Saturday, March 15, 2008

Talk to Your Mother

Last week I put up a post about Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern’s rant against gays that was caught on tape. As expected, she got a lot of reaction to it, most of it negative. However, there’s one person’s reaction that is interesting, and that’s her son, Jesse. Her single, 31-year-old musician son who’s a teacher of metaphysics in Des Moines.

The son of a state lawmaker who has condemned homosexuality as a worse threat to the U.S. than “terrorists or Islam” said Friday he wants it known that he is “straight and not gay.” Jesse Kern, son of Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said information purporting that he is gay, which has appeared on several blogs, is damaging to himself and his family.

Kern, 31, said he feels the media has a responsibility to seek out the truth, then report it. Kern, who said he is affiliated with the Des Moines School of Metaphysics, said that he chooses to be celibate, but he is not homosexual. “First of all, no one’s sexuality is anyone’s business. It is not even my mother’s business,” he said. “I practice celibacy to give to my God,” he said.

Kern said metaphysics helps teach him such things such as concentration, which has helped him keep focused with all the adverse publicity surrounding his mother’s comments.

Kern said his mother’s comments apparently were taken out of context. He has not chosen to listen to the audio version that has been disseminated widely throughout the nation. Kern’s views differ from those of his mother, although he applauds her for standing up for what she believes, and thanks his parents for his good upbringing. His father is a Baptist minister in Oklahoma City.

He said the purpose of sex is reproduction, and it is the function of the animal body. “But we are more than animals, and we can use sex for a tool of deep relationship with another person.” Kern added that what is more important than whether it be a relationship with someone of the same sex, is that there “needs to be honor in any relationship whether it is a straight or gay relationship.

Far be it from me to doubt his word about him being straight-and-not-gay, but I find it really interesting that the son of a Baptist preacher is teaching metaphysics and doing everything he possibly can to distance himself from his mother’s point of view without calling her out in public.

It’s also not uncommon for politicians who are vehemently anti-gay to have gay children; Phyllis Schlafly and Alan Keyes come to mind immediately. Whether or not there’s a connection between the two is speculative (in that the parent’s response to having a gay child can manifest itself by being publicly hostile to gays, since they see it as an assault on their parenting; not that the child was “made gay” as an adolescent rebellion to the parent’s views on homosexuality) but it certainly is ironic, and when it’s revealed to the public, the politician usually responds by saying that it’s a “private matter.” Again, a heaping dose of irony, please, since these people usually make it their business to drag someone else’s sexuality out into the public square for a flogging… and then scold them for flaunting their sexual orientation.

Whatever Jesse’s orientation is, it does sound like he’s got his head on straight compared to his mother.

(HT to Joe and Melissa.)