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February 13, 2005 5:08 AM   Subscribe

Alan Keyes disowns gay daughter. Follow up to this thread during his Senate campaign.
posted by CunningLinguist (109 comments total)

 
The link's broken already. But he's so nuts that I wouldn't be surprized by "Alan Keyes kills, eats gay daughter".
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:19 AM on February 13, 2005


The link worked for me, Mayor Curley.

This is just sad -- regardless of your son's or daughter's personal beliefs, religion, sexual orientation, etc., as a parent you should love and support them, even if you disagree. Throwing him/her out of the house and severing all ties is not really the way to go. (Though, for the record, I can sympathize with the shock that this apparently had for the Keyes' -- finding out your daughter is a homosexual is not the easiest thing to handle, especially if you're a staunch conservative Christian.)
posted by armage at 5:28 AM on February 13, 2005


I tracked the link down on google news, again it wouldn't post here. I think washington post is doing something new to prevent hot linking maybe... if so that is evil.
posted by sourbrew at 5:30 AM on February 13, 2005


Jeez, I thought he was a good Catholic.

Instead he's another crappy Catholic.
posted by Dagobert at 5:31 AM on February 13, 2005


The link worked for me, but I'm logged in to the Washington Post site already using a bugmenot login.
posted by simonw at 5:38 AM on February 13, 2005


Okay, before the over-the-top outrage and condemnation starts (either against father or daughter), I'd like to beg people to see this differently than they are probably inclined to see it:

Alan Keyes, in character, is not different than other political activists. He's principled to the point of being dogmatic, he believes that ideas are important and that civil discourse it important. He has strong beliefs. He starts from a bunch of premises that are very different than those most of we mefites start with. That doesn't make him a nut.

In his view, because of his assumptions, being homosexual will result in eternal damnation in a literal Hell. We may disagree with his assumptions, but he shares this assumption with a large number of people. In that context, and in the context of him being a very principled person, it is not unreasonable for him to refuse to endorse in any way what he thinks are his daughter's "lifestyle choices".

What it seems to me is happening here is that Maya is very much her father's daughter. She's principled, she's an activist, she believes in right and wrong and is a moralizer...she's just chosen some very different assumptions than he. We can say that one of them is wrong about his/her assumptions and the other right; but I don't see how we can say that one is a horrible nutcase "bad" person for having strong beliefs without saying that about the other, too.

For me, that Maya is the person she is—and that's a person, based upon what I know, that I admire quite a bit—gives me reason to think better of Alan Keyes, not worse. It doesn't seem to be the case that he is able to be proud of his daughter the way he should be: she's clearly internalized a great many things he taught her. And it's also a great shame that, believing what he believes, he's not aware that he's more likely to "save her soul" by continuing to love and support and communicate with her than cutting her off this way.

That they are high-profile, and deliberately so, is a persusaive argument to excuse much vitriol directed their way. Even so, there's something about these people and their difficulties that makes me compassionate, not outraged and condemnatory.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:43 AM on February 13, 2005


I feel sorry for conservatives. If they don't disown their gay offspring they are hypocrites. If they do they are heartless. No wonder they are so afraid of their kids catching the gay.
posted by srboisvert at 5:47 AM on February 13, 2005


I don't see how we can say that one is a horrible nutcase "bad" person for having strong beliefs without saying that about the other, too.

Maybe not a nutcase, but the fact that Maya sought dialogue and Alan has now cut off communication speaks volumes to me.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:56 AM on February 13, 2005


"I feel sorry for conservatives. If they don't disown their gay offspring they are hypocrites. If they do they are heartless. No wonder they are so afraid of their kids catching the gay."

Well, for some, there really is the "hate the sin, love the sinner" option.

"Maybe not a nutcase, but the fact that Maya sought dialogue and Alan has now cut off communication speaks volumes to me."

Yeah. I agree.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:06 AM on February 13, 2005


So; Ethereal Bligh – what you're essentially saying is that considering his whacked nonsensical beliefs and assumptions, his conclusions are perfectly reasonable and logical.

I'd even refute that, though. American Christians truly seem to be the most skilled at concentrating on parts of the Bible that can be used to alienate people, conveniently forgetting the majority of the teaching of the prophet after which their religion is named. If they're going to be so zealous about their religion they might at least take the time to understand it.
posted by nthdegx at 6:07 AM on February 13, 2005


oh please Bligh. I appreciate your attempt to parse a situation to the degree everyone is at fault - the liberal side of you mandates that I suspect. I don't pretend to know the whole story (cause I know I dont') but will say this...

If the guy is not talking to his daughter because she is gay, he's a douchebag - end of story. Although fiscally, there are things the guy has said I agree with, his moral pontifications are embarrassing and yet another complete bastardizing of Jesus' message.
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:12 AM on February 13, 2005


damn nthgegx...kind of beat me to the punch there...
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:12 AM on February 13, 2005


Ethereal Bligh, I am a little confused by your comment. You are asking those of us who are repulsed by this man's behavior to set aside, for the moment, the very thing that enrages us about him.

We cannot be relativists about morality. We are going to judge those who differ from us on key issues. As you rightly point out, we shouldn't consider him a nut simply because we disagree with him. Yet having examined his principles, and found them... disturbing... we have every right to condemn him.

Being strong-willed and principled can be a virtue. It can, however, be a vice. Should we respect the strong-willed person who adheres to morally suspect principles? I see no reason to do so, no more than we should respect the charismatic confidence man, or the skilled thief (unless he is Robin Hood, perhaps).

