Hopefully this isn’t too late for your 4th of July festivities (if so, just file it away for next year…. If there is a next year), but Roy directs us to his alter ego, Big Media Roy, who in turn directs us to A Very Special Dennis Prager Independence Day Liberty Liturgy And Ostentatious Display Of Patriotism that is going to make you say, “I totally want to party with that guy”.
Now put down your weiner and beer and pay attention:
I now present a simple ten-minute ceremony that every American can easily use on July Fourth. It is a product of the Internet-based Prager University that I founded nearly two years ago. We call it the Fourth of July Declaration and here it is. (A paginated and printable version can be downloaded here.)
Make sure you email that link to all of your friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, former lovers, and whomever you’re currently stalking at the moment … unless you hate America.
Welcome to our Fourth of July Declaration!
We have modeled this Declaration on the best known commemoration of a historical event in the world — the Jewish Passover meal. It has successfully kept the memory of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt alive for over 3,000 years.
As Americans, we need to reconnect with our Founding. We need to rediscover the meaning of our country’s creation. And we need to do it every year. That is the reason for ritual ?? to enable us to remember. Without ritual, the memory fades. And without memory, life ?? whether of the individual or of a nation — loses its meaning.
And life without meaning is just endless days and nights of meaningless furtive sex, watching Sports Center, and Michael Bay movies. Also, porn. And then you die. So, in the interest of giving your life meaning, you must first stock up on supplies:
? Iced tea
? Salty pretzels
? Strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream, but any goodie colored red, white, and blue will do.
? A small bell (the ringer on your cell phone will do in a pinch.)
? An American coin (the bigger the better; a half dollar is ideal, but a quarter will do).
? A printed (unsigned) Declaration of Independence.
? Lyrics to “God Bless America” for all your guests.
Download the lyrics.
You aficionados of porn probably already have the strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream and the bell (even if the bell is attached to a studded leather collar with the name “Spanky” embossed on it) so you’re halfway home to Jesus America! See, this is easy!
Next, the host (which is you) gets everyone to put down their weiners and beer and shut the fuck up and then the host (you again, unless there has been a coup) kind of goes on and on about America and freedom and Jeebus and the founding fathers (add your own! I’m partial to Gary U.S. Bonds) and then the children’s activities commence:
Host invites the young people (generally ages seven and older) present to read and to answer the following:
Young Readers: Q: Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?
A: Because the Fourth of July is the birthday of the American people — the day we chose to become the United States of America, a free nation.
Q: Why was America different from all other countries?
A: Because in 1776, all countries were based on nationality, religion, ethnicity, or geography. But America was created on the basis of a set of ideas. This is still true today.
Q: What are those ideas?
A: Three ideas summarize what America is all about. They are engraved on every American coin. They are “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and “E Pluribus Unum.”
You know what kids really like to do on the 4th besides eating junk and blowing shit up with M-8o’s? Rote reciting of America fun facts. And do you know what can make this a childhood memory that will last a lifetime, or at least well into their second year of therapy? Make them dress up as Button Gwinnet for their recitation and then take pictures of them and post them on the internet so all of their friends can see how supercool and awesome your kid is and they will want to have sex with them someday soon. After they get heterosexual married, of course.
Then comes the adult group participation part:
Host holds up each symbolic item as he explains its symbolic meaning.
? We drink iced tea to remember the Boston Tea Party. “No taxation without representation” was the patriots’ chant as they dumped British tea into the Boston Harbor.
? We eat a salty pretzel to remember the tears shed by the families who lost loved ones in the struggle for freedom in the Revolutionary War and all the wars of freedom that followed.
? We ring a bell to recall the Liberty Bell, which was rung to announce the surrender of the king’s army. On the Bell are inscribed these words from the Book of Leviticus: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.”
? We eat strawberries and blueberries dipped in whipped cream to celebrate the red, white, and blue of our flag.
If you find this a little too vegetarian for your tastes, you may want consider a more Catholic approach if you can get past the slight hint of cannibalism. On the other hand, you won’t be spiritually hungry again in two hours.
Then comes the wrap-up (spoiler alert):
Host holds up a copy of the Declaration of Independence.
We now close with one more ritual. Let each of us sign our names to the Declaration of Independence. While it is a replica of the one our founders signed, the words and sentiments are eternal.
Everyone present signs his name to the Declaration of Independence. As each one signs, the host hands each person the lyrics to “God Bless America.”
Host: Everyone sing with me.
Everyone sings (hopefully).
Host: Happy Birthday, America. Happy Fourth of July. Now let’s eat!
Woo-hoo! Then comes the fireworks and, in the Prager household, wife-rape!
Happy Independence Day, third Mrs. Prager! Just lay back and think about the Founding Fathers while Dennis fires off a few “bottlerockets” if you know what I mean and I think you regretfully do…
(Headline courtesy of Nellie McKay)