Carol Platt Liebau

Thursday, October 14, 2004

John Kerry has begun to realize that he has made a significant mistake in crudely and cruelly dragging Mary Cheney's sexual orientation into the campaign. That can be the only explanation for his belated "clarification" -- which the campaign insists is not an apology.

Through all of this, one cannot help feeling for Mary Cheney -- by all accounts a devoted and loving daughter (check out this post from Powerline, via Hugh Hewitt). How absolutely awful -- every dutiful child's nightmare -- to be used as a tool by her father's enemies. And how the Cheneys must, in turn, be wounded by her pain.

There's something here worth noting. First John Edwards, and then John Kerry, have used Mary Cheney's homosexuality in a ploy to drive a wedge between George W. and what leftists love to call "the religious right." Well, I'm not the type of fundamentalist Christian at whom this ploy is aimed, but I know some -- and I think they have been fundamentally (no pun intended) misunderstood by John Kerry and his ilk.

Contrary to the stereotype that circulates through the refined circles on the coasts, fundamentalist Christians are not haters. They are certainly more conservative than most Americans, and they certainly know the Bible better than many liberal theologians (not to mention John Kerry, who couldn't even quote the commandment to love "the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" correctly). But in approaching the whole question of homosexuality, their outlook is to "Love the sinner, hate the sin." They believe homosexual behavior is wrong, but they also believe that homosexuals carry the full weight of God's glory and are as beloved by the Almighty as any heterosexual He ever made.

I believe that Kerry's ploy was an example of the "soft bigotry of low expectations" -- he doesn't understand Christian conservatives or the way they think, because he doesn't like them and isn't interested. And as a result, he "misunderestimated" them and thus engaged in cowardly and despicable behavior that will cost him votes. Who says there's no divine justice?

On a recent plane trip to Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to read The Faith of George W. Bush, by Stephen Mansfield. In the book, it reports that, in 1992, the Bush campaign had all kinds of dirt on Bill Clinton's extramarital infidelities. But George W., who was at the top of his father's reelection campaign, forbade the information to be used because he didn't want his dad to win "that way." What a contrast between W and John Kerry -- W refused to use an opponent's own "personal life" against him, but Kerry will exploit his opponent's daughter in a contemptible display of election year gutter theatrics.


Blogger RalphW said...

Wow - I don't know that I've ever seen someone so simply and eloquently articulate the conservative Christian view of homosexuality. Thanks!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Joe Rose said...


9:38 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Kerry's remark regarding the Vice President's daughter speaks volumes about how he and his advisors view the Religious Right--of which I consider myself to be a part. The reasoning behind calling her out by name was explained over on Democratic Underground, if not by an advisor, by someone who has the same world view. "If the people of the United States did not know that Mary Cheney is a Lesbian, they do now. If 1 person in a swing state is offended by that, Kerry gets one more vote..." It was, in short, a play to homophobia.

I don't believe it will work, for the very reason that Carol states in the article: we are called to love each person but despise sin. Do I believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes. Do I believe it is the only sin? No... not by a long stretch.

12:41 PM  

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