Burch: A not-so-super majority

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

According to Tennessee conservatives, the silver lining in the very dark cloud of the recent national elections has been the creation of a “supermajority” of Republicans at the state level. So now, they would have us believe, conservatives will be able to guide the ship of state away from the dangerous reefs and shoals of liberalism. But what if the ship is being steered away from modernity, basic science and common sense, by a confederacy of dunces? Here are some of the more moronic things many members of the “supermajority” seem to accept as gospel truths:

Like evolution, global warming is “untrue.” Never mind that polar ice caps and glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising. God is in control and frets constantly about human sexual relationships, so the best way to avoid floods and other natural disasters is to keep gays from marrying.

Non-heterosexuals should be denied the right to marry and should not be protected from discrimination in the workplace because God “hates” homosexuality (even though Jesus Christ never said a single word about homosexuality, according to the Bible).

People should be allowed to “pack heat” in bars, restaurants, parks, parking lots and presumably schools, kindergartens and day care centers. Never mind that conservative legislators and judges would toss us in the hoosegow if we showed up with loaded weapons at their legislative plazas and courtrooms. Politicians and judges obviously deserve much more protection than innocent children and their mothers.

Fertilization is not a biological process but the result of Divine manipulation. Therefore, if young girls are the victims of rape, they should be forced to carry and bear their rapists’ babies, even at the risk of their lives, health and sanity, so as to not thwart God’s will.

Since only God can make decisions about fertilization, pregnancy and birth, the use of contraceptives is a “sin.” This is the official position not only of the Roman Catholic Church but also increasingly of lunatic-fringe evangelicals as well. The “logic” is pretty simple: if it is a “sin” to keep a fertilized egg from dividing, it stands to reason that it is also a “sin” to prevent an egg from becoming fertilized in the first place. After all, who are human beings to overrule God in such matters?

A just-fertilized egg has exactly the same rights as a fully developed human being with 100 trillion cells (give or take), despite the fact that without a brain and nervous system an embryo cannot think or feel pain. Since a fertilized egg is a person, females must become slaves to nature and their reproductive organs, in a return to the Dark Ages.

Even though conservatives do not want government to provide financial aid to poor mothers and their children, Planned Parenthood must be defunded, which means many more unwanted babies will be born to poor girls and women, increasing poverty, drug abuse and crime.

State governments can always do everything better than the federal government, so we should have 50 FEMAs, 50 FDAs, 50 EPAs, etc.

Business can always do everything better than either the federal or state governments, so we should return to the unregulated nation-bankrupting ways of the George W. Bush era.

While the war with Iraq was fought on false premises, we should attack Iran for exactly the same reason: weapons that do not exist and could not be used if they did.

I could go on, but hopefully I’ve made my point. The divine Oscar Wilde once said that the only sin is stupidity. I find it hard to imagine leaders any stupider than George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. And yet they are the stars of the Republican universe. Here in Tennessee, we have legislators who are every bit as zany. How do such dimwits end up with so much power? We, the people, keep electing them, to our shame.

Will our supermajority of dunces steer Tennesseans to safe harbors or run us aground? I am reminded of the chorus of a Harry Chapin song: “The dance band on the Titanic played ‘Nearer, God, to Thee.’ ”

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

180 Comments on this post:

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 9:33


It would be interesting to debate whether Americans should become civilized or return to the jungle with the help of Republicans. If you post your article here, I will ask the editors if they will consider publishing it. I'm not afraid of a debate, since all the aces are on the side of the people who actually use their brains. In your article, please explain how warmongering, denying global warming and sending women back to the Dark Ages is going to result in a better state and a better nation. I await being enlightened with breathless anticipation.

By: Loner on 11/30/12 at 9:35

Mike said, " The problem is that the dunces think God is a Dunce and a Bigot ."

Well, He didn't think that Adam needed a sex partner...Eve was an after-thought, right...not that smart, some might argue.....if He chose the Jews as His Chosen People, then yeah, the bigpt allegation might be true.

God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, for GBLT-related activity...so homophobia is God-approved, right?

Jesus needed to die on the cross, ergo he was a fan of capital punishment, right?

The list of heretical views is endless.

By: BenDover on 11/30/12 at 9:36

Get the editors to agree and you got it Burch. Is there still a dead tree version of this thing going out?

