Burch: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

If you're not a rich, heartless Republican, the handwriting's on the wall: You have been measured and found wanting, by us, the Chosen Few. I call it the “chosen few sin-drome.” Not so long ago it led to the downfall of democracy in Weimar Germany, the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, then World War II and the Holocaust.

Now once again bigotry rears its ugly head. As reported by the City Paper’s Jeff Woods: “After a testy debate in which Democrats accused Republicans of homophobia, the state House voted overwhelmingly Monday night to nullify Nashville’s new anti-gay bias ordinance and to ban any such laws in the future in any other Tennessee city.”

What does this mean, really? All too obviously, just as the Bible was once used by conservative Tennessee Christians to enslave and discriminate against black Tennesseans, the Bible is now being used by conservative Tennessee Christians to discriminate against gay Tennesseans. Who is full of holy zeal to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders? Undoubtedly, those conservative Christians who furiously try to believe every verse in the Bible even though the Bible in hundreds of verses commands or condones racism, slavery, ethnic cleansing, genocide, sexism, homophobia, fathers selling their daughters as sex slaves (Exodus 21), parents stoning girls to death for being raped (Deuteronomy 22), and “men of God” like Moses slaughtering defenseless women and children (Numbers 31).

Such conservative Christians focus narrowly on gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders as the objects for God’s wrath, rather than admitting that parts of the Bible are worse than Mein Kampf. If we no longer believe that parents should murder their children for being “stubborn” or having been raped, why should we discriminate against and persecute them if they’re gay?

Republican politicians have become stooges for the rich, special interests and conservative Christians. Their agenda is heartless and threatens everyone who doesn't fit the required mold. They continually legislate things that make absolutely no sense, in effect saying, “Discrimination against blacks and women is wrong, but we conservatives need the ability to discriminate against gays, Hispanics, Muslims, teachers, union workers and the elderly because our money is more important than their rights.” Can anyone really believe that Jesus would prefer the money of rich Republicans to the rights and needs of the outcasts, the poor and the elderly?

This discrimination will only widen if we allow it to continue, as it once did in Germany. If we are not rich, intolerant bigots who want everyone slightly different from us to submit to our vision of who they should be and what they should believe, now is the time to vote the bozos out of office, before it’s too late.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary,” at www.thehypertexts.com.

165 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 4/29/11 at 5:14

Amen, brother Mike.

By: dargent7 on 4/29/11 at 5:20

Sadly, Tennessee will always remain a "southern, Christian" state, and as such discriminate against blacks, minorities, and gays.
The people will vote Republican until hell freezes over.
That's why no Presidential candidate even bothers campaigning here. Tenn. can take their 8 electoral votes and shove 'em.

By: dargent7 on 4/29/11 at 5:43

s/h/b 11 Electoral....Florida is the only state worth a damn down here with 27.
That's why Gore picked Liebowitz. Get the retired Jewish vote. Turns out they were too stupid to punch the ballot correctly. They incorrectly ended up voting for Bush/ Cheney, twice.

By: yogiman on 4/29/11 at 5:59

dargent7,

I think if you was old enough you would know Tennessee used to be a primary Democratic state.

Tennesseans have always been people with common thoughts for the people. Just wondering, what made them switch to Republicanism?

By: yogiman on 4/29/11 at 6:04

Just wondering,

Obama's half-sister is raising questions about his "birth" certificate. Wonder why she might have reasons to question it? Just wondering.

By: dargent7 on 4/29/11 at 6:05

yogi: All you need to "wonder" about, is which leg to put into your pants, first.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 4/29/11 at 6:08

the vote on civil rights turned the South republican.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 4/29/11 at 6:11

yogi, post links for your accusations. otherwise, it's heresay.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/29/11 at 6:11

Half a brain turned yogi more stupid, than the average dumb-ass dumba.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/29/11 at 6:12

What we use to know as neo-cons is now call Tea Baggers.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/29/11 at 6:19

Blanket he gets his crap from www.patriotactionnetwork.scum

By: budlight on 4/29/11 at 6:48

"parents stoning girls to death for being raped" quote from Mr. Burch.

Mr. Burch, current, modern day Muslims stone their daughters and wives repeatedly and you don't comment about that.

Plus, the Vanderbilt Emam stated that gays should be punished by hanging. Google Vanderbilt Emam gay controversy. You failed to mention that little tidbit of a matter. And that Emam is not in the Tea Party.

yogiman on 4/29/11 at 7:04
Just wondering, Obama's half-sister is raising questions about his "birth" certificate. Wonder why she might have reasons to question it? Just wondering.