Should we feel compassionate? Certainly. This girl is going through quite alot, and could use a little compassion. As for her father, I am finding it hard to conjure up much for him. It is hard to be compassionate towards him who has shown so little compassion towards others.
posted by Tullius at 6:20 AM on February 13, 2005


This is her blog, at least according to the blog posts from last year. She seems to have other things to worry about.
Interesting links though - never seen lesbian links next to vegan links next to pro-life links.

I'm with EB on this. Yes he's a douchebag, but he's a consistent one, according to his own extreme belief that sin is more important than family.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:20 AM on February 13, 2005


Ethereal Bligh: In his view, because of his assumptions, being homosexual will result in eternal damnation in a literal Hell.

Oookaay, and how does disowning her change any of that? I mean, it's not like the bible says we should start rosting them right here and now. Or .. does it?

And going off on a tangent here, I'm frequently dumbfounded by all those Americans believing in a literal Hell. I thought we've been over that for at least 200 years. I mean, it's really not too different from those suicide bombers who believe that they'll be rewarded by countless virgins in paradise.
posted by sour cream at 6:27 AM on February 13, 2005


I mean, nobody with half a brain could actually believe in a literal Hell. Unless .... maybe if you've been brainwashed by Opus Dei.
posted by sour cream at 6:29 AM on February 13, 2005


The rationale of fundamentalists is simply 'god before family'. They have to be true to their god and the rules that he sets down and be true to their soul for all of eternity before they can be true to their family's opinions. I've had the 'god before family' argument happen to me and I have absolutely no sympathy for Alan Keyes. It's too bad for Maya. She's right in this situation, so she has no reason to back down. And her father is a fundamentalist and will never admit to being wrong. Right now, he's failing at being a father, the one job that he actually should be trying to have.

Oookaay, and how does disowning her change any of that? I mean, it's not like the bible says we should start rosting them right here and now. Or .. does it?

Him continuing to accept her is acceptance of her 'lifestyle choices' and family and society should never accept those choices as reasonable. It's messed up, but that's the rationale.
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:33 AM on February 13, 2005


And going off on a tangent here, I'm frequently dumbfounded by all those Americans believing in a literal Hell. I thought we've been over that for at least 200 years. I mean, it's really not too different from those suicide bombers who believe that they'll be rewarded by countless virgins in paradise.

Nobody really knows what happens after death, I don't think it should be that shocking that a lot of people have very different theories.
posted by Josh Zhixel at 6:34 AM on February 13, 2005


Also, Keyes needs to read his bible.

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.


sour cream, I too am dumbfounded by the belief in a literal hell, and equally dumbfounded by the belief in a literal heaven and god. Yet I am most dumbfounded by these "Christians" who seem to be focused more on vengeance than love and compassion. Yes, I know, saying such is hackneyed, but there you have it.
posted by Tullius at 6:48 AM on February 13, 2005 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to see Alan Keyes succeeding in the crazy right-winger business. It's nice to see a black man excel in such a white-dominated feild.
posted by jonmc at 6:49 AM on February 13, 2005


Hmm. Currently, the link is taking me to a page informing me sections of the site are "undergoing maintenance"...
Paging Winston Smith, paging Winston Smith. Mr Smith, please pick up the white courtesy phone :)
posted by kaemaril at 6:50 AM on February 13, 2005


Hats off to Ethereal Bligh and all, but I just think this is another case of a conservative dickweed (pun accidental) and wingnut disowning their own family, and the oft-reported daughter-meme.

no elaboration necessary
posted by vhsiv at 6:53 AM on February 13, 2005


She seems like a really cool person, and I wouldn't be surprised to see her rise as a leader who outshines her father. Would be nice to find a way to send her to college -- I'd certainly contribute if I knew where.
posted by VulcanMike at 6:58 AM on February 13, 2005


This is currently an interesting dialogue, but I fear if it turns into a Battle Royale of bibilical quotes, it will get no where. Tuliius, you probably know that someone is going to throw a quote at you that completely contradicts what you just quoted, and so on and so on until we get to stalemate. Which is why I can't respect most fundamentalists - they fail to see the whole picture, which is that the Bible is a very complicated work which simply cannot be reduced to black and white.
posted by spicynuts at 7:00 AM on February 13, 2005


This is currently an interesting dialogue, but I fear if it turns into a Battle Royale of bibilical quotes, it will get no where.

I seem to recall a News Of The Weird Item a dispute in Bible quotation contest, which resulted in a dispute where one contestant shot the other.

It was filed under "Missed The Point."
posted by jonmc at 7:02 AM on February 13, 2005


Also very convenient for A.K. that he waited until after his Senate run to disown one of his campaign workers.
posted by ChrisTN at 7:06 AM on February 13, 2005


I think Ethereal Bligh is right - we oughtn't treat Keyes as a nutcase. He's operating out of a strong sense of his principles, and he's behaving in a perfectly rational manner. Speaking as a Christian, I think we should be taking people like Keyes and Dobson and Phelps seriously. Taking them seriously means that they're not crazy: they're immoral and they're hypocrites; they're anti-Christian and reprehensible. Coming from such an immoral, reprehensible point of view, Keyes's behavior is perfectly rational: immoral belief systems yield immoral behavior.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:12 AM on February 13, 2005


During his failed campaign last fall against Barack Obama (D) for the Illinois Senate seat, Alan Keyes lashed out at Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Cheney. Keyes told a radio interviewer that Mary Cheney was a "selfish hedonist." Then, without having been asked anything about his own family, he volunteered that "if my daughter were a lesbian, I'd look at her and say, 'That is a relationship that is based on selfish hedonism.' I would also tell my daughter that it's a sin and she needs to pray to the Lord God to help her deal with that sin."

Maya heard the comments and recoiled. "It was kind of strange that he said it like a hypothetical," she says. "It was really kind of unpleasant."

