Fred Thompson Doesn’t Read the Bible
You see Wonkette is having a ball reporting on the data dump found in the Thompson archives now being scanned for scandals and
semen stains cigar wrappers. Now Newsweek’s Holly Bailey is reporting in the Gaggle about what seems to be a minor analogy train wreck.
In 2001, New York Times columnist William Safire wrote Thompson to ask what he had meant when he said “the ox is in the ditch” when it comes to postal reform. “Once again, you remind me that the rest of the country doesn’t necessarily use the same phrases as a country boy from Tennessee,” Thompson replied, confessing he’d actually never seen an ox in a ditch–or frankly, an ox. “As usual, I have no idea where this comes from. All I know is that when the ox is in the ditch, it is a very serious matter–very serious. A big ox, a small ditch, a big load and a hot day–well, you can see the problem.”
Big ox, small ditch?! Bwahahahahah!
This is rich and might just have to cost Thompson the hard-core Dominist vote.
Why? The reference to the ox in the ditch isn’t about “big oxen and little ditches”, it is a reference to working on the Sabbath. Luke 14-5 (KJV),
And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
But Luke doesn’t mention a ditch, just a well. (And what exactly was your livestock doing gallivanting about a well on Sunday anyway?)
Well, according to the handy, dandy Sermon Notebook, the law is Jewish and not Christian.
The Jews too this Commandment very seriously. Dr. Ken Trivette shares the following insights concerning the Jewish mindset – “The observance of the Sabbath was strictly observed and strictly enforced. Whereas, they took God’s command to rest on the Sabbath seriously, as the years passed they added their own rules and regulations about the Sabbath. There were approximately 1,521 things that were not permissible on the Sabbath. For example: you could not rescue a drowning person on the Sabbath. Untying knots that needed only one hand was permissible, but if two hands were required, it was forbidden. If a man’s ox fell into the ditch, he could pull it out, but if the man fell in, he had to stay there. One could take a sup of vinegar for food, but if he took a sup in order to help his aching toothache, he had broken the Sabbath. If a man was bitten by a flea on the Sabbath, he had to allow the flea to keep on biting. If he tried to stop the flea from biting or killed it, he was guilty of hunting on the Sabbath.”
Oh. Got it. Pulling the ox out of the ditch is allowed and you should solve the problem even on your day off.
But WTF was Thompson saying in the first place. Well he was talking about Postal Reform and we find the following blerb from the Association for Postal Commerce (whoever they are).
The Associated Press has noted that “upset by two postal rate increases in six months and discussions of delivery cutbacks, some congressional leaders have said the mail agency must be overhauled. Postal Service officials, dealing with rising fuel costs and shrinking demand for their services, said they also want new postal laws to make the agency more competitive. ‘It’s obvious that the ox is in the ditch big time,’ said Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.”
Note: the context of this quote can be found by Googling. This is just the most succinct version I found.
So. I would interpret this to say that while Thompson was chairing the GAC, the Postal Service fell into a ditch while the commitee was taking some time (six months) off. Now, they have to fix the problem, even though it’s Sunday. It is all perfectly clear to me. No?
Yet again, this is a tick against Fred Thompson and points to him being the anti-Christ candidate. Pass the word. (The word of God of course. ;-))