Friday, March 28, 2008

Let's Rally for Sally the Homophobe—Not!

Oklahoma's most notorious homophobe, GOP Rep. Sally Kern, has lots of friends on the right side (and we use that term loosely) of the state's political spectrum.

Kern, as far too many people know, made a fool of herself recently when she claimed that gays are "worse the terrorists" and a threat to every virtue known to Western Civilization.

Kern was "outed" as a conservative wingnut when her comments to a Republican group were recorded and released on YouTube. Her remarks were met with widespread disapproval in the blogosphere and elsewhere.

Kern's allies, however, want the beleaguered legislator that she's not alone in her bigotry toward Oklahoma's gay residents. They are organizing a "Rally for Sally" to show they're just as intolerant and small-minded as Rep. Kern.

We have no idea how many people are likely to show up in Sally's defense. But whatever the number, it won't make her hyperbolic attack Oklahoma's homosexual citizens any less offensive.

In a free society dedicated to human liberty, Rep. Kern and her right-wing allies can speak out or can take any position they please. But they don't have the right to tell the rest of us, even those folks in a minority, how to think.

And because they have no lock on human wisdom or individual judgment, they don't get to be Oklahoma's morality police.

21 comments:

Dan Paden said...

Oklahoma's most notorious homophobe...

Kern...made a fool of herself...

Kern was "outed" as a conservative wingnut...

Her remarks were met with widespread disapproval...

Kern's...bigotry...

...as intolerant and small-minded as Rep. Kern...


...they don't have the right to tell the rest of us...how to think.

...they don't get to be Oklahoma's morality police.


How ironic. Apparently, you do.

Tulsan said...

Yes. To oppose Rep. Kern's brave and forthright speech is to appoint oneself the "morality police." Only strong, spirit-filled Christians like her have the moral authority to prescribe acceptable lifestyles. The Bible tells us so. People of lesser religion should simply learn to accept it.

Dan Paden said...

Well, Tulsan, it's always possible that I've misunderstood. Perhaps you don't think of bigotry and intolerance as moral issues, and charges thereof as charging someone with moral flaws. But that is how it seems to me.

Perhaps you don't think calling someone mentally ill (homophobe, wingnut), foolish, and small-minded, and approving others' disapproval (you do approve of the "widespread disapproval" that AT says greeted Mrs. Kern's remarks, don't you?) amount to telling her what she ought and ought not to think. But it seems that way to me.

"Widespread disapproval." That one still gets to me. Y'all write as though you are in the majority on the subject. "Widespread disapproval" 'mongst your crowd, perhaps. But persistent results at the polls whenever people actually have an opportunity to vote on issues related to homosexuality suggest that this "widespread disapproval" is largely limited to people in your own circle.

But don't let me distract you. I'd love to see you play this issue up as much as possible, considering that your candidates are right with you on it. The bigger issue you make of it, the worse you are likely to do--at least as regards the state of Oklahoma.

Tulsan said...

I now commend to you a new letter to the editor in The Bethany Tribune by Sally Kern. It includes well-documented evidence of the homosexual agenda and up-to-date scientific data:

"Homosexuals insist they are born gay, yet a study by Dr. Neil Whitehead and Briar Whitehead on various cultures states: 'If homosexuality were influenced by genes, it would appear in every culture, but in 29 of 79 cultures surveyed in 1952, homosexuality was rare or absent.'"

"Homosexuals are already citizens who have equal rights. They want 'special rights' for the acceptance of their deviant lifestyle. I'm thankful that Oklahoma is different than California and New York. I pray it stays that way."

Did you notice that she used the word, "pray"? She is coming from a place of unassailable Christian faith.

She clearly is supportive of equal rights, not "super" rights that make homosexuals into "super citizens." If we do not support Rep. Kern, we in Oklahoma will someday be ruled by homosexuals.

Tulsan said...

I wholeheartedly agree that calling Rep. Kern foolish and small-minded amounts to telling her what she ought and ought not to think.

It is an attempt to bully her into renouncing her righteous beliefs in favor of non-Bible-based ones. Rest assured, this will not happen.

Tulsan said...

Today, a homosexual woman has revealed the homosexual agenda. Read it and weep. It's all so very wrong.

fullycompletely said...

