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Sacred Buddhist Symbolism in Republican Fund Raising

June 6, 2008

WAIT, what?

A white elephant is a valuable possession which the owner cannot dispose of, but whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) exceeds its supposed usefulness. The term derives from the sacred white elephants kept by traditional Southeast Asian monarchs… To possess a white elephant was regarded … as a sign that the monarch was ruling with justice and the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity. The tradition derives from tales in the scriptures which associate a white elephant with the birth of Buddha, as his mother was reputed to have dreamed of a white elephant presenting her with a lotus flower, a symbol of wisdom and purity, on the eve of giving birth. Because the animals were considered sacred and laws protected them from labor, receiving a gift of a white elephant from a monarch was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because the animal was sacred and a sign of the monarch’s favour, and a curse because the animal had to be kept and could not be put to practical use to offset the cost of maintaining it.
[Wikipedia: White elephant]

White Elephant
Yours with a “special contribution” of at least $35

So, is The Party the just monarch providing peace and prosperity? Or are they the elephant itself? Who must be maintained though it can be put to no practical use, and whose cost exceeds its supposed usefulness. Or is this nod to sacred Buddhism some kind of appeal to that certain strain of hardcore Christians who enthusiastically support Israel in hopes of bringing about the rapture? I’m not sending in my $35 until they’re giving out Red Heifers.

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2 Comments
  1. MR Bill permalink
    June 16, 2008 8:07 AM

    My daughter had a boyfriend who was a conservative (he came by it honest) who was not a nice kid. She dumped him when she found out he had cut holes in some of her stuffed toy animals and had (this is nasty) carnal knowledge of them.

    I think I’ll get him one of these.

  2. June 18, 2008 12:33 AM

    i’m glad she told him to stuff it. (heh.) not that there’s anything wrong with it, but dag, get your own!

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