Apr 292003
Authors: Sarah Laribee

There is nothing that actually quiets the insatiable roars of the post-lunch 10th grade din like the writing the word “sex.” On the board. Way more effective than threatening detention. So much more effective than the incompetently furtive “shhh” I let subconsciously escape from my lips as I am talking. As if the whisper was going to stop what the detention threat didn’t. But “sex,” as it turns out, actually does sell.

Unless you happen to be Rick Santorum. Santorum is a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, who last week made comments that make people hate Republicans. I usually reserve those things for my column, but Santorum has, thankfully, made them for me.

Santorum, in reference to a case currently being tried by the Supreme Court, made comments last week that seem to paint Republicans as bigots. This is news to me, as I thought we were actually considered the “sensitive” party. After all, we have things like tax shelters. And shelter, as everyone knows, is a basic human need.

The senator, referring to the court case that is questioning the rights of homosexuals to engage in homosexual activity within the confines of their homes, said last week, “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”

“Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does.”

What I don’t understand is why straight, typically Republican, typically conservative citizens are so wrapped up in this issue. There comes a point in time that regardless of your personal opinions on the morality, appropriateness or health of homosexuality, it makes a little more sense to focus on other things. Don’t we have better things to be doing with our time and energies than try to convince the court system that two consenting adults should be thrown into prison for a sexual act that occurs in a locked, private house?

Because, even though we say that an acceptance of homosexuality leads to an acceptance of actually damaging sexual behaviors like adultery or pedophilia or incest, it’s not like we’re cracking down as conservative Republicans on guys having affairs with their secretaries.

The problem is not with homosexuality. The problem is with a blind permissiveness with the banal. There is a chipping away that occurs in the moral fabric of society with each crass reference to sex on “Friends.” We wear banality like a bumper sticker, and most of us don’t even realize it is happening. At a young adult meeting in town this past Sunday, a local pastor urged his college-aged congregation to reclaim the morality of their generation. And it is imperative that we do this in a society that resembles pre-fall Rome more and more every day.

But there is a difference between standing up for morality and just being ridiculously stupid about what constitutes morality. Even if you think that homosexuality is wrong, do we really want to establish a society where the police can arrest people for doing it in their own bedrooms? Because that actually is a slippery slope. It seems more likely that a higher precedent is set for people to start being arrested for their beliefs if they can be arrested for their acts, than likely that we would accept pedophilia as right and good if we stop hounding homosexuals.

I am a conservative, a Republican, and a Christian. I also take the Bible literally. I also think that those of you out there who identify with my particular paradigm have way more work to do in the world than focus on this particular issue. Don’t we have some poor people to feed or something? For that matter, don’t we have a Gospel to spread? There is too much at stake in this world to convince the world that we’re close-minded and bigoted. Spend your time doing things that will actually count.

Sarah Laribee wishes to give a shout out to Marsha because she never gets a shout out. Yo, Marsha.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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