...

Her parents have known that Maya is a lesbian since they found a copy of the Washington Blade, the gay weekly, in her room and confronted her at the end of high school (she went to Oakcrest School for Girls, a Catholic school in McLean run by the church's highly devout Opus Dei movement.) Ever since, Maya says, her parents have told her that her sexuality is wrong and sinful.

"As long as I was quiet about being gay or my politics, we got along," she says. "Then I went to the Counterinaugural," last month's protests in Washington against President Bush. "My father didn't like that."


I'l say it slowly - screw Alan Keyes. You want to think better of him? Ask yourself this question - why disown her now? Apparently he's been very much aware of her sexual orientation for quite some time.

Morality, my ass. He's "cleaning house", so he's less vulnerable to attack during his upcoming candidacy. He isn't worried about her immortal soul as much as he is about his own image, tarnished as it was by his "secret shame" going to an event and speaking out against his beliefs. As long as he accepts his daughter, he's "weak" in that area when it comes to debates. This way, he can now say without a shadow of a doubt that he disapproves of homosexuality - "see, I even threw out my own daughter because of her sinful immorality!"

Why is it that Opus Dei comes up on a regular basis when it comes to our elected officials?
posted by FormlessOne at 7:23 AM on February 13, 2005


VulcanMike: Her college tuition is apparently being taken care of by a SF charity that gives out scholarships.

From the article, On Thursday, the Point Foundation, a San Francisco-based charity that provides scholarships to students "who have been marginalized because of their sexual orientation," decided to pay Maya's expenses so she can begin her studies at Brown.
posted by Josh Zhixel at 7:24 AM on February 13, 2005


And I'm not treating him as crazy - he's obviously rational and in control of his actions. I'm treating him as a useless piece of protoplasm. I can't be angry with a crazy person, because they're not in control. I can be angry with Alan Keyes, because he's a fool.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:24 AM on February 13, 2005


First, Alan Keyes is an evil, small man who has shown that he will sacrifice anything, including his family and his principles (i.e. staying quiet about his daughter before the election) to further his failure of a political career.

I'd hate him more, but I think of how pathetic his life is now: hated on the left, bemusing to the moderate right as a three-peat electoral loser, and a second-stringer to the hard right, which will never respect a black man as a leader.

Anyway, for those of you having trouble getting to the article, click on the Washington Post article listed here.

Oh, and VulcanMike, someone's already covered her tuition:

On Thursday, the Point Foundation, a San Francisco-based charity that provides scholarships to students "who have been marginalized because of their sexual orientation," decided to pay Maya's expenses so she can begin her studies at Brown. "Many of the students we support have been disowned by their families because they've been honest about who they are," said the foundation's executive director, Vance Lancaster. "Maya's situation is especially poignant because of her father's position, but it's a situation that happens every day to hundreds of kids across the country." This year, Point has received more than 1,200 applications for about 40 scholarships.
posted by thewittyname at 7:30 AM on February 13, 2005


spicynuts, thank you for the profound insight. My point was, in quoting the fellow on whose teachings that religion was founded, that the actions of Keyes did not conform to the central tenets of Christianity. Though one may dig out some passage that contradicts this one, I doubt it will be a quote from the man these people claim to imitate.

Which is why I can't respect most fundamentalist - they fail to see the whole picture, which is that the Bible is a very complicated work which simply cannot be reduced to black and white.

I am going to be charitable, and assume that you were not referring to me. I am neither a fundamentalist, nor do I see the bible as a simple text. You should be more careful in your posts.

As regards forgiveness and redemption, which is what that quote was about, the Christians are supposed to be pretty black-and-white about that.
posted by Tullius at 7:32 AM on February 13, 2005


Conservative Values Monitor (from Pam's House Blend)

and Republican Family Values

And from Pam: For homophobic, publicly pious Repugs with gay kids, they cannot reconcile the fact that:
1) They actually procreated and raised gay children in spite of their strident religious child-rearing;
2) They might have to respond to homophobic friends (and minions) that they love their children;
3) They may be wrong about the nature/nurture thing with homosexuality;
4) They will have to show the error of their homophobic political stances and hypocrisy

posted by amberglow at 7:35 AM on February 13, 2005


VulcanMike, and other philanthropists - give what you can like this-
The Point Foundation: online donations.

Snail mail:
Send a check to:

The Point Foundation + You = A Better World
Every dollar that you contribute directly supports Point Scholars. The Board of Trustees and an anonymous donor cover all administrative and fund-raising efforts required for our success. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

By supporting diversity in the academic environment, TPF hopes to create a greater level of acceptance, respect and tolerance within future generations for all persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. You can help us make the world a better place through your generous support.

TPF offers three convenient ways to give:
Call, toll free:

1-866-33-POINT (866-337-6468)
The Point Foundation
Post Office Box 11210
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More Details

The Point Foundation accepts donations by check, credit cards, securities and property, corporate matching gifts and bequests. Click here for more details.

The Point Foundation is a non-profit corporation classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C)(3) organization — Tax ID# 84-1582086.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:40 AM on February 13, 2005


I'd disown my daughter too if she pulled that sparkly JavaScript link mouseover shit.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:42 AM on February 13, 2005


It's nice to see a black man excel in such a white-dominated field

Ha! jonmc nails it!
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 7:43 AM on February 13, 2005


Of course I did, runningdog.

I'm actually beginning to think that the Republicans see Keyes as their official bullet-catcher. Why else would they send him to run against Obama.

"Oh no, Keyes is running around again, send him to a race he'll lose before he embarasses us again."
posted by jonmc at 7:46 AM on February 13, 2005


gak! dash_slot beat me to it. The Point Foundation said they received 1200 applications for 40 scholarships. Seems like a pretty worthy and needed opportunity to put one's money where one's mouth is.
posted by carmen at 8:01 AM on February 13, 2005


EB, your relationship to relativism seems to vary wildly from day to day.

