Gay kids with strained parental relations are not terrorists!

Lest readers get the idea that I am against Teresa Heinz Kerry, I have to say that there are some things I like about her. In a recent speech, I thought it was commendable of her to offer to be a mom to gay people whose parents have rejected them:

She told of how she was moved at a campaign appearance a few months ago in Washington state, when a man told her in a question and answer session that his relationship with his mother was strained and told her, “I want you to be my mother.”

“It was clear that he had not made that peace with his mother and he wanted someone who loved him,” Heinz Kerry said. “And so, at least, if nothing else, you’ll have a mom in the White House,” she told the crowd.

Added Heinz Kerry, “You can call me Mama T.”

That remark prompted the gay delegates to jump to their feet while chanting, “Mama T!”

Although she did not say so directly, some in the audience said Heinz Kerry might have understood the man to mean his sexual orientation was the cause of his strained relations with his mother.

With Secret Service agents and her two sons, who accompanied her to the gay caucus meeting, looking on, Heinz Kerry continued her discussion of gays and their families.

“If my child ever came to me and said, Mom, or if my husband’s daughters told me, ‘This is who we are and this is what I plan to do,’ then I would feel as a mother free to share my joy, my pride with all my friends, no matter what circumstances … or understanding of the culture, in the same way that if my son would say, ‘I want to marry this wonderful girl.’

“You know what, what we owe one another is the strength, dignity, civil rights and generosity of spirit that one can get the American dream,” she said. “The parents of this country know that … the mothers of this country know that.”

I agree. And I say this as someone who has known a lot of gay kids whose parents abused them and threw them out of the house. If there's one thing I don't like seeing Mrs. Heinz Kerry under attack for, it's for advocating tolerance of gay kids. (Even Dick Cheney was attacked for this by some of the same people; I was appalled.)

Mrs. Heinz Kerry is, I think, a basically nice person who means well. I am not all that sure she even wants the role that's been forced upon her, but I think she's doing her best to make the most of a tough situation.

Yet as I say this, I have to recognize that being nice is not always the best approach. Tolerance, understanding, and compassion, while appropriate in the case of rejected gay kids, is a bad idea in the case of people who want to kill you.

Terrorism, for example. Here's Teresa Heinz Kerry (writing with the late Fred Rogers) advocating that we try to understand our enemies' "roots":

We pray that one day we will view Sept. 11 as an isolated catastrophe, triggering a successful world campaign to try to understand the roots of international terror as well as to work cooperatively to remove it.
I disagree.

First, 9/11 was not an "isolated catastrophe." I don't think extended discussion is necessary, but it was preceded a number of terrorist operations, before (Somalia, the first World Trade Center terrorist bombing, the Khobar Towers terrorist bombing, the African Embassies terrorist bombings, and the U.S.S. Cole) and since (Bali, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and more).

Understanding the roots of those who have killed us (or want to kill us) is useful only after they are dead or defeated. Sure, historians need to know that Hitler was rejected by the art academy, that Stalin was expelled from the seminary, and that European anti-Semitism was a growing problem. But wasting time trying to understand those who want to kill you and who have been doing so puts the cart before the horse. A fatal luxury.

I like some of what Mrs. Heinz Kerry says, but I wish she'd keep in mind that what's good for gay American kids is not good for Islamic terrorists. If the latter had their way, they'd single out the gay kids for punishments that make beheading look kind by comparison.

posted by Eric on 08.03.04 at 05:10 PM


"I agree. And I say this as someone who has known a lot of gay kids whose parents abused them and threw them out of the house."

Just a minute, Eric. There are two, perhaps three, separate issues in the length of article you cited. If you're agreeing with what she's quoted as saying in those last two paragraphs, yes, wonderful. And I haven't seen enough about the original "I want you to be my mother" question and answer session to know anything about the person who said it. It's possible that it's some kid who's politically aware but just coming out and is still not ready to deal with his sexuality as an adult.

