Most Americans may know Rosie O’Donnell as a comedienne, but there’s nothing remotely funny about her tirade against President Bush and her crusade for gay marriage. Just two days after the President called for a constitutional amendment to defend marriage as a union of a man and a woman, O’Donnell and her lesbian partner were “married” in San Francisco.
The day started with O’Donnell’s appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America. Launching into a verbal assault, she said that the President’s speech Tuesday represented “the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a sitting president.” Furthermore, O’Donnell said she “would like to tell Laura Bush and her husband I find the proposed amendment very, very, very, very shocking and immoral.”
“I’m stunned and I’m horrified,” said O’Donnell, who then announced that she and her partner planned to fly to San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom has been acting in defiance of the law to grant same-sex marriage licenses since February 12. Over 3,300 homosexual couples have been “married” in San Francisco in the last two weeks, even as the courts have refused to intervene.
According to Fox News, O’Donnell and her partner, Kelli Carpenter, were married immediately after the couple flew from New York to San Francisco. The two were ushered into a private entrance at San Francisco’s City Hall, granted their illegal license, and then were “married” in a private civil ceremony. City treasurer Susan Leal, described by Fox News as “one of the city’s most prominent elected lesbians,” conducted the ceremony.
As the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus sang “We Shall Overcome” and “Going to the Chapel,” the couple emerged from the palatial City Hall. “We really did. We got married,” O’Donnell said. According to the Toronto Star, the building was filled with those wanting “to catch a glimpse of the most famous couple to be married there thus far.”
The Los Angeles Times treated the story from a celebrity angle, noting that O’Donnell was wearing “a power blue coat over black pants” while Carpenter wore gray pants and a matching jacket. Treasurer Leal, the lesbian city official who conducted the ceremony reported that the ceremony was “very moving,” and that at the mid-point of the ceremony, “we all had tears in our eyes.”
Rosie O’Donnell announced her homosexuality in 2002, and quickly emerged as an advocate for gay adoptions. With her partner, she is raising four adopted children, all under the age of eight.
Kelli Carpenter, O’Donnell’s partner, is a former marketing director for Nickelodeon. They have lived together for six years.
The celebrated “wedding” of O’Donnell and Carpenter–now the nation’s most famous lesbian couple, was a calculated act of civil disobedience. Defying the law, O’Donnell argued, was the moral response to the President’s call for a constitutional amendment. She called for more homosexual couples to go to San Francisco in order to get married. “If civil disobedience is the way to go about a change,” she argued, “then I think a lot of people will be going to San Francisco.”
The event was carefully staged in order to create sympathy for homosexual marriage and to embarrass President Bush. The real embarrassment should fall on ABC News and Good Morning America. Where was the journalism? Do the network’s executives feel even slightly guilty of complicity in this artificial event and dishonest attack? Probably not. The cultural elite has decided that all right-minded persons must support homosexual marriage, and see all resistance as rooted in inexcusable bigotry and intolerance.
When O’Donnell launched her verbal barrage at the President, she revealed her own dishonesty. Calling the President’s proposal for a constitutional amendment “the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a sitting president” was theater, not a serious argument. President Bush said nothing mean-spirited about homosexuals–he merely defended marriage as an inherently heterosexual institution–the most fundamental institution of human society.
The dishonesty of O’Donnell’s attack is immediately evident when President Bush’s words are compared to President Bill Clinton’s statements as he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996. “I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages,” Clinton said. But Clinton, who supported the homosexual rights movement in other respects, was spared O’Donnell’s ire.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of O’Donnell’s attack on President Bush was her statement that his call for a constitutional amendment in defense of marriage was “immoral.” Her use of that word is most interesting and worthy of attention, for it reveals the rhetorical strategy of the homosexual activists and the inverted morality that now shapes their worldview.
Throughout human history, across generations and across cultures, homosexuality has been considered a perversion of sexuality and immoral. Societies that had sanctioned some form of homosexuality–like the pederasty practiced by the ancient Greek elites–were understood to be morally corrupt and compromised. But now, Rosie and company intend to put morality on its head. Now, homosexual behaviors are not to be considered immoral. Instead, any opposition to the normalization and celebration of homosexuality is “immoral.” Left has become right, and right has become left, you see.
Rhetoric is a weapon of political warfare, as well as a means of communication. Rosie knew exactly what she was doing, and she performed well–aided by the accommodating folks at ABC News. She posed as the new Mother Superior of postmodern morality, standing the Judeo-Christian tradition on its head and describing the moral convictions held by the vast majority of human beings as “vile and hateful.”
Rosie O’Donnell claims to have been “very, very, very, very shocked” by the President’s proposal. She’s really counting on Americans to get over the shock of homosexual marriage. Where’s the outrage?
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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