A lot of people think it's a shame Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott,
R-Miss., made such a spectacle of himself recently on "The Armstrong
Williams Show," a cable TV talk show -- carrying on in about the sin of
homosexuality and urging the
afflicted to seek the treatment they need.
Trent is a very powerful man in American politics, and it's not often that
you get to hear a man of his stature reveal his most private thoughts on
sexuality, from gay sex to adultery to the new Baptist edict on wifely
submission to one's husband. (Trent says "no" to that last command, by the
way, and I was disappointed that the interviewer didn't follow up by asking
whether Trent is partial to submission himself.)
Lott not only angered gays and lesbians with his remarks, he also
embarrassed a lot of those show-me-the-money Republicans whose main
interest in human nature is how we can squeeze one more nickel out of those
irritating poor people. There are lots of nice, conservative, wealthy gay
men, and even a handful of eccentric lesbian millionaires, who would gladly
support Republican candidates if Little Trenty Preacher Boy would shut up
and stop annoying everybody with his quaint religious beliefs.
Lott was defended by comrades like his old friend, the House Majority
Armey, R-Texas -- the guy who called openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., a
"fag" and then claimed everybody had heard him wrong -- who stuck out his
lower lip and told the press that if nothing else Trent and he were both
firm believers in the Bible.
Lott is such a Bible cultist that he has been holding up the nomination of
openly gay San Francisco philanthropist James Hormel to the ambassadorship
simply because he does not want to send some sinner to represent the
interests of United States on foreign soil. Heaven knows, the people in
Luxembourg have been through enough without having to suffer some Yankee
When I hear someone defending their political positions by saying they
"believe in the Bible," my initial response is: So what? Thanks to the
foresight of our founding fathers, you can believe in little green
men if you want to, but you sure don't see anyone defending that position
in the Senate by waving Whitley Strieber's "Communion" around.
Many Americans who are not fastened at the temples to a Christian prayer
book are offended by politicians who justify their decisions by piously
quoting the Old Testament. The Bible is simply not where it's at as far as
the constitution is concerned, Mr. Lott, and you should be as embarrassed
to use scriptures as your sword of truth in Congress as I would be to wave
a wand and say I was following the Tooth Fairy's instructions.
The thing is, content aside, it's really awkward these days to say you
"believe" in a book -- or any media for that matter. Does Mr. Lott have any
idea how many editors went over that thing he's holding in his hands and
calling "God's word"? Trust me, right now, God's probably crying on the
phone to his agent about how his publisher completely mangled Leviticus.
Savvy readers these days would do well to treat everything between two
covers as utter fiction, with more than a few typos to boot.
Lott says that there are plenty of homosexuals who manage to lead
productive lives because they repress their urges and remain abstinent.
Sorry, sir, we already know about that; it's called being a closet
case. An unusually large number of gay people, in fact, have been so
unhappy and persecuted for their sexual orientation that they've opted for
suicide, the ultimate in abstinence. Nonexistence is probably the only way
to make sure that you never have a sinful human feeling ever again.
I'd really like to talk to the gays, bisexuals, lesbians and other
"sinners" in Trent Lott's blood family and see if we could organize an
intervention. You see, it goes without saying that someone who Lott
loves dearly is gay -- just as sure as Phyllis Schlafley's son is queer.
One in 10 covers a lot of ground, as Alfred Kinsey and most American families
have found out over the years.
Trent's nonheterosexual loved ones are probably more than a little hurt
that he is so painfully ignorant. They've no doubt been avoiding the
subject with him because he gets so upset, being confused about the
differences between alcoholism, kleptomania and sodomy. Let's hope he
doesn't call the Betty Ford Center in a panic and order a lavender bed
jacket -- or perform a strip search to ferret out the k.d. lang CDs they
might have shoplifted. "Stop it, Trent! We're largely sober and have
massive credit card debt!"
The wackiest thing about Trent's public airing of his lunacy was that the
White House actually condemned it. Press Secretary Mike McCurry went so far
as to express exasperation that extreme beliefs like Lott's were making it
impossible to have rational discussions in government. I find it plausible
that McCurry himself is nauseated by the fact that our government is held
captive to fundamentalist chauvinists, but how could our president allow
such frankness? Everyone knows that Clinton would rather give up blow jobs
forever than be publicly allied with gay causes like nondiscrimination,
the legalization of all forms of consensual sex or, heaven forbid,
sinfests like same-sex
marriage. This is a guy who can go to China and get tears in his eyes about
human rights, but when it comes to being brave on the home front, honey,
don't ask me and I won't tell you how horrible it really is.
Aw, I know I'm hard on Clinton -- he's just another coward in a system that
rewards the most charming hypocrites. Bigotry and conceit are the order of
the day, and Bible book-worshippers are among the few folks who still show
up at the ballot box. My own neighborhood polling place is set up in a
conservative church where we have to stare at posters ranting about God's
Special Rangers just to punch our ticket.
Those of us who believe in fairies can only try to cast our spells with a
little bit more deliberation and see if we can come up with some unexpected
magic. Submit to me, Trent! -- I know you're hearing voices.