By: Loner on 11/30/12 at 9:40

Extra....Extra....read all about it....Burch versus Dover..... Read all about it....on newsstands everywhere.

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 9:40

I disagree, Mike. Science and Creationism, to a point, are not incompatible. Science can effectively explain the timeline to the singularity, the big bang. But it cannot explain how or why the bang itself happened.

The spark of the bang could have very well been the touch of God, or it could have been something else, perhaps, as some theories contend, our universe is one of many that "bounce" off each other, each bounce creating it's own big bang.

However, the point is, God could have created the big bang. The problem is the rest of the timeline and definition of "day". The creation of the rest of the universe can be covered by the first passage, saying he created "the heavens and the Earth". That could be everything. The problem is the next one, that divides the light and dark and calls it a "day". That's not compatible with what we know of the age of the Earth and the evolution of life.

There's the rub.

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 9:42


You are quite the comedian! What are "main-stream Republican views." Bishop Romney knew what main-stream Republican views were, and this is why he became an arch-conservative in order to win the Republican primaries.

I think you may be confusing "intelligent" Republican views with the actual beliefs of the majority of Republicans. The majority of Republicans (the hicks and hayseeds) actually do believe most of what I said, or something like it. Most Republicans "believe" the Bible, which means they cannot believe in evolution, or else Adam and Eve were not created "perfect" and thus there could be no original sin.

They believe God "gave" Israel to the ancient Hebrews, and that God will destroy the enemies of Israel, therefore they give billions to Israel, which has resulted in 911 and two unwinnable wars.

They believe that God controls conception, which means that both abortion and contraception defy the will of God.

You may be more intelligent than the average Republican bear, but if you study what Bishop Romney did, that confirms that the mainstream Republican view is like that of a medieval monk.

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 9:43

You don't have to do that Ben. If we want to read your opinion, we can go to Fox News.

By: bfra on 11/30/12 at 9:47

gdiafante - That or just read yogi's comments.

By: Captain Nemo on 11/30/12 at 9:52

Rasputin you're not a heathen, you area lying cowardly troll. The self centered bastard is true.

By: Captain Nemo on 11/30/12 at 9:55

God is not the dunce it is selfish scum bags.

By: BenDover on 11/30/12 at 9:57

Still awaiting confirmation as to whether the Editors will allow me to embarrass myself in their print edition with my Neanderthal views while trying to refute the works of the honorable, sensitive and caring Micheal Burch.

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 9:58

Oh Ben, you don't need the print edition to embarrass yourself...

By: BenDover on 11/30/12 at 9:58

Micheal -> Michael

By: BenDover on 11/30/12 at 9:59

Oh Ben, you don't need the print edition to embarrass yourself...

Amen to that Brother.

By: Captain Nemo on 11/30/12 at 10:00

The rat troll thinks that the dollar is the all mighty, yet that dollar crashed in 29, and bastards Rats jump ship and life so not to face the facts caused by their greed.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/30/12 at 10:24

NEMO......You must control your penchant for wanting to be somebody. It is not going to happen. Enjoy your beer and the taverns or "sports bars" that you frequent and try to understand that calling a member of the productive class a coward and a liar does not change who you are.

I really don't think this will sink in because of who is giving this advice. I do think one of your counselors would bring you the same advice and probably more gently.

In the meantime, "Let the Big Dog eat"

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 10:26


It might be possible to have a form of Christianity that doesn't destroy the world. But the current Republican version seems like the second coming of the Nazis:

Male Chauvinism
Sending unhealthy people to the glue factory

If Christians would emulate Thomas Jefferson, and cut all the evil and insane verses out of the Bible, they would have a much better religion (and a much thinner Bible).

If they no longer believe all the verses about slavery and stoning women and children to death, why not toss out the homophobic verses, and the ones about God "giving" Palestine to the Jews (ancient Hebrews)? Then we could all be a lot happier and save trillions of dollars and millions of lives.

But the Republican version of Christianity insists that God and Jesus are racist, intolerant, homophobic bigots who (unsurprisingly) always favor Christians and Jews (the people who wrote the book).

And so the (war) beat goes on ...

By: BenDover on 11/30/12 at 10:27

How's the weather in Palm Beach Raspy? I was down in Miami a few weeks ago for Flugtag and it was heavenly.