I don't see how we can say that one is a horrible nutcase "bad" person for having strong beliefs without saying that about the other, too.

Nobody's saying Keyes is a horrible nutcase "bad" person for having strong beliefs; we're saying he's a horrible nutcase "bad" person for throwing his daughter out and cutting her off because he discovered she's gay. Lots of people with strong beliefs make similar discoveries and are similarly horrified but do not react in a similarly crazed, inhuman way. I would have thought that was obvious.
posted by languagehat at 8:04 AM on February 13, 2005


Why is it that Opus Dei comes up on a regular basis when it comes to our elected officials?

I'm drawing a blank. All I can think of is the Robert Hanson case, but I've been suspicious of mentions of Opus Dei since I found out that Scalia is not in fact a member after all, one of the big "points of infiltration" that seems to come up.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:10 AM on February 13, 2005


Ethereal Bligh- I see your point, but there is a relativist bent to your argument. Given his values, Alan Keyes responded in a sensible way. He's maverick, an iconoclast so it's just a sad by admirable act that he has decided to caste his daughter out after the campaign, at a time that is conspicuously convenient for him?

If this were a moral imperative, he would have warned her. He would have done it during the campaign, since he was running to advance his values. (He never came close to having half the votes of Obama)

A friend of mine's father joined the Ku Klux Klan because he believed in the South, because he admired his neighbors and was grateful for the help the Klan provided his family when his father died. That doesn't wash with me. Sure the Klan as good to him. He had principals, so what he did was was right? I don't think so.

I think we as individuals need to think about how our values impact others. When you find yourself doing things that are really hard, like disowning your daughter, burning a cross in someone's lawn, it's a good time to reevaluate your values.

I've known children who were disowned and still honored their parents. I am uncomfortable judging their families. I think it's good that you are trying to distance yourself from Keyes actions, but FYI. I know people who have worked with Alan Keyes. He's really not that moral, nor is he really that honest. He is cheap, selfish and crazy. I wouldn't be surprised if he was as freaked out by the cost of Brown as he was by his daughter's blog.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:13 AM on February 13, 2005


If Keyes sees God as the ultimate father figure, and believes that God hates sin (including teh gay) and cannot stand to be in the presence of it, so much so that he will send that person to eternal damnation and refuse to accept that person as his child... this is a rational decision. He's just being Christ-like.

If that's not your interpretation of Christianity, fine, but that is how many people view the world and what they see in the Bible.
posted by heatherann at 8:15 AM on February 13, 2005


I'm really impressed with Maya.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:18 AM on February 13, 2005


Have you guys ever seen Keyes in action? Keyes is not a well man. If he deserves sympathy, it's for his personality disorder.

Even Frist and Santorum keep their distance from this guy. He's barking mad. Irrational and unpleasant.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:22 AM on February 13, 2005


...this is a rational decision.

Perhaps it is a consistent decision, but that does not, in itself, make it rational.

He's just being Christ-like.

Hmmm....
posted by Tullius at 8:24 AM on February 13, 2005


Yes he's a douchebag, but he's a consistent one, according to his own extreme belief that sin is more important than family.

Oh, who cares if he's consistent. There's nothing admirable about consistent adherence to odious beliefs.
posted by pnh at 8:27 AM on February 13, 2005


Was this the same daughter that convinced Keyes to jump in Michael Moores moshpit?
posted by dodgygeezer at 8:28 AM on February 13, 2005


Heatherann, the Klan is profoundly religious too; they base their teachings on a literal interpretation of the bible. I'm still not going to clap when they lynch me because they think they're doin' the lord's work.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:31 AM on February 13, 2005


EB - you were obviously the psychology teacher of the class I chose to walk out on because I realized it was crap...

What it seems to me is happening here is that Maya is very much her father's daughter. She's principled, she's an activist, she believes in right and wrong and is a moralizer...she's just chosen some very different assumptions than he. We can say that one of them is wrong about his/her assumptions and the other right; but I don't see how we can say that one is a horrible nutcase "bad" person for having strong beliefs without saying that about the other, too.

Clarify for us, professor... are you saying that Maya made a choice and decided to be gay?
posted by matty at 8:35 AM on February 13, 2005


What thirteenkiller said. Maya's a sharp woman who deserves far better than what her parents -- and let's not forget Mom in this asshole-ishness -- just did to her. Although I never understood why she was working on dad's campaign when, as she puts it, "I disagree with nearly all his views."

Oh, and Keyes calls himself a "dedicated family man" at his site, which still includes pics of a young Maya as part of the happy crew.
posted by mediareport at 8:44 AM on February 13, 2005


"are you saying that Maya made a choice and decided to be gay?"

I wouldn't want to speak for Bligh, but Maya apparently made a choice to embrace her gayness, rather then repress it.
posted by catachresoid at 8:45 AM on February 13, 2005


I read Maya's blog. I didn't see anything mentioned about the dissolution of her relationship with Her father being about homosexuality. She said 'political differences' were the root.Apparently she was in some way participating in anti-Bush/ pro-left activism WHILE EMPLOYED BY HER FATHER.
She was fired and Her Father stopped paying her rent.Now she has to find a job and a new apartment.
Boo fucking hoo.
I wouldn't take a job with NARAL if I were picketing abortion clinics on the side...