It seems that we, as Christians, get labeled as 'narrow-minded' if we don't agree with a gay lifestyle. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? I dare not call a homosexual narrow minded for disagreeing with me..

Tulsan said...

It wouldn't be narrow-minded for someone to simply disagreed with your Christian lifestyle, would it? But what if they attempted to take away some of your rights because of their disagreement with it? There is a difference.

Of course, the rights you enjoy (e.g., to work without fear of discrimination, the rights and responsibilities of marriage) have not been attained by gays.

Dan Paden said...

...the rights you enjoy (e.g., to work without fear of discrimination...

Say what? Haven't you worked for a company yet that required a statement that you valued alternative lifestyles? Or that sent you to "diversity training?" Not that you agreed to keep your mouth shut and let people alone while they were at work, but that you valued their lifestyle. Simple tolerance isn't enough for some people anymore; they want your approval, whether genuine or coerced, and if they don't get it, they may well fire your hide.

Sounds discriminatory to me.

...the rights and responsibilities of marriage) have not been attained by gays.

I have to disagree here, too--a gay guy has the same right a straight guy has: he can marry any woman he wants, that wants to put up with him. :)

fullycompletely said...

Got busy and forgot to reply yesterday. Oh yes Dan, I've definitely had the diversity training; time and time again. I feel that I've had to be more accomodating in the work force as a straight, caucasian, Christian man than anyone else. For example, I have to sit and listen to a self proclaimed atheist go on and on about how Christianity is a nice myth and how beautiful the Koran is.
Tulsan, what rights have been attempted to be revoked(if that's what you implied)?

Tulsan said...

White Christians, the majority group in this country, seem to believe they are being victimized when they are restrained from bullying people outside their group.

Tulsan said...

Large companies need to be able to hire talent from around the world. It makes no sense for them to embrace narrow, parochial views of race, religion and lifestyles.

Tolerance is desirable; so is equal legal treatment.

Tulsan said...

By the way, Dan, I do work for a large company. I don't recall being asked to sign anything saying that I value alternative lifestyles.

There was some brief online "diversity training," but I don't remember much about it, since they were preaching to the choir with me anyhow.

Are you saying you have been required by a company to "value" alternative lifestyles? That seems an odd way to put it. Could it have more like "respect"?

Dan Paden said...

Not all large companies go the diversity training and "value" route, of course. Personally, I have yet to be asked to undergo it. But it is getting more common. If you are so inclined, you can search the AFA and ACLJ sites and you'll find more about this kind of thing. Or you could pick up a copy of David Limbaugh's Persecution; he tells some interesting stories in that one.

Bluntly, if you ask me if I respect homosexuality, the answer is no--so I couldn't honestly sign that one, either.

On the other hand, I've worked with more homosexuals than you can count, I imagine. I spent years in the restaurant business, which is positively packed with 'em. I always got along with them just fine, 'cause I--and most of them, thankfully--can make a distinction between the people and the things they do. In other words, I have no problem respecting homosexuals; it's homosexuality that I don't value or respect. And in general, I found that they respected me, even though they usually thought my opinions on the subject of homosexuality were dumber than dirt.

I tend to lean toward individual liberty in most things, Tulsan. While I think homosexuality is sin, my attitude has long been that if a person doesn't want to hear about it, fine--do what you want, as long as you're an adult. Where I tend to get up in arms is when people start trying to tell me that I no longer have a right to voice what I think about it on my own time(or that voicing said opinion constitutes "bullying"), or criminalizing my attitudes, or trying to coerce my approval, or calling me names for no reason other than holding a viewpoint that has been perfectly orthodox throughout Christendom for the last two thousand years. Unfortunately, you run across all too many in the homosexual community that are just all eaten up with the Mommy-make-him-stops anytime someone says what they think about homosexuality in public--and some of 'em are prepared to try using governmental power to shut people up.

An awful lot of us look toward other countries that have already put "hate crimes" legislation in place, and resolve to fight a future wherein a pastor can be punished for preaching against homosexuality. Perhaps you don't think that's a commonly held goal in the homosexual community. I'm afraid we'll continue to disagree on that point.

fullycompletely said...