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 10:31


"Let the Big Dog eat" ... its own doo-doo?

If we let the Tea-publicans have their way, the Big Dogs will have to search long and hard for anything palatable to eat, since businesses need paying customers with money to spare. Once the 1% have all the money, there will be no paying customers,and because stock markets demand rising profits, the stock market will collapse and the 1% will once again be leaping to their deaths from tall buildings.

We need people with functional brains to lead us, not beasts who wallow in their own feces.

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 10:32

Alright, you lose me when you start the Nazi rhetoric...

By: slacker on 11/30/12 at 10:35

High drama!
BenDover challenges Burch to a duel.. keyboards at dawn, I love it.
Superintendent Burch.. cloaked in the robe of political correctness and his poetry of course, and BenDover, carrying the banner of reality & common sense, and a downtown condo with concierge.
Not exactly Pacquiao and Martinez, but admission is free.
Be there!

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 10:37


I'm sure the NCP editors will want to see the article before they decide whether to publish it or not. If you paste the article here, or email it to me, I will be glad to discuss it with the column editor. Or you can contact the paper on your own. But in general editors don't make decisions about articles and letters until they have read them, and made sure the writers are literate.

I think there may still be a print issue, but I'm nor sure if there is enough room for the article you propose. You could query the editors to see.

By: Loner on 11/30/12 at 10:46

Gd wrote, "Science can effectively explain the timeline to the singularity, the big bang. But it cannot explain how or why the bang itself happened. "

There is a theory....only a theory...that our universe was created by the flatulence of God....the "Big Bang" was actually a Divine Fart.....hence all that interstellar gas...the nebulae....we are not stardust, we are the gas of God.

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 10:49


I think Pauline Christianity is incompatible with evolution. Paul said that Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world and were responsible for suffering and death entering the world (the fall, due to original sin). Thus, human beings had to be "redeemed" by God. Paul said that Jesus was the "second Adam" who redeemed human beings through a bloody sacrifice (the atonement).

But if the world was never perfect, and human beings evolved over millions of years, there was nothing for human beings to be redeemed from. In a world full of suffering and death, it was dog eat dog for all animals, including human beings.

Early human beings didn't know that sex was supposed to be limited to one man and one woman, through marriage. They didn't know that sexual penetration of the anus was a "sin." They didn't know that stealing was a sin. In nature animals regularly rob each other of life, so they didn't know that murder was a sin. These ideas came much later, after the big brains of human beings began to develop ethics and religion.

Thus, orthodox Christianity falls apart, if evolution actually occurred. And we know that it did. If there was an "original sinner," it was the Creator, for allowing animals with advanced brains to develop on such a hellish planet.

By: BenDover on 11/30/12 at 10:59

I'll try to put something up before the weekend is over... spell checked, proofed and devoid of crassness exceeding that of polite debate.

If so, hopefully the editorial staff will find it worthy of print alongside your next dribbling solicitude of leftist anti-Christian fappery.

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 10:59


If we are the gas of God, it seems he is now out to gas us out of existence, with global warming.

The tea party believes that the way to control the weather is to deny gays the right to marry, to force women to bear their rapists' babies, and to shower Israel with billions of dollars and advanced weapons. If only they can appease their primitive, bigoted, homophobic God, he will use his magical superpowers to give Americans perfect weather!

It didn't work for the witch doctors of other religions, but the teabaggers are confident that a return to the Dark Ages will win them the favor of Yahweh. But do they remember the Black Death that wiped out a third of Christians during the Middle Ages?

Did God sent plague-infested rats to kill millions of women and children?

Or does the world work according the laws of cause and effect?

Should we believe in facts and science, and do rational things to create a better world, or should we believe in superstitious nonsense and practice bigotry in the hope that a racist, intolerant God will be pleased?

According to conservative Christians, the path to glory is follow the lead of ancient barbaric goatherds who sold their own daughters into sexual slavery, and stoned them to death if they were raped. This is the wisdom of Yahweh and Moses, after all.

By: Loner on 11/30/12 at 11:01

Yeah, Mike, ours is a hungry planet, everything is hungry, everything is food....like Burl Ives said in the movie, Wind Across the Everglades, "Eat. Or be 'et."...it's the law of the jungle...natural law...eat or be eaten.

