March 13, 2008

A Letter to Sally Kern: If Tucker Should Read This

This was written by Tucker who, at 17 or 18 years in this life, has developed more compassion and common sense than a hatemonger like Sally Kern will ever develop over the course of however long they malinger on the face of this planet. If you are not moved at least a little bit by what he's written in response to Kern's venom, please check that you have a pulse.

Rep Kern:

On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would've likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn't live up to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worst than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you'll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.

As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they've been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there's never a day in school that has went by when I haven't heard the word **** slung at someone. I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They've already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. Afterall, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I wish you could've met my mom. Maybe she could've guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won't be there. So I'll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don't want to be here for that. I just can't go through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me. Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.


If you should happen to see this, Tucker, good luck to you in college and by all means consider Massachusetts in your plans. This state isn't perfect by any stretch and sure, we have a share of morons who think like Sally Kern. We're also the only state in the country that allows gay marriage, if that's any indicator to you of how things work here. I live in what seems to be considered one of the more conservative parts of the state, but compared to what I've encountered in having lived in many places around the US I would have to say that it's still a place where people have generally figured out how to live-and-let-live. We certainly have more than our share of excellent universities, too. Having read your letter, I've no doubt you'll ace the essay portion of your application and I bet you're a hell of a good student.

When I heard Kern's comments, I have to be honest; I didn't think of the bombing right away. Tucker is 100% correct. For Kern to make such statements in a place where people are so recently and so intimately acquainted with the reality of terrorism takes her horrid bile one step even further into a realm of hatefulness that can be traversed only by the lowest and most selfish people in this world upon which, one way or another, we really ought to be figuring out how to live together. Kern dwells in a reeking darkness shared by a select few who use their public influence to call for evils to be visited upon fellow human beings for no reason other than their own distastes. Kern lives in a hell of her own making that she shares with people like Donald Wildmon and Pat Robertson — people who believe in a deity so fervently that they think they can give marching orders on their behalf and call down divine fury if they can just pray hard enough for the destruction of their "enemies."

You know what? There is a "gay agenda." It consists of wanting the very same things out of life that everyone who doesn't happen to be gay wants. That people like Kern and Wildmon can turn the insistence that everyone deserves the same rights, privileges and protections under the law into some scheme to overthrow civilization in favor of raping two year olds tells us much, much more about what lurks in the hearts of these foul and pathetic creatures than it tells us about the motivations of people who, whether through a coincidence of genetics or development or choice, for that matter, prefer members of their own gender to those of the other gender as lovers. That this makes any difference at all to anyone never fails to boggle my mind. It does nothing to anyone, it means nothing at all to anyone, except those involved.

I've had some experience with the "gay agenda." I have known an uncounted but surely large number of gay men and women who were in and out of all sorts of relationships in the time I knew them — just like the "straight" people I've known. Some were good people, I thought, some were people I wouldn't want trust or even associate with. Some were honest, kind, caring people and some were devious, thieving miscreants who gladly bit the hands that fed them. In short, gay people as a whole are no different, in my experience, from straight people as a whole or, for that matter, people who had no interest in sex at all (yes, I have met a few of those). They all wanted the same things out of life that I wanted; a comfortable living, to work, to live with their partners — in some cases in a legally-protected relationship — and to be allowed to contribute whatever talents they had to society, or to be greedy, selfish pigs who cared nothing for others and were engaged in an endless quest for self-gratification. Not a one, as far as I ever knew, wanted to rape two year olds or commit acts of terrorism or turn their country over to Al Qaida.

I knew two same-sex couples especially well. One was a couple of gents who had been together for better than 15 years when I first met them. One of them gave me one of the biggest breaks I ever had in my life. He recognized some talent in me and gave me an opportunity to exercise it and make a very good living in the process. He was one of the kindest people I have ever known. He and his partner were deeply in love; by all rights, they should have been allowed to marry if they so desired, although I don't know if they wanted to bother with it. When not working on their businesses, they volunteered to work on human rights issues. They were committed not only to each other but to the society in which they live. They were good people. In light of all this, should anyone care that they happened to be two men instead of a man and a woman, or two women, or what have you? I doubt either one of them ever did intentional harm to another human being in their lives.

A very good man, c. 1963I knew another couple of gents who had been together for more than 40 years. They lived in the same apartment on Polk Street for at least 30 of those years. One was an author and an artist who spoke at least seven languages and understood the most esoteric philosophies and the history of Western culture as few people I have ever known. They were dedicated to one another until the day that this author died, followed just over a year later by his lifelong partner. Even without a marriage contract, they shared their lives in exactly the same way that any couple might share their lives together. They stood by each other through all of the travails that we humans face in our lives and then a few more because of the simple and meaningless circumstance that they happened to be two males. Their commitment was no less for it. They were kindly, even jovial, characters who delighted in providing a free education to whomever wanted one and not once — not ONCE — did they ever ask for anything in return. These men were worse than terrorists how, exactly? Not only were they good people, they were far better people than Sally Kern, Donald Wildmon, Pat Robertson or Fred Phelps can ever hope to become. That latter group of insidious toxins that infect our society should have counted themselves blessed if such people as these four has deigned to spit upon them.

I am 42 years old. In all of that time, at least half of a lifetime in which I have lived in places like New York City and San Francisco (27 of those 42 years combined, in fact), in all of the times I have found myself wandering through The Castro or Greenwich Village, never once did I wish for a Sally Kern or a Fred Phelps to come and protect me from gay people. In the years since I first became aware of the existence of individuals like Kern and Phelps and Robertson, though, I have often hoped for someone who could protect me from them. People who want to love one another and be left alone will never be a threat to society. The sowers of discord and purveyors of hatred always have been and always will be.

If I were God, I would have long since prepared a sort of Moroccan Feast of these people. If I were Emperor of the Universe, letters to Pat Robertson would need be addressed to Fred Phelps' rectum. I suspect that they would be happier with that arrangement, truth be told.

If Tucker should read this, thanks for being so eloquent, for writing that letter that was such a threat to Sally "The Symptom" Kern that a cop had to stop you from delivering it to her office. Whatever your beliefs might be, I would prefer a million of you to be in this world than even one tenth of that vile hag who is beneath your contempt in every way.

A hyphal tip, too, to Reverend Big Dumb Chimp, in whose blog I first saw this.

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