Bigot Compares Portman’s Son to Drunk Driver


The reaction to Sen. Rob Portman’s change of position on marriage equality after finding out his son is gay has been rather furious on the right. Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition offered up an inane and offensive response, sending out an email to follower comparing Portman’s stance to a father who thinks drunk driving should be legalized because his son was a drunk driver.

These past few days have been very painful ones for me.


Earlier this week one of my children came to me and told me something which was shocking.


He is a drunk driver and has been driving drunk regularly since college.
I have taken several days to reflect on this and I have decided to reverse my earlier opposition to drunk driving.


My child is a drunk driver and I love him. It is a part of his identity, who he is.


I have reflected on all of this, consulted Scripture (the story of Jesus changing water into wine when the wedding he was attending in Cana ran dry is particularly relevant) and decided that drunk driving is a generational issue. Younger people take a much different view of drunk driving than older people.

Therefore, today I am reversing my opposition to drunk driving. My child has caused me to revisit a decision which, up until now, had been based simply on morality.

My child is a drunk driver. That has personalized the issue for me and taken me above the whole discussion of the morality of it. It is now personal with me.

In addition, I would like to say that drunk driving will make all of us stronger drivers. Think of how much more interesting driving will be in the future if more people have the freedom to drive drunk. It will sharpen the defensive driving skills of the rest of us.

This unreleased press statement follows the same twisted, self-serving logic that several public officials have used in explaining their switch from opposing homosexual marriage to favoring it…


This unreleased press statement follows the same twisted, self-serving logic that several public officials have used in explaining their switch from opposing homosexual marriage to favoring it.

If you remember nothing else from this exchange, remember this: our children are learners and unable to determine morality and then hand it down to their parents and other impressionable adults. This is one factor in why our culture is so morally upside down!

This whole line of argument suggesting that opposition to homosexual “marriage” is a personal and “generational” matter is equally silly.

There are absolutes. There is right and there is wrong. There are objective truths. A civilization which has no governing principles or laws is doomed to collapse. That is the soul of conservatism.

The tough part of being a parent is telling one of those young souls whom we have been charged with raising that he or she is wrong. But because it is tough that doesn’t mean that we are excused from doing it or we can delegate our responsibility to a teacher or “the village” or some other entity.

Being a good parent is infinitely more difficult than being a Senator or President. And telling someone you love that he or she is wrong is the most difficult part of that difficult job.

A nation which recognizes this is on the road to a vast spiritual recovery.

I wonder if Christian schools or homeschooling parents actually offer instruction on how to construct terrible analogies, because you hear this kind of thing all the time. If someone can’t spot the obvious differences between being gay and driving drunk, is there any point in taking them seriously at all?

Comments

  1. matty1 says

    If someone can’t spot the obvious differences between being gay and driving drunk, is there any point in taking them seriously at all?

    Is this a trick question?

  2. says

    I’m cool with that. Just only, whenever any of his daughters, granddaughters, nieces, or any other female relative gets married, before she and the lucky groom go to the marriage bed she must be checked for purity.
    Any who fail will be taken to the gates of the city and stoned to death.*
    I mean, that premarital sex thing is something that young hippie generation is into, but that commandment from Bible-monster is timeless.
    If we don’t stone any of our property, I mean females, who are slutty sluts then it sends the wrong message to our children.

    * This would equally apply to any of his relatives who have remarried after a divorce or married a divorced person.

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    Whether or not you consider the analogy to be appropriate, the point he is trying to make is that Portman suddenly finds acceptance for this position only after it occurs to a member of his immediate family. I think that much of the criticism is valid.

  4. tubi says

    I’ll take a stab at it. Driving drunk kills innocent people. Being gay does not. What do I win?

  5. cswella says

    Well yeah, if drunk driving had the same harm on society as gay marriage, i’d be an advocate for the right to drive drunk.

  6. says

    tubi “I’ll take a stab at it. Driving drunk kills innocent people. Being gay does not.”
    GAY MARRIAGED KILLS REAL MARRIAGES! i KNO THIS IS TRUE BECAUSE IF GAY SO-CALLED “MARRIAGE” COMES IN HERE, I DONT KNO IF ILL BE ABLE TO RESIST THE SEXY LURE OF SEXY GAYHOMOSEX!
    tHERE! ONE REAL MARRIAGE DESTROID AND IT HASNT EVEN HAPPENED YET! yOU THINK IT CANT HAPPEN TO YOU AND YOUR MARRIAGE BUT IT CAN! aND WILL!

  7. says

    I’m surprised he used such a mild analogy. He obviously resisted the temptation to use murder instead of drunk driving. :-)

  8. Taz says

    There are absolutes. There is right and there is wrong. There are objective truths.

