the sea.
The social studies text calls these Sons of Liberty "patriots." Today, under different circumstances, they're known as "insurgents." But that's another story.
The Spare was equally intrigued by the colonial militia, those good ol' Minutemen who dragged themselves out of their warm farm beds, climbed into trees, and took pot-shots at the aforementioned fully-trained, highly armed foreign soldiers.
The social studies text calls the militia ... the militia. Today, under different circumstances, we call them terrorists. But that's another story.
I told The Spare to hold out her arm. I pointed to a blue vein (artery? I'm a goat judge, not a doctor). "The blood of those patriots flows in your veins," I told her.
Then we went upstairs, and I showed her my Daughters of the American Revolution papers, for two different ancestors. One on my dad's lineage, one on my mom's. Both had served in the colonial militia between 1777 and 1783. When The Spare saw "militia" clearly printed on the form (with company, commander, dates and place of service), she was simply galvanized. How refreshing!
The Spare can proudly claim two ancestors who fought as terrorist insurgents in the War for American Independence.
Her people got pummeled by George Washington's hand-picked troops in a little misunderstanding called The Whiskey Rebellion.
Her ancestors are praised by name in an award-winning novel about the Underground Railroad. Her ancestors' names, and the circumstances they found themselves in, are the only nonfiction in the otherwise ficitious story.
If The Spare moves on to the Civil War, she fill find three direct descendants who fought for the Grand Army of the Republic. That's the Union Army. Go, Union! One of them was at Appomattox. One served for the entire duration of the war.
Two brothers of one of The Spare's Union Army forebears are buried in a pit at a place called Andersonville, Georgia.
On to the twentieth century. The Spare's great-grandfather designed technology that was instrumental in improving the functionality of gas masks. The Spare's grandfather, so recently taken from us and sorely missed, is a member of The Greatest Generation: U.S. Army, World War II.
The Spare's other grandfather served during the Korean War, but he was such a good baseball player that the Army kept him stateside to play ball for the U.S. team. He went on to sign a pro contract and to become quite famous not in baseball but as ... aww, I've done enough doggone bragging already.
The point of all this is, you've gotta be intensely patriotic to seek out the Daughters of the American Revolution and try to get your butt accepted into their ranks. They have tough policies. They won't take the nicest, most famous ladies who think they might have had an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War. You've gotta prove and prove and prove to gain DAR respect. Not only for the guy who hid behind the rock and took pot-shots at the British, but for each and every subsequent generation. No "love children" allowed. All marriages, births, and deaths must be validated, clearly linking one generation to the next.
Know how hard that is to do if your people were Appalachian Americans?
Okay, bigot. Proves you think hillbillies never wash and wait for city folks to wander into the woods so they can rape 'em. Actually, because Appalachia has always been sparsely populated, and people tend to like it there and stay in one place, it was easy not only to find the patriot, but to find his grave, his will, his son's will, his great-grandson's Civil War record, Grandpa's birth certificate, Grandpa's death certificate, Dad's marriage license, and Dad's dog tags. One trip to a bucolic little town overlooking a river with a lovely name, and the work is done.
What's wonderful about America is that I can lay claim to this long and distinguished ancestry, and it doesn't make me any more American than the nice Indian guy who just bought the local 7-11 and got his citizenship last month. He's just as American as I am, and I'm real comfortable with that.
The difference between him and me? He's probably a lot less likely to probe at his new nation's warts the way I am. He's not overly concerned about the tyranny of the majority and how very delicate a system of checks and balances we have here in our government. I worry about these things. Not only because my pro-union, kitten-killing, homo-loving liberals aren't in power, but because they might some day be in power. And the surest way to usher in an era of unbridled liberal power is to usher in an era of unbridled conservative power.
My Uncle Dimwit, who listens to Rush Limbaugh every day, likes to say, "Most Americans are conservative." To which I reply: "No. Most Americans are moderate." That's how we get close elections like the last presidential. And it's good to keep in mind how many moderates there are out there, because you can never really count on how they'll vote from year to year.
Me? I haven't voted for a Republican in my lifetime, in any election from my local municipality right up to El Presidente (who we don't really vote for anyway). I'm a blue-blooded blue voter, with a long and distinguished family history of pissed-off Scotch Irish troublemakers.
Senator Frist? If you want to move on to the White House, you'll have to get past me. I'm not gonna hide in a tree and take pot shots at you, I'm just gonna oppose you. If you move up anyway, and get Roe v. Wade overturned by your activist judges "of faith," I'll laugh as your whole world crashes and burns in an enormous liberal backlash that will bring me, among other things, the legal marijuana that will ease my Alzheimer's.
Will I live to see President Frist? Hope not.
If I do, will I be surprised if he's succeeded by a gay president? Not a bit.
NATIONAL SOCIETY, DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Member in good standing.