WTMA commentary broadcast 5/23/08:
When Eddie Walker, the principal at Irmo High School, outside of Columbia, learned that his school might be hosting a student chapter of the “Gay/Straight Alliance,” he stated in an open letter that the group “conflicted with my professional beliefs in that we do not have any other clubs at Irmo High School based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, or sexual activity.” Walker is planning to put in his resignation next year in protest.
Walker is entitled to his opinion. But I can promise you this – club or no club, at the next school he works for, there will be homosexuals.
Citing religious reasons, men like Walker are not being unreasonable in the sense that millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and others also believe homosexuality to be an abomination. They claim that homosexuality isn’t “normal.” They’re right.
By definition, societal norms are laws of averages, where the majority sets the tone and dictates conventional standards. It is a simple fact that most human beings are attracted to the opposite sex. This is the norm. Homosexuals are outside of it.
But it is also normal that most American men love football. I don’t. It is normal that Southerners are passionate about certain brands of mayonnaise. I hate mayonnaise. And it is also normal that most conservatives will reflexively vote Republican, no matter how liberal their candidate, because Democrats are without question, always considered inherently worse. Not this guy. I seriously doubt most conservatives would consider me normal.
And yet, as boring as I find football, as disgusting as I find mayonnaise and as liberal as I find John McCain – it would still be easier for me to change my mind about each than it would be for most homosexuals to change their sexuality.
I know some believe that homosexuals “choose” their lifestyle, but I’ve never met such a gay person. The fact that many people can often tell whether or not someone is gay just by mere observation, also suggests that homosexuality is inherent in their nature, in the same way heterosexual men and women behave in a masculine or feminine manner. Do men choose to be attracted to women? Do women choose to be attracted to men? Few believe they do and yet some insist that all homosexuals simply choose their preference. It doesn’t make sense.
In religious and socially conservative Irmo, South Carolina, it isn’t the least bit surprising that a high school principal would have a problem with a homosexual student organization in his school. I even chuckled when I heard this story. The Bible Belt is called such for a reason, and for better or worse, modern, evangelical Christianity is part of what makes the South, Southern. This is an undeniable fact that isn’t likely to change anytime soon and personally I wouldn’t have it any other way.
But the same is true of homosexuals in America. In every city or town across this nation, conservative or liberal, religious or not, there exists a significant portion of the population who are homosexual. One need not support the flaming idiots who dance atop hedonistic floats in big city, gay pride parades, to recognize that we all have relatives, friends and neighbors who deal everyday with being homosexual in a heterosexual world. This is an undeniable fact that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. And for their sake, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I say this because I believe we have reached a point, where reasonable people can agree, that it would be both an injustice for homosexuals to deny their own nature and for their countrymen to deny homosexuals outright because of it. This is not to say that Americans must accept gay marriage and similar measures, because those are cultural and political questions that affect everyone, not just homosexuals.
What I mean is this – what do you do with countless people who can’t change either what they are or what they believe – and for good reason? Principal Eddie Walker chooses to walk away from them, and that is his prerogative. But walking away doesn’t change the fact that there are millions of Americans who are still here, who are undoubtedly queer, and some folks are just going to have to get used to it.
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