August 03, 2004
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.”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
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