So my good friend Keith Lowell Jensen, the Evangelical Atheist, brings up that despite Reagan's charm, or sense of humor or something, he considers the deceased president "The Freaking Antichrist." My first thought is of the equally deceased Phil Hartman's portrayal of Reagan during SNL's glory years. I can't think of Phil Hartman without feeling deeply saddened for at least 10 minutes, but I'm not maudlin enough to let it affect a conversation. In a second, I actually get to thinking about Reagan. Keith is smart enough (and funny enough) to be taken seriously, so I test the mettle of his statement, and prepare a response.
I'm about to say: "Aw c'mon, don't exaggerate. You can disagree with him all day--even hate him, as I know that floats the boat of your ilk--but ANTICHRIST? Don't you think that's a little strong? He won in a landslide twice. He couldn't have been THAT bad."
But then I realize: what could the word Antichrist mean to a proselytizing atheist? For a believing type, the word has some pretty serious implications. (I've had to put the beat down on a couple religious types who ascribed the title to Obama.) But to a devout, faithful unbeliever? It has to mean the opposite, right? I realized that by calling Reagan the Antichrist, Keith was singing the praises of his favorite president. So now I have to re-test the mettle of his statement. I have to completely change my response.
NOW I'm about to say: "Aw, c'mon, don't exaggerate. You can like him all day--even worship him, as I know that floats the boat of your ilk--but ANTICHRIST? Don't you think that's a little strong? He won in a landslide twice, but he couldn't have been THAT great."
But before I got it out, we had changed the subject. Something about the merits of Presidents insulting retarded people on late night low brow television, or something. I lost track. I was sad about Phil Hartman.
PS: I wasn't kidding about Keith being seriously funny. Everyone should go see his show (sure to feature more of his crazed, hyperbolic worship of Ronald Reagan) this weekend. Check him out at www.atheistcomedian.com.