Jonah, Gays, and Why I Love America

by Michael Potemra

One longtime reader, a very dear friend of mine, writes the following: “While the pointy headed intellectuals (!) debate the practice of homosexuality, in my fair city an openly lesbian/pagan coffeehouse coexists directly across the street from an evangelical broadcasting station.” That, I am pleased to report, is the American reality-evincing the basic goodness of our national spirit–and it goes far toward explaining why I was so delighted and heartened by Jonah’s column of today. An America in which gays have “won” is not an America in which some other group has “lost” and must now be oppressed; any more than the fact that Jews, blacks, or Catholics have rights somehow diminishes the rights of Gentiles, whites, or Protestants. “B-b-b-ut if we say it’s OK to be gay,” some are sputtering, “they’ll make it illegal for us to criticize the gays!” To which I respond: Not if we still have a First Amendment in this country, they won’t. This is America. You are entitled to express any opinion you like about gays-or any other subject. I might not agree with you, but I’ll be on your side if anybody tries to shut you up. I want to express a very personal thanks to Jonah for his call for “magnanimity in victory.” I think it can happen, because of the kind of people we Americans are-and because of that street my friend wrote about, an American street, one perhaps too wide for a handshake but never too wide for a neighborly wave.

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