Have you wondered where Jon Deer has been lately? Since my reappearance (with Sort 322) after my hiatus, Jon Deer has been gone and, in a lot of ways, forgotten. He has returned to the notice of the Partial Observer, however, having sent to my inbox a verbatim on the minutes of a meeting where he has participated as a delegate.
He included this cover letter:
How have you been? I'm assuming you're still a chauvinist jerk, but I haven't had time to read your column in a while, since I heard you had moved to another continent and stopped writing, and anyway I have been getting much too busy with my Unitopilan Sunday School class. (I never did bother to correct your misinformation, by the way, when you stated that I was with the Unitarians. I have nothing to do with those throw-back Neanderthals. The Unitopilans, for your information, are progressive and generous with everyone.)
Anyway, if you are ready to open your mind for a change, you might want to run this past your Webmaster.
Run it past my Webmaster? As if! More like sneak it by him.
An Exceprt from the Minutes of the Synod of Mainline Ecumenical American Religions
Summer 2009 Trienniel Meeting
Submitted by Jon Deer
Chair: Our next item is a motion submitted by the Task Force on Social Entitlements, Empowerments, Evolution and Engineering. I invite the president of the Task Force, Dr. Quackenquail, to take the floor.
Dr Q: Thank you Madame Chairpersyn. It has been my privilege to preside over this task force for the past three years. Diversity has been well represented, with an African American, a transgendered male to female, two celebrants of progressive Judaism, and a member of our wheel-chair enhanced community.
(There is wild applause at this expression of sensitivity and unity of purpose.)
Chair: (Tapping the gavel.) Please return to order. Dr. Quackenquail, please proceed to the reading of the motion.
Dr Q: Whereas many persyns are weight-enhanced, and find that the current legal, social, employment and medical environments serve to curtail and conspire against their weight-enhancement preferences and lifestyles, be it resolved that we, the member bodies of SMEARS, call upon the appropriate branches and offices of government, to regulate and reduce the gravitational constant by twenty-five percent.
Chair: You have heard the motion, and as it has come from a task-force it needs no second.
Idiot: Madame Chair, I rise to a point of order.
Chair: Yes sir, please state your name.
Idiot: Jim Smith, from Springfield. Am I given to understand that the Task Force is asking SMEARS to change the law of gravity?
Chair: That question is a point of information, sir, not a point of order. I will allow it.
Dr Q: Yes, Mr. Smith has grasped the intent of the motion.
Idiot: Then, Madame Chair, it seems to me that the motion is out of order. We are being asked to recommend a change in the laws of physics. That doesn't make any sense.
Dr Q: The issue is one of justice.
Idiot: Sir, I beg to differ. Physical laws are constant, regardless of our opinions about them.
Chair: Mr. Smith, you seem to be arguing on terms of the merits of the motion, rather than on a point of order. The motion remains on the table and is now open for discussion. I see a woman at the floor microphone.
Bigot: Thank you chair. As you can see I am fat myself--
Chair: Weight-enhanced. The change in language is in our by-laws.
Bigot: Enhanced? Well, but ... the thing is, changing the law of gravity for everyone else seems to me kind of unfair. I should be controlling my portions, getting in some exercise. I mean, I should be responsible for my own problem.
(At this point Jon Deer joins in the boos and jeers.)
Chair: Please, let's try to be more polite, people, even with those who are completely clueless. I see the man at the balcony mike.
Fundy: Bill Miller, from Madison County. You liberals have taken SMEARS too far. It's about time we return to our roots when our pilgrims settled Jamestown and Plymouth and held the first SMEARS meeting, which agreed to burn Quakers on the stake as witches. I tell you we compromised then, and we've been on the slippery slope ever since. No wonder God is judging this country, and if we don't wake up and smell the coffee, we'll be waking up to fire and brimstone! I say the law of gravity is not severe enough for you fruit-cake eating -- uh -- fruitcakes! I say we should make gravity HEAVIER!
Chair: Are you moving to amend the original motion?
Fundy: Does that mean change it?
Chair: I can't allow it, since it is a complete reversal on the spirit of the original motion. If you like you can submit your proposal as a separate motion for review by the Task Force, to have it placed on the agenda for the meeting in three years time.
Fundy: You're all crack-pots. Just so you know, if you all vote the wrong way on this, a silent majority is going to walk out on you, led by me!
Idiot: Point of order, Madame Chairwoman.
(Jeers, heckles, including Jon Deer shouting, "It's Chairpersyn you dumb twit!")
Chair: Sir, we can't have you wasting the meeting's time with picky little procedural issues, most of which are a judgment call anyway.
Idiot: But Madame Chairpersyn, how is voting on a fundamental law of physics going to do anyone any good? We have no business to speak on this. This is hardly a religious matter at all.
Dr Q: If I may?
Chair: Chair recognizes Dr. Quackenquail.
Dr Q: Young man, your heart seems to be in the right place, but honestly take a deep breath and consider the precedent that would be set if we were to withdraw this motion or if, Divine Essence forbid, it were voted down. If we, as an ecumenical religious body, restrained ourselves from speaking out on issues concerning the laws of physics, do you know where that might lead?
Idiot: I--uh--I'm not following--
Dr Q: It would set the precedent for understanding spiritual law the same way, as constant and enduring. And then where would we be?
Idiot: Spiritual laws?
Dr Q: Sure. Like the Ten Commandments. Imagine if THEY were treated as "fundamental" and "constant" in our world. Then that would imply that some texts are sacred and inviolate, and that would imply all kinds of things and trust me, we do not want to get into that. Why, the first three commandments alone would have this body in a pickle! Thank God we voted on The Ten Commandments, calling them, in words I wrote myself, the "uncertain fault-lines in a weak foundation under the shaky ground of so-called divine revelation." That was thirty-six years ago in the first committee I chaired. Without that statement, SMEARS wouldn't even exist.
Dr Q: Wow is right. Now do you understand the spirit of what we're doing?
Idiot: I sure do, professor.
Dr Q: Good. Then you go ahead and sit down now and we'll bring this conversation along.
Idiot: Don't worry. You won't be hearing from me again.
(Idiot leaves the hall.)
After further discussion the motion passed over a minority of mean-spirited, narrow-minded bigots. End verbatim.
So, readers, there you have it. Apparently so many people are choosing to be fat, the progressive religious group that Jon Deer belongs to wants to make the law of gravity a matter of democracy, choice and entitlement. I don't know about you, but a reduction in force of about 20% would suit me fine. I can stand to lose 40 pounds.