Burch: Petty potty politics

Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Kudos to The City Paper and reporter Jeff Woods for reporting that the Tennessee legislature has moved to “quickly nullify” the Metro Council's newly adopted nondiscrimination ordinance. To the best of my knowledge, this has not been reported significantly — if at all — by other Nashville media. So I’m glad we have reporters like Woods to keep us informed — and, hopefully, properly outraged.

As Woods pointed out in his article that ran April 6, “Nashville’s anti-gay bias ordinance was adopted less than 24 hours ago, and already the state legislature is taking steps to nullify it.” According to Woods, this decision was made “without debate” by the House Commerce Subcommittee, which voted “to bar all Tennessee cities from enacting their own policies against gay, lesbian and/or transgender discrimination. The action was taken by voice vote, with no lawmaker offering audible opposition.”

Then Woods wrote an April 7 follow-up article in which he notes House Speaker Beth Harwell favors the nullification effort.

It seems the Family Action Council of Tennessee, a conservative Christian organization, has been putting “heavy pressure” on lawmakers by using scare tactics such as a video that suggests that not discriminating against gays would enable male child molesters to follow children into women’s restrooms. But how many children enter workplace restrooms? How many young children enter workplace restrooms without their parents accompanying them? Is there any evidence that there is a higher rate of pedophilia among GLBTs than among heterosexuals? If not, why use scare tactics to make a minimal danger seem so ominous?

Not discriminating against GLBTs does raise interesting questions about restrooms. But let’s be honest. I’m 53 and have probably shared many bathrooms with many gay men. Even though I’m not considered repulsive, I have never been conspicuously ogled while “doing my business,” much less molested or raped. So I have to believe that most gay men don’t have plans to “take advantage of me” if we end up sharing the same bathroom.

And of course heterosexual and GLBT athletes have been sharing locker rooms, showers and urinal areas for decades. We all share the same beaches and swimming pools, where we walk around nearly naked and no one worries about whom might be attracted to whom, as long as everyone acts with a reasonable degree of decorum.

Heterosexual men could dress up as women, enter women’s restrooms, and do shameful things. But we don’t discriminate against every male heterosexual because a few are creepy perverts. So there is no reason to discriminate against the many fine, upstanding citizens among our GLBT brothers and sisters, just because a few might be “bad apples.”

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

148 Comments on this post:

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:18

Oh my word, hubby will come back from his morning constitution and read my posts and think I've reverted back to my teen years. lol Aren't we supposed to be bickering and insulting one another? Practically every forum I see always has some jack-wad that absoutely HAS to insult every person in the room...I'd like to seem some of those guys insult a HUGE tap shoe wearing Klingon at Comicon lol, but I digress.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:19

Trump wears a whig? I thought that it was an obfuscating comb-over...a whig that looks like a comb-over...ingenious!

Thanks for the heads-up, Gdiafante.

By: brrrrk on 4/8/11 at 9:19

Captain Nemo said

"I was raised in a prejudiced house, but the sad thing about my parents they did know they were racist. I did not know I was a bigot until I got older. They had been raised that way and passed it on to their children as the natural order of live. I see so many people in life living that kind of life now.

We humans have a long way to go before we can really call ourselves kind."

Twain once said,

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

Maybe if more people in this country actually had an income that would allow them to travel we'd be a little less bigoted?

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:22

Why thank you Nemo, how kind of you to say so.....I think :)

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:25

Southwest Airlines sez we are free to move about the country, Brrrrk...bring duct tape and poly-sheeting, just in case the fuselage has a blowout....parachute might be prudent....if the Transportation Safety-Security (SS) Police let the chute go through the vetting process. Bon voyage!

Hitch-hiking might be safer....and a whole lot cheaper.

By: gdiafante on 4/8/11 at 9:25

I don't know if that thing is a wig, darge...just a play on words.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 9:26

By: brrrrk on 4/8/11 at 10:09
Blanketnazi2 said

"btw, I saw Donald Trump on the Today show yesterday. His politics are even crazier than his hair."