Maybe I'm wrong, but to me, the "Mama T" speech is entirely different. It was a caucus meeting with a room full of gay delegates, people who have taken on the responsibility of publicly representing our interests. In that context, "You'll have a mom in the White House" doesn't sound like an offer of compassion or support from one private citizen to others with a specific need for it. It sounds like a blanket statement: You all need mothering. And the audience's reaction, at least as reported, was not, "We're grateful on behalf of the many gay youth in troubled circumstances who may need someone like you." It sounds to me, at any, Yes, we all need mothering.

If your take is different, I'd be glad to hear it.

Sean Kinsell   ·  August 4, 2004 12:49 AM

Thanks Sean,

You may be right about what she meant; I only agreed with her to the extent she was referring to understanding and supporting troubled gay youth. If she thinks we all need mothering, that's condescending -- and none of her business!

And in any case, terrorists do NOT deserve understanding!

As to the "room full of gay delegates, people who have taken on the responsibility of publicly representing our interests," who elected these people to take on such responsibilities? I lost all patience with them during the 1993 gays in the military flap:

Eric Scheie   ·  August 4, 2004 8:57 AM

Yeah, I knew the part about terrorism was your main point--I certainly agreed with that.

"As to the 'room full of gay delegates, people who have taken on the responsibility of publicly representing our interests,' who elected these people to take on such responsibilities?"

I have no idea, but when you find out, let us all know so we can...oh, that's right. Most of our people don't consider that a punishment.

Anyway, I think it's great that people want to do the lobbying and conferencing and negotiating that it takes to win political battles. Heaven knows, I don't want to. And whatever they push for, some of us won't like it. What drives me around the bend--and what I assume you're talking about--is the near-total failure to explore the possibility that there might be gays who don't believe the War on Terrorism is motivated solely by crony-capitalist greed, or aren't DNC hacks, or aren't campaigning for same-sex marriage, or don't want to be in an Exalted Victim category for every aspect of public life. Maddening, but there seems to be little anyone can do except keep calling them on their insularity.

(BTW, if it's any consolation, I run into them plenty as an expat. The sun never sets on the Bush-hating invert contingent.)

Sean Kinsell   ·  August 4, 2004 10:18 AM

Sean and Eric:

Excellent, both of you. We need more men like you, as well as Jeff Soyer.

Terrorists deserve nothing but death. Period.

As for Teresa Heinz-Kerry: Yes, that is kind-hearted of her, and children do need loving Mamas and Papas. But adults don't! Children can't marry or serve in the military or anything else that homosexual men and women are fighting for their rights to do. Homosexual men and women want to be respected, not pitied. They want freedom and dignity, not compassion. The love they want is that which is for equals not inferiors.

The Democratic party wants the federal government to be everybody's Big Mama. The Left hates strength and worships weakness.

When the Jews were persecuted, gassed, burned, and main into soap and lampshades, the Left loved them. Now that they have a nation of their own, wealthy and mighty, which they aggressively defend, the Left hates them and calls them evil Zionist imperialist warmongers.

As long as Negroes live in slums, poor, illiterate, unemployable, addicted to drugs and crime, the Left loves them. As soon as a Negro turns away from that, he is an "Oreo".

When Americans were on our knees mourning our 3,000 dead on 9/11, the Left loved America for one brief second. As soon as we got back up on our feet and started fighting back against the enemy, we were once again the Great Satan.

As long as homosexuals are portrayed as effete, effeminate pansies, dying of AIDS, and being thrown in jail for "sodomy", the Left loves them. Andrew Sullivan wrote an excellent essay on why they chose Matthew Shepard as their poster-boy. Now that they are marrying and joining the military and owning guns, the Left will soon hate them, too, the same way they hate Jews, Americans, "uppity" Negroes, and Western civilization.

Pim Fortuyn was an adumbration of this. When the rest of Europe finally falls to Islam and begins stoning homosexuals to death, whose side do you think the Left will take?

There is one kind of strength the Left does secretly admire, that of murderers and tyrants like Saddam, bin Laden, Castro, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, Stalin. They love both the weak "sensitive" wimp and the murdering thug, but they hate the brave warrior who fights the murdering thug. The Left is the party of entropy. Leftism is the ideology of the Suicide of the West.

I prefer the _style_ even of my enemies on the Right such as the "Concerned Women For America" and the "Intellectual Conservative". I totally oppose them, they are at least worthy enemies.

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