I'm not sure why everybody is convinced she's "sharp" or "determined". Is it possible she might be a confused young woman ( How many of us didn't have friends who were lesbians until they graduated from college?)?
She also grew up in politics; participating in them now might not be a sign she'd "principled", it might mean she's doing what she's known for her whole life, but jumped over the fence, which is exactly what I'd do if I wanted to rebel against a parent.
posted by Luke Pski at 8:55 AM on February 13, 2005


Maya apparently made a choice to embrace her gayness, rather then repress it.

You misspelled "embrace herself," catachresoid. Which makes it not much of a choice after all, eh?
posted by mediareport at 8:56 AM on February 13, 2005


mediareport: I would hazard that the point is that in the Alan Keyes perspective the expectation would be that she would denounce her desire for her own gender (if she wanted to be saved) rather than come out as being 'actively' a lesbian. Thus a choice (though not much of one from the non-Alan Keyes/most of MeFi perspective).
posted by biffa at 9:05 AM on February 13, 2005


Well, didn't Mel Gibson (another Opus Dei fan, but I can't write Opus Dei without giggling and thinking about the early days of Opus and Bloom County) also say he loved his wife but she's going to hell because she isn't a Catholic? Someone please cut the "Inquisition" theme song for me...
posted by TomSophieIvy at 9:08 AM on February 13, 2005


I really feel for Maya Keyes, but she's still an adolescent. She didn't come out to her parents, they confronted her. She's basically making a living being her father's daughter. I don't fault her for this, but I don't quite admire it either.

I feel like there is a whole lot of admiration going on with very little knowledge of those being admired.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 9:09 AM on February 13, 2005


gives me reason to think better of Alan Keyes, not worse

Either the Bible and its words are worthwhile or they are not.

If they are worthwhile, the parts about family and supporting the family should hold more sway than the Bible saying 'dude, take a bath'.

Now, just as a short digression here, as you go through this you see all of this about cleansing and purifying and all the things that are unclean, and I really wondered about it. It states specifically that any contamination with semen or blood requires immediate washing, and then I realised that this is God's way of getting them to take a bath once in a while.

I'm not willing to 'think better' of someone who's willing to sever ties over some water and soap.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:24 AM on February 13, 2005


Still, when I asked Maya whether she is glad her father lost the election, she stopped short. "Should you really be asking that question? I mean, I suppose there is a conflict, but I'm not sure I wanted him to lose. I disagree with nearly all his views, but he's very honest and has a lot of integrity."

I'm a little less thrilled with Maya then you all seem to be. She knew her father was homophobic yet chose to work to elect him. If I knew that my father was..say.. for suppressing green-eyed atheists, I would not give him my vote, much less work for his campaign for a year.

Plus it disturbs me that she "disagrees with nearly all his views" but thought that honesty and integrity were enough to make him a good Senator. Huh? If I know Senator X is anti-environment, anti-choice, pro-gun and pro-privatization, he is never going to get my vote no matter how honest he is.

Senator X is a fictional character and no resemblance to any Senator living or dead is intended. No politicians were harmed in the typing of this post.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:36 AM on February 13, 2005


Of course she's an adolescent - she's 19.

I was very happy to hear about the scholarship - no matter what anyone might think about when children should become financially independent, universities in the States refuse to recognise financial independence in young adults, and base their financial aid on their parents' income. It's a stupid policy, especially without any bending for people, like Maya Keyes, who clearly have been estranged. The Point foundation is very necessary - many more less well known young adults have been estranged from their parents by their sexuality, and yet are refused financial aid on teh grounds that their parents' income is too high. Or maybe the whole financial aid system should get its head out of the hole regarding families.
posted by jb at 9:37 AM on February 13, 2005


gesamtkunstwerk, I'm not saying you should clap for the KKK or for Keyes. I'm not saying it's admirable, just not all that surprising.
posted by heatherann at 9:38 AM on February 13, 2005


g, I have the same feeling, especially regarding the scholarships. There are gay kids from far poorer families all competing for an obviously limited resource, but who don't have the advantage of being able to cite their rejection by a politically prominent parent in their application. It's a strange kind of meritocracy in action. It's hard to believe someone with the advantages of a private education and such a compelling personal story would have trouble getting the funds from Brown itself.

But she is an adolescent, and scared, and trying to protect herself, so I'm trying to cut her some slack. But I'd like to introduce her to all my gay nobody friends rejected by their gay nobody parents who went to community college or State U and barely managed to swing that. It's important that she gives back, and not just by "telling her story," which just isn't on the same scale as people who've been made homeless and hungry and suffered violence thanks to parental rejection without anyone giving one single damn except other gay people.

(On preview, what SLoG said, too.)
posted by melissa may at 9:42 AM on February 13, 2005


Alisha Keyes is gay?
posted by wsg at 9:46 AM on February 13, 2005


Say what you might about a 19 year old dyke, even that 19 year old dyke, or how she or any queer of any age got to be that way or how long she'll stay queer, I'll just add that I've never understood how parents can shun their own kids over something so comparatively trivial. That should disprove "genetic self-interest" right there.

As to this particular 19 year old dyke, I look at it this way: she was a dutiful daughter during her father's campaign even though she disagreed with his politics, even though they'd hurt her. That's right up there with doing housework chores or babysitting the younger siblings when you could be out rockin'-'n'-rollin', but an order of magnitude or two "better". Unless you mean to totally undermine the family I suggest you applaud her; what would you expect of your offspring? (Not that undermining the family is necessarily such a bad idea -- I think the Spartans had a point myself.)
posted by davy at 10:00 AM on February 13, 2005


"I'd like to introduce her to all my gay nobody friends rejected by their gay nobody parents who went to community college or State U and barely managed to swing that."