Speaking of hair, I want to see a birth certificate for that thing.

It doesn’t matter if it was born in this country or not. It is on the head of a white man.

By: gdiafante on 4/8/11 at 9:27

"It is on the head of a white man."

He looks orange to me...

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:29

Nemo and Brrk,
as I said before, I was also raised in a very prejudiced family, yet I NEVER was like them, even as a child. I never traveled except maybe to Reno Nv to see my mother's family, but I do believe it is possible to escape being a racist or bigot by simply having an open mind, and being able to think for yourself. It doesn't hurt that I feel that the grace of God protected me from a lot of that crap as well :).

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:33

LMAO Gdiafante, he DOES look orange...self tanner or is he just full of it (after eating too many carrots lol)?

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 9:35


I tell my youngest daughter if her mother had met my parents before she fell in love with me, that she would not be her today. lol

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:38

Yeah...I got it...just trying to spin it back to you, Gd....it's like a word-game that my uncle used to play with my brother and I, when we were kids....we called it "Rabbit".

The word-game would start out with my uncle asking, "Wanna play rabbit?"...we would always agree...then he'd say, "I shit, and you grab it"....we responded with, "I miss and you nab it"....he would respond with, "I miss and you stab it"....we would respond with, "I slip and you jab it"....after that, we had to invent new and clever rhymes...back and forth.

Yeah, we were poor, the game was crude....but we developed our language skills and comedic abilities. I do miss my dear old uncle Corky...my brother would surely agree, he's now a wise-ass too.

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:38

LOL Nemo, Isn't that the truth. Thank goodness MIke was smitten with me before he met my sociopathic bigoted uncle, otherwise he would have run screaming away from me as if his head was on fire and his ass was catching!

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 9:40

The Donald and Boehner were found in the pumpkin patch.

By: brrrrk on 4/8/11 at 9:45

Here's a little something to consider about this whole budget standoff...

One of the big sticking points seems to be the funding of Planned Parenthood as the right doesn't want federal funds going to support abortions for those in need. But here's the reality, not a single dollar of the federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood goes to funding abortions. First it all, it can't; there's a federal law against it.

And as for Planned Parenthood itself, well as I understand it, it is essentially two distinct organizations, one that performs abortions for the needy (using ALL private funds), and the other that does everything else that Planned Parenthood does (using a combination of private and federal funds). In fact, these organizations are so isolated from each other that not only do they NOT share funding, but they also each have their own facilities and administrators.

So lets say that the Republicans get their way and Planned Parenthood is defunded and per chance goes away. What will happen? Well, chances are that the privately funded abortion side of the organization will break off and continue doing what it's doing; after all, it's funded by private money and nothing can be done by congress to stop that. So who's going to suffer? It's going to be the other side of the Planned Parenthood organization; the side that last year did over 800,000 cervical cancer examinations, the side that performed over 1,000,000 mammograms, and the side that supplies birth control to the needy. One in 6 women who use the services of Planned Parenthood say that it is their only resource for medical care specific to the needs of women.

Bottom line, when the Republican say that they're going after Planned Parenthood to stop the funding of abortions, they're either feeding you a line or they are feeding themselves a line. In fact, by defunding the side of Planned Parenthood that supplies birth control, they are likely going to increase the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Smoke and mirrors my friends.....

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:46

I can explain Boehner's odd complexion... I Googled it...sure enuff, there are three alcoholic drinks that use carrot juice. Here's a snippet:

Cocky Carrot:
vodka orange liqueur (cointreau, grand marnier...) carrot juice energy drink (red bull,battery,gatorade...)

Honey Bunny:
carrot juice orange juice grenadine syrup

Mud and Blood:
carrot juice beef bouillon orange juice tabasco sauce Worcestershire sauce vodka (pepper)



Those drinks sure seemed to be named after Boehner's most endearing charms.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 9:53

I think its ''ManTan.'' White palms are always the giveaway.