Dan, I couldn't have summed up my thoughts any better than that. Well put.

Anonymous said...

As a native Oklahoman, I am never surprised, but always disappinted, by the Oklahoma legislature's displays of backward ignorance. They seem to be determined to marginlize Oklahoma as a backwater that no one would want to visit, much less relocate a business to.

Rep. Kern is, to my mind, neither a Christian nor an American. Our country was founded on religious liberty, not Christianity. This means that those of us who are Christians, but who do not share her narrow-minded Baptist version of Christianity, are entitled to equal dignity under the law, along with Muslims and atheists, for that matter. She is to Christian theology what paint by numbers is to art. Jesus Himself had nothing to say about sex except that husbands should be loyal to their wives. Those who insist on enforcing Leviticus against the gay community don't seem to be much interested in the other "abominations," like eating shellfish, wearing fabrics containing more than one fiber, or ham sandwiches. Nor do they seem to sacrifice animals or stone prostitutes to death. If they expressed similar outrage for seafood restaurants, perhaps they would have more credibility.

Rep. Kern never gets around to explaining why, exactly, gay men and lesbians are a threat. They don't blow people up, like heterosexual Christian Timothy McVeigh. Is there a danger that they will criticize her home furnishings?

If her argument is that, somehow, God will "smite" the USofA if gay men and lesbians are treated with the same human dignity as everyone else (excuse me, but wasn't that Chirst's message?), then she is also off base. The Nazis persecuted homosexuals, but their
thousand year reich didn't make it. The Roman empire only fell after it adopted Christianity as the official state religion and decreed that gay sex was punishable by death.

Now, Rep. Kern is trying to claim that equating gay men and lesbians with terrorists, Muslims, the evil Eureka Springs city council and cancer is only an indictment of the "gay agenda," not individuals. Is she for real?

She is unfit either to teach or serve in the legislature. She should resign. She can believe that the world is flat if she likes. But that does not qualify her for public life.

--ClintBatterton

Anonymous said...

As a native Oklahoman, I am never surprised, but always disappinted, by the Oklahoma legislature's displays of backward ignorance. They seem to be determined to marginlize Oklahoma as a backwater that no one would want to visit, much less relocate a business to.

Rep. Kern is, to my mind, neither a Christian nor an American. Our country was founded on religious liberty, not Christianity. This means that those of us who are Christians, but who do not share her narrow-minded Baptist version of Christianity, are entitled to equal dignity under the law, along with Muslims and atheists, for that matter. She is to Christian theology what paint by numbers is to art. Jesus Himself had nothing to say about sex except that husbands should be loyal to their wives. Those who insist on enforcing Leviticus against the gay community don't seem to be much interested in the other "abominations," like eating shellfish, wearing fabrics containing more than one fiber, or ham sandwiches. Nor do they seem to sacrifice animals or stone prostitutes to death. If they expressed similar outrage for seafood restaurants, perhaps they would have more credibility.

Rep. Kern never gets around to explaining why, exactly, gay men and lesbians are a threat. They don't blow people up, like heterosexual Christian Timothy McVeigh. Is there a danger that they will criticize her home furnishings?

If her argument is that, somehow, God will "smite" the USofA if gay men and lesbians are treated with the same human dignity as everyone else (excuse me, but wasn't that Chirst's message?), then she is also off base. The Nazis persecuted homosexuals, but their
thousand year reich didn't make it. The Roman empire only fell after it adopted Christianity as the official state religion and decreed that gay sex was punishable by death.

Now, Rep. Kern is trying to claim that equating gay men and lesbians with terrorists, Muslims, the evil Eureka Springs city council and cancer is only an indictment of the "gay agenda," not individuals. Is she for real?

She is unfit either to teach or serve in the legislature. She should resign. She can believe that the world is flat if she likes. But that does not qualify her for public life.

--ClintBatterton

Tulsan said...

Dan, I'm with you on at least one point: if you ask me if I respect homosexuality, my answer is no, as well.

However, if you ask me if I respect heterosexuality, I would also answer no. It's not really a question of respect, so much as recognizing a fact of life. I don't respect blue eyes, either.

Do I "respect" the view of a flat-Earther (as Mr. Batterton touched on)? I don't think it is intellectually respectable, no. Do I think it is ridiculous? Yes.

