Back in the late 1990s when I lived in the Washington-D.C-area, I used to listen regularly to Dr. Laura Schlessinger‘s radio show. I didn’t always agree with her, but found she often offered good advice. I thought gay people could use a voice like hers, an ethical voice to balance the “(almost) anything goes” attitudes prevalent in our community.
I had heard that she was anti-gay — and was aware that several gay leaders had criticized her (this was before Stop Dr. Laura.com protested against her TV show). But, I had never heard her utter a word which I could construe as anti-gay. To be sure, she didn’t always says things I liked on gay issues. But, her conclusions did not seem to be driven by animus.
One time, a woman called in asking if she should invite (as she wanted to) her lesbian sister and her (the sister’s) partner to her child’s birthday party even though her father had vowed not to come if she did so. Dr. Laura said she should include her sister and her partner and recommended the caller her father that she really wanted him to attend, but he’ll have to accept that those two would be there. That is, Dr. Laura stood on the side of inviting the lesbian couple.
It was exactly the advice I would have given. While I have listened to Dr. Laura’s show recently, I am not as devoted to it as I once was. I found that while her advice was often sound, she was too dismissive of emotions, writing them off as if they were impediments to the issue at hand. I do appreciate Dr. Laura’s commitment to ethics, but have always beieved, at least in the sexual/human relationships realm, ethics (or morals) exist to balance our emotions, not obscure them.
In its latest e-newsletter, Log Cabin of California linked an interview with Dr. Laura that I found so fascinating, I had to link it — and comment on it (below the “jump”). And once again, the woman intrigues me. I agree with some of what she has to say, surprised by other things and am convinced that where I disagree with a number of her conclusions, I don’t think she’s motivate by hatred or bias.
She doesn’t hate gay people, indeed, she claims her “best friends in the world are—shock!—gay men.” Anyway, I highly recommend that you read the whole thing. It offers space for commentary — as does this blog, so feel free to take issue with her ideas, but try, please try, to use a civil tone. She’s not always right, but I do believe her ideas merit serious consideration. And, if you want to know more of my thoughts, just click on More below where I address some of the points she made in the interview.
It seems that Dr. Laura, like other voices who don’t echo the left-wing social (or political) creed (including your humble bloggers), has inspired a good deal of vitriol. Asked about that, she offered this sensible reply:
It’s vicious! Methinks the lady protesteth too much. It’s a Shakespearean moment if I’ve ever seen one. The amount of vitriol and hate and attacks indicate a tremendous amount of defensiveness. So why are people defensive? Because they are not leading their lives right, and they don’t want to confront it, so they attack the messenger. It’s different than from, say, conservative political pundits—that’s not personal. People are getting pretty mean in that department, too, but that’s not personal.
Later, she muses that “Hate generally eclipses good, because it has no boundaries.” She has a point.
While she has gay fans, she tends to call us “homosexual” and repeats the point that we’re a “biological error.” While I would rather she used a different term (“biological anomaly” perhaps?), I do see what she’s getting at since our sexual act does not produce offspring. And she does tell us to “accept” it if our parents suggest we go into reparative theory. She believes they “are allowed to have that opinion,” but insists that “What they’re not allowed to do, as decent mommies and daddies, is reject you.”
On adoption, she would prefer that a child have a mother and a father and thus is opposed to gay people adopting. She is perhaps right that a child would do better with parents of different genders, but doesn’t seem to consider that two loving, committed parents of the same sex can also raise a child to responsible adulthood. Just because one form of parenting may be the ideal doesn’t mean we should exclude all other forms.
And she notes the bias of the MSM. Her best friend, Gary Morris, a gay man, wrote to the LA Times, New York Times, Time, Newsweek and US New to tell them of his friendship with Dr. Laura, but none published it. It’s unfortunate that the MSM wants to present a one-sided picture of this very complex woman. (Gary, if you read this blog, we’d be delighted to post your piece.)
So, to get a better idea of this very complex woman, read her interview, take seriously her ideas and take the time to reconsider your opinion of this celebrated talk show host.