Monday, August 6, 2012

A DUST-UP OVER GAYS

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by Burt Prelutsky

I concluded a recent article, Things That Bug Me, with the following three paragraphs: “Speaking of political cowardice, isn’t it high time that judges and legislators stopped coddling homosexuals? While it’s true that, as a rule, being childless, they have a fair amount of money to contribute to those politicians who bow to their wishes, it’s not as if they represent a lot of votes outside of San Francisco, L.A. and New York.

“Frankly, I don’t know just when it was that sodomites became a protected class, but it’s rather obnoxious when politicians curry favor with them by promoting same-sex marriages and pretending that it is the equivalent of uprooting slavery and repealing Jim Crow laws.

“One of the sillier things about homosexuals is the way they like to insist that inside every heterosexual is an interior decorator screaming to be let out. If you buy that, perhaps you also believe that inside every liberal nutcase is a rational conservative begging to be set free.”

I didn’t think I had written anything particularly offensive, unless people took exception to my referring to those who practice sodomy as sodomites, so you can understand why I was so taken aback when I received an email from a friend whose opinion I greatly respect, and who, by the way, is a heterosexual conservative. It began, “I don’t know if you realize it…or care…but you come off as an out and out bigot. I re-read the last few grafs of your column several times to see if I was over-reacting. I wasn’t.”

He went on to say some complimentary things about me, but then went on: “You paint with such a broad brush that…you sound like the Christian evangelicals who don’t seem to understand that the same God they worship every second of every day created gays just as He created straights.

“You don’t have to be for same-sex marriage, but your distaste at best and hatred at worst for gay people -- as a group -- is evident. I suspect you won’t take this well and I’m prepared for whatever comes.”

As I said, I like and respect this fellow very much, and I therefore felt that I owed him, along with all of you, an honest response to an email I knew he had not enjoyed writing.

I replied: “I’m not angry. You are a decent human being. For all I know, you may have gay family members and took what I wrote personally, as an attack on your loved ones.

“If I say that what people do in private is their business, you may discount it with the same skepticism you and I would display towards an anti-Semite who claimed that some of his best friends are Jews, but it happens to be true. My negative attitude is not Bible-based, as I am not an evangelical Christian, as you know.

“But I contend that nothing having to do with gays is private these days. Here in California, not only are they always parading around, but they have intimidated politicians to such an extent that teachers now have to devote time to promoting homosexuality…and classroom discussions regarding the negative aspects of the life style are forbidden.

“Gay pride? What in the hell is there to be so proud of? Their only distinction as a group is that they play in poop. If you knew someone who got his sexual gratification from sticking his fingers in excrement, you would think he belonged in a loony bin. But because it’s their sex organ, you feel obliged to leap to their defense, as if I were attacking their religion or their race.

“Out here, when Proposition 8 was defeated, homosexuals intimidated people going to church, but only so long as they were Catholic or Mormon churches; they gave a wide berth to black Baptist churches, even though blacks had voted against same-sex marriages by an even wider margin than whites had. So we can add cowardice to the list.

“Finally, and on a personal level, a gang of gays confronted the wife of a friend of mine who owns a restaurant because the wife, who actually manages the place, is a Mormon who had contributed $100 to the “No On 8” campaign. It was bad enough that the gays waged a boycott against the restaurant, even though several of the cooks and waiters were gay and would have been laid off if my friends hadn’t made accommodations so that nobody had to be fired when business inevitably decreased. Even so, the gay pickets screamed vile epitaphs at her for days on end. She finally had to leave town and visit out-of-state relatives because she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

“Having been employed in show business for several years, I have worked with a great many homosexuals and I have even liked some of them. But the same is true of me and liberals. But those were different times, and these days we are dealing with a very different brand of left-winger and a very different sort of homosexual.”

After mulling it over for a few hours, I sent along the following postscript: “I neglected to mention it earlier, but just for the record I also don’t like heterosexuals whose identity seems to be totally wrapped up in their sexual exploits and in keeping count of how many women they’ve had sex with.

“Yet another item on the negative side of the ledger when it comes to gays is the way they demonized Ronald Reagan because he didn’t devote every last federal medical research dollar to finding a cure for AIDS, even if it meant taking it away from finding a cure for childhood leukemia, cancer, Parkinson’s and AZ.

“In a related matter, even when it became quite clear how the HIV virus was transmitted, the San Francisco gays descended on City Hall and demanded that their precious bathhouses be kept open. Then, for good measure, the gay activists concocted the term “homophobia,” so that they could suggest that people who objected to their behavior be seen as suffering from a psychological disorder, as if disapproving of sodomy was the same thing as fearing great heights, spiders and dark, enclosed spaces. An unwarranted fear of gays? I don’t think so.

“But perhaps the last straw was their insisting that depriving them of the right to marry each other is akin to slavery or Jim Crow laws.

“I’m not trying to convince you to believe as I do, but it’s not every day I wake up to find that a friend has denounced me as a bigot, and I just felt I should make my position clear.

“Finally, unless you take strong exception to the use of the word ‘sodomite’ in my article, I would hardly describe those final three paragraphs as hateful or even out of place in a piece dealing with things that bug me. I would even go so far as to suggest that the final graf was somewhat amusing, although I take it you disagree.

“Regards, Burt”

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