The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

81° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Why no more Pluto? Ask the religious right.

    Last Thursday, our long-held conceptions of reality came crashing down when the International Astronomical Union blackballed Pluto like it was the sober chick at a frat party. And like most of you probably did, I immediately went searching for someone to blame.

    I wanted to exact revenge on those responsible for destroying a perfectly good mnemonic device by taking My Very Elegant Mother (who) Just Served Us Nine Pizzas out back and shooting her (metaphorically speaking).

    The conspiracy goes high and deep. In the continuing tradition of a Republican White House and Congress, the entire right wing has now co-opted science to serve its personal ends. That’s right. President Bush’s global quest to spread Christianity just went trans-solar-system as he enlisted the aid of the IAU in order to further the agenda of Pat Robertson and the rest of the Christian Coalition.

    No surprise. I have been talking about the right’s plan to control the solar system ever since I first heard Brother Jed include Pluto as one of the emissaries of evil that would corrupt students here at the UA, so I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. But why the solar coup d’etat, you ask?

    Look at the facts. In an effort to update the planetary classification system, two models were proposed. One plan would solidify more general criteria for planets. Such a wide net would not only allow Pluto to remain a planet, but would also have created three more.

    Pluto’s largest moon Charon, the asteroid Ceres and the ice ball 2003-UB313 (known commonly as Xena) would all have flourished into full-fledged planets and finally earned the respect they have deserved since Pluto got the green light in 1930.

    But in a last-minute opinion swing at the IAU summit in Prague, the 12-planet solar system was scrapped in favor of giving Charon, Ceres and Xena the shaft and further demoting Pluto to the rank of Kuiper Belt object.

    And here’s why: President Bush and the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy are constantly expanding their influence. But their love of power and conformity and God will not end on this planet.

    Anywhere there is evil and godlessness they must conquer, and nothing drips of godlessness like planets named after the ruler of the underworld and Satan’s precursor (Pluto), the three-headed dog that guards the gateway to his domain (Ceres) and a fully employed lesbian woman who appears to neither cook nor rear children (Xena).

    So the religious right was forced to choose between conquering all of the blaspheming planets in the solar system like they were nothing but developing nations with large oil reservoirs and unstable infrastructures, or simply demoting them altogether.

    What’s next? Will we declassify Uranus as a planet as well, because the right finds the name responsible for teenage sexual deviance?

    And where is the real focus of the American space program? Last time I checked, the UA was scheduled to help coordinate the 2007 mission to Mars. Funny, the right can’t get enough of the god of war, but they’re pulling all the strings at the IAU they can in order to ensure that the god of the underworld is kept far out of the reach of small American school children who might be susceptible to follow Pluto down the road of Gothic parent-hating.

    I think the whole affair is outrageous. The vast right-wing conspiracy should be ashamed of itself for exerting its influence over the scientific community in order to pervert our long-held system of classification in order to combat godlessness.

    To the right: From now on, please keep your rosaries off of my, um, trans-Neptunian pseudo-planets. Which Kuiper Belt celestial objects I decide to call planets is ultimately a choice that only I may make.

    Stan Molever is a philosophy and economics senior. He can be reached at .

    More to Discover
    Activate Search