I salute you as a fellow Class Warrior, melissa may.
posted by davy at 10:04 AM on February 13, 2005


It's too bad Alan Keyes doesn't belong to that religion that advocates love, tolerance and not judging others... what was that one called again?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:19 AM on February 13, 2005


This year, Point has received more than 1,200 applications for about 40 scholarships.

Ouch. This is what really hurts. The system really needs to change. I feel bad for all kids in that situation. I feel terrible thinking about those 1,160 kids who don't even have a university as a home.

(I completely understand the Point foundation wanting to raise its profile.)
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 10:26 AM on February 13, 2005


The Point Foundation accepts donations by check, credit cards, securities and property, corporate matching gifts and bequests. Click here for more details.

The Point Foundation is a non-profit corporation classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C)(3) organization — Tax ID# 84-1582086.


Thanks, dash_slot-.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:42 AM on February 13, 2005


It's thanks to this that I found out about the Point Foundation. They will get donations from me which they wouldn't otherwise have had and I will be sure to make others aware of them. It's really heartening to find a way to help some of those who get the shitty end of the stick from so-called 'family values'.
posted by Flitcraft at 10:50 AM on February 13, 2005


We cannot be relativists about morality. We are going to judge those who differ from us on key issues.

Tullius, this is precisely the attitude that Keyes has, and I think this is what EB was trying to point out in his first comment: it's common among principled activists who tend to think "this is unacceptable! What can we do to create a society where this is stamped out?" vs "Hmmm. What can we do to create a society where, within reason, we can make most choices about how we want to live and more or less get along?"

Clarify for us, professor... are you saying that Maya made a choice and decided to be gay?

I think he was saying Maya decided at some point that she was going to be a principled activist too... and this likeness between them (combined with their different principles) put them at odds with one another.
posted by namespan at 11:03 AM on February 13, 2005


Just because Keyes is consistent in his beliefs does not make him any less morally repugnant. He certainly is a person who lacks essential human and Christian qualities such as compassion, forgiveness and moral courage to openly love the sinner, but hate the sin*.

* I personally don't believe that teh gay is a sin, but for those Christians that do, they need to embrace these moral qualities which should override their personal judgment and condemnation which, in the end, is not theirs to do.
posted by psmealey at 11:20 AM on February 13, 2005


namespan, that is fine. Keyes is no relativist, and neither am I. Surely you aren't suggesting that all moral absolutists are equal?
posted by Tullius at 11:25 AM on February 13, 2005


Tullius, this is precisely the attitude that Keyes has, and I think this is what EB was trying to point out in his first comment...

In a general sense, Keyes and I getting along in a civil society has little to do with how much of an asshole he is for throwing his daughter out on the street because of who she dates.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:35 AM on February 13, 2005


Oops, I meant to say does not make his actions any less morally repugnant. Judgment is not mine, either.
posted by psmealey at 11:41 AM on February 13, 2005


That's right Alan Keyes. Out of the SEED provided by YOUR LORD GOD, PERFECT IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, hath been DELIVERED that HEDONISM most FOUL and DEGENERATE. AS IS WRITTEN if your EYE DOTH OFFEND you, PLUCK it OUT and CAST IT FOREVER MORE into the BOILING SEA of the LORD'S WRATH. FOR YOUR SEED, WHICH DOTH COME from the LORD and is ANNOINTED with his RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND CANNOT be less. SO NOW what the FUCK do you THINK?

That was fun.
posted by telstar at 12:06 PM on February 13, 2005


Know what would be cool?
If Maya hooked up with Mary Cheney!
Heads would explode all over WingNutLand!

those who get the shitty end of the stick -

Ummm... somehow I don't think that's ever going to be a problem for Maya. (Sorry, couldn't resist)
posted by nofundy at 12:31 PM on February 13, 2005


I meant to thank dash_slot, too. I'd never heard of the point foundation, but I'm definitely going to learn more about them now.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 12:34 PM on February 13, 2005


"Hate the sin, love the sinner.

That is so twisted.
-- (not safe for work)
posted by pwedza at 12:51 PM on February 13, 2005


The Point Foundation is the same organization which awarded a scholarship to James Barnett who was expelled from Trinity Christian Academy for being gay, thus liberating him from his family's threat to severely limit his ability to attend a college of his choosing.
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on February 13, 2005


Keyes isn't a hypocrite but that makes him just a consistently disgusting man.

I can understand denouncing your child if they killed fifteen people or committed other horrible acts. But for being gay? Wow, its hard to believe that there are people so threatened and outraged by "The Gay" that they'll turn on their own children.

Is "The Gay" the new slavery wedge between the North and the South (approximately)?

The Point Foundation makes me feel alot better about humanity and what people won't tolerate. Thanks for posting it.
posted by fenriq at 2:03 PM on February 13, 2005


I am so happy to hear many of my liberal friends condemning moral relativism. I agree. Its complete bullshit. Lets all be proactive to never let people try the moral relativism argument anymore on this site. It's just too bad that the same rejection of moral relativism wasn't strong in '01 when a bunch of our comrades on the left were trying to sell the relativism argument and tell us that islamofascists weren't evil, just different. But we won't do that anymore, will we? We will call a spade a spade, right? Islamofascists are evil like Alan Keyes.


Now, if you will excuse me, all of this talk of 19 year old lesbians motivates me to go masturbate furiously.
posted by dios at 2:24 PM on February 13, 2005


"It's too bad Alan Keyes doesn't belong to that religion that advocates love, tolerance and not judging others... what was that one called again?"

Theravada Buddhism?
posted by davy at 2:25 PM on February 13, 2005


heatherann wins the thread.
posted by orthogonality at 2:43 PM on February 13, 2005


He's just being Christ-like

Because, as we all know, JC used to have nothing to do with sinners and spent his days hob-nobbing with politicos.

