Who can ever forget when, in May of 2004 Pat Quinn, then Lieutenant Governor, apologized to the Mormons for their mistreatment by Illinoisans in 1845. As Brenda Lee said “…please accept my apology”.
Since government apologies seem to be more and more popular these days, especially in Blue States, I thought perhaps we should try to standardize and regulate the apology process because I for one am confused about how the whole apology thing works.
So may I suggest that Mormons (and all of Utah) receive a certificate authenticating 13 million apologies (1 for each Illinois citizen)?
Now, since there are only two million Utahans, they would have 11 million apologies left over that they could use to offset their offenses. For example, recently there was a news story relating how a small business owner in Arizona wanted to move his firm to Utah, but a gay couple that worked for him objected because they believe Mormons discriminate against gays. The Mormons could immediately offset that slight by sending two of their 11 million remaining apologies to the gay couple. In fact, if they were in a generous mood, they could send say 10,000 apologies thus providing the couple with an extra 9,998 apologies for their own use. That couple in turn could then immediately return to Utah 5,000 or so of their extra apologies to offset any hurt feelings that may have been suffered by non-gay-discriminating Mormons.
And perhaps for those left over apologies we could establish a market on eBay. I can see an ad saying something like this: “For Sale: 10 Illinois apologies, slightly used by Mormons, but worth at least 20 mea culpas”.
However, I think we need to control the apology process somewhat by having a statute of limitations of say 1,000 years. This would mean, for example, that Queen Elizabeth would have to apologize to Middle East citizens for Richard the Lion Hearted sending Crusaders slashing and burning through Antioch, Tyre and Jerusalem during the Crusades. On the other hand, King Abdullah of Jordan, a descendant of a long line of Arab kings, would, in turn, have to apologize to the European Union for beheading various and sundry knights-errant during the same period.
Under this rule, Hungarians would not have to apologize for Attila’s 5th century depredations against the Goths, Lombards and Romans because it would be beyond the 1,000 year statute of limitations. This is a good thing, since finding all those Gothic and Lombardian descendants would be problematic. One thing we don’t want to do is apologize to the wrong person or group. That would defeat the whole purpose and would drive down prices on eBay.
I think as part of our zero-tolerance apology rules we should provide buttons for people like Pat Quinn which say: “I apologize to you if anyone of my race, gender, ethnicity, religion, country, state, county, township, bowling team or species has offended you or your ancestors–unless those ancestors have been dead for over 1,000 years”.
I know that is a lot for one button, but this is important.
That leaves only one remaining issue – extraterrestrials. I mean do they apologize to us for examining our organs on their spaceships without reading us our Miranda rights or do we apologize to them for dismissively calling them DNA-challenged little green men?
I think I will let Pat Quinn and the UN handle that one.