Commentators, especially liberal ones, have had a ball with Carl Paladino’s recent comments. I quote one version of the supposedly offending lines. “Appearing before a group of Orthodox rabbis in Brooklyn on Sunday, Paladino declared that he didn’t want children “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t.” Then, in trying on the “Today” show on Monday to make things better, he made them worse. He spoke of how “disgusting” he had found a gay pride march he had seen, in which marchers “wear these little Speedos, and they grind against each other.”” (From http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/13/AR2010101305533.html )
My contention is that Carl Paladino is not bigoted as the cartoonist suggests, but rather represents accurately two contentions of the majority of Americans, both of which are completely lost on the modern-day media and, of course, on the gay-rights lobby as well.
The first constitutional contention he represents accurately is that it is the right of people of faith, whether evangelical Christian, Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, Amish, Orthodox or Mormon who believe that homosexual behavior is wrong, to teach their children the same and not to have their children taught otherwise by whomever. This is fundamental to the free exercise of religion. Schools exist primarily to work for parents, and only secondarily to serve the interests of the state. Carl understands this right.
Second, Carl’s comments about Speedos and grinding in a gay rights parade describe an immodest display. Such behavior would be immodest if it were by a woman and a man too. It would also be inappropriate for children then as well. Good parents still teach children modesty. But contemporary culture considers the concept of modesty archaic. Media moguls argue that freedom of expression rules. Consider the argument currently raging concerning the GQ pics by Glee stars (http://blog.syracuse.com/entertainment/2010/10/steamy_glee_gq_pics_have_many.html). How dare parents bring up the idea that stars might want to be a good example of something old-fashioned like modesty because their show caters to preteens. And the stars themselves are clueless. As far as Hollywood and the fashion industry are concerned, about the only ones who cover up are the Amish, Muslims and very old women. Carl is right that children should not be taught that immodest displays are proper, whichever sex they involve. They indeed, don’t need to see them.
Carl’s candidacy may have issues, but the way he thinks about gays grinding in Speedos and politically correct police pushing gay rights on other peoples’ kids is not one of them. His mistake was in apologizing instead of explaining. Quite a few of us are just a little mad that simply thinking thoughts like I am writing will get us labeled as bigots. But having traditional morality is not the same as being a bigot, despite such verbal bullying!