We are told that our earthly sufferings are a test of our heaven-worthiness...one wonders then, why must every creature on this mudball suffer? Heaven is for hominids, right?

But, who are we mere mortals to question the Hebrew Bible?

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 11:05


I will look forward to your defense of Christian bigotry, warmongering and destruction of the planet. Perhaps you can enlist the aid of our resident mad monk, Rasputin, in your defense of the "let the big dog eat" guide to survival on planet earth.

But I'm afraid that you will have to depart from facts, if you insist that "mainstream" Republican thought involves any actual thinking.

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 11:06

I'm only speaking of creation. I'm not interested in the idealistic nature of the rest of the Bible. Other than basic morality...don't steal, murder...everything else is a fairy tale. Stories, IMO, not intended to be taken literally, but have.

If one remembers that (1) the book was written by man, (2) there's likely been a loss in translation over the past few thousand years (not to mention intentional editing and (3), most importantly, it was intended for a more primitive form of man that did not understand that the Earth was not the center of the universe. To even suggest this (ask Galileo) was heresy.

By: slacker on 11/30/12 at 11:09

Christian bigotry vs Secular bigotry.. who got the biggest?
Be there!

By: slacker on 11/30/12 at 11:13

Forgot to include Islamic bigotry.

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 11:14


The first few pages of the Bible are so full of wild injustices, I'm surprised that anyone bothers to read the rest. But I suspect that most Christians have never read the Bible ...

If suffering and death were really the punishment for human beings acquiring the knowledge of good and evil, then Christians should be immortal because they don't understand that the Bible is full of horrendously evil passages:

It was evil for God to sentence innocent animals to suffer and die, even if Adam and Eve were "guilty."

It was evil for God to become the first murderer, by killing innocent animals to give their hides to Adam and Eve for clothing. Why didn't God give them clothes of cotton, wool or palm fronds?

It was evil for God to drown all the poor animals in a worldwide flood. If many was guilty, why didn't he send a human-only plague and spare the poor animals?

It was evil for God to suggest that Abraham slit his son's throat as a sacrifice. It was evil for Abraham to agree to such a terrible thing. And yet Christians call Abraham a "man of faith."

It was evil for God to harden the Pharaoh's heart to disobey him, since that enraged God and caused him to kill multitudes of animals and children.

Why didn't God just put the Egyptians to sleep and let the Hebrews escape peacefully?

It was evil for Moses to command slavery, sex slavery, infanticide, matricide, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

These are just a few quick examples. So clearly Christians have no knowledge of good and evil, and should be immortal.

By: Loner on 11/30/12 at 11:19

Burch versus Dover. Dover versus Burch. Let the verbal snickersnee begin!

Ben will do his best to bumfuzzle the reader with his right-wing gardyloo, but the astute reader will recognize the taradiddle for what it is. Ben's case of Collywobbles is the result of ingesting raw GOP gubbins.

By: slacker on 11/30/12 at 11:24

Loner read Burch's: ''Why didn't God just put the Egyptians to sleep and let the Hebrews escape peacefully? And you take this guy seriously?

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 11:25


I'm sure the religion-befuddled lemmings will follow Ben over the cliffs of Dover, into the dark drink below ....

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/30/12 at 11:35

Ben, when you pen your article, please don't forget to add the rocks in a circle thing. That's one of my all-time favs. :)

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 11:38


Is BenDover the new C. S. Lewis? Will his Christian apologetics produce a new, imaginary Narnia in which religion-mad disciples of Christ fight the forces of evil, never realizing that they are the doombringers?

But even the greatest apologist for Christianity seems to have converted to gnosticism. In his last and best book, TILL WE HAVE FACES, Lewis said that human beings cannot enter heaven until they can look the gods in the eye. Lewis seemed to be saying that human beings must continue to evolve.

Even Billy Graham and the Pope seem to doubt that people go to hell for not believing in Christ. But millions of southern hayseeds still believe that God is a racist and a bigot who prefers Jews and Christians to everyone else ... when he's not killing them in fits of murderous rage for making love to the "wrong" people.

It will be interesting to see how BenDover defends a religion based on the idea that God demands the blood of animals and his own son for human sins, then turns around and kills multitudes of innocent animals, babies and children with natural disasters. Is God a hypocrite and a serial killer, or did Jewish and Christian theologians make a lot of mistakes during the creation of their highly dubious religions?

