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Free To Be Dennis Rodman

By Cap'n O

Thought police! How much would you fine the guy who said these things about Mormons?

"The Mormon bible is rather stupid and tiresome to read. ... The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so 'slow,' so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration."

And on Mormon women: "I warmed toward these poor, ungainly and pathetically 'homely' creatures, ... I said, 'No, the man that marries one of them has done an act of Christian charity which entitles him to the kindly applause of mankind, not their harsh censure.'"

Would you fine him $50,000? Or $100,000? Would you denounce him for making religiously insensitive remarks, demand that he attend sensitivity/diversity classes, apologize to every Mormon and give up product endorsement deals?

Even if you wanted to, you can't. Mark Twain, who ridiculed Mormons in his classic book "Roughing It" is dead. Too bad. That's one less person whose freedom of speech and thought you can't oppress. And it's unfortunate for the rest of us that Twain is dead. Were he alive, his pen, no doubt, would be on fire against the war that is being waged in this country against free speech.

Dennis Rodman, the clownish, tattooed basketball player who said unflattering things about Mormons a couple of weeks ago, is the latest casualty of this war. The NBA fined him $50,000 for saying nasty things about Utah Jazz fans.

Everyone in this nation who cares about freedom of speech and thought should be outraged by what happened to Rodman, which is an assault on the one and only thing that has made this nation what the gangly, brooding Abe Lincoln called the last best hope for mankind--freedom of speech.

Rodman should get his money back with interest, and NBA Commissioner David Stern and others responsible for fining him should be imprisoned or executed for defiling the most sacred of all human rights.

Rodman doesn't have to like or respect Mormons or Jazz fans. He's free to think that they're idiots and to ridicule the entire fresh-scrubbed, non-swearing, boring race of them if he wants to. At least he used to be free to do so.

By fining Rodman, Stern and the other thought police are saying that he and the rest of us must hold the Mormon faith credible, worthy and sacred. But what if we don't feel that way? What if, like Twain, we feel that the Mormon bible is a clownish, dim-witted, laughable plagiarism of the Christian bible?

The thought controllers are now trying to force Americans to revere things that they despise, believe things they think are untrue, like those they hate and to keep their mouths shut unless their opinions conform to what those in power believe.

It's so obviously wrong and dangerous that we shouldn't even be discussing it. But we are, and so I'll put it in perspective. In the '60s and '70s, hippies, yippies and other spoiled middle and upper-class whites who didn't want to work, protested against the government and the Vietnam war. Remember, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" When cops tried to haul them off to jail for doing so, they screamed that they had the right to denounce the government. They were right.

Now, many of those same spoiled brats, true to their laziness and lack of talent, are college professors, government officials and members of the media elite who are oppressing speech more than Richard Nixon ever could have. But times and political beliefs change. In a few years, a new group will be in power. What if they try to outlaw criticism of Nixon, Truman or Eisenhower? Or what if they try to punish criticism of Jerry Falwell or other zealous bible-thumpers?

But why be so serious? I'll close on a lyrical note:

I don't like Mormons, Papists or Jews;

My ass gets boils in Baptist pews.

Sue me.

--Cap'n O

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