Here's a word I don't use very often, but in this case I will. Mr Keyes is fucktard. Making kids stand on their own two feet in the nasty wide world is one thing - but to stop talking to your own flesh and blood because of your own blind bigotry. Fucktard. Scarcely begins to cover it, really.
posted by Sparx at 3:03 PM on February 13, 2005


How do you figure, ortho? by heatherann's logic, Keyes is being God-like, not Christ-like. To be Christ-like is to forgive and to redeem, to be God-like is to condemn. To wit:

If Keyes sees God as the ultimate father figure, and believes that God hates sin (including teh gay) and cannot stand to be in the presence of it, so much so that he will send that person to eternal damnation and refuse to accept that person as his child... this is a rational decision. He's just being Christ-like.
posted by psmealey at 3:16 PM on February 13, 2005


I think Ethereal Bligh is right - we oughtn't treat Keyes as a nutcase. He's operating out of a strong sense of his principles, and he's behaving in a perfectly rational manner. Speaking as a Christian, I think we should be taking people like Keyes and Dobson and Phelps seriously. Taking them seriously means that they're not crazy: they're immoral and they're hypocrites; they're anti-Christian and reprehensible. Coming from such an immoral, reprehensible point of view, Keyes's behavior is perfectly rational: immoral belief systems yield immoral behavior.

Dudes & babes: it's obvious we don't like Alan Keyes. As principled, moral, non-fucktard liberals, what DOES he deserve from us? How should we treat someone we totally disagree with? As for me, if I ever meet the guy, I'll buy him a beer, then ask him what the hell his problem is. Then I'll tell him that, you know, Christians don't do this kind of thing. But think about it. If you met Allan Keyes tomorrow, what would you be saying to him?
posted by saysthis at 3:42 PM on February 13, 2005


If you met Allan Keyes tomorrow, what would you be saying to him?

I'd ask him if he has ever had any trouble looking at himself in the mirror.
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:47 PM on February 13, 2005


Just a gut feeling on my part, but since I live in Illinois and saw too much of Keyes during the election, I wondered if he might not be gay himself. Some of the worst homophobes are denying their own sexuality.
posted by ScaryShrink at 3:58 PM on February 13, 2005


As for me, if I ever meet the guy, I'll buy him a beer, then ask him what the hell his problem is.

I'd buy him a beer and bet him $500 that I could pee into his glass from ten feet away. Then I'd pee all over him, his suit, and his shoes. After that, he'd laugh at me and ask for his $500 bucks. But, first I would've bet the bartender $1000 that I could pee on Alan Keyes and he's laugh.
posted by Arch Stanton at 4:06 PM on February 13, 2005


Know what would be cool?
If Maya hooked up with Mary Cheney!


It would be so much cooler if Maya hooked up with Jenna Bush.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:08 PM on February 13, 2005


Nice strawman, dios. Pity it has nothing to do with, say, anything anybody ever actually said (hint - finding the actions of murderous religious zealots repugnant and thinking that the Bush administration's response was misdirected, idiotic, and dangerous are not incompatible thoughts. You might also want to investigate the difference between attempting to understand someone's motivations and condoning their actions, and between pointing out that a fanatical section of a religion is a minority segment and supporting that minority segment.)

I think Alan Keyes actions are the actions of an asshole, personally. Disowning your child over political and religious differences is a horrible thing, and I would think the same were their beliefs exactly reversed.
posted by kyrademon at 4:13 PM on February 13, 2005


Arch Stanton wins!
posted by ericb at 4:34 PM on February 13, 2005


Christ-like, eh?

Well, get the nails and some lumber. The sins of the world aren't going to redeem themselves, you know...
posted by Coda at 4:46 PM on February 13, 2005


But think about it. If you met Allan Keyes tomorrow, what would you be saying to him?

I would tell him that my extended family is just now healing up due to a nasty split along ideological, racial and religous lines. I would tell him that the pain caused by that fracture spanned three generations, and that I hope he reconsiders his position soon.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:47 PM on February 13, 2005


Metafilter: get the nails and some lumber. The sins of the world aren't going to redeem themselves, you know...
posted by amberglow at 5:59 PM on February 13, 2005


As one who didn't have time to read the 97 comments that came before this, I have to say.

Up until now I have disliked Dick Cheney and admired Alan Keyes. For the first time in my life, I'm putting Keyes below Cheney...?

I wonder how this will play out.
posted by bugmuncher at 6:46 PM on February 13, 2005


My comment above was really meant to be earnest and somewhat naive, not rigorous. There's a variety of reasons to think that Alan Keyes is not a virtuous man by anyone's definition; but assuming that he is a virtuous man by the definition appropriate to his chosen moral context, then I'm just urging people to consider that what he's doing may be reasonable or even necessary.

And, as others have pointed out, it's not clear that this has arisen primarily because Maya has publicly come out—it may be more because she's become a high-profile activist for a variety of causes that are in direct opposition to her father's. And in that sense—that she's a high-profile activist for (apparently) deeply-held values and beliefs—I think she's her father's daughter; and that both of them are admirable for this.

It does seem odd that I can find admirable and even virtuous that someone is thoughtful and consistent about a set of beliefs that I believe are fundamentally wrong and harmful and even "evil". But this is the result of my belief that the majority of human evil is the result of tribalistic conformity and a self-serving "ethos" that is mostly after-the-fact ad hoc rationalizations of unexamined biases and short-sighted self-interest. It may well be the case that many supposedly "principled" and "thoughtful" people are merely refined examples of this behavior, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that if they appear to be sincerely interested in the "truth", virtue, and justice, then they really are.

