I’m not out of my funk….but I’m trying to get there. As part of my journey, I went back and read some emails that I’ve saved. I am glad this one was there for me to read again. With permission, I am reprinting it with my thanks to this great lady.
I am an avid reader of blogs, and I read yours daily, because I am in complete support of your views. I am a 70-year-old straight white happily married woman–a former chemist, and a former public school teacher, and presently a writer of science fiction that I sell on the Internet. Politically, I am a centrist, who, lately, votes Republican, because I don’t trust the Democratic Party as it exists today to keep America safe from terrorist attacks, or to fight terrorism world-wide. I am an agnostic, a supporter of abortion rights as long as the abortion takes place within the first four months, but an opponent of “partial birth abortion” which I view as murder. I live with my husband of 37 years on a cattle ranch in Western Wyoming–a very red state. I got a big charge out of the post you wrote after going to your first rodeo. We, too, play the national anthem at rodeos, and everyone stands respectfully and salutes the Flag, while the national anthem booms from the loudspeaker. We unabashedly love our country here.
I am writing to tell you how glad I am that you continue to point out to the fog-bound leftists in this country that “The Iranian government is executing gay and bisexual men under the cover of rape and kidnapping charges…” etc. What hypocrisy, the silence of the radical left regarding the atrocious treatment of gays in Moslem countries! Do these deluded American liberals–gay or straight or in-between–really wish to live under Sharia law? When will they wake up to the danger creeping up on us from within as well as from without?
I believe in gay marriage and all the legal benefits such legislation would bring. I believe in the right of gay men to live as they please, peacefully and cooperatively, as members of a community that accepts the right of any pair of consenting adults to live in whatever sexual relationship they please.
I am firmly of the opinion that the leftist radicalized gay movement is going more than a little overboard in its demands–that it is hurting the cause, rather than helping it–by adopting overly aggressive political strategies used also by radical Moslems. I think you know that, and I admire you for taking the firm stands you have, on your blog.
I expect that when you see by my Internet address that I am a resident of Wyoming, you will think immediately of the Matthew Shepard case. That’s only natural. Well, let me tell you a few facts about that vicious attack and its dreadful consequences.
First: before the news of that heinous murder ever hit the prime time news, the Laramie police had the two perps in custody. They also had secured hard evidence of their guilt: evidence that stood up in court. Second: the two perps were high school dropouts who were high on methamphetamine when they committed the crime. The drugs played as big a part in the tragedy as did their anti-gay bias. Third: the photos that appeared on the national news, of people holding up revolting, disgusting, hate-filled placards at Matthew’s funeral–photos that the news services let their viewers believe were images of Wyoming residents–were not such. They were photos of members of the hate group–a so-called “church”–run by a bigot named Fred Phelps. (Today he takes his followers to disrupt the funerals of servicemen, damn his appalling gall). Phelps and his adherents had hastened to Wyoming from Kansas and Texas as soon as they heard the news. What the media did NOT show, was that the students of the University of Wyoming formed a human wall between those demented purveyors of hatred and the family of Matthew Shepard, forming a solid, impassible line with their bodies to shield the family members from the sight of the placards. Fourth: Wyoming does NOT have a “hate crimes” law. But we do have the death penalty for murder. The authorities tried the less guilty man first, and he got life without possibility of parole in the Rawlins Penitentiary (not a good place to spend one’s life, believe me!) The more guilty of the two–the man who actually committed the murder–I truly believe would have gotten the death penalty, but for one thing: Matthew Shepard’s mother made a dramatic appeal at the trial that the murderer not be given the death penalty. She swayed the jurors and the judge. But for that highly emotional appeal–one with which I did not agree–the convicted man would have been executed, and no one in this state would have raised any outcry. As things turned out, the guiltier of the two perps also got life in Rawlins without possibility of parole. Actually, a good case could be made that the punishment turned out to be worse than death. I personally hope the two criminals find it so.
Wyoming people may vote solidly conservative, and some undoubtedly disapprove of the gay lifestyle, but Wyomingites universally condemned those two murderers. Wyoming people tend strongly to judge the people they meet on their merits, not on those people’s degree of wealth, their political affiliations, their sexual orientation, their race, their religion or lack thereof, their ethnic origin, or any other such distinction. Wyomingites judge a newcomer mainly by his ability to be a good neighbor, in the old, classic sense of the word. This is a land that’s still not fully tamed. There are times when one’s life or livelihood depends on one’s having good neighbors. That’s the acid test applied to any newcomer, be he rich or poor. If he measures up in a pinch, he’s accepted. Oh, yes, the old ways are passing–but slowly. And when they’re gone, the United States will be the poorer for their going.
My husband’s grandfather was the first settler in this part of Wyoming. He came in 1885, bringing his wife and a herd of cows. All of the cows but one died in the blizzard of 1888–the one made famous by Charlie Russell in his drawing entitled “The Last of 10,000.” Cows, that is. My husband’s grandfather wanted to move on, but couldn’t afford to. So he stayed, and our family grew. My husband is the last of his descendants to remain in the cattle ranching business here.
I admire you for entertaining views that conflict with those of radical gay men. I hope that some day, if you should be passing through Wyoming, you’ll take time to stop off and attend a rodeo here!
You can count on it! And thanks for reminding me that sometimes the windmills we run toward are important.