Holy Ronald the Great, patron saint of laissez faire capitalism, help us preserve our conservative faith.  Help us remember what we believe in.

Save us from unrestrained government spending and the temptation to raise taxes.  Sure, you ran deficits and raised taxes, but you did it to defend us from the anti-American enemy.  And anything done to defend us from the anti-American enemy is sacred in our eyes, amen.

May your spirit inspire us to appear patriotic.  For we know that we will fall short of the glory of real patriotism in our deeds, but the virtue of appearing patriotic will redeem us.  Yea, our Democratic opponents will be accused of weakness when they walk the road of diplomacy, but we will be able to trade arms for hostages and still call ourselves true patriots for all eternity.

Rescue us from division and splintering, from multiple factions and an abundance of primary candidates.  Grant us unity, and do not permit us to have any doubts about our platform, nor to listen to deceitful suggestions that we should change it.  With your aid, we will live our lives in your image–with a cheerful indifference to the facts, joking about the things which we do not understand, knowing we will be right no matter what.

Above all else, we are gathered here in your name to worship and praise that most holy of holies, the Almighty Dollar.  May it ever increase and multiply.  Even as we are broke and struggling and crushed by the heel of great corporations, we remain steadfast in our belief that one day, you will bestow upon us the blessings of wealth, just as you have upon your other servants who tell us to vote Republican.  So we say, let the wealthy remain wealthy, today and tomorrow, now and forever, wealth without end.  Amen.

Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the details of my daily life–or the details of the latest political PR stunt–that I forget I’m fortunate enough to live in very interesting times.  Well, fortunate or cursed, I’m not sure which one.  What I do know is that this is not a peaceful era in our country’s history.  As Grumpy Cat might say, “Good.”

Say what you will about the Obama administration’s achievements, his has not been a boring presidency.  He has been a Messiah to some–as we’ve found out this week–and an Antichrist to others.  I have yet to meet someone with a neutral opinion of Obama.  And that in itself is a good sign–if you’re not hated by anyone, you’re doing something wrong.

The country is not a neutral mood, either.  The Tea Party is trying to organize a constitutional convention–a meeting of the states to protest the direction of this government and to propose amendments to the Constitution.  State legislatures in two-thirds of the states would have to vote for this convention to happen, so who knows if this is something that will ever get off the ground.  Still, conflict and secession are in the air, as they have been pretty much since January 2009.

I wonder how we’ll look back upon this time decades from now.  If health care reform turns out to be beneficial to Americans, will Obama be remembered as the heroic President who made it happen?  Will we erase all the controversy and name-calling, the way we’ve done with JFK, and be left only with pictures of the new Camelot, of the glamorous First Family?  Will progressives do to Obama what conservatives did to Ronald Reagan when they wiped away all the wrinkles of his presidency and turned him into their Messiah?  Or will we continue to remember this as a contentious time, perhaps as the first rumblings of a deeper split in this country, or–if the threatening noises from Russia and China are any indication–the prelude to another global war?

I will be the first to admit that I don’t have the answers to any of the above questions.  Whatever the case, I’m excited to be here to witness all this and to write about it, however inadequately.  Despite the Chinese curse, I never did want to live in bland times.

So, I think I’m starting to get it.  The main thing this gun debate comes down to is that you want to be able to fight your own government.  That’s why you need to own such large guns–because they are not for hunting or target practice–they are meant for that inevitable day when the military shows up on your doorstep to stick you in a FEMA camp because you got caught reading the Drudge Report.  Fine, I get it.  There’s only one problem with this scenario.  The military isn’t afraid of your puny assault rifle.  They have missiles and drones.  This invites another question–should we all be allowed to own missiles in case we have to defend ourselves from the coming dictatorship?  If not, why not?  Why are our missile rights being restricted?

This question can be translated to the international scene, as well.  After all, the conservative argument is that the more weapons everyone has, the more peaceful our world will be.  So why the uproar over Iran and North Korea developing their nuclear programs?  Let everyone have their bombs, the bigger the better.   Sure, we’ll live in constant fear of each other, but we’ll also treat each other more politely.  Wasn’t that the theory during the Cold War–mutually assured destruction?  A theory which Reagan liked, even!  See, the Republicans will totally be on board with me on this.

Um, what’s that you say?  You say that Iran and North Korea are ka-razy and should not be allowed to arm themselves to the teeth?  Does that mean that not everyone in the world should have access to deadly weapons?  So perhaps some individuals in our country should also not be allowed to have guns, because they might shoot them for crazy reasons.  Unless America is somehow special and is comprised of only good and peaceful people.  But I think our latest rash of shootings puts the lie to that.

In the comments to my Hunger Games blog, the topic of celebrity worship came up.  I was under the mistaken impression that celebrity worship was a bad thing.  In particular, I mentioned that there’s a downtown hotel which I frequently walk past where I can watch the fans of celebrity athletes line up whenever a basketball team comes to town, holding their “Love You Kobe!” signs, and how I found this rather pathetic, especially since the athletes in question don’t give a flying rat’s ass and usually breeze past without even glancing at their faithful.

However, I decided to do more research on this question, since every blog should involve research at least once in a while.  After having ingested large amounts of gossip material, I have located valid reasons for why celebrities should be worshipped:

They wear coats made of purple minks—a creature I didn’t know existed. 

If you’re an artist, they will hire you to paint a portrait of them surrounded by fluttering angels.  (I think Michael Jackson had one of those.)  I live in a family of artists and, believe me, anyone who will buy art in this economy deserves to be worshipped. 

They can have sex with anyone they desire, kind of the way Zeus used to do. 

Also, they starve themselves into malnutrition, which makes them martyrs as well as gods.  When they do eat, they have very strict food rules and they are willing to divulge their secrets to us, so that as their devotees, we are able to follow their dietary laws. 

I have to admit to heresy:  I’m still not really satisfied with any of these deities.  I suppose I could try worshipping political celebrity gods, like St. Ronnie of the Free Market, or the future St. Obama, once his presidency is over and he can be canonized.  But let’s face it, I don’t want to waste my adoration on any of these flawed humans—they are not worthy of it.  Instead, I will do what most people in Portland do, and worship my little pet dog.  Look at the face in that picture—doesn’t he look like he’s enlightened already?