Most Americans think homosexual behavior (not homosexual orientation) is a sin. It is not good news to find out your kid has rejected your values, values based on reason and divine revelation. Most Americans want to have grandchildren. Homosexual behavior will not lead to grandchildren. Finding out you have a gay child is not good news for most Americans. It is difficult.Religious Americans are tolerant of sinful behavior. We recognize that we are all sinners. None of us want punishment in this life for every wrong action. Only those actions that impact the culture and society directly should be illegal. God knows most of us have need forgiveness for our own sins, no less serious in His sight. We don’t want to cast stones. We dare not cast stones. We pray humbly, “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” That does not mean that we are happy when we see people making choices we believe are wrong.All decent, and half-decent, Americans love their children. Family bonds do not cease to exist, even when a family member is wrong or disagrees with deeply held values within the family.We also recognize that not all Americans have reasonable views about sexuality. They are make errors of judgment and do things that are wrong and self-destructive. If they are our children, we still love them and live with their problems. This is painful, but eventually families find ways of dealing with such pain. You agree to disagree.This family pain is deeply personal. It has no place in politics. It tells us nothing about Cheney. It tells us nothing about the social policy regarding gay marriage. Gay marriage is unnecessary, even if homosexual behavior were not unnatural. Since it is (self-evidently) unnatural, it is even more unnecessary. We don’t need social privileges for every lifestyle decision people make (or problem with which people suffer).If all family pain is made public for every gossip sheet, then no good men or women will run for office. No one should face this. Family disagreements should not be exposed whether about problems in the children or disagreements about choices children have made.The Cheney family has two daughters. One is always forgotten. Kerry and Edwards focus on only one. Why? They are playing politics with family pain. The children are not running for office. They should be left alone.It was wrong when Alan Keyes (a man I once admired) did it. It is wrong now. Keyes cannot win, so I was silent about it. He was swiftly punished in the polls. Kerry evidently might win. He must apologize. Our democracy cannot exist, if good men and women are deterred from seeking office by a desire to protect their children and families from cynical exploitation of their pain for public use.It does not excuse Kerry, if Cheney has mentioned facts about his family life. Context counts here. Nuance counts. Your opponent has a right to say things, with care, about himself that you cannot say. You are too likely to blunder and turn the personal into exploitation for political gain. This is especially true, when the reference to the children is dragged into an answer to a question where it was not needed. Ms. Cheney did not have to be mentioned to answer the question Kerry was asked. We know why Kerry did it. He thinks Bush voters are stupid and bigots.The political assumption that political conservatives are motivated by irrationality in their opposition to gay marriage, so that a candidate having a “gay child,” will move our votes is bigotry. It is even stupid bigotry as it motivates us to vote for Bush, who is one of us, against Kerry, who thinks we are moronic haters.
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