Sally Kern is an Oklahoma state representative who recently found herself a YouTube star thanks to gay advocacy group the Victory Fund. Mrs. Kern, a second term lawmaker from Oklahoma City and Baptist pastor’s wife, was secretly taped giving a rambling speech to her Republican colleagues regarding threats to conservatives in local political races. Her comments, now viewed over 1 million times on YouTube have ignited a firestorm of controversy and opposition, particularly among homosexual rights groups. Perhaps most quoted has been this passage
Matter of fact, studies show no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades. So it’s the death knell for this country. I honestly think it’s the biggest threat even, that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat, okay.
Predictably, a firestorm of controversy has enveloped Rep. Kern. She has been defiant and resolute in response. Several days after the YouTube video hit the cyberstreet, Kern was interviewed by a supportive Matt Barber of the Concerned Women for America, where she again stated, “homosexuality, in my opinion, is a bigger threat to this nation than terrorism.”
All of this reminded me of survey findings reported in the recent book, UnChristian, reviewed recently by fellow Crosswalk blogger, Regis Nicoll. Here is Regis’ take on what UnChristian has to say about homosexuality:
In survey after survey, Kinnaman found that the homosexuality issue, more than any other has shaped public perceptions about Christians. “Hostility toward gays–not just opposition to homosexual politics and behaviors but disdain for gay individuals–has become virtually synonymous with the Christian faith,” Kinnaman writes.
Whether or not that’s a fair association, it reflects how we come across to others. When our criticism of homosexual behavior is out of proportion to our concern over heterosexual divorce and promiscuity in the church, it smacks of hypocrisy. Add to that, a perceived air of moral superiority, and you’ve got the picture of the “unChristian.” Again, while these impressions may not accurately represent Christianity, they do affect how the Christian message is received.
Seems to me, Sally Kern’s comments, refusal to see the offense they cause, and the stance of her defenders put an exclamation point on the findings of UnChristian. What makes her comments all the more jarring is that she represents a district in Oklahoma City, scene of the Murrah Federal Building destroyed by domestic terrorist, Timothy McVeigh.
While it is tempting to opine further, I would like to hear from readers on this one. What should Rep. Kern do? Should she stick to her guns, basing her views on her faith? Or should she retract this comparison and engage in dialogue with those who are offended? Or something else?