    Maybe, but not driving while drunk isn’t one of them. It’s against the law strictly because of the harm it can cause.

    Not only is it an inaccurate analogy, it doesn’t even support her case.

  9. says

    You have see it from the fundie point of view:

    Gay marriage makes baby Jesus cry, which then causes Yahweh to “remove his hand of protection” from our society, which results in our civilization collapsing. Therefore teh gays harm society by existing. We need to treat them like subhuman pariahs or get hit with the Smitey Hammer.

  10. says

    Whether or not you consider the analogy to be appropriate, the point he is trying to make is that Portman suddenly finds acceptance for this position only after it occurs to a member of his immediate family. I think that much of the criticism is valid.

    Did Portman actually say “Homosexuality is okay because my son is gay”?

    Because if not, it’s still a crap analogy. How you find acceptance of a position says nothing about the validity of the position.

  11. jnorris says

    Gays can’t marry until their 21? Irresponsible heterosexuals can’t marry? More booze/no booze at wedding parties? WTF does it mean?

  12. anubisprime says

    Well the more the right wing attack and smear and denigrate one of their ostensibly own ideologues, the more likely that ideologue might reconsider the right wing values that he has journeyed under up to now!

    I think Portman is a loathsome specimen none the less for formulating and campaigning on a subject he had no real knowledge over, the distress and misery his previous words have caused to a significant proportion of society would be incalculable to gauge.
    OK full kudos for reassessing and changing his mind…but still it took the experience of a beloved son to force him to recant.

    Without that to guide his attitude he would still rant and rave against teh ghey!

    But that said it was a loathsome bankrupt and moronic attempt by Lafferty to inflict such hurt and spew anger on Portman and his family.

    Fucking brain dead lunacy and an obviously disgustingly puerile intellect is no real excuse.

  13. Pierce R. Butler says

    One of life’s little ironies: last night’s mayoral election vote count in the town nearest my home has resulted in a run-off race.

    One of the surviving candidates is the incumbent, an open and proud gay man.

    The other is a former city commissioner and full-time teabagger, who left office in disgrace because he drunkenly drove into a car driven by a supporter and right-wing Baptist preacher.

    How can our local voters possibly distinguish between the two?

  14. steve oberski says

    A much better analogy would be one that compared being a fundie xtian to being a drunk driver.

  15. Acolyte of Sagan says

    From the OT <blockquoteThis whole line of argument suggesting that opposition to homosexual “marriage” is a personal and “generational” matter is equally silly.

    As equally silly as the generational matter of not ALL men wearing hats in public? Not routinely beating their wives? Not sending children up chimneys? Abolishing workhouses for the poor? Not cleaning one’s teeth with radioactive toothpaste? Shopping on Sundays?

    Oh, now I get it. He’s being selective.

  16. dingojack says

    PePol, pep0l – ItS Real: eazy, makn teH GeY Choiz IS liKe eatin PoRk; or CrAWfiSH or Waerin, 2 KiNds of ThReads or/ TRIminG YR BeaRds — STONING For EverYonE !!eleVenTY!!
    Dingo
    ——–
    PS: WERS TEH BIRfCERTIFICAtE? (I SAWeD YA NOT TALkING ABOuT IT !!)

  17. Stacy says

    It is a part of his identity, who he is

    Being a drunk driver is integral to somebody’s identity? I think not.

  18. Ichthyic says

    The other is a former city commissioner and full-time teabagger

    Full time teabagger? how much does that pay?

  19. martinc says

    Ms. Lafferty is quite correct that the morality of an action is not dependent on whether someone close to you performs that action. What she misses with her analogy is that the morality of an action must be assessed by the good or evil it does. Drunk driving has a clear and obvious evil attached to it. Homosexuality is only considered evil because “parts of this book say it is”. All the “evils” attributed to homosexuality seem to me to be attached to a certain proportion of society’s hatred of it, not homosexuality itself. It’s the hatred that is evil.

    The significance in my opinion of Portman’s change of heart is that he was faced with a position where in order to continue believing in moral certainties handed down from an ineffable source, he had to believe that someone he knew to be good was evil. The insect of faith hit the windscreen of reality. Ms. Lafferty would prefer that no-one ever actually consider the morality of homosexuality because even the most cursory examination of the supposed moral down-side of homosexuality would not show anything remotely similar to the evil resulting from drunk driving.

    It’s that moral examination of any position that I would like to see happen, and which is not done by fundamentalist religious people. The tragedy of religion is not that it gets moral questions wrong, but that it deliberately precludes the ability to re-examine moral questions and get them right in the light of increased knowledge.

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