And the Winner Is
Williams, Patricia J., The Nation
While gaudily festooned Hollywood liberals presented each other with the false golden idol of a little naked man, enlightened others quietly celebrated the traditions of thousands of years of Western Civilization with the first annual Pre-emptive Theology of Bellicosity and Competitive Deficit Spending Awards. Here's the skinny:
Best Harangue in the Style of Father Coughlin went to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, for its unequivocal rejection of no-fault doctrine, for its adherence to traditional family values of the Middle Ages and for its reinvigoration of flayed-muscular Christianity as X-treme sport.
Best Manifestation of the Glory of God went to ... God, of course, for His all-knowing choice of Pat Robertson as His prophetic vehicle, and unto whom He has delivered glad tidings that George W. Bush will be swept back into office in 2004, despite the pesky trial-by-election posed by unholy French-looking pretenders to the throne of state.
The Nearer-My-God-to-Thee Award went to Rodger Findiesen, an American Airlines pilot who warned his passengers that non-Christians are "crazy." "You can use your time wisely on this flight or you can sit back and watch the movies," he said, urging believers to identify themselves and start converting the heathens in their midst. Panicked infidels rang relatives from cell phones, so great was their fear of the Good Word.
Best Gaffer went to Education Secretary Rod Paige for calling the National Education Association a "terrorist organization" because it has criticized aspects of George W. Bush's implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Although Paige later said he didn't really mean it, delighted prosecutors were said to be considering freezing the association's assets, and rumors swirled of teachers being shipped to Guantanamo Bay, where once and for all they might learn what's good for them.
Best Rendition of a Combat Zone was awarded to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger when he stated that the rush of gay marriages in San Francisco was not merely civil disobedience but a civil disturbance risking bloodshed. Although Schwarzenegger later said that gay marriage was "fine" with him, his terminology officially fell within the purview of the USA Patriot Act and potentially subjected civil disturbers to secret searches of their homes and bedrooms and closets and drawers and all the dark, moist, sordid little places where they might be plotting the overthrow of the domestic order.
Best Rendition of a Comfort Zone went to American Airlines for kicking off a plane four Carmelite nuns because other passengers complained of a sulfurous smell emanating from their vicinity.
Best Rendition of an Ethical Twilight Zone was won hands down by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for his acceptance of an invitation to go duck hunting with Vice President Dick Cheney, who is the subject of a suit recently accepted for review by the Court; and for Scalia's acceptance of free transportation on the vice presidential plane, Air Force Two; and for Scalia's acceptance speech itself, a concise yet artful performance in the looks-like-a-duck, sounds-like-a-duck, must-be-a-duck category: "Quack, quack. …