Thursday, October 14, 2004

That odd debate question

I was shocked during last night's Presidential debate when the question was posed to the candidates, "Is homosexuality a choice?" The media refuses to pose this question in any type of forum, and those who actually bring up the question respectfully, are shouted down as homophobic or are completely shunned. The media won't touch this with a 10-foot pole and it shows up in a Presidential debate? What's up with that? Maybe, just maybe, a public debate will be started in this area.

As an ex-gay, I know the answer to the question. It is a choice, for I, and many others, have chosen to leave that lifestyle behind and walk in freedom from sexual sin. Homosexuals--and such were some of you, says the scriptures and the God who made us. I remember my college days, pre-Christ. I went to bars, I drank much alcohol, I got drunk. I did this many times during those years; it was a pattern of behaviour at that time. I guess, if you had to label me, you would have called me and my circle of buddies, drunks, or scripturally speaking, drunkards. Now, I choose not to drink. I just don't do it anymore. I was a drunkard, now I am not.

Having sex with someone, is a behaviour, it is an action, it is something you do. You can choose who you have sex with, just like I chose to drink, and now choose not to. Yes, there may be feelings of attraction, but that is a choice also. We are to guard and to tend the gardens of our hearts, and this is where these thoughts or feelings come from. Those thoughts die when they are not given nutrients to sustain them. God promises us a new heart when we are born again, and I praise Him and thank Him for this promise that has come to fruition in me.

Really, the question in the debate should have been more pointedly about gay marriage, because that is an issue this election cycle. Or if they really wanted to paint the President in a corner they could have asked, "Is homosexual behaviour a sin?" Moderator Bob Schieffer did use the word sin in a question to Kerry about Catholicism and abortion, so it wouldn't have been out of line in that context.

The choice question was posed to Bush and he responded "I don't know" and went on to discuss the sanctity of marriage. A nice safe answer on a question that I am sure wasn't discussed during pre-debate preparations.

On the other hand John Kerry said:

KERRY: We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as.

I think if you talk to anybody, it's not choice. I've met people who struggled with this for years, people who were in a marriage because they were living a sort of convention, and they struggled with it.

And I've met wives who are supportive of their husbands or vice versa when they finally sort of broke out and allowed themselves to live who they were, who they felt God had made them. I think we have to respect that.
Now, the media is framing this question as if it were one about gay marriage, which it really wasn't. They ignore the fact that Kerry didn't answer the question. He said Mary Cheney would say it wasn't a choice, and those people called "anybody" would say it is not a choice. And, they are focusing on whether or not it was appropriate for John Kerry to bring Mary Cheney into the debate. Here's what Momma Cheney thinks about the whole thing:
"Now, you know, I did have a chance to assess John Kerry once more and now the only thing I could conclude: This is not a good man," she said. "Of course, I am speaking as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick."
Gay conservative writer Andrew Sullivan thinks the exchange is exposing the homophobia of us all. Chuckle. Dean says it shows how the Kerry/Edwards team doesn't know how a Christian's mind works if they think this will turn off the Bush base. A sensible Powerline probably hits the nail on the head:
One set of candidates is going to come out of this looking bad, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be Kerry-Edwads. We may be becoming an "Oprah" society, but I think most Americans still believe that you have volunteer to go on Oprah before your daughter's private family life becomes "fair game" for "discussion" by your enemies.
Boifromtroy gives us the kind of response you would expect if a national debate were ever started on this topic:
Forget Mary Cheney, let's say John Kerry believes being gay is as genetic as being black or being a woman. How can you then say that the Government SHOULD NOT grant equal rights?!?!!!?
And Indepundit has a nice roundup of reaction.

As for me, this was a political ploy that will, if it effects anything, be on the negative side for Kerry. It had to be politics, because in the VP debate, Edwards did the same thing. I agree with Mrs. Cheney that it was cheap and tawdry. If Kerry didn't want to answer the question, he could have made his point using Barney Frank as an example. But Kerry is a politician, first. And he thinks this is going to get him a few votes (very few), either by people directly voting for him, or more likely, people staying home and not voting for the President.