Yogi, Obama will silence her as well. She and the grandmother. Hide and watch cause it won't be long!

By: Captain Nemo on 4/29/11 at 6:51

yogi's family tree can be found at

217 Dyer Branch Rd.
Gordonsville, TN 38563
683-8956

By: budlight on 4/29/11 at 6:57

Mr. Burch needs to do his homework and stop the spread of Muslim violence and hatred against gays before it's too late:
January 28, 2010, - 5:11 pm “Tolerance”: Vanderbilt Muslim Professor Says Gays Must Be Executed By Debbie Schlussel Kudos to brave, smart, patriotic Vanderbilt University student, Devin Saucier, who heads up Youth for Western Civilization. He is an example of citizen activism that we all must undertake to expose the savage threat we face in this country. And I hope we see more of him and others who emulate what he’s done. Saucier confronted Vanderbilt Professor Awadh A. Binhazim and asked him if he approves of the Islamic requirement for executing gays. Dr. Awadh responded that he must agree with all the dictates of Islam, including that one. Watch the video, below. As we all know, if Dr. Binhazim was a White, Christian professor, he’d be out of a job by now and gay and lesbian activists would be staging sit-ins for this or that new emolument from the University. Of course, as with all things Islamic, that’s not the case here, and Dr. Binhazim remains a treasured version of “diversity” and “tolerance” on the Vanderbilt faculty, in the Vanderbilt Divinity School, no less."

Folks, ya'll need to wake up, sit up, stand up and pay attention to the real homophobes in our country. They not only hate homosexuals, they hate Americans, especially Christians, Jews, Catholics, etc. So Please Mr. Burch, do some additional research before you start your name calling.
"

By: treefrogdk on 4/29/11 at 7:26

hey, bud. he didn't say anything about "only" conservative christians.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/29/11 at 7:34

If bud could only see just how hateful she is, she would understand why we think she is nuts.

By: yogiman on 4/29/11 at 7:51

dumba..,

Really, I feel sorry for you because of your ignorance. Did you manage to finish grammar school in you previous childhood?

By: BenDover on 4/29/11 at 7:56

"I see intolerant people!", Mike Burch

You’ve worked yourself up into a full-blown neurosis there Mikey. A little case of confirmation bias has blown itself up into Goebbels goggles; and everywhere you look you see toothbrush moustaches.

This repeated deranged hysteria, no matter how well intended, doesn't do a ubiquitous internet portfolio any service Mr. Burch.

By: govskeptic on 4/29/11 at 8:00

Jeez, from the letters to the postings this section is getting too poisonous
to even bother reading anymore!

By: budlight on 4/29/11 at 8:01

Captain Nemo on 4/29/11 at 8:34
If bud could only see just how hateful she is, she would understand why we think she is nuts.

If capt could only see just how biased and hateful he is, he would understand why he's somewhat out of touch with reality. You failed to address the Muslim open hatred of Gays and others, el-capitan.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 8:41

Budlight,

I don't live in a Muslim nation, so I write about what WE need to do HERE.

Of course I think it is horrendous when ANY woman or child is murdered anywhere in the world. But we cannot change other nations by word or force, as we have seen in the Middle East. We can change what we DO.

And of course Moses commanded that girls who had been raped should be stoned to death or sold to their rapists (Deuteronomy 22), so Christians who believe the Bible have the same problem as Muslims who believe the Koran. The Bible is full of terrible injustices as I pointed out in my article.

Mike Burch

By: yogiman on 4/29/11 at 8:42

Maybe he is one, budlight.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 8:48

Hi everyone,

My main point in my article is this:

If we no longer believe that parents should murder their children for being “stubborn” or having been raped, why should we discriminate against and persecute them if they’re gay?

Do I see little Hitlers everywhere? No, but I see what seems like a descent into bigotry and fascism: the subverting of laws and courts to favor the self-appointed "chosen few." In the past this led to American slavery, the Trail of Tears and the Holocaust. We need to understand that the basis of modern civilization is fair laws and courts. Without fair laws and courts, everyone who is out of favor can be oppressed and beaten with the short end of the stick.

We are seeing the Republican party try to tear down the walls between church and state, to establish a right-wing Theocracy that holds gays, Muslims, Hispanics, union workers, etc., in contempt.

