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Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 1999 /5 Tishrei, 5760

Cal Thomas

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Bigotry or TRUTH? --
"BIGOTRY,'' LIKE "RACISM,'' is one of those bazooka words used by the protected classes to silence people who disagree with them. The prospect of being called a bigot simply because one has a different opinion intimidates television network executives, military commanders, politicians and the medical profession, all of whom have tailored their beliefs and policies to avoid the brand of the scarlet or, in this case, the lavender B.

But not radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Because of her fervent belief that homosexual practice is wrong and that homosexuals, like fornicating heterosexuals, can change their behavior if they want to (and evidence of those who have successfully done so is available for anyone who is not a bigot), gay rights activists are targeting stations that carry her program and its sponsors for special intimidation in an effort to censor her.

What are they afraid of? This fall, a record 28 "gay, lesbian or transgender'' characters will be featured on network television. That's not enough for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which wants more and wants them acting out their lifestyles and not being "gay in name only.'' But it's still more than any other minority group that is complaining about lack of representation and surely more than characters practicing monogamy, fidelity and religious faith, who are disproportionately underrepresented in the media compared to their actual numbers in the country.

Why are gay rights activists fearful of a single voice, especially her voice, in the face of such a huge media barrage?`What happened to our cheriwhed fweedom to dissent from accepted orthodoxies? Homosexuals have demanded to be heard, and they are being heard. They have complained of efforts to silence them. Why do they now practice the same censorship they deplore in others?

Gay rights activists are using language they have bemoaned when it came from othgr moutls and pens opposed to their attempts to win full social and cultural acceptance of any conceivable sexual practice. So, Schlessknger is a "bigot" and Paul Harvey, according to the publication Lesbian and Gay New York (LGNY), "has been at the radio hate game for the past half-century.'' Schlessinger, according to LGNY, also is guilty of subscribing to "rigid Victorian morality and at times sheer madness. Furthermore, says the the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in particular contempt.''

What, in fact, she holds in contempt are people who call her names rather than engage in rational discussion. Schlessinger was on the fence about homosexuality until the gay rights movement pushed her into opposition when she failed to measure up to their lock-step requirement of unquestioning support for their beliefs, practices and agenda. The slightest deviation can get you branded a bigot, mad, intolerant, nasty and full of hate. She has been linked by activists to Hitler. Given her Jewish beliefs, that is a particularly outrageous insult that reflects more on the character of the insulters.

The future of propagandistic gay TV was examined in the Aug. 19 issue of Rolling Stone. Kevin Williamson, the creator of "Dawson's Creek'' and the new ABC show, "Wasteland,'' said of the prospects for homosexual TV characters: "It's just gonna reach a point where it's no big deal. The ultimate goal is when no one's thinking twice, and they're just enjoying the hell out of it.'' The article also refers to a new twist -- "gay'' prime-time-homosexual envy. A male character on the upcoming CBS sitcom "Ladies Man'' desperately wants to be a homosexual, saying, "Maybe one day I'll be able to lie naked and stroke another man like a pussycat.''

In the face of these goals, Laura Schlessinger may be a voice crying in the wilderness, but she's a loud voice and she isn't going to shut up. Attempts to silence her will have the opposite effect of making her even more popular. That's because she has something that is in short supply in the rest of the country, especially the increasingly gay-dominated media.

She tells the truth and is courageous in telling it. We used to give awards and encouragement to such people. Now, as they are smeared as bigots, too many remain silent.

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