Burch: Tennessee Republicans reject Founding Fathers

Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 9:14pm
By Michael R. Burch

The typical Tennessee Republican is closer in philosophy to Iranian clerics than the American Founding Fathers. Take, for instance, the idea and ideal of “freedom of religion.” Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and company believed strongly in freedom of religion, and they believed even more strongly in keeping the fledgling American government free from the pernicious influence of religious zealots and their witch-burning, holy-war-waging churches. So they built what Jefferson called a “wall of separation” between church and state.

But the last thing Iranian clerics and Tennessee conservatives want is real freedom of religion. What the holy rollers really want is not freedom of religion, but to turn the federal government into a theocracy and public schools into places where innocent children can be brainwashed into believing things that make absolutely no sense, so that they can be controlled and milked of their money when they grow up. This is why both Islamic and Christian fundamentalists condemn all human beings to “hell,” then offer them “salvation” for believing absurdities that make God seem more like a medieval inquisitor than an enlightened, tolerant being.

That Tennessee Republicans don’t actually want freedom of religion is easy to prove. Albert Einstein created “thought experiments” to help explain why other people’s thinking about basic physics was off base. I have developed a simple “thought experiment” to prove that Tennessee Republicans want to overthrow true freedom of religion, and subvert the U.S. Constitution.

In the first stage of my thought experiment, I ask a simple question: “Do most Tennessee conservatives want to allow Christian texts and symbols to be allowed in public schools?” The answer is obviously “yes,” because Republicans have been fighting for prayer to be allowed in public schools, to keep the “Christ” in Christmas, to allow Bible classes to be taught after hours, and to either keep evolution out of the science books or to at least insert references to a Creator.

In the second stage of my thought experiment, I ask another simple question: “What would Tennessee conservatives say and do, if the texts and symbols being used in public schools were Muslim? What would happen if prayers were being made to Allah rather than Jehovah, if the texts being used were Korans rather than Bibles, and if the Creator made man out of a clot of blood rather than clay?

Obviously, Tennessee conservatives would have hissy fits if the Koran was being taught in public schools. Therefore, it is clear that conservative Christians don’t mean real “religious freedom” when they use the term. What they really want is the right for Christianity and its texts and symbols to receive preferential treatment in schools, to the extent of the exclusion of other major religions like Islam. They also want the Ten Commandments to receive preferential treatment in government buildings, even though the first commandment is completely incompatible with freedom of religion. Thus, they are working to subvert the Constitution and undo one of the most important advancements of the American Founding Fathers.

87 Comments on this post:

By: MusicCity615 on 7/21/13 at 8:05


Instead of this random story that isn't truly pertinent to today's current events, I would like to hear your thoughts on Detroit's bankruptcy, what caused it, and especially what you think the solution should be.

Unfortunately I think the tax heavy state of Michigan presents a bad Omen for corrupt politicians and union leaders who proclaim to be "for the middle class", yet they campaign off irrational economic predictions for pensions and the union leaders keep the highest percentage of dues and take the most money possible, instead of the middle class families.

Chicago is next, so is LA.

What is your solution, tax the rich some more? The Federal Government, and therefore the American taxpayers, already bailed out Chrysler, Ford, and GM, mainly because of union pensions, so clearly something is wrong.

I am for the middle class, but I am afraid SOME union leaders screw over the unions, and SOME politicians conjugate lies to get elected and lead on middle class families...

By: yogiman on 7/21/13 at 8:23

Once again, Mike, a well written article. And also once again, Mike, a well biased article.

Of course you're right on Tennessee's conservatives believing in freedom of religion in public schools. But what "branch" of government has taken the right for the children to pray in public schools?

You compare the Christian faith against the Muslim faith in that the Tennessee "conservatives" don't want the Muslim faith in public schools.

I can only presume you don't know the difference in those religions so here's a little lesson for you. The Christians faiths believe in 'love thy neighbor'. But the Muslim faith (Islam) believe in [kill that SOB if he doesn't belong to our faith]. So, which one do you prefer?

And, Mike, I'm still waiting on you to investigate on the meaning of "natural born citizen" as decided by our founders.

As I referred before, read the findings of the First and Third session of congress. Read page 104 of the First Session of Congress (1790), and page 415 of the Third Session of Congress (1795).

What did they mean by "parents"?

By: yogiman on 7/21/13 at 8:34


I hate to tell you this, but our nation is on it's deathbed today. We're lucky it lasted for a little over 200 years.

And what is it being killed by? Politicians in their seek of control. When they get us into bankruptcy, we will be under a dictator with a congress as his aides.