This process will not stop with those targets. Soon there will be other targets. The end could be horrible, because in the recent past Americans proved themselves capable of two Holocausts: slavery and the Trail of Tears.

Do I want to be protected from right-wing bigots? You can bet your sweet bippy I do.

Mike Burch

By: budlight on 4/29/11 at 8:52

Mike, the Emam who believes that gays should be hanged is at Vanderbilt. As far as I can tell, Vanderbilt is HERE and WE are HERE, so why aren't you writing about that matter? It is horrendous also. And isn't it great he lives in a country where they don't stone him for expressing his misguided belief?

Moses and Deuteronomy are in the old testament. After the birth, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ, there are no accounts of any women being ordered to death after rape. Jesus is based on love. Love one another. His life was not about killing each other, but dying to sin inside oneself and being born again into a new person in Christ.

So, when you pointed out the injustices, you failed to go forward to the new Testament where these same injustices are forgiven and should not happen anymore. Tell the Emam at Vanderbilt; he needs to know. He is teaching our children - which really concerns me.

And it concerns me that you don't see the "muslim nation" encroaching in our country with a White House that acknowledges Ramadan yet considers EASTER to be earth day or egg rolling. Well they got the "E" part, now they need the R and Surrection part!

By: budlight on 4/29/11 at 9:02

Mike, the courts are full of right wing judges appointed by right wing liberals who want to "control" the system.

You can't see that?

And granting rights to gays specifically "because" they are gay is "the subverting of laws and courts to favor the self-appointed "chosen few" because they are a select group of people.

Non-discrimination policies are already in place. They should be followed and if suspected that they are not followed, then a person should follow up on their beliefs albeit race, religion, gender, or other. That person is responsible for holding fast to their belief system and acting upon it even if they have to hire a lawyer.

I applied for a job with TN Legislature as a typist some years ago. I scored higher than anyone on the test with the fewest errors (3). The interviewer told me so. She said she'd call me for second interview. Some weeks later I called to follow up. She said "oh I filled that position". I asked about her report to me that I scored higher than anyone else. She said "oh, your 'personality' didn't fit". I informed her that I applied for a typist job, not the Miss Congeniality Award. I knew in my heart she didn't want me there because of my race. Was it worth a fight? No, because here's my solution to that question: Why would I wish to work where I'm not valued and wanted? I do not!

By: BenDover on 4/29/11 at 9:32

Well... let's see Mikey. Does society have the right to regulate behavior in its social interests? Who gets to decide the thresholds of society sanctioned marriage if not through our democracy; either representative or directly? Should a judge with one man' s biases get to decide the gay marriage question over the will of the community? Whether you think yes or no it's still a valid question that need not involve Hitler rhetoric.

And the Muslim question. We have only to look to our friends in Western Europe to see where even the most liberal of their countries' leaders are saying multi-culturalism is an absolute failure as they watch their countries be overrun and out-bred by Islam which is much a political movement as it is a religious movement. Again... you may not agree, but to deem those who you reasonably disagree with as Nazis is caustic over-the-top rhetoric.

You say the Repubs are attacking public union workers but it would seem the taxpayers; most of whom don't have a state sanctioned method of union extortion on their side; as well as civil service protections and, in the case of teachers, tenure protections on top of that; yes it's the taxpayers who make 1/2 on average what their public sector counterparts make; and the taxpayers who don' t have luxurious defined benefit pensions and health-care deals; these taxpayers have elected representatives to curb the excesses of a previously unaccountable government that has been too generous with the promises of spending the taxpayer monies. But you construe this as a bunch of mindless brown-shirts rounding up the Jews for the gas chambers. Astounding.

Then you demagogue about Hispanics yet don't acknowledge that the Dems and Repubs are evenly split on the matter of dealing with illegal aliens with as many republicans favoring some kind of guest worker program that would legitimize our Mexican brothers who are just trying to feed there families; but protectionist sentiments on both sides of the aisle prevent this as well as in the ignorant voting populace that they must be beholden to. You, however, adorn the blinders and see the whole movement to address the social issue of a mass influx of illegal aliens as racism; constituted mainly of privileged white Tennesseans bowing down to Governor Haslem and saying “Ja, mein Führer” and proceeding to run them out of the state with billy sticks.

