Beware of politicians spouting pieties

“Ken” Reid, Leesburg’s very proud new Republican county supervisor, has now added himself to the list of local Republican officials who imagine that if they mouth some superficial and insincere pieties about God no one will notice that the true master they are serving is a very earthly one in the form of the development industry.

In “Ken’s” latest news[sic]letter to constituents, he closes, “God bless the beautiful people of Leesburg and Loudoun.”

"Ken" Reid offers a benediction to the "beautiful people" of Loudoun

An old neighbor, a third-generation Loudoun farmer and an unquestionably religious man but one who knew a thing or two about religious phonies, used to say, “When someone comes to your door holding a Bible, make sure you keep your eye on your wallet.”

The same of course holds true even more for politicians. There is nothing more mawkish or self-serving than politicians who are always offering prayers or, worse, attempting to imply that their political positions have been arrived at through divine inspiration.

This is all the more ludicrous in local politics, where it is especially hard to imagine that God takes a view on the Loudoun County Facilities Standards Manual revision, to cite one example.

H. L. Mencken once waged an uproarious battle with the state legislature of Arkansas, which had unwisely passed a resolution censuring the writer for slandering their great state in one of his columns. Reached by the AP for further comment, Mencken replied, “My only defense is that I didn’t make Arkansas the butt of ridicule. God did it.”

This set off another predictable round of indignation, though this time one state legislator hoped to strike a pose of Christian forbearance and asked the members of the body to stand for a few moments of prayer for the soul of H. L. Mencken.

Again asked by the AP for a comment, Mencken offered the best send-up of such two-bit political piety perhaps ever uttered. “I felt a great uplift,” Mencken intoned, “shooting sensations in my nerves, and the sound of many things in my ears, and I knew the House of Representatives of Arkansas was praying for me again.”

Realloudoun will be taking a short break next week, and will return in mid-March with more lowdown on Loudoun.

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