By: govskeptic on 7/22/13 at 5:09

This is not the first time our great editorialist, Michael Burch, has compared the
Tennessee Republicans to the Iranian Clerics. This in hopes of proving "if one
tells a damnable lie often enough it becomes truth". One need only to visit
Mass. and the early settlements to know these founding fathers were much more
religious than these revisionist liberal writers have attempted to change over the
last many years.

As part of your ongoing thought experiment, I would ask that
you think about a country that reached, what many hope for, a government made
up of total faithless and god hating individuals and policies. There have been
on some continents City/States of the past that have been just that for reference.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 6:50

gov, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with the writings of Jefferson and Thomas Paine when it comes to the topic of religion in government. Also, review the Treaty of Tripoli which specifically states that the U.S. is NOT a Christian nation. It was never intended to be. "In God We Trust" was not initially in our currency and our pledge of allegence did not originally say "One Nation Under God." Do you need me to post references for your review?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 6:52

“The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the sun, in which they put a man called Christ in the place of the sun, and pay him the adoration originally payed to the sun.”

― Thomas Paine

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 6:53

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

-- Thomas Jefferson

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 6:56

"In God we trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956 as an alternative or replacement to the unofficial motto of E pluribus unum, adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted in 1782.

Bellamy's original Pledge read as follows:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:00

gov, perhaps you should keep your "damnable lie" to yourself. The U.S. is not a theocracy, was never meant to be and shall not be. If you want a theocracy, move to a country that already is one. The rest of the people who respect the original meaning of this country do not want it. Thus, respect for the separation of church and state. Believe what you want but do not impose it upon others. Not through our public schools and not through legislation.

By: govskeptic on 7/22/13 at 7:07


While I appreciate your offer of reference, I'll stick with my own education on the
subject. I've often found your reference to be just as bias on most subjects
you so doggedly pursue as yourself. Who other than yourself ever mentions that
this country is or wants to be a Theocracy. Since the 2nd or 3rd grade I've learned
not to argue with the class know it all, so I defer the remainder 0f this chat to you.

By: revo-lou on 7/22/13 at 7:13

In other words, govskeptic (love the irony of the name) believes what he believes, regardless of its truth, cause it works with what he understands.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:14

Indeed, revo-lou. Long time no see - welcome back!

By: bfra on 7/22/13 at 7:16

gov - So you are ceding that Blanket knows more than you but you are still set on your ill informed opinions. Sad!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:16

revo - people like gov are immune to knowledge. You give them facts instead of opinion and they still act like it must just be an opinion or bias.

By: revo-lou on 7/22/13 at 7:19

Hey bk2, thought I'd stop by for a little visit. Still a crazy place, wtihout a doubt.

This board must be an experiment by SouthComm, or a write-off, I am not sure of which.

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 7:25

Well 'said', gov.

B2, the pledge of allegiance has changed a few times since it's beginning. In my childhood, it was: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

As President, Dwight Eisenhower added "under God" to make it: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Too often today, it is said with a hesitation...one nation, under God... when there should not be a comma between 'nation' and 'under'.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:26

revo, I still think it's because SouthComm is making bank off the number of clicks.

By: revo-lou on 7/22/13 at 7:30

Must be BK2, must be. That, and it is also very funny.

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 7:30

Facts?, B2. I've been asking for facts for several years now but you haven't give me any on the usurper in office.

How about repeating the facts you claim to have given me before that I can't find on my past notes.

And I'll also take the repeated facts anyone else claims to have given me, which, of course, they didn't.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:31

Yep, revo. You can lead idiots to facts but you can't make them think.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:39

See what I mean? LOL

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 7:42

I'm sure you know the facts, B2, so please tell me how an Indonesian citizen can become a natural born citizen of the US.

Or better yet, please tell me how a man born in Kenya (as he advertised for 16 years) with a British subject his father become a 'natural born citizen' of the USA after he became an Indonesian citizen.

I'm sure you know the laws of 1961, B2, where his mother didn't qualify to pass her American citizenship down to him which meant she had to be 19 years old to do so.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:43

Coming from someone who thinks wnd is a reliable source. Idiot.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:44

Let's try to stick to the topic of the day, OK?

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 7:45

Sorry to disappoint you, B2, but it seems I'm one of the few on this site that does think.

And I keep offering my thoughts, but none of you "experts" are willing to offer your.

How come, don't you know your 'facts'?

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 7:48

To take your mind off the matter, get on board and enjoy your flight. Then after the flight and your minds eases to relaxation, throw your facts at me.


By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 7:49

yogi, everyone is tired of trying to show you anything. No one is interested in your dementia loop - go somewhere else to do that.

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 7:50

Another good show to watch: www.youtube.com?watch_popup?v=tCAffMSWSzY#t=28/

By: budlight on 7/22/13 at 7:54

Bellamy's original Pledge read as follows:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

And Blanket, we are certainly a divided nation at this time, especially when we let vigilantes such as Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton, along with Holder and obama run the Florida justice system (or Boston - ie, obama's buddy the professor's debacle).

