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Hillbillies & the Mentally Handicapped Will Be Cut Some Slack On Judgment Day

Hillbillies & the Mentally Handicapped Will Be Cut Some Slack On Judgment Day
November 12
16:12 2013

People have been talking about Sarah Palin’s latest befuddlement over Pope Francis‘ seemingly liberal leanings. If anybody can sniff out a liberal agenda, it’s the former Alaskan governor and gun-friendly housewife.

What bothers her most about Francis is not readily apparent, but one might suspect it’s his loosened approach to homosexuals and atheists entering the eternal Kingdom of God. Because, and this might be Palin’s worst fear, if gays and God-deniers are allowed to be milling around the streets of Paradise, then heaven will be no more pleasant than life on earth. But if Sarah Palin thinks that’s wacky liberal theology, she’s limited in her scope and imagination.

Men from very serious religious backgrounds have assured me that each human being will be judged by the environment from which they come, and will only be held spiritually accountable for what they are able to understand. If you are the descendant of a saint, or have special connection to a prophet, you’ll naturally be held to a higher standard. But in cases like mine and Palin’s, I’ve been assured that hillbillies are ultimately cut some slack in these metaphysical matters.

He’s too liberal! I ejaculated…

I had been sipping a piping hot cup of coffee on a bench in Larchmont Village when a white-haired lady sat beside me. “Mind if I sit?” she asked first, before slowly dropping her bony bottom onto the wooden slats of the bench. I almost reached out a hand to guide her, but I’m still uncomfortable touching other people, especially strangers.

I held a rolled up newspaper, with which I usually swat away anybody wearing a colorful vest who tries to hit me up for donations for their special interest groups — stop the killing of whales; stop the destruction of the earth; dismantle all nuclear weapons; support Planned Parenthood; help us put an end to hate groups; take a moment and support our beleaguered phony liberal president; and so on.

“Did you hear about Sarah Palin saying she was baffled by how liberal the new pope seemed?” the old lady asked me. She eyed the newspaper baton clenched in my fist.

He’s too liberal! I ejaculated. Isn’t that a joke! The guy says maybe atheists will go to heaven someday, and maybe gays, too, and of course that raises red flags all the way in Alaska.

The old lady and I had a generous laugh. “But Palin’s wary of interpreting the pope’s true message from the media,” she said, “because they might be making him out to be more liberal sounding than he really is.”

Yes! I said. A corporately-controlled fascist media out to make people sound more liberal. It all makes perfect sense, I told her.

No political correctness from the wintry wilderness…

I turned toward my new friend. She sat very dignified. Her thin grey slacks and her white blouse neatly covered her body. Her frail neck was hardly thicker than her white, freckled wrists.

Have you ever heard of Hubert Humdinger? I asked her. She shook her head, so I continued. He’s the infamous, long forgotten, exiled cultural philosopher who had all his books burned by the US government in 1976 because of how efficiently he combined very practical, but mind-blowing universal ideas.

“How interesting.” She watched as each car rolled to a stop at the sign, waited for any crossing pedestrians to clear, then zoomed forward again. “Humdinger,” she said, trying to word out for herself. Three young men stumbled out of the local shoe store. They playfully jostled with each other as they walked down the sidewalk.

Humdinger’s got very profound ideas on God, I told her. I can’t do any justice explaining them, but he’s always been of the belief that there’s one ultimate point of creation, and from there our physical plane is created, and stacked like blankets atop the material realm is possibly an infinite layering of other dimensions and metaphysical realities where energy vibrates at different frequencies than on this plane, and thought impulses and ideas can be visualized in some realms as soon as they’re had.

“I would ask what reality is that Mr Humdinger living in?” she said, smiling.

That’s kind of my point, I said. If Sarah Palin could get her moisturized hands on a Humdinger book, she may not be so frightened by Pope Francis’ rather unshocking ideas about gays and atheists getting rooms in the Father’s mansion.

“I don’t know how such people as Palin get handed such prominent positions in society,” my elderly friend said. “She goes around judging people. I thought that was God’s job?” She shook her open palms to accentuate her point.

Humdinger addresses that, as well. He says God only judges people by the information or capabilities they’re given. They are judged based on the environment from which they come. A saint who’s had access to God and has been given lessons on the light shed by the prophets will be judged differently than a hillbilly from North Dakota who can barely discern the working themes in a novel, much less a book detailing philosophical or spiritual arguments.

“That almost sounds reasonable,” the woman said. “Is that what Francis means when he says atheists will go to heaven?” She chuckled. “Maybe there’s still a little hope for my shriveled soul.”

Sure, I said, Humdinger thinks it’s all based on what you know, and can know. He says one of the most enviable positions in this life is to be mentally retarded. It’s like having a free ticket to the next life.

My elderly friend straightened up at that. She stiffened her wrinkled fingers and clawed at a section of hair on the back of her head. “That doesn’t seem like a very nice thing to say,” she said.

Without being overly sensitive to a whole lotta political correctness, I reminded her, you have understand the wild antiseptic Northern European tundra from which Humdinger is hollering.

If God judges people on their individual capacities to understand a higher spiritual reality, then those who are born mentally retarded have free tickets in this life. They can’t be expected to cultivate a higher understanding of metaphysical realities, nor would any sane person hold them responsible for entertaining multiple ideas of mind, body, and spirit. In the final reckoning, they’ll be in the express lane.

My friend still didn’t seem to understand, and I feared she held me in no greater esteem than a Fox News correspondent, so I tried to reframe the idea.

It’s the same reason why Ronald Reagan got off so lightly, I said. He wasn’t mentally handicapped. Reagan was a few notches above that. But he didn’t have the capacity to be held accountable for funding death squads in Nicaragua, nor did he realize fully what serving a death blow to union workers would mean for the future of indentured servitude in America. How could he realize that cutting taxes for the rich and raising them for the middle class was a bad idea?

I have no doubt Reagan is on his white horse, lost somewhere in the backwoods of Heaven, I assured her.

Finally, my elderly friend stretched out one gaunt finger and said, “So if I get struck down with Alzheimer’s disease, I won’t be held accountable for not remembering what silly ideas are out there in the world, like the ones you and this Mr Humdinger and Sarah Palin have?”

Well, I’m not God, I said, but I suspect you’ll be forgiven, no matter what ex-governor bimbos say. Hillbillies and the mentally handicapped will be cut considerable slack on Judgment Day.

[Official Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mac Metcalfe, Alaska Army National Guard]

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  1. Joanna
    Joanna November 12, 16:38

    Fascinating. Someday we need to have a discussion, you and I, about Humdinger’s apologetics and epistemology. Something tells me that Humdinger and the “People’s Pontiff” might very well be easy bedfellows.

    Reply to this comment
    • DDA
      DDA Author November 13, 16:32

      Better yet, maybe I could persuade Humdinger to call you over Skype (his favorite, NSA-sponsored connection) so he can shout his opinions at you without letting you get a word in. It’s a pleasurable experience.

      Reply to this comment
      • Joanna
        Joanna November 14, 03:05

        I’m up for such an honor! I must divulge, however, that I’ve years of practice with my beloved father in discourse such as this and even managed to slip in whole subjects and verbs from time to time. I attribute this ability to my coarse Germanic roots. My ancestors were a raucous bunch, skilled in the art of subverting rant. The pleasure would be all mine.

        Reply to this comment

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