And then you see a Theocracy growing where reasonable people can argue that God has been systematically removed from our Judeo/Christian rooted public society and that this has left society without mooring and subject to moral relativism. Some argue that the first amendment is to protect the churches and people from the government and not the government from the churchesl but government, through it’s own court rulings and through legislation has changed this original intent. But even if you totally disagree with the idea that our representative republic should be allowed the influence of godly representatives that represent a godly populace… making the leap that this will lead to genocides on par with the psychopath Adolph Hitler is an irresponsible use of your influence over public opinion and it deserves, wholly, the criticisms offered it today.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 9:33

Budlight,

You say the New Testament doesn't talk about harming women and children, but you're wrong. The book of Revelation says:

(1) That Jesus Christ himself would murder the children of a woman who was committing adultery. Muslims don't kill the children of mothers who have sex.

(2) That Jesus will condemn Christians if they eat the wrong things, such as food offered to idols. But Paul clearly said that Christians can eat anything, even food offered to idols. Jesus, Peter and Paul clearly said that Christians can eat anything. So why would Jesus suddenly start killing Christians and condemning them to hell over food?

(3) That Jesus and the Angels would kill trillions of innocent animals and billions of women and children by destroying most of the earth. This would make Jesus a greater mass murderer of women and children than Hitler.

(4) That non-believers and Christians who have sex or eat the wrong foods would be tortured with fire and brimstone IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB AND HOLY ANGELS.

This means that Jesus would not only murder billions of women, but resurrect them so that they could be tortured IN HEAVEN for absolutely no purpose.

So please don't tell me that the New Testament doesn't say anything about women and children being harmed.

Mike Burch

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 9:48

BenDover,

Laws should protect law-abiding citizens from being harmed unjustly, not create an artificial morality based on ancient religious texts that say parents should stone their sons if they're "stubborn" or their daughters if they're raped, as the Bible does.

There is no need to discriminate against gays in the job market or in marriage. None of us are harmed by other adults having consensual sex.

There is no need to discriminate against Muslims because of their beliefs. Christians believe all sorts of bizarre things, such as Jesus returning to earth to murder billions of non-Christians then cause or allow them to suffer for all eternity. In my opinion people who believe this have no knowledge of good and evil. According to the Genesis account they should never die and be immortal, because they don't know evil from good. But as long as they don't break the law as individuals, we don't collectively punish them for belonging to a class called "Christians."

"Born again Christians" like George W. Bush and Sarah Palin keep pushing the world toward World War III. They are far more dangerous and have far more power than American Muslims. If we were going to focus on the greatest danger to the United States, it would be presidents and presidential candidates who support the racial injustices of Israel and seek to gain control of Middle Easter oil fields.

People with functional hearts and brains can see that the most pressing danger we face is American fundamentalism. I have read and studied the Bible. I understand what fundamentalists believe because I grew up in an evangelical Christian family. I know what happens when people try to believe all the Bible. They become irrational.

So we should be honest about the real problem, which is not Muslims, but us.

By: BenDover on 4/29/11 at 10:04

And your viewpoints get to use the Hitler bullet against people that disagree with you, how? Because you are enlightened?

If a community doesn't want its children growing up with the example of overt homosexuality as a life-style choice then that's wrong on some civil rights basis? To say so diminishes the whole issue of civil rights. If judges start protecting minority sexual preferences they don't they owe the same obligation to polygamists?

I'm fine with gay marriage but it's an issue for the community to decide not some judge. And for the record the State repubs over-stepped their boundaries in trying to un-do Nashville's idiotic requirement that employers add a non-discrimination policy against gays.

The bottom line though is that you are painting people with reasonable views who disagree with you with a very broad brush and are demonizing them in the worst possible way... undermining their true nature and cause.

Anyway though, I encourage you to keep up all the Hitler rhetoric because it illustrates you as the fool you are.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 10:53

By "us" I meant "us" as a nation, and the way we act as a nation.

Abroad we practice hypocrisy and racism against Muslims, by supporting racist regimes like Israel's and dictatorial regimes that favor American interests over the rights of the natives. This has understandably inflamed the Muslim world against the US and has led to the rise of terrorism.

Then American Christians self-righteously criticize the Koran, when the Bible says terrible things from cover to cover. Christians rightly condemn the murder of women for adultery, but the Bible says Jesus will murder billions of non-believers when he returns, including women who will then be tortured for all eternity. Muslims understand what Christians believe, and when they see how the US acts in the Middle East, to them it seems that Christians want Armageddon and are trying to make it happen, in their part of the world.