The US Dept of Justice current witch hunt should scare every freedom loving American (legal) citizen.

By: BenDover on 7/22/13 at 7:59

Good thing Burch wasn't the one arguing for the constitution to be ratified. There's not way the states would have ever supported this mentality. If someone had suggested the example of 'no religion in schools' they would have been highly ostracized. The constitution was to protect religion from the government not the other way around. Pennsylvania ratifying a constitution that said religion must be banned from government, schools and all public life? Absurd.

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 8:10

Wanna have some fun, B2? go to:www.dcboee.org/voter_info_reg/_status/ and type in "Barry Soetoro". Aug 4, 1961 as his birth and the zip cook 20500/

Then tell me: where is Barack Obama registered to vote?

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 8:12

oops, meant zip code.

By: bfra on 7/22/13 at 8:34

Blanket you have 3 trolls riled by presenting the truth. They don't know what that is.

By: Moonglow1 on 7/22/13 at 8:40

Moonglow1: Mike, I thought most of "the founding fathers" were Free Masons and or libertarians. These TN holier than thou Republicans are redefining Christianity: Cohn sending love letters to "his daughter," Dejarlies with mistresses and pushing abortion when it suits him and defying the Hippocratic Oath, Haslam the Pilot Crook (steal from unsuspecting vendors to maximize profit), and on and on. Oh yeah, then we have our gun totin Lt Gov: by God, we just gotta protect ourselves by having guns n cars, guns in trunks, guns n bars - here a gun, there a gun, everywhere a gun, gun...old. McDonald had a gun e I e I o...and on his farm...well you get the picture. Oh what about God? I though he "turned the other cheek." A pacifist!

The TN Republicans are worse than the Taliban. I think the Taliban actually believes their crap. TN Republicans: hypocrites through and through...what is good for the public is not good for them. Lie, steal, cheat, and shoot is their religion.

By: bfra on 7/22/13 at 8:44

Moonglow1 - Double Amen!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 8:48

Moonglow, I concur.

By: Moonglow1 on 7/22/13 at 8:49

Moonglow1: thank you bfra.

By: Moonglow1 on 7/22/13 at 8:50

Moonglow1: thank you blanketnazi2.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 8:59

Moonglow, if I had a $1 for every time a hear a conservative accuse a liberal of "revisionist history"......

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 9:04


I presume you're a Democrat, so tell me; what's the difference between the two parties? What makes the Democrat party so superior to the Republican party? Could it be because they believe in giving... to get your vote? Which party is the most responsible for our nation to be almost bankrupt?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 9:10

Contrary to popular belief, those who make the most noise noise complaining about Federal spending and the programs said spending support, are in fact the same people who collect those Federal dollars and who coincidentally don’t want to give up the programs. Their states; the RED ones… receive more per dollar, than they give,as a recent New York Times article documents–even as fiscally conservative lawmakers complain about deficit spending–their constituents don’t want to give up the Social Security checks, Medicare benefits, and earned income tax credits that provide a safety net for the struggling middle class.”

Read more: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/06/16/red-states-are-the-real-welfare-states/#ixzz2ZmtCeCUx

By: yogiman on 7/22/13 at 9:13

All of you who believe in free speech should check this bill out that takes freedom of speech away from you.


By: BenDover on 7/22/13 at 9:17

Contrary to the subsequent little hug-fest my point stands and Burch's article is patently absurd.

By: BenDover on 7/22/13 at 9:19

And fwiw Steve Cohen is a Democrat of the Memphis variety.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/22/13 at 9:21

Ben, in your opinion I'm sure it is. However, facts support otherwise.

By: Moonglow1 on 7/22/13 at 10:53

Moonglow1: Amen Blanket!!!

Ben Cohen's behavior is that of a "new Republican." Holier than thou. He needs to change parties. He and Dejarlies need to have a drink together. Two idiots.

By: BenDover on 7/22/13 at 12:45

Mr. President

The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other--our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel 13 our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.--Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth--that God 14 governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move--that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.

Benjamin Franklin, During the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787

By: govskeptic on 7/22/13 at 12:47

Ben: You should know that only a very limited number of folks hold all the facts
on this string. If you're not sure which ones, just ask and they will tell ya!
Then you will hear cheers of agreement from the quaking parrots.

By: BenDover on 7/22/13 at 1:01

Western society, including the US, was absolutely rooted in Judeo / Christian religious values and teaching.


These sophomoric attempts to rewrite the history are absurd.

By: BenDover on 7/22/13 at 1:04

Facts don't support anything of the sort Blanket. What year is it?