Giuliani, Huckabee on homosexuality

You know you are a first tier candidate when reporters ask what you think of the big social issues. Does anyone know what Duncan Hunter thinks of homosexuality? Does anyone know who Duncan Hunter is?

So Mike Huckabee demonstrated his Baptist preacher roots in his answers to reporters questions about homosexuality and sin. He noted the word in the New Testament means “missing the mark” and said we all have missed the mark. The mark, as I was taught in Greek class, means the bullseye or the target of an archer. Huckabee views homosexuality as missing the mark as in any other behavior not condoned by his reading of the Scripture.

Elsewhere, Rudy Giuliani couldn’t find the mark with his comments on homosexuality also reported today.

Rudolph W. Giuliani was asked Sunday on the NBC program “Meet the Press” if he agreed with the statement made in 1992 by a rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee, about homosexuality being “an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle.”

“No,” Mr. Giuliani replied. “I don’t believe it’s sinful.” But he then said something that puzzled and concerned some gay rights groups.

“My moral views on this come from the, you know, from the Catholic Church, and I believe that homosexuality, heterosexuality, as a way that somebody leads their life is not, isn’t sinful,” said Mr. Giuliani, who as New York mayor temporarily moved in with two gay roommates after he separated from his wife. “It’s the acts — it’s the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the orientation that they have.”

Always vigilant, Wayne Besen jumped on the inconsistency:

Wayne Besen, the executive director of Truth Wins Out, a gay rights group, said that he hoped the campaign would clarify the statement, which he said “seemed to parrot the religious right’s cruel and empty ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ rhetoric.”

Perhaps not knowing where the mark was today, his campaign took the presidential route:

The Giuliani campaign declined yesterday to elaborate on the statement.

Wow, and we only have less than a year of this stuff to go.

23 thoughts on “Giuliani, Huckabee on homosexuality”

  1. Eddy,

    Just to clarify my communication with Timothy a little more – of the 4 or so emails I’ve sent him, the last one was exactly 1 month ago and all it had to do with was asking him to explain a post he left on this blog because I didn’t understand it. My message to him prior to that was 2 months before, back in early September when I told him I’d be taking a short break from the blog and wished him well. I’m not sure why you feel the need to know this information though. If you’re worried if I’ve ever talked to them about you, I don’t remember doing so. I even went back through my sent email files to check this and in none of them did I mention you, or concerned, or Ann or Mary.

  2. Eddy,

    I grew up in a town where many people used the love the sinner hate the sin line. I went to church all my young life with these people and I can tell you that Timothy’s description is pretty much spot on. We may have had different experiences, but I’ve yet to meet someone who uses that line who doesn’t vote to curb rights for gay people as Timothy pointed out.

  3. Concerned,

    It is not Eddy’s openness and willingness to share his perspective that some of us are having trouble with, but rather his sharp tongue and tone. I don’t think he understands the way he often comes across on this blog, and I think that is what David was trying to make apparent.


    To answer your question – even though it wasn’t directed at me – I’ve corresponded with David Roberts via email but only because I had problems being able to post to ExGayWatch. I’ve sent probably a total of 3 or 4 emails to Timothy since I’ve been blogging, and that’s the extent of my communication with them.

  4. Eddy said in post 71759:

    Timothy began his statement with these words: “I have observed that nearly all of those who “love the sinner, hate the sin” want to…” I maintain that he hasn’t gotten close enough to even 1% of “all of those who “love the sinner, hate the sin” to know diddly about them.

    If your issue with Timothy’s comment was that you considered it based on a limited sample size, why didn’t you just say that in your 1st response? Wouldn’t that have been more productive than a vague attack laced with innuendo?

    Further, I would suspect that many of the people Timothy was referring to were not just people he met on the street, but leaders of large groups. Leaders who are expressing such sentiments on behalf of those groups.

    Thus I think your less than 1% assumption probably isn’t as accurate as you think.

  5. Eddy,

    I want to also encourage you to continue your openness and willingness to share your perspective on this site. It is important that all sides of this discussion are spoken and heard. I have seen and felt the damage that can be done when people are ridiculed into questioning there own personal experiences. I no longer allow those who use this tactic to influence what I believe about my own same-sex struggles.

  6. David Roberts:

    1) Timothy began his statement with these words: “I have observed that nearly all of those who “love the sinner, hate the sin” want to…” I maintain that he hasn’t gotten close enough to even 1% of “all of those who “love the sinner, hate the sin” to know diddly about them. I’m one of those people and I’m still surprised to learn how others view and respond to those varying issues differently.

    2) I answered to your charges re the ‘Anonymo’ business and I invited challenges and responses at that time. I also made a promise that I wouldn’t slip into any other identity on this blog ever again. That’s the best I can do and you can be as cynical as you want to. That’s just the way it is.

