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9/03/2004


Keyes - The tactless non-politician

I was gonna write "RNC day 3", but who could pass this subject up?

Alan Keyes is not a politician. Recently he had some rather harsh words towards homosexuals that could have been stated with a lot more tact than he chose to use. In a rather ironic twist, I was *ahem* defending him under the post "Okay…2" mere moments before it came out that he made these rather harsh comments. (Check comment field)

Here is what Keyes said.

    "The essence of... family life remains procreation. If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it's possible to have a marriage state that in principal excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism."

    Asked whether that meant Mary Cheney "is a selfish hedonist," Keyes said: "That goes by definition. Of course she is."
Could you imagine being his campaign manager? Yikes. I mean, this guy is not helping himself at all. Maybe he feels as if he can say just about anything without fear because, heck, what’s there to win? Certainly not Illinois.

*Deep frustrated sigh*

Okay, lets define some words first before I get into this:

Selfish: Concerned chiefly or only with oneself
Hedonism: A pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses.
Homosexuality:(2 meanings) 1. Sexual orientation to persons of the same sex. 2. Sexual activity with another of the same sex.
Phobia: A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous

Now lets deal with his statement.

"The essence of ... family life remains procreation. If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it's possible to have a marriage state that in principal excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism."

I agree with Alan on gay marriage, in that I believe marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. Based on simple science I have never known a woman to become pregnant without a man’s seed or a man to become pregnant at all. So his statement that part of the definition of marriage includes procreation is perfectly understandable and I agree with it.

However I do not agree with the second part of his statement. In fact I think his blanket statement including all homosexuals who wish to marry is completely off base. I no more believe that all homosexuals who wish to marry act in selfish hedonism (or the pursuit of self pleasure. See above definitions) than heterosexuals do. The term selfish hedonism does suggest promiscuity, a problem in both communities in my opinion. Neither is right. Neither should be looked upon as normal or okay behavior.

I know some of my friends might be concerned about what they just read, so let me further delve into my personal beliefs on homosexuality.

First, I do not apologize for being a Christian or defaulting to God's word when it comes to the matter of homosexuality. I am in complete agreement with Him when He calls it a sin. That is not a homophobic position. I no more fear, hate, or avoid homosexuals than I do my best friend. Anyone who labels me a homophobe is completely off base.

I actually get a little irate when this subject comes up, because I believe the definition of homophobia has been broadened to include anything negative about homosexuals. It’s so broad now that claiming it’s a sin is tantamount to hate speech in some places in our society.

But I digress. Many Christians, including myself, struggle with sin all the time. Some sins like lust will be a life long struggle with me. I can no more separate myself from the proclivity to lust after a beautiful woman than a gay man can over another good looking male. But I can ask for God’s help in the matter and hope to change. With his help, I can and will. What I am simply stating is that we are more similar in God’s eyes than many in our society would have us believe or want to believe.

That statement alone should raise the ire of many Christians. Oh well. What can I do? It’s the truth. Here’s another shocker for some of you, many gay people can be moral and nice. Some are even conservative!

I understand that people’s sexual preference do not make them so different that it would be impossible to find common ground with them. Or, so different that I couldn't be a friend with someone who is homosexual. In the limited conversations I've had with Jeff from Beautiful Atrocities, (great blog btw) I can unequivocally tell you I like who he is. Why should my beliefs keep me from being friendly with him or visa versa?

Socially this guy is really on the outs though; I mean he’s gay, white, male, and conservative. Not exactly the pinnacle of political correctness. And thank God for that! We need more like him out there to shake up the stagnating pot that is the prevailing homosexual stereotype.

So where do I stand now in regards to Alan Keyes, you might be wondering? He is making it tougher for me to endorse, and this recent issue speaks more about him than I think reparations and senatorial appointments do because of the tactlessness of the comments. But does this make him an unelectable candidate? It looks that way in Illinois. (Where even the dead vote.)

Maybe I should take a minute to espouse exactly what it would take for me to bail on Dr. Keyes and denounce him as a viable candidate. I’m hoping this settles the issue with my readers. I do not wish to make this blog, the Alan Keyes blog and respond to his every statement. So unless he quits the race or does the following, I will not be reporting on him again for a while.

If he decided to endorse infanticide and abortion like Barack Obama has, or greatly raise our taxes, or favor socialized health care, or repealing the right to free speech, or the right to bear arms, or agree with Kerry’s position (whatever that is) on the war on terror, or if he mad any demonstrative homophobic or racist comments, or if he denounced God, he would loose my support.

I recently sent Jeff from Beautiful Atrocities an invitation to write a response to my article above. Thankfully he as accepted. Below is his unedited response.

Jeff's response:

    Brian,

    I'm honored that you'd seek out my humble opinion, & will try to respond to the many issues in your piece.

    Homophobia is indeed a word that's been overused until it means almost nothing. Words have real meaning, but when you throw them around like confetti at anyone who disagrees with you, not as arguments but as ad hominems, you destroy the meaning of the word. As a gay man, I don't even listen anymore when I hear the word homophobia, because 95% of the time it's being used in a context in which it means nothing (the same goes for racism, misogyny, genocide, etc.).

    In Keyes' case, it might mean something. There are lots of homophobes out there, and when I need a really check, I drop into some of the threads over at Lucianne.com, here the hatred is up front and on the wall.

    Gay intellectual Camille Paglia on gay activists and religion:

    "Gays should quit bitching about Southern Baptists exercising their constitutional right to free speech about homosexuality, which is indeed condemned by the Bible, despite the tortuous casuistry of so many self-interested parties, including clerics. I have been warning and warning for years that the insulting disrespect shown by gay activists to religion -- which has been going on for 20 years virtually unchecked on TV talk shows, with their biased liberal hosts -- would produce a backlash over time."

    Re: gay marriage, I respectfully disagree with Andrew Sullivan

    a thoughtful conservative gay man who's argued passionately that the government has no moral right to deny gays the institution of marriage. Nor do I agree with imperial judicial edicts like the Massachusetts decision that declare sweeping reorganization of the social contract, which is a fragile construction that's taken hundreds of years to establish equilibrium.

    Sadly, many gays have swallowed the party line and think any opposition to gay marriage is bigotry, which is itself a form of bigotry. On the other hand, bigots throughout history have used religion as a shield. Here's a question for you: Leviticus condemns homosexuality, but it also says if your brother dies, you should marry his wife. Paul condemns homosexuality, but also says women shouldn't pray with their heads uncovered. If it's God's word, it's God's word, right? I call this Bible buffet, people picking things out that are convenient and agree with their prejudices. (I grew up in a Pentecostal church.)

    Best,
    Jeff

posted by: Brian Scott


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