By: brrrrk on 4/8/11 at 9:54

When it comes right down to it, this grandstanding by the GOP over Planned Parenthood is nothing more than political posturing at the expense of the poor and needy. Very Christian, don'cha think?

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:58

Well folks, I am off to get some work done. Ya'll play nice and have a great day!

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 9:58

Brrrk, the "Right-to-Life" Christians are the biggest fans of the "Right-to-Exist" notion, vis-a-vis the Jewish state in Palestine.

State-funded, Israeli "abortion mills" perform pregnancy-terminating services to tens of thousands of Israeli women every year; but I have never heard a peep about this from the American Right-to-Life people.

Those who insist that the Hyde Amendment is faith in action, do not apply that notion to US aid to the state of Israel. The Hyde Amendment prohibits US aid to nations and NGO's that provide state-funded abortion services.

Do not take my word for this, here is an Israeli Right-to-Life site:


It has an English language sound track....sort of.

By: ladydragyn on 4/8/11 at 9:59

AMEN Brrk!!!!

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 10:02

See ya, Lady...have a good one!

Slack, white palms indicate colorant loss by way of friction...he is a master debater.

Man-Tan and a penchant for Cocky Carrots on the rocks...probably both are factors.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 10:04

Later lady.

By: brrrrk on 4/8/11 at 10:05

ladydragyn said

"AMEN Brrk!!!!"

Interesting piece of information I got from a theologian the other day regarding the use of the word AMEN. It has it's roots in the Egyptian theology and is a reference to the God Ra.... as in Amun-Ra. Get it? Amun, Amen......

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 10:08

Is it Man Tan, a tanning booth tan, or is it Cocky Carrots? The only sure way to tell is if Boehner has a tan line in the pubic region and/or the feet....If it's Man Tan, or a tanning booth tan, there will be a tan line, if it's cocky carrots the color will be uniform over his entire body...perhaps some cell-phone camera "footage" from the Congressional locker room will make its way to You-Tube...we have a right to know.

I would wager it's Cocky Carrots.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 10:11

Loner, that would explain the crying, lacerated palms are painful.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 10:16

That would explain the crying jags, Slack...lacerations, masturbatory road rash, those are some of the dangers of having sex without a partner....many Republicans suffer from the same afflictions. A little Sex Ed in the Secondary Schools might have prevented that....the irony of it all is overwhelming.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 10:21

Loner, if you want to screw up a Boehner speech.. just start humming ''Danny Boy.''
The poor guy just loses it.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 10:23

We have a debate (I’m using the word debate for lack of a better word) with yogi and bud on the readers comment site.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 10:24

Is that right, Slack...the sight of a bag-pipe might be enough...those are two of my favorite words, BTW..."bag" and "pipe"...the sight of bags and pipes has screwed up many of my own speeches....you lose concentration....you start thinking, "Cheech & Chong"....pass the bong.

By: slacker on 4/8/11 at 10:28


By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 10:28

Don't feed the bears, Captain Nemo, they become a nuisance....leave Miss December 1966 be....bless their hearts....they make a wonderful couple. I shan't disturb the disturbed.

By: brrrrk on 4/8/11 at 10:34

Loner said

"Don't feed the bears, Captain Nemo, they become a nuisance....leave Miss December 1966 be....bless their hearts....they make a wonderful couple. I shan't disturb the disturbed."

Beetle juice, Beetle juice, Beetle juice.........

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 10:37

I am not doing it very much, Loner. However bud thinks God and Nature are somehow different.

By: Loner on 4/8/11 at 10:37

LOL, Brrrrk.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 10:41

That is funny brrrrk.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 10:43

Do you think this might be too much? ;-)

budlight: It's the time for whispering sweet nothings in one's ear.

yogi: Now that I can oblige.

budlight: Oh, Yogi.

yogi: Nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Nooothing. And because you're such a good kid, here's another nothing, for nothing.

