gays worse than terrorists? one politician thinks so

This video is sickening. I wish it were also surprising, but it is not.

The representative (Sally Kern, R OK) who made these comments began with the usual stuff:

  • homosexuality is not the right kind of lifestyle, ‘according to God’s word’
  • homosexuality is a lifestyle that has ‘deadly consequences’: gays commit more suicides, are more discouraged, have more illness, have shorter life spans
  • the ‘homosexual agenda’ is destroying America

But she continues. It might be distracting to watch the video—but if you close your eyes and just listen, you hear the following hate-filled claims:

  • not all lifestyles are equal, just like not all religions are equal.
  • “studies show” (which ones? where are they recorded? anything done by reputable researchers?) that “no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than a few decades” (Greece? Rome?), and that “it’s the death-knell of this country” (what is ‘it’ to which you refer? have we totally accepted homosexuality here, and I missed out on it?)
  • homosexuality is the biggest threat our nation faces today, even more so than “terrorism or Islam” (so much for Muslims being allowed to practice the ‘religion of peace’ in peace)
  • there is a gay ‘problem’ in many US communities, which is deadly, is spreading, and “is going to destroy our young people and destroy this nation”

And the innuendos are rich in the following prejudice-motivated comments:

  • “the very fact that I’m talking to you today puts me in jeopardy” (what kind of jeopardy do you mean, Rep. Kern?)
  • homosexuals are ‘going after’ two-year-olds in an effort to either recruit (?) or indoctrinate them (facts and knowledge are no longer a part of the public school system, rather it’s all indoctrination”—brainwashing, I guess)
  • gays are ‘infiltrating’ city councils (not the ominous language of subterfuge and skullduggery)
  • parents should be notified by schools what clubs their children are involved in because of the gay-straight alliance, which is “ruining” kid’s lives
  • saying you don’t have the ‘gay problem’ in your community is “so dumb: if you have cancer in your little toe, do you say that I’m just going to forget about it because the rest of me is fine? It spreads!

In a response to this public speech, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has begun a letter-writing campaign to speak out against such irresponsible speech by our elected ‘representatives’ and officials.

The text of my letter is as follows: 

In 2001, immediately after the 911 attacks, the rhetoric against Muslims reached a fever pitch, and as a consequence, many kind individuals, many examples of civil responsibility and neighborliness—individuals who were also Muslim—began to experience the repercussions of hate speech offered in the name of patriotism. This  hate speech was promulgated most visibly by elected officials, who (whether they see themselves as such or not) are exemplars of how Americans should act towards our fellow citizens and neighbors. Representative Kern is likewise such an example, whether she wishes to be or not, and her words, buttressed by the perceived authority of her position, has the power to activate the fears and prejudices of those who trust her. Using disrespectful and violent language (whether direct or via innuendo) is not only unacceptable, but unconscionable. 

It was just this last Valentine’s Day that a gay youth was murdered out of fear, simply because he offered another student a Valentine’s card. This fear, reminiscent of that marring the early 1990s regarding the issue of HIV / AIDS, is never something to be encouraged, yet this is precisely what the irresponsible statements by Rep. Kern has done. Rather than protecting the life, liberty, and welfare of fellow citizens, such language places their lives in danger. I urge you to take a stand against Representative Kern’s hate-filled rhetoric and publicly condemn her anti-gay, anti-Islamic remarks.

Kern, unfortunately, refuses to apologize. Here’s the news story. And disregard the final little jab at Christianity after the story. One can be a Christian without hating. (fancy that!)

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4 thoughts on “gays worse than terrorists? one politician thinks so

  1. jaded theologian

    I went to the News 9 com site and read some of the responses to the Kern video. Good Lord! Talk about sickening… this woman has been threatened repeatedly, and while perhaps not surprising, it certainly does not help anyone in the gay community.

    Honestly, I prefer to hear the Sally Kerns of the world because for every person whose voice we hear there are countless others who hate us silently, and those people are the more dangerous.

    My favorite response to the whole thing has to be that of Ellen DeGeneres

    http://pageoneq.com/news/2008/ellen_sallykern031208.html

    Reply
  2. flayed Hypatia Post author

    No kidding, on all counts!

    Ellen’s has got to be the best response out there. (I particularly like her balance between taking it seriously—notice her straight face during the time the Kern recording plays—and responding with her own style of grace and wit. A rapier wrapped in velvet!

    I watched some of the responses on YouTube. They make me sad, since angry hate responding to ignorant hate never gives us anything worth having—just a lot more ignorance, anger, and hate. Truly, in this instance, my favorite song from the Afro Celt Sound System is apropos: rise above it, people! Let’s not give her anything that justifies her statements, already!

    Reply
  3. Bubba

    Well, yeah, on the one hand, I see the value of ‘rising above’ this sort of discourse. On the other hand, as a lifelong Christian and a registered Republican, this all hits a little too close to home. People like this, abusing a public forum to spread an extremist message that either distorts or ignores the truth and beauty both worldviews have to offer are the reason that so many otherwise reasonable people hate me for my membership in these groups without ever getting to know me or my beliefs. Talk of this tone, from either side of the political spectrum, only serves to foreclose reasonable discourse and impossibilify meaningful social progress. When someone from my camp says something this offensive, part of me can’t help but take it seriously.

    Reply
  4. flayed Hypatia Post author

    An interesting discussion can be found here wherein Kern’s words and claims are examined side-by-side with some by Hitler. The claim was made that Kern was chanelling Hitler, and Fritz (the writer of this blog) wanted to check it out. This entry is the result of his search.

    Not like I’m surprised or anything, considering Hitler, for all his extremism, wasn’t anything unusual in political or social discourse.

    Reply

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