11 March 2008

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern

Oklahoma legislator's anti-gay comments stir hostile reaction

A Republican member of the Oklahoma Legislature has received death threats since telling a political group that "the homosexual agenda is just destroying this nation" and poses a bigger threat to the U.S. than terrorism or Islam....

Kern said she has received more than 3,000 e-mails and hundreds of telephone calls since her comments were posted online. She said a few supported her comments but that most condemned them and that some contained death threats and obscenities.

"I hear what you said and you should be killed...," said one.
I found Kern's comments very offensive. I certainly thought it was offensive to say that American gays or lesbians are a threat to America. Or to imply that American Muslims are a threat to America.

In fact, I generally find it offensive when a group of Americans are labeled as a threat to America. American gays are not a threat to America. American Muslims are not a threat to America. American Jews are not a threat to America. Americans who are, or support, Republicans are not a threat to America. Americans who are, or support, Democrats are not a threat to America. The list goes on and on.

I know there are many culture war partisans that use rhetoric and imagery to imply this group or that group are a threat to America.

I'm considering writing Kern, without any profanity or threats. I thought this part of Victory Fund's open letter was very good:
This isn’t a partisan issue; I know plenty of Republicans who were outraged at your comments, because they themselves are parents, friends and family to gays and lesbians who are at risk when people of your stature say the kinds of things you did.
If I do write her, and tell her I found it offensive, I'm hoping for a better reply than, "Screw defending what I said. Other people can listen to it and form their own opinions, just as you have. You don't like what I said? Fine. Whatever. I don't care. I gave up trying to be all things to all people for Lent. Several Lents ago."

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