Letter from the Editor 

click to enlarge ccc-triumph.jpg

The Dark Ages was a period in European history set approximately between 800 A.D. until the onset of the Renaissance. The common thread throughout this period was the dominance of Christianity and the repression of all art, science, and progress that was not Christian in nature.

A new Dark Ages appears to have descended upon Tennessee via our Christian-centric General Assembly. Consider the following legislation that has been proposed or passed: a bill making "Sharia" law illegal; a bill requiring public school science teachers to teach creationism as a valid alternative to evolution; a bill making it illegal for public school teachers to even mention homosexuality prior to the ninth grade; a bill redirecting funding for women's health services from Planned Parenthood to the county health department (which isn't equipped to use the money); a bill outlawing non-discrimination ordinances passed at the local level, overturning a measure passed by the Nashville city council.

In addition to these embarrassments, the legislature has also proposed more new gun-rights laws, interfered in the local battle to determine the future of Memphis and Shelby County schools, and outlawed collective bargaining for teachers. In short, the Republican-dominated state legislature is acting in direct contradiction to its stated philosophy of "less and smaller government," favoring instead intrusive state-mandated legislation of conservative-Christian social mores over what should be local matters — education, civil rights, and public health.

The original Dark Ages were so named because theocracy became so oppressive that progress in science, the arts, and literature came to a halt. Paintings had to be religious in nature. Non-religious books were not allowed. And because the Bible alluded to the "four corners of the Earth," the knowledge that the Earth was round — long-held by the ancient Greeks — was deemed heretical. The Bible said the Earth was square, said the theocrats. And if you disagreed, they came up with a little thing called the Inquisition to make sure you didn't voice those beliefs very long.

The GOP yahoos in Nashville don't represent mainstream Christianity. They certainly don't represent anything resembling true "American values." But they are theocrats, intent on forcing a backwoods evangelical philosophy on the citizens of Tennessee, one rooted in ignorance and bigotry.

The new Dark Ages are upon us, my friends. How long they will last is up to us.

Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

Comments (61)

Showing 1-25 of 61

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 61

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies trade Troy Daniels to Phoenix

Music Blog

Listen Up: Louise Page

News Blog

Suit Targets 'Destructive' Drivers License Policy

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

mother!

News Blog

Supreme Court Steps In on Fayette Church Matter

Intermission Impossible

Muhammad Ali Meets Stepin Fetchit at The Hattiloo Theatre

News Blog

Task Force Considers Medical Cannabis

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation