I confess to being a tad surprised — even a wee bit disappointed — finding out how CNN’s Anderson Cooper ambushed Florida attorney general Pam Bondi in the aftermath of Orlando’s “gay nightclub” slaughter.
Noting her previous defense of her state’s constitutional amendment opposing same-sex marriage, he questioned — doggedly, again and again — her sincerity in supporting the bloodbath’s largely homosexual victims and their grieving loved ones. Terms like “hypocritical” and “sick irony” were accusingly hurled her way in the roughly six-minute back-and-forth, while she, vainly I think, tried to steer the conversation toward helping “human beings” shattered by the horrid terror attack.
While I was under no illusions Cooper was a card-carrying member of the traditionalist “Christian Right”, I had developed a mild impression that, perhaps, he was a refreshing exception among the tony, cliché-ridden pillars of Mainstream Media: someone who’d generally play it fair concerning the day’s thorny issues.
Well … Never mind.
His implication that an individual can’t fidget at the historically aberrant, contra-natural notion of “same-sex marriage” and simultaneously denounce the wholesale massacre of a roomful of homosexuals by a Koran-fueled jihadist, is ludicrously, unworkably small-minded. It’s a pronouncement I’d expect from a hackneyed, standard-issue Lefty — not necessarily from Anderson Cooper.
Applying his post-Orlando standard to every situation would render life inoperable: so, you can enjoy civil, mutually beneficial relationships with another person or group only if you enthusiastically validate every facet of their behavior, every decision they make?
News flash to the CNN veteran: that’s steroidal nonsense, routinely repudiated by folks who disagree on things yet somehow manage respectable interaction with one another every single day.
Any meditative parent knows Cooper’s implication is bogus: I adore my three (now-adult) sons; but how many times did I take sharp issue with their particular choices? (Hey, candidly, there’ve been a few — blessedly brief — spells where I didn’t feel all that crazy about them, period.) But I’ve never ceased loving them; never will.
As I tap out these very words, all around the world multitudes of devoted, Bible-believing Christians continue to believe any kind of sexual activity outside of natural — that is, man/woman — marriage is unacceptable to God. Meanwhile, these same church-goers peaceably exist beside, communicate, work and collaborate with others — “gay” or “straight” — who oppose that precept.
Lots of these same “Bible-thumper” types mourned with and prayed for Orlando’s casualties and their families. This past Sunday AM, soon as we got word of the assault, my unapologetically Scripture-centered church interrupted our schedule to corporately cry out to God on their behalf.
Doug Giles, founder of ClashDaily.com, Facebooked Wednesday: “did your church mention and pray for the surviving #orlando victims, our nation and against radical islam last sunday? if not … you’re in a weird church.”
President of the much-maligned Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, pressed, “We’re all Americans. We can disagree over policies and choices and lifestyles, but no one should live in fear in this country of being gunned down by a terrorist.”
Ted Cruz — yes, that Ted Cruz! — outspoken conservative, pro-life/pro-marriage Republican Senator and erstwhile presidential candidate, immediately released the following:
Our hearts go out to those killed and wounded last night. Our prayers are … with all their grieving loved ones … [N}ow is the opportunity to speak out against an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians … This is wrong, it is evil, and we must all stand against it. Every human being has a right to live according to his or her faith and conscience, and nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn’t share their faith or sexual orientation… Today, all of America stands in solidarity with the people of Orlando …
Heroic responses? Hardly — just bare-minimum stands those who love Jesus are called to mount in the face of any human catastrophe.
Although not typically accused of overly fine-tuned reasoning, it’s actually Conservatives — especially of the “Christian” stripe — who functionally appreciate concepts like subtlety and nuance. Repudiate homosexuality and endorse sexual purity and healthy, father/mother-headed families? Of course. Offer forgiveness and hope to those struggling in these same areas? Just as important. Condemn any and all Islam-fueled terror? Highlight the problems with Sharia Law? Certainly. Treat non-jihadist Muslim neighbors with respect? Extend to them the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Always.
Golly, in a panoply of ways we’re able to successfully negotiate ideas and values in tension with one another — a desirable quality for sure since life regularly serves up complex issues. So often, getting on congenially is less a math problem to be solved and more a puzzling stanza of poetry to be interpreted. A facility for philosophical tight-rope walking becomes a vital, basic life-skill.
— Regarding men and women equal before God and the Law doesn’t mean they’re undifferentiated in every way, capable of functioning equivalently in all corners of life; that they should be forced to shower together or share front-line combat duties, for instance.
— Opposition to abortion doesn’t demand concomitant enthusiasm for irresponsible single-moms’ bottomless welfare benefits. Compassion for the impoverished needn’t require tolerance for “safety nets” morphing into hammocks for society’s leeching lay-abouts.
— Indeed, it’s possible to:
— wonder aloud about a woman’s parenting skills and still conclude people come first: the gorilla imperiling her child had to be shot.
— resist today’s “gay marriage”-mania while shame-facedly admitting heterosexuals haven’t exactly shone as nurturers of authentic, husband/wife matrimony.
— spurn the bloated, eat-your-peas-government worldview of Hillary Rodham Clinton, without rushing into the spasmodically gesticulating arms of incoherent Donald Trump; conclude the presumptive Democratic nominee is a lying snake — along with her GOP opposite number; that neither is fit to relocate into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
— Understand: God is good and severe. People are created in His magisterial image, yet damaged through sin’s presence. It’s all true; acknowledged by not a few of America’s Founding Lions; recognized by those currently championing the nation’s fundamental, Judeo-Christian principles.
Yup, we Constitutionalists can philosophically walk and chew gum at the same time, grasping all kinds of offsetting realities. For the sake of Western Civilization, someone had better be doing so — because throngs, including apparently the multi-million-dollar face of a major news network, ain’t having any of it.
Image: Screen Shot: CNN @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkSUE7esjG8