Should the flat-Earther should be fired from his or her job because of it? No, but he probably shouldn't be an astronomer or geologist (or many other science-oriented jobs.) He probably has already exercised some self-selection in that area, anyway. Should he suffer any legal discrimination on the basis of his belief? No.

If he really thinks he has a "paradigm-shifting" theory for a flat Earth, he should keep after it. But he should note that people who claim to be right where a consensus of today's scientist are wrong, are a "digm" a dozen. They seem to enjoy fancying themselves as unjustly persecuted Einsteins.

No one is saying Rep. Kern doesn't have the right to believe in the equation of gays with terrorists, Muslims, and cancer. But considering what the United States stands for, a politician who believes that (or even only claims to believe it for political gain) is in about the same "respect boat" as a flat-Earth astronomer. In fact, her boat should be sunk (i.e., she should be voted out of office.)

Dan Paden said...

Well, Mr. Batterton, I'd say you've been well schooled in all the standard objections. I'll try to deal with them quickly before I trot off to work. I do apologize for the length of the comment and the quotes, but they are necessary to make the points.

It is true that most Christians don't consider the Mosaic Law's prohibitions on eating shellfish, etc., binding on them. There are reasons for this, not least of which is that Jesus specifically declared all foods clean, but most relevant to this subject is the simple fact that the Mosaic Law is covenant law, given not to the whole world, but specifically to the Jewish nation.

You might think, "Aha! Proves my point." But the reality is that if you actually read the entire book of Leviticus, it makes it clear that homosexuality is considered sin no matter who practices it, Jewish or otherwise, and that this predates the Jewish Law, and is, in fact, one of the reasons that God turned the Canaanite inhabitants out of the land. The relevant verses are:

Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Lev 18:23 And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion. Lev 18:24 "Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean,
Lev 18:25 and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.


In other words, God punished those people for, among other things, homosexuality, even though they were not under the Mosaic Law. The argument that Christians are hypocritical in not enforcing dietary laws that never applied to them falls flat and only reveals that you haven't read the material very well.

Jesus Himself had nothing to say about sex except that husbands should be loyal to their wives.

I guess that means He thought rape would be okay, then, eh? Besides, it's untrue. First, Jesus is, according to John 1:1 and much other scripture, God incarnate. In other words, He gave the Mosaic Law, including the verses quoted above. Second, He goes to town rather severely on Sodom and Gomorrah, using them as a bad example, an example that would certainly have been understood by His audience. Thirdly, Jesus says of the Apostle Paul that he is his chosen vessel to carry His message to the Gentiles. And part of that message was:

Rom 1:26 ...God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. Rom 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

...wasn't that Chirst's message?

There was a lot to Christ's message, covering four gospels and then being elucidated in the remainder of the New Testament. It is hardly advisable to reduce it to "Treat people with dignity." Certainly it would be inadvisable to leave out:

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, John 3:15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

And there, if you want to grossly oversimplify "the message of Jesus," you have it: believe in Jesus or stand already condemned. Doesn't sound too much like He was worried about your dignity.

"Dignity." When I was in the restaurant business, there was a gay bar right down the road, and every so often the patrons would come through our drive-through. When I recall the site of so many of those men dressed up in leather bikinis and the like, I can't help but think that "dignity" is the last thing they were worried about.

Mr. Batterton, it would have been a whole lot simpler and more to the point for you just to say that you didn't believe the Bible on the subject. That would at least have been intellectually consistent. In trying to portray people who hold a Biblical view of homosexuality's morality as ignorant of their own scriptures, you've accomplished nothing so much as to demonstrate that you are unfamiliar ground.

Tulsan:

...she should be voted out of office.

Apparently, you think the ultimate resolution of this situation should be up to the voters of her district. There, I couldn't agree more.

Tulsan said...

As AT said in a later post: "...neither the United States nor Oklahoma has an official state religion..."

Current events in the Middle East and here in the U.S. make even more plain the wisdom of avoiding theocracy.

Tulsan said...

Yes, yes, I know that having a state religion is not precisely the same thing as a theocracy. But who believes that our fanatical religious leaders, once they got a real taste of power, would stop short of a theocracy? Not I.