Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's In A Name?

I noticed that Eldorado Texas resident, Abram Harker JEFFS, was sentenced this week to a 17-year prison term for having "married" a fifteen-year-old. I bet a lot of our ancestors are glad they are not alive today. They would have been branded as child-molesters and charged with sexual assault. The esteemed Mormon prophet and church-founder, Joseph Smith, would likely have gotten 20 years or at least execution. He is fortunate that his last name wasn't something despicable like 'Jeffs' or 'Kingston'. It appears that much of the guilt imputed to Abram Jeffs came from the fact that his brother happens to be Warren Jeffs, the second-most hated man in America (behind BP's Tony "Oil-Spill" Hayward).

I am reminded of the events of a few years ago, when Philistine University of Utah president, Bernie (Hitler) Machen announced that he didn't want anyone whose last name was "Kingston" to attend the U of U.

I recently re-watched the rather didactic movie, District 9. As gruesome and downright offensive as this movie was, it really is one of the most brilliantly presented stories since The Matrix. In District 9, the recently arrived aliens are relegated to a reservation or ghetto. They are universally misunderstood, despised and mistreated. The show's leading character, Vikus Van Der Moewe, regularly refers to the aliens as "Prawns" (due to their unmistakably crustacean appearance). He willfully mocks and destroys their incubating offspring. In the end, he actually becomes one of the aliens, and we learn that the aliens are infinitely more technologically advanced than the humans who are abusing them. One message of the show is that the good white folk of South Africa have been unbelievably brutal toward a minority within their midst.

I am genuinely disgusted with the residents and public officials of Tom Green and Schleicher Counties of Texas. The frenzied hysteria of vilification and bullying has driven ordinarily-sane Americans to inflict vicious and spiteful prison terms on perfectly innocent neighbors and their young families. A single juror could have nullified these sentences - could have bridled the frenzied mob and stood up to Barbie and her SturmTruppen.

I have decided that we Americans are good at developing what I call "Weapon Words". If we dislike a person or a community, we say they live in a "compound"; that their religion is a "cult". These words are not inherently pejorative, but they become so through their use. "Nazi" (from national) and "Nigger" (from black) are good examples.

So now the word "Jeffs" has become a curse word. If you are a Jeffs, you had better change your name to something more tasteful, like "Jeffries". (George Burns changed his name from Birnbaum). Merely being a "Jeffs" could easily add a ten-year enhancement to your sentence (as it may well have done just this week).

The Bible speaks of a day when " . . the love of men shall wax cold" for each other. I think we are in that day now, if we can hand out 17 and 75 year sentences to people because we despise their religion - the religion of our recent, and not-so-recent, forefathers.

I pray that the illegal invasion of the YFZ Ranch and the unlawful search and seizure of FLDS property will soon be indicted in a court of appeal saner than Barbie's.

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