By: Mike Burch on 11/30/12 at 11:46


I am an agnostic on God vis-a-vis creation, because I don't think we have enough information to know who did what.

It is possible that the universe was created by an intelligent being, but if so he/she seems to be much better at math and physics than biology. And if the Bible is "the word of God" then God must be the Devil, or a really bad communicator.

I think the Bible is a collection of badly-told fairytales that turn God and Jesus into the Devil. And then there are the passages that command and condone the worst crimes known to mankind, as the "word of God" as given by Moses, the greatest of the Hebrew prophets, and undoubtedly a raving lunatic if he said and did what the Bible says he said and did.

Unfortunately, the GOP takes the Bible literally, hence its social positions look back to the Stone Age ...

By: bfra on 11/30/12 at 11:55

NCP might fool me, but I doubt they will publish anything Ben writes except his usual inane comments.

By: slacker on 11/30/12 at 12:01

Winner to be decided by Art Bell.

By: pswindle on 11/30/12 at 12:05

Your article is right-on. Thank you for making it so everyone can understand what is going on and what has hapopened. If TN does not elect people that are more sane, TN is doomed. They have to get the state and church separated if TN will ever be great again. Too much power has been given to the churches and the brain-washing began. I have been goiong to church most of my life life, but my parents did not mix the two (state and church).

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 12:42

More like what created what. If you believe evolution, we were not created in any one's image. We've evolved from one thing into another. So the creator is automatically foreign to us. The ultimate alien.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/30/12 at 12:52

Mike Burch......From my perspective I had rather have an economy that was driven by the 53% than an economy where the 53% had to support themselves and the 47%.

Of course as you know I am not a socialist nor a goood samaratin.

Your diatribe saying the economy could not go on if the 1% had all the money is nonsense. An economy can exist if there are only two people in the world as long as. have each produces something the other needs. If one does all the producing and the other takes a share you have a smaller version of what is happening in this country today.

You seem to think that the "Simple Six and others like them are victims. I agree with that. They, or the majority of them are victims of poor genetics and a lack of motivation and pride.

In the history of mankind no democratic republic has ever been able to stand when thereare more have nots than haves. If you stripped the 1% of every dime they had and divided it among the rest of the Americans you would lose the capitalization of the United Startes.The 1% would use their share of the pie to gather up all the jewelry,Mercedes,BMWs Lexus and Cadillacs . This would be what your people would spend their share of the on.

The 1% would be on their way to having the money once again.

All this would prove that "All Men should have equal opportunity but that all men are not created equal.

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 1:03

You seem to think that the "Simple Six and others like them are victims. I agree with that. They, or the majority of them are victims of poor genetics and a lack of motivation and pride.

Well, that's certainly an amazing feat...Raspy can determine the genetic history of the poster simply by interpreting a few posts from this site. I imagine that is a feat that even Stephen Hawkin cannot aspire to replicate.

Either that or you'll full of sh!t...I haven't made up my mind yet.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/30/12 at 1:12

Yes, Gdiafante reading between the lines is gift that I have used successfully in my social and business life. I miss every now and then but not often.

Please note that although you share a rib with the "Simple Six" I never call you out as a member of that crowd. "Instinct" I call it.

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 1:14

Sorry, Raspy, I respectfully ask you to stay out of my genes...Try yogi. His family tree only has one branch.

By: yogiman on 11/30/12 at 1:16


I wish I was as brilliant as you seem to think you and your fellow dumolcraps are. I'd feel highly intelligent.

Tell me, except in name, what's the difference in the parties in congress? I can't tell any difference.

Why? Because if any member of congress was following the oath they took to hold that office, the current usurper would not be there. He wouldn't have even set his foot in that door.

And I'll repeat: Explain to me how he is in there legally and I'll read US 1408 (fully, to see if I can find what you're looking for. So let's make a deal, I'm getting some new glasses).

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 1:18

Idiot, read 1408 and you'll answer you're own question, it's the law. Talk about bad genetics...

By: gdiafante on 11/30/12 at 1:20

My bad, it's Title 8, section 1401

By: Rasputin72 on 11/30/12 at 1:21

Gdiafante.......I could care less from this vantage point about an indepth look at your genes. Only my instincts.

I hope this provides some sense of relief for you.