This small south Arkansas city was once one of the top oil producers in the nation.
A low-down opponent accused a candidate for governor of Alabama last week of two particularly heinous beliefs. One, that there might be some truth in the notion of biological evolution; and two, that there might be error in some parts of the Bible.
This was pure slander, of course. No serious candidate for high public office in this part of the country would ever espouse such nonsense, and certainly wouldn't ever admit to believing anything of the sort.
Political-campaign lies get told, though, and you have to refute them quickly and vehemently. Then you have to make clear what you do believe. And in enumerating your true beliefs you have to sell yourself as earnest and sincere. You can't convey the slightest bit of doubt or uncertainty. Your goose is cooked if you do.
Here's a short list of things you have to believe, or say that you do, if you hope to win public office here in dewy Dixie in the twilight of the Southern Strategy. No substitutes.
• God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost are the same thing only different. (And don't be calling them a “thing” like that, either.)
• Hell is not other people, as some Frog playwright claimed. It's where those are headed who believe there might be some truth in evolution and error in some parts of the Bible.
• God is not dead, as some Kraut philosopher claimed. He's alive and well and in charge of everything, implementing his perfect plan, except that tornadoes and these big oil spills and good people getting killed in car wrecks are not his fault.
• Luke would've hated Obamacare.
• The Good Lord gave us an appendix probably because he had a bunch of them left over.
• There never were any dinosaurs. The big bones they've found were probably from the giant cows that Goliath's people kept.
• In Hell you don't get to keep your posse.
• One time Jesus ordered some demons to get out of a man and go live in some hogs. They did it, too. It's how you have to treat riffraff.
• Adam lived for 900 years. And all that time without a navel.
• That wasn't very long ago.
• The lesson of Lot's wife is, watching gay porn might get you turned into a block of salt.
• The sun goes around the earth and not vicey versey, but the moon is a different story.
• St. Paul gave out some strange vibes, but he wasn't a homo, at least not after the name change. Anything before Damascus stayed in Damascus, though.
• There's more to Revelation than some old hermit licking too many toad frogs.
• Noah was a mere lad of 600 at the time of the Flood. He didn't worry about things like what to feed the ark carnivores, and you shouldn't either – or you'll fall into despair and then when you die you'll go to Hell.
• Thou shan't kill is indeed one of the Ten Commandments, but since guns weren't yet invented when the list was made, killing deers during the gun season doesn't count against you, or somebody who's breaking into your tool shed.
• Mumble the right words at the right time and it vaccinates you against Hell. If you backslide later, there are ways of getting around that.
• You can't belong to some other religion, like Tiger Woods, and not go to Hell when you die.
• If you're “wounded in the stones,” according to Deuteronomy 23, meaning, like, shot in the nads during a war or something, God won't want to have anything to do with you – he won't let you come to church – you're just screwed as far as He's concerned, and you'll probably have to go to Hell when you die because He won't want you hanging around the Other Place giving him the creeps.
• If you get in a fight and your woman jumps in and helps you win by grabbing the other fighter's nads and giving them a painful twist, you have to call time and chop her hand off. Otherwise God will smite you with the botch of Egypt and some other horrors. And you'll go to Hell when you die. (This also from Deuteronomy.)
• (This too.) If you're camping out and you need to do a No. 2 before turning in, go outside the camp, and use a shovel to cover it up, because if the Lord makes a surprise inspection and steps in it, he's going to be really hacked. And you'll probably go to Hell when you die.
• You may have virtually the same DNA as a baboon but you're not an animal and if you even listen to the scientists and schoolteachers who say that you are, you'll go to Hell when you die. Along with them.
• Anybody that works on Sunday needs to be killed.
• Kill any witches you come across. No questions asked. And you don't have to Mirandize them.
• Also, kill anybody who's known to have had sex with a farm animal. (These last few from Exodus.)
• There's lots more. But that ought to get you through the primary. At least into the runoff.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.
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