I have a great deal of confidence in my own assumptions, arguments, and conclusions; but I am not smug about them in the sense that I think they are so obvious as to be inevitable and that people who differ from me are necessarily either dolts or willfully ill-intentioned. I can imagine a universe in which Keyes is right.

With that in mind, I nevertheless find much to criticize about Alan Keyes in this conflict—even within his (not my) moral context. As others have said above, his timing is supsicious and possibly self-serving. More troubling though, I think, is that argument that loving and being in a dialogue with his daughter is more likely to "correct her ways" than is cutting her off.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:52 PM on February 13, 2005


I can imagine a universe in which Keyes is right.

What kind of universe would that be where parents disown their children and it's ok? (and Maya is just one famous example of many many kids thrown out each year for being gay or lesbian)

There's a difference between beliefs and actions--it's his actions that make us condemn him--we already knew his beliefs.
posted by amberglow at 6:57 PM on February 13, 2005


even the Godforsaken Cheneys know that you don't do that to your kids.
posted by amberglow at 6:58 PM on February 13, 2005


If I had a child that became a white supremicist, I think I'd disown them. Family and love are hugely important, but they don't trump everything. Some beliefs and actions are unacceptable to me, and therefore I can't condemn Alan Keyes (or anyone else) solely on the basis that they, too, find certain beliefs and actions similiarly unacceptable.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:03 PM on February 13, 2005


I wouldn't--i'd always leave a lifeline if they needed me. If they were endangering themselves and others (which Maya is NOT doing), then you take action, or as a very very last resort, cut all ties.
posted by amberglow at 7:08 PM on February 13, 2005


Alan Keyes, in character, is not different than other political activists. He's principled to the point of being dogmatic, he believes that ideas are important and that civil discourse it important. He has strong beliefs. He starts from a bunch of premises that are very different than those most of we mefites start with. That doesn't make him a nut.

In his view, because of his assumptions, being homosexual will result in eternal damnation in a literal Hell. We may disagree with his assumptions, but he shares this assumption with a large number of people. In that context, and in the context of him being a very principled person, it is not unreasonable for him to refuse to endorse in any way what he thinks are his daughter's "lifestyle choices".


When you are consistent with your positions to the point of disowning your children, you have a warped sense of priorities. Being consistent is not enough, and pointing to that as an admirable trait in this context is rather pointless. As George Carlin once remarked about the word 'lifestyle,' "In a technical sense, Attila the Hun had an active, outdoor lifestyle." And, let's not forget, he was consistent.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
posted by krinklyfig at 9:30 PM on February 13, 2005


If I had a child that became a white supremicist, I think I'd disown them. Family and love are hugely important, but they don't trump everything. Some beliefs and actions are unacceptable to me, and therefore I can't condemn Alan Keyes (or anyone else) solely on the basis that they, too, find certain beliefs and actions similiarly unacceptable.

If I had a child that became hateful and condemning and sucked into quasi-religious fascist beliefs, I would find it difficult, too, but that's not what's really happening here. And even then, I don't think I'd disown my child. Serial killers are sometimes still loved by their mothers, and that's less difficult for me to understand than Keyes disowning his child, for reasons that come down to his lack of empathy to his own progeny. If his daughter were a hateful bigot or a hardened criminal, it might be easier to understand.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:42 PM on February 13, 2005


"If you met Allan Keyes tomorrow, what would you be saying to him?"

'You threw your daughter away for THAT? Get away from me.'
posted by davy at 10:58 PM on February 13, 2005


"If you met Allan Keyes tomorrow, what would you be saying to him?"

Get thee behind me, Satan!
posted by nofundy at 6:10 AM on February 14, 2005


True story about some folks and "teh gay". My son, when he was about 18 months old, was with me when we were visiting some neighbors having a garage sale. He started playing with a giant Barbie car, turned to me and said "Want that!", so I pulled out the 50 cents or whatever to pay for it, and one of the people in the yard said "Oh my lord, you're not going to buy that for him, are you?"

When I said that I was, they replied that "I was going to turn the boy gay by giving him girl's toys." (Because the car is pink, doncha know.)

When I said that 1.) you couldn't make people gay, and 2.) I didn't care if he was gay, they about lost it. Said that they would throw their kids out of the house if they wanted "to kiss other fellas". Their kids are 11-15. And when I said, "so you would throw your 11 year old kid out if he said that he liked boys?", they said they would "absolutely...and no court could make them take the evil faggot back into their house, because homosexuality was a sin against Gawd".

(It goes without saying that I don't have much to do with many of my neighbors.)

So that Keyes would toss his daughter out doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is that it took that long.
posted by dejah420 at 9:40 AM on February 14, 2005


You really should get yourself some new neighbors.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:42 AM on February 14, 2005


You really should get yourself some new neighbors.

Oh sweetie, if you only knew... ;) Unfortunately, the housing bubble has mostly burst in the North Texas area because of all the job losses...and I'm sort of stuck here.
posted by dejah420 at 11:38 AM on February 14, 2005


Republicans on the Free Republic have plenty to say in defense of Alan Keyes.

"...nothing like an ignorant child bashing her parents, and another LIBERAL QUEER at that"

"No doubt she's a closet libturd as well."

"I wonder how many conservative political and religious leaders have had their children targeted for homosexual seduction."

"This solution will take care of these self proclaimed queers where they will get a free airplane ticket to the streets in Iraq."
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 2:38 PM on February 14, 2005


dejah420, take up a collection, I've got $20 I would be all too happy to give you to get the hell away from people like that.

And I thought I had an asshole for a neighbor.

Mean Mr. Bucket, yeah, freepers are a pretty froth-worthy lot. I wonder what they have to say about Mary Cheney?
posted by fenriq at 8:29 PM on February 14, 2005


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