But of course no rational person can believe Jesus is going to return to murder women and then torture them in hell. That would make Jesus infinitely worse than Hitler.

I see the greatest threat to world peace being American fundamentalism, because we have put so much power in the hands of irrational people. We have thousands of WMDs. Our navy is bigger than the next 13 largest navies in the world COMBINED. We go charging around the world like a bull in a china shop, starting war after war, but even if we are able to establish democracies, by the time we do the majority of the population will be turned against the US. So the men elected to power will be enemies of the US and they will have the weapons we provided, just as Saddam had US weapons when he went on the warpath.

Irrational people do not make rational decisions. Right-wing Republicans want to take money away from the people on their target list, but they will keep spending trillions of dollars on weapons and wars that keep pushing us toward World War III.

The handwriting is on the wall, and it's up to people with functional hearts and brains to understand what the handwriting means.

Mike Burch

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 11:06

BenDover,

If you descend into name-calling, let's not talk to each other.

I have simply been pointing out that what happened in Nazi Germany has already happened here twice, with American slavery and the Trail of Tears. After a long struggle to establish fairer laws and courts, we are seeing Republicans try to reverse the course and legally discriminate against gays, Muslims, Hispanics and other "out of favor" citizens.

If people want to persecute their own children for being gay, in the name of religion, that is horrible enough, but I don't think they should be able to persecute other people's children. Children grow up. Gay children become gay adults. Many Christians don't want to accept this simple fact because they think God can wave a magic wand and make gay people straight. But God doesn't wave magic wands to make heterosexual Christians magically loose weight, and obesity is causing more problems than homosexuality.

How much suffering do primitive "morals" cause gay children who grow up in Christian churches that condemn them to hell, and under the thumb of a government that is now trying to deny them basic rights in the job market?

If it was wrong to use the Bible to discriminate against blacks and enslave them, how can it be right to use the Bible to discriminate against GLBTs?

You can call me names if that makes you feel better about yourself, but my arguments are based on history and logic.

By: revo-lou on 4/29/11 at 11:07

{The handwriting is on the wall, and it's up to people with functional hearts and brains to understand what the handwriting means. }

They haven't yet, and all we have left is HOPE. But, that is waning too.

By: budlight on 4/29/11 at 11:32

Many Christians don't want to accept this simple fact because they think God can wave a magic wand and make gay people straight. But God doesn't wave magic wands to make heterosexual Christians magically loose weight, and obesity is causing more problems than homosexuality.

said by Burch.

Burch, you are failing to recognize that gays are not killed by a group of people; it is usually someone who is evil to start with. BUT on the other hand, the Muslim government does hang them. The Vanderbilt Emam said it. You did not address this yet. He supports the prescribed punishment in the Muslim world -- and it's here in the U.S. however you don't want to admit it.

The book of Revelation is about the 2nd coming of Christ. A lot will change.

By: BenDover on 4/29/11 at 11:39

You've just spent about a 1000 words publicly calling me and anyone with basic conservative values 'Nazis' you moron. Revealing you as a fool is simply an evidentiary statement of the obvious.

By: budlight on 4/29/11 at 11:43

BenDover, the libs always call conservatives name. They are taught that as early as conception by their liberal parents who read them liberal fairy tales. Then they go to liberal classes and are brainwashed. It's their heredity!

Signing off. Going to a more constructive activity - the Y to work out.

By: Kosh III on 4/29/11 at 12:05

The Nazi reference IS pertinent since over a quarter of a million gay people were killed in Nazi death camps.
I remember Pat Robertson calling for gay people to be forcibly put in camps to avoid AIDS being spread, even though the vast majority of people with HIV are straight AND the majority of cases of transmission are via penis/vagina intercourse.

As to name calling: who said "Feminazi" "Hitlery" "surrender monkeys" Rush the convicted drug addict referred to the White House staff as "bastards"

By: BenDover on 4/29/11 at 12:20

It's only pertinent in this context if you agree that painting the modern conservative movement with the broad brush of Nazism is pertinent. IMO anyone who does so is being either falsely derisive or is patently delusional.

By: revo-lou on 4/29/11 at 1:02

{BenDover on 4/29/11 at 1:20
It's only pertinent in this context if you agree that painting the modern conservative movement with the broad brush of Nazism is pertinent. IMO anyone who does so is being either falsely derisive or is patently delusional.}

The point is that majority extremism can, and has, lead to the demise of civility, societies, humanity, and even individualism. As we have grown as a species, in numbers, the persona of who and what we are has widened and includes things that may have not been present, or largely present, in the past. They are no less who we are, just more prominent.

