On the ninth day of Gheorghemas, Big Gheorghe gave to me...
Nine Small-Town Nimrods
Eight Songs I'm Loathing . . . or should be loathing, but I'm loath to say that I'm actually liking them instead of loathing them . . .
Seven Football Stories
Six Bits Worth Reviving
Five Awesome Gifts
Four Smokin' Rock Chicks
Three Blogging Concepts (Sports, Drinking, Elitism)
Two Footie Stories
And a Doofus on a Pony
Loudoun's also a very artistic place, home to painters, photographers, and artists of all stripes. So you can imagine our pride, then, to find Loudoun getting national exposure for the creative expression of one of our citizens. Perhaps a bit of background is in order.
Several years ago, local residents protested the placing of a nativity scene on the lawn of the County Courthouse on the grounds that a public facility is an inappropriate venue for displays promoting a single religion. The nine-member Board of Supervisors ultimately agreed, and established a process that enabled county residents to apply to display holiday symbols of their choosing in a first-come, first-served manner. Interestingly, the application process does not require submitters to include a picture or other visual representation of their proposed display. I see no way this could go wrong.
Heflin's performance art was met by a perfect storm of outrage, with Christians aghast at the affront to their faith, parents pissed about having to explain it to their kids, atheists and agnostics angry at everyone else's reaction, and local politicians quickly (and, of course, loudly and visibly) taking to the media to express their righteous indignation and shock, shock that anyone would do such a thing. Supervisor-elect and blowhard Ken Reid was "utterly outraged", and expressed his “...intent as the new Supervisor for Leesburg to seek changes in
the county policy so these outrageous anti-religious displays are not
debasing the lawn of our beloved courthouse.” When a local woman disobeyed the Sheriff's Office and dismantled the display, she was alternately cheered and jeered by the opposing sides. If only this could have been predicted.
Fortunately, at least for those who like entertainment, the Board of Supervisors declined to discontinue this year's remaining holiday displays despite pressure to do so. Freedom of speech may not be pretty, but it's worth protecting. Me, I'm really looking forward to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's presentation. And planning next year's Apostles of St. Gheorghe concept, because it sure seems like my little town could use an antidote to self-seriousness. I'm a churchgoing man, but I confess very little tolerance for people of any persuasion forcing their views on others. Unless their views are anti-Dan Snyder.
In 2011, the voters of Loudoun County swept much of the incumbent Board of Supervisors out as Republicans made a clean sweep of the nine Board seats. In what may be taken as a heel turn by my liberal fellow travelers, recent events have convinced me that this is a good thing. I'll take competence over ideology, especially when it comes to my neighborhood.
Merry Flying Spaghettimas.
* The 'conceived' part of this might be made up, but the good General's Dodona Manor is smack in the middle of downtown Leesburg. I run by it on a regular basis.