The patriotic homophobes at Jerry Falwell's law firm, The Liberty Counsel, have offered a clenched fist of friendship to those afflicted with the debilitating scourge of open-mindedness. For just $20, you can purchase a deck of "Adopt a Liberal" playing cards. Each card is festooned with an unflattering likeness of a famous liberal like Barack Obama or Michael Moore (somehow, Jesus didn't make the cut) and lists their most vile transgression such as, in Nancy Pelosi's case, "supports hate crimes legislation."
The cards are a wonderful idea, once you get past the ominous similarity to the 2003 deck of 52 Iraqis Dick Cheney wanted killed. But these cards don't suggest anything of the sort. "Adopt a Liberal" cards simply instruct the recipient to pray for dangerous lefties like Olympia Snowe, Rahm Emanuel and actress Anne Hathaway (huh?).
Of course, which specific form of heavenly intervention one prays for is up to each Christian.
The "Adopt a Liberal" deck is a wonderful companion to my "Teach a Conservative to Read" cards. What better way to say "thank you for your prayers and steaming pile of moral superiority" than returning the favor by offering to sit with conservative leaders to help them sound out the big words?
Over the two years that I spent working for a member of congress, my heart was ripped to shreds by the torrent of tearful testimonials from conservative icons that the health care bills, environmental legislation and financial regulatory reform had too many pages for them to read.
Why, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell nearly etched a frown line in his creepy-smooth forehead when, eight months after the health care bill was introduced, he was still lamenting that it was "too long to read." Now, a more sarcastic person might suggest that if the fresh-faced Kentuckian was that slow a reader, maybe Senator isn't the right gig for him, but that wouldn't be nice.
I must admit that I have been particularly deaf to the conservatives' pain.
For months, good-hearted Tea Party followers, whose only sin is mistaking our flag for a cowboy shirt, stood outside my Capitol Hill office begging for help in reading the bill. "Read the bill! Read the bill! Read the bill!" they implored. But did I help? No, I was busy reading. To myself.
So now I want to make amends. Each "Teach a Conservative to Read" card tells the sad but hopeful tale of how brave conservative patriots overcame short attention spans and an appalling lack of intellectual curiosity to rise to the highest levels of the Republican Party. And here's the good news: Our program is showing signs of success. Never again will Queen of Diamonds Sarah Palin be unable to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads. Already, she can make out short, simple phrases written on her hand by her publicist.
And if it works for her, why wouldn't it also help the King of unstoppable Hearts, Dick Cheney; or South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson, the Jack of Ass?
Just as Liberty Counsel's Chief Inquisitor, Matthew Staver, reminds Christians that prayer isn't only for those we agree with, so, too, is it unfair that only liberals are able to read important legislation. That's why, on the back of every "Teach a Conservative to Read" card, you will find simple instructions on how to contact your conservative to arrange a time to come read to them.
Think how happy you'll make House Minority Leader John Boehner (the Tan of Clubs) by raising his comprehension to a level where he no longer mistakes the words: "ban pre-existing conditions" for "socialist takeover of health care".
Won't you help?
Follow Mike Larsen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/writemikelarsen