Better to remain silent

jester_foolFriday, July 26, 2013 CE, at 3:00PM CST


O all ye exorcizers come and exorcize now, and ye clergymen draw nigh and clerge,
For I wish to be purged of an urge.

It is an irksome urge, compounded of nettles and glue, and great, delicious, dripping irony (with apologies to the late, great Ogden Nash).  God bless my friend Mike Nunn.  Week after week, like a lamb to the slaughter, this gentle man bears the Pecksniffian wrath of Hot Springs’ very own, and very peculiar fundamentalists, a veritable petite soirée d’enfants terrible.

He stands accused of what?  Poking religious zealots just itching for Armageddon?  Advocating for equality and justice?  Suggesting that stewardship of this precious mudball we all find ourselves on together is somehow more important than endless war and the idolatry of flag-waving, bible-thumping patriotism?

His accusers are Luddites who demand nothing less than a backwards slide into the fiction they have invented, of a time when all was right with the world.  Such a time never existed.  The Luddites’ imaginary, lily-white world conveniently forgets it was built on slavery, on factories powered by child labor, on the extermination and ethnic cleansing of indigenous populations.

The Luddites’ imaginary, lily-white world conveniently forgets the horrors of disease and desperate poverty.  It is a world where education is frivolous and where everyone is Christian or else – banished or killed.  It is a world where men’s opinions trump women’s rights.  It is a world where prosperity is a sign of divine favor and where the misfortunes of life are self-inflicted by sin and demons.  It is a world where there is no science, no school, no medicine, and no mercy.

And it is against this false view of the world that my friend Mike Nunn stands his ground.  God bless his exhortations to rally hearts and minds against a heartless, mindless assault on all that is reasonable and merciful.  Do I always agree with this latter-days Jeremiah?  Heck no!  But I’d rather stand by his side than with the pagan high priests of a rebranded, born-again John Birch Society, desperately trying to call down strange fire with their lingering Eisenhower-was-a-commie paranoid blues.

Abraham Lincoln was retelling an Old Testament proverb when he said “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”  All you Mike-haters out there, trust me, you’ve been coming in loud and clear.

Jacques d’Nalgar
Hot Springs, Arkansas


Woodcut illustration of Der Schalcksnarr (the jester), by Heinrich Vogtherr the Younger (1513 – 1568), around 1540. or

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  1. A little bit about Mike… In addition to being a contrary friend, Mike is a former Marine and helicopter pilot, a graduate of California State University and Loyola Law School, and a former Deputy District Attorney for Orange County. He is an escapee from Blue Hill, Nebraska and is now retired with his wife in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He likes pugs and agitating everyone to his right, including me sometimes. He’s been a Baptist and who knows what else, but right now calls himself a secular humanist. Politically, he’s an “Agnostic Libertarian” (whatever the hell that is).

    • Mike Nunn on July 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you for your kind comments. I will admit to being somewhat of a walking contradiction taking every wrong direction on my way back home. In addition to being a dunked Southern Baptist, I was a Baptized and confirmed Missouri Synod Lutheran and was once treasurer of a Methodist Church. I also served as a board member of the Christian Serviceman’s Center in Japan which was run by the Navigators, a very evangelical organization ministering to Service personnel. I am very well indoctrinated into the evangelical foundations. Contrary to what is often said about me – I do not hate Christians. I consider many to be my friends. I just wish that more of them would express the love of Jesus instead of hatred.

  2. This was printed, largely intact, under the title “Standing His Ground” in today’s “Letters” section of The Sentinel Record.

    • Mike Nunn on August 1, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I read it and as usual on the internet version some nut who will not identify himself who goes by the name timY2ker made his normal nasty comments. I quit answering him because he is unable to carry on a decent conversation and is just a very mean person.

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