Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Holy Hand Grenade of Ammon

By Bob Ferris

I watched a lot of Monty Python in the 1970s and 1980s.  One of my favorite movies was Monty Python and the Holy Grail and one of my favorite scenes was where the knights fought a supernaturally savage rabbit and lost, thus necessitating the use of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (above).  In regards to the above, I suspect that I have some biological “chip” in my brain that tells me that this is a movie and that rabbits do not kill armed knights so there is little need for the aforementioned Holy Hand Grenade.  I am not sure that all in America possess this “chip.”

My evidence?  Let’s start with the fellow in Florida who along with his partner sold armored vests emblazoned with elements of the III%er’s logo—(i.e., the functional equivalent of gang colors for white guys).  And while I think it is just ducky that they—Patriot Armor, Inc.—offer a $149.99 Christmas special (below) along with their political content and liberal shovelfuls of paranoia, my sense is that Michael Romos (above) was missing this “chip” when he thought it necessary to believe his own fear-based marketing and start collecting pipe bombs laced with bird shot, just in case.

Patriot Armor Inc. Christmas Package
Or what about the rosy-cheeked guy in New Hampshire who wanted to buy the "best" grenades possible for his efforts to bring back the “original” Constitution.  My sense is that he was likely missing that “chip” as well.  Moreover, I would bet dollars to Voodoo doughnuts (see below) that this fine gentlemen had been exposed to Glenn Beck, a National Center Constitutional Studies (NCCS) seminar, Tea Party darling KrisAnne Hall or some combination of the three at some point in his past. Because if “grenade boy” had the "chip" he would have understood that Glenn Beck’s extreme views are likely influenced by his need to atone for his past and that he was the one who that breathed new life into Cleon Skousen’s evil child of an organization (NCCS).

Voodoo Doughnut's Ammon Bundy offering.
As to Ms. Hall, the “chip” would have helped this fellow or those like him see through Hall’s hollow claims that she chose free speech over a salary when what she actually did was choose politics and preaching about an unsupported and extreme view of the US Constitution over practicing law.  Ms. Hall variously identifies herself as a constitutional lawyer or scholar, but she is no longer licensed to practice law in her home state of Florida which would make most de-emphasize the lawyer element and most constitutional scholars have publications in law reviews or other journals and Ms. Hall has none.  Yes she has a radio show and a website but she is correct in calling what she does a "ministry" rather than a "practice" as her former colleagues characterize their work as she has drifted from a field ruled by facts, rules and reason into an area ruled by faith.
“Mr. Bundy carries in his pocket a copy of the Constitution, which he believes draws its inspiration from the Bible. He told me: “Don’t we believe that Jesus Christ is basically the author of the Bible? Well, if the Constitution is inspired, who is the author? Wouldn’t that author be Jesus Christ again?” in The War on the West Rages On 
I would also argue that the Malheur occupiers and their supporters are missing this “chip,” but none so much as Ammon and Cliven Bundy.  For example, Ammon is still defiantly giving directives from his jail cell for the state and federal officers to remove themselves from Harney County.  Cliven too is issuing orders to Harney County on behalf of people who have given him absolutely no indication that he speaks for them and in a county that is not his.  But what would you expect from someone who thinks that Jesus wrote the Constitution via the child-with-a-chainsaw brand of logic exhibited above? If Cliven had the "chip" he would see himself as the rest of us do: A sad old man who is trying to steal lands and resources from the American people.
“It was always my opinion,” he wrote Peter Van Schaak the following year, “that matters of conscience and faith, whether political or religious, are as much out of province, as they are beyond the ken of human legislatures.” Gouverneur Morris quoted in Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris—the rake who wrote the Constitution (2003) by Richard Brookhiser (pp. 33)
If Cliven Bundy had the “chip” he would also understand that the US Constitution was written by a one-legged, George Washington-sized, frequent philanderer who was decidedly human and recklessly honest.  Gouverneur Morris (my collateral ancestor) is largely forgotten now, but he was a brilliant man who did in fact die painfully (while trying to remove a blockage from his urinary track with a piece of his wife’s whalebone corset), but he was a Deist and more inspired by reason than Jesus in act and thought.    My sense is that Gouverneur would see Cliven Bundy and the Bundyites as dangerous and un-holy grenades stealing America’s greatness along with its resources.  Uncle Gouverneur would likely take his cane to this rapscallion and be done with it and so should we.

1 comment:

  1. Bob, an important report from NEWSWEEK just came out: