Elvis Needs Goats


News from India:

Allies of India's ruling Congress party performed a massive goat sacrifice for the "well-being and stability" of the government to time with a confidence vote last week, a report said Thursday.

The regional Samajwadi party, which propped up the government after its left allies withdrew support, sacrificed at least 267 goats and 15 buffaloes in a prayer for the longevity of the government, the Times of India reported….

Samajwadi party politician Kishore Samrite apparently spent 1.2 million rupees (28,000 dollars) on the sacrifice that saw priests and temple devotees gifted with packets of consecrated goat meat, his aides and temple sources told the paper.

An assignment for the amateur anthropologists in reason's readership: List the equivalent rituals in American politics.

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  1. goat…pork…whatever.


  2. a gift of consecrated packets to devotees in order to insure the longevity of the party:
    “walk around money”

    Very Tammany Hall.

  3. Corn subsidies. Sacrifice taxpayer money to the corn belt “gods” (voters) in order to ensure the longevity of the government (incumbents).

  4. I could totally see Hillary doing this if she thought it would work.

  5. Not getting the Elvis part, but one should enjoy a Mojo Nixon reference however it happens.

  6. Not getting the Elvis part

    We all have our own gods, Russ.

  7. Goats, boats, whatever.

  8. The democratic party sacrificing inner city black children for the support of the teachers union.

  9. Bowing down before the sacred cows and ensure the longevity of government programs.

  10. We don’t live in a parliamentary system, so “propping up the government” isn’t as big of a concern here in the States. But buying voter support through pork-barrel spending is probably closest.

    Of course, we all know that you’re just trying not to seem ethnically superior, Jesse. 😉

  11. Make that “culturally superior”. Ethnicity doesn’t really have anything to do with it.

  12. An assignment for the amateur anthropologists in reason’s readership: List the equivalent rituals in American politics.

    Roman Catholics and John F. Kennnedy. Half of my family prayed fervently for his election and half prayed half heartedly against it (Hey, it was difficult to ask God for Nixon). Being the product of a mixed marriage gives you some insights.

    I was only five and still remember the discusions/arguments. Pretty weird, huh?

  13. If Ben Bernanke were serious about fixing the economy, he’d be sacrificing some goats, too. There’s a Goat Gap here, and we’re on the wrong side of it.

  14. The Green movement (whatever entrenchments in government have you – IPCC, etc.) sacrificing the entire third world for a new and improved generation of regulation and command and control economics.

  15. Wait a minute. You get to keep the meat?? How is that “sacrificing” a goat? That’s called “slaughter.” A goat that’s sacrificed should be buried or burned after it is killed. Sheesh.

  16. Keeping the meat makes it a BARBECUE.

  17. Jesse Walker | July 31, 2008, 4:19pm | #
    We all have our own gods, Russ.

    When the religious fanatics force me to choose a god, I too shall choose the fat one who died on a toilet*.

    *Yeah, I know it’s not proven but he was in the bathroom.

  18. In the one classics class I took in college, the professor explained that, generally, in the ancient world, this sacrifice thing was kind of a scam: Basically God or Gods for some reason liked the smell of burning bones, hooves, skin, gall bladders, blood, etc. Meanwhile, the skeletal meat was so pedestrian that it was eaten. It was a (usually) drunken protein party. (They put the “Carne” in “Carnival”)

  19. In other news, a loud voice was heard in the sky over Delhi. Locals reported it as saying, “What, liver AGAIN?!”

  20. What about when Bruce Wayne and the other captains of industry have to provide beaver pelts to the local tribe that leased Gothlam City to whitie?

  21. how is it a “sacrifice” if you get to eat the meat? doesn’t that piss off the many-tentacled god?

  22. doh! that’s what i get for not reading the whole thread…

  23. Even a nationwide fraternity like Delta Kappa Epsilon (george Bush is a member)participate in ceremonies where the pledges are talked into committing to “f” a goat….so in India this is not shocking…

    at more exclusive stuff like bohemian grove they do mock sacrifices.

  24. Equivalent ritual in American politics:

    National Day of Prayer

  25. misnomer i guess; not ‘sacrifice’ but symbolic ‘offering’. in my experience, it’s not usually done with meat, not even by meat-eating hindus, but i guess it takes all kinds.

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