Ghost Shirts (again?)

As usual the truth, or, reality if you prefer, turns out to be far more strange than anything you can make up in the way of fiction.

Anyone who reads this blog, or, knows me either personally, or, professionally understands how taken I am with attempting to understand what it means to be human.   How fascinated I am with the little “reality creation” projects that make up such a huge and vitally important part of our existence.   What you see pictured above are Mormon Temple Garments, known to us non-Mormons as “Magic Underpants”.  They are believed, by Mormons, to provide the wearer with spiritual protection and tales are told of Mormons who credit their temple garments with helping them survive car wrecks, fires, and natural disasters.  I have it on the highest authority that Mitt Romney would consider himself naked without them.

Now, here is what tickles the heck out of me this morning.   By the 1890s what was left of the Native American population was on its last leg.  The good Christian descendants of the God Fearing explorers who had lied, murdered and raped their way from coast to coast were about to finish, in the name of Jesus, the genocide begun moments after the first “decent white folks” laid eyes on the rich and so poorly defended real estate we know today as America.  As far as the Native Americans were concerned the writing was on the Tee-Pee and the jig was up.  Their way of life was over and they did what humans do when they realize their way of life is over.  They turned to magic!

A magical religious movement (excuse me for being redundant) arose among what was left of the Native American Tribes. Those who joined this movement were encouraged to believe that through magic and dancing the white man could be made to simply “go away” and that his bullets could be rendered harmless if warriors placed upon themselves magically protective “Ghost Shirts” and rode boldly into battle.  They were known as “Ghost Dancers”.   I bet I don’t have to tell you how well that turned out.

Here is the really funny part.  Can you guess where the Native Americans could possibly have gotten the crazy idea that magic clothing could protect them from harm?

You guessed it and historians and anthropologists specializing in that time period and location point almost unanimously to……. Mormon Magic Underpants!

So, where are we today?  The lies, murder and rape of the planet has continued and there is no end in sight to the damage more time will bring.  Whole nations, cultures and peoples now stand where the Native Americans once stood and like they did they long for someone, some power, to bring back the good times and the security and the power they once enjoyed.   Do they face this calamity with logic?  Do they say to themselves, “We are all in this together and, together, we can make a better and more equitable world”?


They choose to follow a man who wears magic fucking underpants and tells them stories of a magical future where lowering taxes produces more revenue and cutting spending on education produces more jobs.  I wondrous future where eliminating birth control produces less unwanted babies instead of more.  A magical land where we will ALL be rich if we can all just learn to blame the poor for anything that goes wrong….. And the minorities….. And the Chinese…… And the blacks…..  And the Government regulations…..

What’s left of that tribe once known as “The Middle Class” will soon learn what the Native Americans did.  Life on the Reservation ain’t all the Great White Father in Washington promised it would be.

Oh, and there ain’t know such thing as magic.



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4 responses to “Ghost Shirts (again?)

  1. Barneysday

    Excellent. I would take it a step further even, that many voters are wearing “magic” headgear, completely covering the eyes, ears, and mouth. In this way, they can’t really hear actual facts, they only see what they choose, and they never are allowed to speak ill of those wearing magic underpants.

    • Thank you Barney. You know, the older I get the more I begin to understand that not hearing and seeing “actual facts” is what defines us as human. There are times, even ages, when we get happily away with it, but, inevitably the bill comes due.

      There are times when I think humans evolved to provide the evolving universe with that magical essence, that wondrous bit of stuff that multiplies everything else by a million or so. I have come to think that our function MUST be to salt objective reality with bullshit and thereby improve its palatability a million different ways for a million different tongues.

      Or, perhaps, bullshit, lies and hogwash are the ONLY antidote to a reality that, consumed undiluted, is pure poison to an unlucky organism that simply can’t imagine the universe without them, personally, in it.

      Or, maybe the religious nut-jobs are correct and God “created” us in HIS image and the Big Bang and 14 billion years of expanding matter/energy culminates in Homo Bullshitianus…. The physical manifestation of unlimited imagination.

      I DON’T KNOW

      (but, I’m endlessly amused)

      • Barneysday

        Sometimes I think, the human spirit limits our perceptions for our own good. It would be too easy to be overwhelmed by all of reality, so our systems decode the message, and allow in what we can deal with, not what we can easily deal with, but what we can actually deal with. If necessary, than more can be allowed in on a progressive scale.

        It’s not necessarily all bullshit, but thats as good a name as any for the concept.

        I’m not a big believer in the “bible” seeing it as an interesting read, written by men over a period of 300-400 years, what’s been included, what’s been excluded decided by a committee and procession of men. As a writer mentioned to me one time, someone who has truckloads more knowliedge of the book than I, there are 8 major definitions of marriage in it. So when the christians talk of marriage, are they talking of the one with multiple wives, or the one of killing of non-subserviant wives, or …? See where I’m going? The definition of god, and his “image” is also a fallacy, limited by our perceptions, whatever they may be, and our time in history.

        As I said, great post

  2. Art Fern

    In our relatively youthful history as a country we Americans have spawned three great bullshit religions: Scientology, the Nation of Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Not to say that all the other religions aren’t bullshit but these three bullshit religions take bullshitting to all time bullshit heights. All three were founded by shadowy con men, all three are based on outrageous claims of direct communication with a higher power and all three are distinctly American in the sterling quality of their bald-faced, unabashed and unashamed bullshittedness. The Mormons have their temple garments, the Nation of Islam has it’s babushkas for women and bow ties for the men and, if you’ve ever been to Clearwater, FL, you’ll be familiar with the khaki pants and sky blue shirts for the guys and black pencil skirts and white blouses for the ladies. It’s all a way for silly humans to try to bring order to their world and an explanation of life, the universe and everything (I know, 42). Yes, it is amusing but only until unwanted babies start being sold on street corners, we start selling naming rights of our national monuments to the chinese to pay our debts and math class consists of taking a tally of all them EVO-lution books the kids burned today. As a species, we aren’t really very far out of the caves and the spooks and spirits that ruled us then are still in charge, just got some new names and some new underpants.

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