Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sally Kern needs professional help, not public office

Sally Kern's been at it again. The Oklahoma state representative (if you can call her that) has been spouting off about her twisted idea of morals again, claiming that she's a "culture warrior of Judeo-Christian values."

First, she claims that " the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam." Which is pretty interesting, especially since I don't remember the last time someone flew planes into populated buildings in the name of homo sex, nor is Islam itself, y'know, an actual threat.

Those comments were delivered to what she thought was a closed-door meeting of like-minded reactionaries, but they were then taped and posted to Youtube. Unlike most bigots who get caught with their prejudices waving in the wind, however, Kern chose to own up to her words. And she's still going.

Her newest pearls of wisdom:
I am not saying everyone has to be Christian; this is not a homogeneous nation...What you have to be is someone who believes in a Judeo-Christian ethic, in other words, in knowing there's a right and wrong...Not all lifestyles are equal; not all religions are equal. Was I saying all people are not equal? Heavens no; we were all created equal.”
I like how she claims that not everyone needs to be Christian, but that everyone should believe in a "Judeo-Christian ethic" - failing to catch the conflict therein. If she'd suggested that a basic belief in right and wrong was most important, I could certainly get behind that. The problem here is that she clearly believes that the only tradition with a true sense of morality is the Judeo-Christian one (though I suspect Kern may lean more heavily on the latter than the former), and her particular interpretation thereof. It's double speak, and not particularly clever double speak at that.

Now, why would I focus so much on this one random Oklahoman politician when there are clearly so many other, more national and more influential politicians who espouse rhetoric that's just as hateful? Well, for one, it's because I hold a special place in my bleeding liberal heart for the state of Oklahoma. I want better representation for my friends and family who live there, and I know that they do, too. Secondly, it's because I believe Sally Kern and her views are a good, public example of the kind of prejudice and ignorance that those of us fighting for true equality and understanding are up against on a larger scale. A case study, if you will.

To the first point, there is an alternate choice for state representative: Ron Marlett is running against Sally Kern for state house district 84 on a platform of "Freedom, Equality and Prosperity," and says the thing that finally tipped him into running in the first place was Kern's outrageous comment. Marlett has a solid background in social work and seems like a moderate, solid guy with the right idea. You can donate to his campaign, and I especially urge anyone who lives in or has ties to the state to support him in any way you can.

To the second point, it should come as no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to the most homophobic people in our midst that Sally Kern may also hold the Keyesian distinction of having a gay son (who she has treated rather poorly for it). It seems all-too-predictable that many of the most virulently anti-gay folks out there are either harboring deeply closeted feelings themselves, or directly related to a gay person. Regardless of whether or not this ends up being true, though, Kern clearly has some serious issues to work out. My hope is that she's voted into doing that privately, and not while holding public office where the harm she can do is greater in scope.

Homosexuality is not a threat to our nation or any individual. How it can seem so to anyone, more than the floundering economy or the war in Iraq or climate change or health care or poverty, is quite frankly beyond me.


capper said...

Kern, like the other prejudiced people, are afraid of things that they do not understand. The unknown scares them, but they are unable to acknowledge that fact, nor are they willing and/or able to acknowledge the fear.

So they take their ignorance, which is causing their fear adn discomfort, and turn into bling anger.

A lot of people can overcome this fear and realize that people that are different are not bad. Unfortunately, some people never reach that level of personal growth.

Emily said...

Bling anger's a new phenomenon to me, capper. Is that people with an irrational hatred toward anything gold or diamond encrusted? ;)

Marla said...

The local t-shirt company 30 Thousand Dollar Millionaire LLC was inspired to make a shirt for Sally Kern that I think you all will enjoy.
You can find it at

The Lost Albatross