I’m no stranger to bashing religious political parties. I’ve hammered on them several times before and will no doubt continue to do so in the future, because hammers are hard to put down once the swinging gets rough. But today, I strangely find myself on the other side of the fence. The time has come at last, I fear, to defend Arie Slob.
Arie Slob is (in)famous for being the head of the ChristenUnie, the larger and more progressive of the two Christian parties in Dutch politics (the other being the SGP, and I will drown myself in a tub filled with sumo wrestler sweat before I ever defend those people!). So what happened? A few days ago, Arie forgot that old people and social media go together like toddlers and running chainsaws, and posted this:
The tweet translates as: “We’ve decided. Not going on vacation to Austria this year.” The hi-la-ri-ous joke is of course aimed at Austria taking first place in the least significant contest in the history of ever. This weekend, The Netherlands took second place in the Eurovision Song Festival edition which will forever be remembered as “the one with the bearded lady whose last name is German for ‘sausage’.”
Seems pretty innocent, right? This is what is sometimes referred to as a ‘vanilla tweet’, meaning a Twitter post that pokes fun at someone or something with the least possible amount of offense. But sadly, the tweet has since then attracted a large sum of angry comments and indignant retweets. A recurring theme in the butthurt comments is that Slob supposedly had a religiously fueled grudge against Austria because of their open tolerance of trans-genders.
So the Dutch word of today is: moraalridder, a word which translates as “Knight of Morality.” It is often used to describe a person who is getting on his/her moral high horse, and usually implies that s/he is not even being sincere, but is only appealing to morality in order to push a personal agenda. The wave of moral indignation following Slob’s little tweet speaks volumes of the prejudices of the commentators. The obvious joke was obvious and there’s no need to make Slob look like an intolerant religious fundamentalist (mostly because he already does a pretty job at that himself — OH SNAP!).
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to wash the stench of defending-politicians-I-don’t-like from my body and soul.