Social responsibility and acts of benevolence

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by Joey Hood
Staff Writer

As a senior at Middle Tennessee State University, I’ve noticed that my raucous liberal politicking has been neutered into a more user-friendly form of gay libertarianism. In the throes of the recent TennCare debacle on the State Capitol, I found myself empathizing with the grizzled protesters in all their oxygen tank-toting boldness. But thanks to my fiscally conservative father (a cantankerous Bush supporter, mind you,) I also realize the pitfalls of big government and bureaucracy run amok.

Ultimately, social responsibility and acts of benevolence should fall on the mega-churches that overpopulate our community and look like gussied-up whorehouses with their stadium seating and wide-screen televangelism.

But since the vast majority of mainline conservative Christians are not embroiled over issues like poverty and health-care, our government trims the fat.

If the Sean Hannities of the world had their way, the G-8 fund recipients would be tossed to the wolves because red-blooded Americans should be more concerned with pillaging Iraqi villages in the name of Jee-sus and protecting the sanctity of marriage from copulating lesbians.

In the past, I’ve publicly chided Pat Robertson for blustering on about sourpuss feminists behind his stone proof desk at The 700 Club’s snug studios in Virginia Beach, and not doing more to help people who truly need it. Robertson makes for a hardy 75-year-old man, what with his incoherent babbling about the bra-burning children of Betty Freudian and the de-Leave It to Beaver-ization of suburbia.

Imagine my dumbfounded state of mind, though, when Robertson actually tackled a topic of substance (namely, poverty) and joined hands with Hollywood liberals in the One Campaign’s black-and-white television spots. National Public Radio’s Sarah Vowell was equally dumbfounded and penned an opinion column for The New York Times about it.

Standing among his unlikely political bedfellows (i.e. Ellen DeGeneres and P. Diddy), Robertson pointedly urged Americans to convince the Bush administration of doing goodwill towards a hapless, AIDS-scarred Africa.

In an interview with ABC’s Nightline, the surly old coot even promised that his world outreach group, Operation Blessing, would educate Africans on responsible condom use as means to containing the spread of HIV-AIDS.

The words “Pat Robertson” and “responsible condom use” tied together eloquently in one digestible sentence soon trumped gay Methodist blogger Cole Wakefield’s earlier revelation that Dr. James Dobson advocated masturbation on his daily radio program. With Robertson’s contraceptive bombshell, it seemed like my tried-and-true conservative punchlines were finally receiving their dose of much-needed realism.

The contemporary conservative movement could do wonders for the AIDS-stricken sheepherders of Zimbabwe if they took a page from the Pat Robertson handbook and started plugging responsible condom use here at home.

Instead, the Bushies willingly fund abstinence-only programs for our nation’s high schoolers. These programs illustrate an inaccurate picture of condom use (“The majority of condoms break during sex,” says one clueless pamphlet) and dumbly pretend that all hormone-ticking teenagers will faithfully uphold the tenets of abstinence-only education by biding their time through sock-hops and finger-painting.

A recent non-partisan study into a leading abstinence-only pedagogue found that a considerable number of teenagers, who pledged chastity at the program’s end, broke their promises only a few years later. After being beaten into anti-condom submission, pledges engaged in unprotected sex and were more susceptible to various diseases.

Moreover, the pledges were also more likely to try other forms of sex (i.e. oral sex and the ever dreaded anal) as a calculated way of upholding their vows of virginity.

If only the Bushies, well-coifed soccer moms and sexless PTA-leaders would listen to their Christian Coalition forefather. According to the good reverend, abstinence and/or “responsible condom use” is the only effective way of combating sexually transmitting diseases. Both options should be presented in tandem when talking about prevention methods in modern-day terms.

“I just don’t think we can close our eyes to human nature,” Robertson said on Nightline.

Spoken like a bleeding-heart realist. This reluctant gay libertarian welcomes him to the team.