Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MEA MAXIMA CULPA

 

May 23, 2012

I am sorry if anyone was offended by my last column... No, that’s one of those non-apology apologies you hear all the time from the likes of politicians and corporations once they’ve been caught out and attempted a bunch of denials. What I prefer to say is far more direct: it’s that I sincerely regret some of the content of last week’s article on homosexual marriage.
Several readers expressed their shock at my words and they were right to do so. In particular, taking the notion of non-traditional wedlock to a ridiculous extreme and citing folks who married inanimate objects. My idea there – a terrible example, crassly articulated – was that homosexual marriage is as unnaturally barren as the strange betrothals I listed. But it was frivolous and it was wrong.
Some murderers claim that they would undo what they did if they could. I’m no murderer so I can and I do. I’d like to strike out the reprehensible parts of that column.
What I was expressing was a gut feeling. I continue to believe that marriage, whether sanctified by the church (Genesis 2-22-24) or not, is between two people of opposite sex. It might be easy for 52 percent of Americans to accept the ‘other’ way, but for me it’s a struggle. The Defense Of Marriage Act of 1996 is still valid.
This stance evoked outright venom from one commentator and perhaps it was deserved. But on the subject of gut feelings: what do we think of the North Koreans? Not Kim Il Howsyourfather III who’s a major league tosser but the people themselves. Cozy velvet thoughts? Are they “just like us” or do we actually view them with a measure of judgmental suspicion? And how about cult members?
Some folks instinctively dislike Muslims or blacks or whites or anyone who’s “different” and no way am I one of those guys. I believe wholeheartedly in live and let live, which is patently clear from all my columns. Help thy neighbor. Protect his voting rights. Equal pay for women doing the same work...
As for homosexuals I said and say leave ‘em be. Definitely do no harm. Do not get your friends to pin them down while you cut off their hair as a certain Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney once did and now doesn’t remember. Whereas his co-tormentors recall it in detail and now deeply regret their actions even if he doesn’t.
Oddly, I find myself aligned with Romney on the single issue of homosexual marriage, although I’m fearful of a Romney presidency for many reasons.
Some of my critics misinterpreted last week’s column as advocating fewer rights for homosexuals or even none at all. I prefer to believe these folks missed the point by accident, rather than deliberately misconstruing it. “These Americans deserve the same benefits as every other,” is what I believe I wrote.
Treat others as you would wish to be treated – sure thing. And does this also mean keeping it civilized, keeping it clean? Unproductive are the offensive outbursts you get from the usual suspects, the teeny brigade whose lizard brain may not yet be sufficiently developed to process the subtle nuances of a complex situation. Foul language is for those who find themselves inadequately equipped to formulate their ideas in English.
So let’s be clear. I have absolutely no desire to interfere in the private lives of others; quite the  opposite. The government should stay out of our bedrooms and everyone, including Washington, should leave a woman’s womb alone, it being the sole domain of the womb owner herself. That’s what I wrote back in March.
The issue of homosexuality is a complex one. You hear of males trapped in a female body and vice versa, and their stories are usually intensely poignant. There’s Chastity – now Chaz – Bono saving his dollars, as he told Rolling Stone magazine, for metoidioplasty surgery that will finally make him “complete”.
In 1979 I interviewed Ormus W. Davenport, the world’s first sex-change policeman, a much-decorated detective who returned to the Washington DC force as a uniformed policewoman - and to an avalanche of ridicule from her former colleagues. Riding a scooter around the precinct, she had been effectively demoted. Scandalous.
This officer told me that when she was a male, the near-suicidal risk-taking that won her bravery medals was due to a sense that she needed to overcome her female instincts and “prove how tough I was.” But it was far more agonizing than that: the overwhelming inner turmoil made her not even care if she got shot. It’s hard to imagine what that must be like.
Bonnie Davenport, as she now became, and Chaz Bono surely must be in a different category from homosexuals wishing to marry who haven’t undergone the conversion surgery. Are we at a fine line here?
It’s a volatile and complicated subject and for those who find it so simple, perhaps I should envy you your enlightened monochrome heads – I’m not sure.
As to homosexuals marrying, I went overboard last week and now I’m swimming back to the good ship Common Sense. This doesn’t mean I now hold the polar opposite view from that of a week ago. You could say my attitude is still “evolving” the way President Barack Obama described his own position before finally stepping out to endorse same sex marriage.
This week’s column was going to be about predatory banks. However, because I managed to get my knickers in such a dreadful twist it behooves me to apologize. And I do.

ENDIT

© 2012 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.