Remember the Carol Burnett Show, (or Carol Burnett and Friends) with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman? If you’re a baby boomer, you remember it. (If you’re too young to remember then I don’t wanna know, okay?!)
I have a scene in mind featuring Conway and Korman. I don’t know if this particular scene ever happened, but it is so Conway / Korman that I would not be surprised if it did.
The scene opens something like this, Korman, dressed in drag as a staid and dignified woman, is waiting for the bus to arrive.
Conway, dressed as a businessman is standing off to Korman’s side, and notices that the woman’s (Korman’s) pocketbook is falling out of her purse. Ever helpful, Conway tries to give it a nudge back into the purse, but of course he screws that up.
The woman (Korman) notices something is wrong, and yanks on the purse, catching Conway’s hand so that it is trapped and he can’t get away.
Of course, Tim Conway weighs about 90 pounds soaking wet, and Harvey Korman is a big guy, so Conway’s efforts to disentangle himself are in vein, and only make things worse. Korman believes Conway is trying to rob him (her)!
“Help!” Korman yells in a falsetto voice, “I’m being attacked!” She (he) swings his umbrella at Conway and smacks him about the head and shoulders, over and over.
“Lady, I was … OW … just … OW … trying to help!” Conway pleads, but to no avail. He tries to get away, but his hand is still tangled and Korman pulls him back for more umbrella abuse.
“Police! Police!” Whap! “Help me!” Whap! “Thief! Crook!” Whap! Whap! Conway is going down now, helpless, on the street.
Lyle Waggoner, dressed as a policeman suddenly arrives on the scene, much to Conway’s relief. Finally, he can get away from this crazy woman!
But of course, the cop pays no attention to Conway’s pleading, instead buying completely the Korman’s story of a purse-snatcher.
The scene ends with Conway protesting his innocence, while being dragged off by the policeman.
Does this seem familiar to you? Let’s look at this in a different way. Korman is playing the part of the poor, beleaguered Christian, who is crying, “Stop! Thief!” because Christianity is under attack!
Conway is playing the part of the evil secularist, who has just helpfully mentioned that perhaps it is not a good idea to mix religion into your politics or science – and for his troubles he is viciously assaulted and beaten – all while his assailant screams, “Help! I’m a victim!”
Christians love to paint themselves as the minority – but the truth is that in America, they are the overwhelming majority. The control the GOP, they control the courts, and they seem to control the Supreme Court now too. It is almost impossible to be elected in America as anything greater than dogcatcher if you are not religious.
- Persecution of Christians – the War on Christians
- Secular movement to attack Christmas
- War on Christians is a “culture war”
- Paranoia of the Christian Right
Atheists, non-believers, secularists – call us what you will – we are hated and vilified more than any other group in America; and we are used as a scapegoat at every opportunity. All we really want is to be recognized as people.
And to protect ourselves from the evil woman with the deadly umbrella.