By: brrrrk on 4/8/11 at 10:45

Ok, Cap.... you're creapin' me out.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 11:39


If I am creping you out then take a look at this.

sid said

Revo- God did not make the earthquake. That is nature. One half of one percent of the Japanese are Christians. There were some miracles that occurred. I'm sure the people of Japan who are Buddist or other religions don't blame their Gods and leaders.

I try to explain to her that both are the same and one.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 11:50

Now back on subject. What do you think needs to be done about the State wanting to occupy Nashville, because at some level this they are do.

By: gdiafante on 4/8/11 at 12:27

Nemo, the only thing that comes to mind is relocating to a sane state.

Yes, pun intended.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 1:01

It would depend on what you would call sane gdia. What is sane for one person is coo coo for another. I live in the country and love it quietness about it. The next person may consider me mad for living in the woods.

I don’t think there is really any place that is completely sane, if it was so it would not be earth. I look at it as being a little crazy but normal.

By: Ingleweird on 4/8/11 at 2:48

@Loner, Re: Israeli abortion "mills":

Of course these Christian theocrats don't mind Israeli abortion mills; it's not on our soil, and it means less Jews!

By: Ingleweird on 4/8/11 at 2:54

@Nemo, re your 12:50 post:
The solution to that is for the city to make 6th Ave North a toll road in between Charlotte Ave and Union Street. $5 each way. We all know these swine-porkers couldn't waddle their fat white behinds farther than from their parking bunker to their offices...

By: Captain Nemo on 4/8/11 at 3:19

That is too simple Ingleweird and the tax payer would end up footing the bill.

By: Mike Burch on 4/9/11 at 1:21

I wonder what Jesus would make of the hellions who blaspheme his name on a daily basis, calling themselves "Christians" while condemning all the world to "hell" in his name?

Is Jesus an intolerant bigot, like the Pharisees of the Moral Majority?

Or is Jesus a liberal in the tradition of Gandhi, MLK, JFK and Nelson Mandela?

Inquiring minds want to know! In the meantime it seems it's up to us to take a stand. What I can't understand is how roughly 50% of Americans can believe that subscribing to bigotry, injustice and fear is the "Christian" thing to do.


By: Captain Nemo on 4/9/11 at 7:41

Mike asks a good question. I have asked myself many times similar questions and the only answer that I could muster is that I am not Jesus. No matter how much I think a person has sin, I am not the one to judge. I do not have the authority or the wisdom to make that decision.

So my only alternatives is just keep asking this question over and over to myself and for myself and try not to act as those that transgress do. So keep asking that question.

By: Mike Burch on 4/11/11 at 8:56


I agree. I think we can oppose injustices, and should. But I would not want to judge what happens to people when this life is over. Hitler was probably an abused child who grew up in a nation that considered tall, fair-haired, blue-eyed people to be demigods. He probably loathed the way he looked, felt deeply ashamed, and projected his self-loathing at people who looked like him. He had the town where he grew up demolished as an artillery firing range, probably to wipe out any evidence of his racial origins. He may have had Jewish blood himself.

How would God judge Hitler, knowing all he went through? If God is able to change human nature, as Christians claim, would he send Hitler to hell or heal him? Of course these are theological questions, and no one "knows" the answers.

My approach is to oppose injustices, try to protect children from the abuses of people who say they will go to hell simply for being born, or having sex, or thinking about sex. Most of us have never raped or killed anyone. Moses, Joshua and King David were mass murderers who killed women, children and the handicapped, according to the Bible. Virtually all Christians say Moses, Joshua and David will be in heaven. If they can go to heaven by the grace of God, it seems everyone could.

I just hate to see children being terrorized and brainwashed with the idea that God has the right to send billion of people to hell, for the "sin" of being born.