The “rights” we have are not, and cannot be, stagnate. The only limitations we have, and must have, are ones that prohibit individuality from directly affecting you as in laws against drunk driving, against destroying society or the civility in which we live, acts against animals [since they cannot participate in conversations of consensual agreement] and against FORCING you to behave or act in ways which YOU do not want.

What others “do” may disagree with your ideas of what people should do, but, that does not make them wrong, with respect to the above statements.

By: BenDover on 4/29/11 at 1:14

I'm a little unclear here revo-lou... are you agreeing with Burch that the conservative movement in our country today is on par and on course with Hitler's Germany?

By: gdiafante on 4/29/11 at 1:19

Ben's quite the character lately. Very defensive about this story, with good reason, it hits very close to home.

The fact is that Conservative Christians are out of control, and this story is spot on.

They won't be happy until a Christian Theocracy is established. To hell with that, and to hell with them.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 1:28

BenDover,

I never said that things are as bad here now as they were in Weimar Germany. I did say that things have been that bad in the past (American slavery, the Civil War, the Trail of Tears) and that we are seeing the same sort of right-wing lunacy that eventually led to World War II and the Holocaust in Germany, once the right-wing lunatics took over.

It is a matter of personal opinion as to whether right-wing Republicans constitute a lunatic fringe, or not. In my opinion, people like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are irrational. They ignore facts and, being people of faith, believe things that are not true.

Trump says he will seize Saudi Arabian oil fields if Arabs don't conform with his commands. Palin has talked earnestly about bombing Iran to "support" Israel. GWB did invade Iraq on false premises.

So to say I am being "falsely derisive" or "patently delusional" seems strange to me. If we keep electing the lunatic fringe, we will probably end up starting World War III. Hitler started World War II.

I just hope we have the sense to stop electing the lunatic fringe, and don't turn me into a prophet.

By: dargent7 on 4/29/11 at 1:29

You "Southerner's " are a hoot.
Can't find your own asses with two hands, yet preach the word of God every sentence.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 1:41

gdiafante,

If conservative Christians really believed in Jesus, they would welcome prostitutes, drug addicts, gays and the homeless as members of their churches and give everything but the shirts on their backs to the poor.

Jesus, Paul and the early Christians were clearly liberals. Anyone who actually reads the gospels and the book of Acts knows the main focus of the early church was doing good works and helping the poor. But 98% of evangelical church money goes toward condemning the rest of the world to hell (evangelizing), and 2% goes to helping the poor. If there is no hell there is no need to evangelize, and churches could do something beneficial with their money. And of course anyone who reads the Bible from cover to cover knows the God of the Bible and Hebrew prophets never said a word about a place called "hell" in Biblical chronologies covering thousand of years.

The prophets of God said everyone would be saved, including all Israel and Sodom.

The conservative Christian "profits" say only they will be saved, as they blaspheme then name of God from sunup to sundown. They try to sell "grace" like cheap perfume.

So of course conservative Christians are not happy that the rest of the world is wise to their dirty tricks and lust for money and power, which always leads to war.

If we want peace and prosperity, we need to treat gays, Hispanics and Muslims with respect. If we do, we will find that most of them also want to live in peace.

By: BenDover on 4/29/11 at 1:53

This story appeals to a very narrow band of left-wingers who see anyone right of LBJ as a Right-winger and anyone with spiritual faith greater than Bill Maher as a Theocrat. The only reason they put up with Obama is because they know he’s lying about his faith to appeal to the ignorant rubes of the world.

It’s another case of not knowing enough to know how little you know though… suffering their world-view mental myopia that excludes our spiritual, social and cultural history with the certainty of a scientist looking through only one of Young’s double slits.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 2:17

BenDover,

Temper, temper.

I didn't insult you personally. All I did was point out what happens when people practice bigotry and injustice: things get progressively worse. Conservative (Bible-believing) Christians proved themselves capable of enslaving millions of blacks and ethnically cleansing millions of Native Americans. These are historical facts. If they did it before, they can do it again. It was liberals (abolitionists) who put an end to American slavery, even though conservative Christians fought tooth and nail for the right to treat other people as "property."

Most Nazis were also right-wing conservative Christians, as were the men who devastated South America and forced the natives to "believe in Jesus" at the point of a sword, then stole their land and natural resources.

