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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why Sally Did Wrong

Rep. Sally Kern’s recent recorded condemnation of the so-called “gay threat” has attracted nation-wide attention due to the fact that, unbeknownst to her, someone recorded it and made it a popular Internet download. Many have condemned the speech, and others have wondered what the big deal is all about. After all, wasn’t Sally simply exercising her right to free speech by expressing a personal opinion?

In order to understand problem with Sally Kern's speech; let's put the shoe on the other foot for a second. Suppose a gay politician got up and said that the "straight agenda" was a greater threat to America than terrorism. Or that "straight people are trying to "indoctrinate" our two year olds. Or straights had "infiltrated" our city councils. Surely, people would think that they are listening to a nut who deserves to be ignored and certainly should never be trusted with a public office. Well, now may know how gay people feel when someone sees them as a "threat" for asking for the same human rights we all enjoy.

One might say, though, that while the speech might be offensive, it would not constitute threatening "hate speech." Straight people might be insulted or angered by such talk, but certainly not threatened. True, but then again straights are in the majority in our society. So let's change our hypothetical situation a bit.

Now imagine that a white couple, living in some country where they are a definite minority, say some place like Zimbabwe, were to hear a recording of a black politician from that country expressing similar views to Kern's. However, this time instead of using the words "gay" or "homosexual", he uses the word "white." Now "white people are greater threats than terrorists" and "white people must not be allowed to indoctrinate our children" or "the white agenda" must be rooted out and opposed by all available means. Wouldn't in this case the reaction go beyond merely being offended? Wouldn't the fact that these words might incite someone take direct action against this "threat" cause the white couple to feel what gay Americans feel when they hear a politician in Oklahoma make these statements?

I think they would, and this is why Rep. Kern should realize that words have consequences, especially when they come from someone involved in serving all the people.

1 comment:

Dr. Terri L. Miller said...

Well, Kern has had her 15 minutes of fame or infamy, whatever. I really sincerely hope she is a happy little camper after verbally insulting some of her fellow citizens. And who cares if her son is or is not, HE WASN'T THE ONE WHO MADE THE HATEFUL REMARKS.

Sally Kern has every right under the Constitution to express her opinion on anything at any time. However, using the buzz words of "homosexual agenda" is simply silly talk from a silly and apparently dangerous-minded woman, because there is no such agenda.

Even though she believes homosexuals are destroying this nation, I really would like to know exactly what and where any homosexuals have attempted such destruction.

Kern thinks any country that embraces homosexuality only lasts a few decades. "RED ALERT, CAPTAIN KIRK," someone needs to tell Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Australia, and other countries for crikey's sake. Apparently Lern knows something the rest of the world doesn't. If you plan to visit any of these countries, one will need to visit them in the very near future before they vaporize because they chose to NOT MISTREAT THEIR OWN CITIZENS as this country happily does.

She is the living, breathing terrorist of freedom and equality. Sorry, but I just don't know how to say it any other way.

People like Kern and including Kern herself like to say all of this intolerance and hate is because God's way. In essence, I suppose that he only made heterosexuals and not homosexuals. Well oops, apparently some heterosexuals decided to jump ship and convert to homosexuals....now I wonder how that works.

She likes to talk about God so much I guess she has completely forgotten the lessons taught by the Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. Above all the noisy rhetoric and all the hateful words, even this simple Oklahoma Buddhist can believe and trust in what the Christ said far more than some dudes Kern likes to quote who could really only speculate about God's ideas for humanity.

Instead of the hateful words she uses against others perhaps she needs to revisit what a wise, kind, and gentle man once said on a hill in in Capernaum:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Are you listening Sally?

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Are you listening Sally?

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

Are you listening Sally?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Are you listening Sally?

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Are you listening Sally?

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Are you listening Sally?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Are you listening Sally?

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Are you listening Sally?

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

Are you listening Sally?

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Are you listening Sally?

Words have meaning and consequences.

Do you get it yet Sally?