“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Friday, April 20, 2007

The B.I.B.L.E.: Yes, that's the book for me. And D'S.O.U.Z.A: Yes, he can show the way.

Dinesh D'Souza's cloistral, parochial and sectarian comments regarding the alleged absence of non-religious people after the Virginia Tech massacre included the following claim about the comments of Nikki Giovanni (who recently visited WTAMU):

Even secular people like the poet Nikki Giovanni use language that is heavily drenched with religious symbolism and meaning.
Um, heavily drenched? Here are Giovanni's beautiful comments in toto:
We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today and we will be sad for quite awhile. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to know when to cry and sad enough to know we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did not deserve it but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, but neither do the invisible children walking the night to avoid being captured by a rogue army. Neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory; neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokier Nation embraces our own with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail, we will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.
I'm trained to find "symbolism and meaning," and I just don't see what D'Souza's getting at. Giovanni's comments don't deny or question religion explicitly, but they don't invoke it either. And, frankly, Giovanni's "We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did not deserve it..." is a hella lot more honest and human than any glib "it must have been God's will, beyond our understanding, God doesn't give us anything we can't handle, blah, blah, blah" nonsense that Dinesh D'Souza and his Bible-breathing comrades might belch forth.