If it makes you angry when I point out historical facts, is it because I'm unfair or because conservative Christians don't want to look in the mirror?

Why have conservative Christians created so much bigotry and mayhem in the name of God? Is it because they have the wrong vision of God and believe he is an intolerant bigot who sends non-Christians to hell ... good men like Gandhi and Einstein? As one of the queens of England explained, when asked why she was having heretics burned at the stake, once you know God is going to burn people in hell for all eternity, it really doesn't matter what you do to them here.

Why don't Christians go back to the Bible and read the verses about all Israel being saved, and Sodom being saved along with other Gentile nations like Samaria, Elam and Ammon? Then perhaps conservative Christians could practice tolerance, if they believed the best verses in the Bible, rather than the worst. Or they could give up belief altogether, since the Hebrew prophets said God would save everyone DESPITE human faith and works, not because of them.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 2:29

BenDover,

I was a Reagan Republican. I left the party when I saw it descending into bigotry and fascism.

Culture is not static. Culture either progresses or regresses. Republicans have been heading backwards because they're looking backwards rather than forwards. Feet go where the eyes point. Before we move we have to set our eyes on the right goals.

Reagan had a clear goal: to defeat communism with the goal of having a freer world. He did much to give us that chance. But the current goals of the Republican party are regressive. Irrational fears have caused Republicans to circle the wagons and persuade Americans to surrender their rights and freedoms, but most of the fears are looney-bin fears. We have nothing to fear from GLBTs. We have no reason to fear Shariah law here in the US. We have nothing to fear if people choose to join unions and bargain collectively.

Our greatest dangers are the ones Republicans refuse to confront, or worsen: global warming, overpopulation, acts of terrorism and wars brought about by Israeli and US injustices in the Middle East.

Republicans no longer seem willing to face reality, as Reagan did. They circle the wagons against irrational "enemies" while there are boxes of dynamite about to explode inside the circle.

Is it unfair for me to point out the obvious? If I do, it's not because I have anything against Republicans on principle. I was a Republican, when the Republican party had positive goals and was facing real problems with courage, rather than cowering in fear of illusory phantoms.

By: Mike Burch on 4/29/11 at 2:38

In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

The Republican party tries to convince us there are enemies in every corner, and that we need to change our laws to "protect" ourselves. But the greatest danger we face is being stripped of our constitutional rights and freedoms by our increasingly irrational "protectors." If I need George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump to protect me, I'm already doomed.

We need people able to face facts and reality to lead the country. Who cares about Barack Obama's faith? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams and Abraham Lincoln did not believe in the divinity of Christ. The Christians of their day called them "infidels." JFK was hardly a choir boy. Perhaps we need more free thinkers and fewer orthodox sheep in high office.

By: slacker on 4/29/11 at 2:39

eine Pause machen, Herr Mike

By: BenDover on 4/29/11 at 2:44

I'm not in the least bit angry Mike. I'm pointing out that your world-view that hangs all of the world's ills around the neck of conservatives is flawed and that your attempts to smear those people of faith with selective scripture and historical support is ludicrous. A simple illustration is in your post above where you draw a false dichotomy between Christians and Abolitionists. There were no Christian Abolitionists? All slave-holders were devout Christians? The tune Amazing Grace comes to mind.

What you have is a classic case of confirmation bias… just as I pointed out in my earlier post. You see the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials and the political misdeeds of the Catholic Church of Rome and the Church of England as certainly the influence of Religion on men and not Men’s exploitation of religion. Yet curiously absent in this view of world history is the genocidal attempts of men to purge society of religion in the French Revolution, Stalin’s Russia, and Mao’s China.

You see only bad and intolerance when people like Phelps and his Westboro Church of Hate are the vast exception to the rule of religious organizations in this country and couldn’t even be called Christian by comparison. .

And sadly you don’t just paint those who reasonably disagree with you on matters of policy as Hitler’s second coming; you go so far as to arrogantly believe it to be a certainty.

Mike, you are one sick puppy and you really should get help. You are fostering unwarranted and undeserved anger against the Christian community based on nothing more than your own warped personal biases.

By: revo-lou on 4/29/11 at 4:29

{Mike, you are one sick puppy and you really should get help. You are fostering unwarranted and undeserved anger against the Christian community based on nothing more than your own warped personal biases.}

No, it would much more so appear to be based on the recent activity of our elected, or want-to-be elected, Christan reps at the state and federal level.