As you know, the best way to solve a problem is to identify the core belief that causes the problem; then mock that belief until the people who hold it insist that you heard them wrong.
The core belief that drives terrorism is the notion of a “holy place,” along with the idea that some people belong there and other people don’t. That’s why the only solution to terrorism is for religious scholars to hold a global summit to agree on the definition of “holy place.” Once they agree on a definition, it will be easier to mock it into submission.
At some point during the summit, probably after a week or so, the scholars would tire of saying to each other, “Nice hat” and asking, “What setting do you use to trim your ratty beard?” Then they’d get down to the business of defining what makes a place holy. Someone would suggest that the key things are the location and the fact that something holy happened there. Eventually, someone with a second-grade understanding of space, possibly the busboy, would point out that everything in the universe has moved a gazillion miles since the holy event, and the concept of location is meaningless unless all the reference points stay put. The best-case scenario is that the “holy place” is now a billion miles away, floating in empty space.
After some embarrassed mumbling, the scholars would insist that they knew all along that location wasn’t important. One of them would break the awkwardness by suggesting that a holy place must be defined by the “stuff” that comprises it. That’s good news, because the Middle East is made entirely of dirt. The wise King Solomon probably would have advised people to help themselves to as much holy dirt as they wanted. He might have gone so far as to suggest that people put holy dirt in their socks so they can enjoy walking on it wherever they go. But first he would have invented socks and patented the idea, because in addition to being wise, he had a good head for business.
Religious scholars should also help the rest of us understand the question of holy depth. Is it just the top layer of soil that’s holy, or does the holiness continue lower into the ground? It’s important because if there’s no bottom limit, then whatever is on the exact opposite side of the earth is also holy, only upside down. The residents would have to stand on their heads to get the full benefit of the holy rays, but it would be worth it.
Feel free to forward this Holy Place argument to any Induhviduals who need the enlightenment that comes from having their core beliefs mocked. I can’t guarantee that this will stop terrorism, but whatever you’re doing now isn’t working.
Nineteen American TV stations are refusing to show Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan as part of tonight’s Veterans Day commemorations.
Although affiliates of network ABC are screening the movie across the country this evening, many of those affiliates have pulled the film from their schedules, arguing that its graphic scenes of battlefield violence and bad language will lead to sanctions from the Federal Communication Commission’s ongoing crackdown on indecency in broadcasting.
Among those station owners making the decision to replace the movie with less controversial programming are companies from Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Florida and North Carolina.
“It clearly would have been our preference to run the movie,” said Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications, owners of three stations across the midwest, none of which will now be showing Spielberg’s film. “We think it’s a patriotic, artistic tribute to our fighting forces. [But] we regret that the FCC, given its current timidity in dealing in this area, would not grant an advance waiver, which would have allowed stations like ours to run it without any question or concern.”
Next time an American tells you he lives in a Free Country, laugh in his face. Only in countries like Iran does a television station have to get pre-approval for broadcasting patriotic movies.