Oklahoma Mike and the Temple of Doom

Meet Indiana Jones’ smaller, slower sibling: Dr. Mike Ritze from Oklahoma.

Dr. Mike (R-Broken Arrow, no joke) was instrumental in setting up a privately funded monument depicting the Ten Commandments on the lawn outside Oklahoma’s Capitol building. Quite illegally so, by the way, because the US Constitution strictly forbids this. But it seems that Oklahoma Mike and his fellow legislators thought a little well-intentioned disregard of law was not going to ruffle anyones feathers.

Of course it did.

Enter Satanic Temple, a recognized religion in the US. They want a share of the action, and notified the state’s Capitol Preservation Commission that they intend to donate a monument as well.

Now cue clown shoes and slide whistle as Oklahoma politicians manage to collectively put their feet in their mouths. Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma:

“The New York [Satanic Temple] group is trying to place a monument on the Capitol grounds for religious purposes and will be unsuccessful. The Ten Commandments monument, on the other hand, was put up for historical purposes”

That’s already weapons-grade stupid. But they can do even better:

“This is a faith-based nation and a faith-based state,”

said Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville. Ho boy, can you be more wrong? Being a political representative in the US you can’t – unless you go nuclear with One nation under god (pledge) or In god we trust (dollar bills).

These clowns really delivered the funny here. And that’s even without the spelling errors on the monument.

It’s not as if the satanists don’t know it. You can see their grin even here, across the pond. Lucien Graeves, Satanic Temple spokesman, managed to get out the following – without bursting into flames of pure Schadenfreude:

“He [Dr. Mike Ritze] is helping a satanic agenda grow more than any of us possibly could.”

And when asked what he’d do to make people less afraid of Satanists, he replied with delightful darkness:

“Some people will be put off by Satanism no matter how it is practiced. […] What we can do, however, is educate people so that they fear us for the right reasons.”


Well, Dr. Ritze, didn’t you read the one about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? Looks like this time it is more literal than even the hardiest of the bible belt buckle believers could have imagined.

Or as we say: Karma is a bitch.

Mainly because we don’t believe in her.

The Ministry of Silly Talks

I have some strange quirks. One of them is that, although not british, I like – and dare I say: comprehend – Monty Python. Not just ‘Life Of Brian’; to this day I can’t help but glance expectantly towards the door whenever I hear the words ‘Spanish Inquisition’.

Unfortunately, the world of humor is drifting perilously close to reality. For over a year now, Britain has a Minister of Faith. A few years ago I thought the Ministry of Silly Walks was a high point in comedy; now there is a Minister of Silly Thoughts.

Last week, the Minister, Baroness Warsi, on the subject of Islam extremism treated the british Parliament to quote from The West Wing, following it up with a particularly thin version of the No True Scotsman argument.

This has led me to believe (ha!) that the Baroness is now the prime candidate for the soon-to-be-formed Ministry of Silly Talks.