    3) Perhaps this is a good time to raise another question. Do you and Timothy associate via e-mail, phone or in person apart from the blog? If you do, do you ever discuss the blog? I’m also curious whether either you or Timothy dialog with Jayhuck off the blog?

  7. David,

    You make a good point.

    No one here has weighed in on whether Huckabee’s comments in 1992 are reasonable positions. Nor have they commented on his reiteration of his position.

    So let’s ask:

    Do you think that persons with HIV should be “isolated” from the general population.

    I’m especially interested in hearing what those who have expressed support for Huckabee in the past think.

    I’ll go first. I personally find such the idea of isolating persons with HIV from the population to be ignorant of medical science, based in animosity, an indication of a superiorist mindset, arrogant, hateful, highly likely to dramatically increase the spread of HIV, and in all manner abhorent.

    Now y’all.

    C’mon. Don’t be frightened. If you believe in Huckabee’s HIV isolation policy you should be proud to say so.

    A simple yes or no will be fine.

  8. In all fairness Eddy does not even come close to the kind of negative comments that others make on this blog. I think you are being unfair in your assessment.

    Why Ann, I’m utterly shocked that you would think that. Totally gobsmacked I am.

    Turning back to the topic, does anyone take issue with Huckabee’s statement from 1992? I know I was attending a solid Southern Baptist church at that time and such comments would have been extreme even then. I remember someone invited to speak on the subject in general (HIV/AIDS was still quite fresh but not the mystery it had been 7 or 8 years earlier).

    I wish I could remember his name or the book he wrote, but it was sound advice to treat those who were infected as you would anyone else. As I see it, and as a Southern Baptist, Huckabee gets no special pass. His statement and view were not uncommon among some, those who wanted to “send them all to an island” or such hateful things.

    On the other hand, I would like more claification from Giuliani before forming an opinion about his statement. It was too vague and off the cuff. Huckabee has reiterated his statements boldly.

  9. David,

    In all fairness Eddy does not even come close to the kind of negative comments that others make on this blog. I think you are being unfair in your assessment.


    Please keep being yourself and sharing your comments, they are appreciated.

  10. Wow, Eddy, can’t imagine why you might have had trouble with argumentative responses. You have such a mild, civil tone about you.

    As a direct response to your commentary, Timothy spoke from observation. When someone echoes a sentiment, such as “I hate the sin but love the sinner” with regard to homosexuality, then takes part in actions, or support of organizations, which seek to curtail the rights of same, it is not a generalization to recognize that. It is an observation. This is why your original comment and this one are, in fact, vacuous.

    Perhaps we could continue this conversation under the next anonymous identity you decide to use, or has that one already joined the conversation?

    Now if you enjoyed the tone of all that, you know what it’s like to watch you talk with others here, esp Timothy. Perhaps you could stop now?

  11. Jag,

    I thought I was being clear… I’m not sure what’s hard to understand about my question.

    What is relevant to you may be the practical realities of how people are actually treated. That is fine, and as I’ve said I to agree those are important concerns in their own right. What matters to me (and should matter to all concerned), however, is the logic of Mr. Besen’s claims. If Wayne’s remarks are to be understood solely as a critique of how inconsistently people have applied the “hate the sin, not the sinner” ideal, then I would take that as a valid concern.

    But if his point is that it is somehow contradictory or altogether incorrect to think in those terms, then I suspect it may be he that is relying on shallow rhetoric. It would have the effect of forcing people into a false dichotomy–as though the only options available to the conservative are moral ineptitude on the one hand, and hateful contempt of human dignity on the other.

    If the question posed to Giuliani is whether it is somehow a moral sin to simply be a homosexually oriented, then Giuliani seems to have said “no” in this regard. But he does go on to comment on the moral nature of indulging sexually in that sense… which of course, would be the sexual act emerging from a person’s being in a homosexual state.

    On this score, Besen and others are free to disagree with the conservative on the moral nature of giving in to homosexual tendency; but Mr. Besen and others cannot argue that such a stand is internally inconsistent or lacking in internal coherence.

  12. No, David, it hasn’t.

    Re ‘vacuous’: If you want me to say that it’s absurd for anyone to make such generalizations about an entire group of people assuming that their position on one issue tells you their position on all the others…okay, there it is.

  13. Huckabee says that he stands by his “isolation” suggestions. So if his statements were made out of ignorance, he retains that same level of ignorance.

    Sadly, some conservative pundits have been lauding him for “not giving in to homosexual activists”. It seems that they also believe that the forced “isolation” of HIV infected persons is either good policy or good politics (I suspect the latter).

    Our country has experimented in the past with “isolation” of undesireable or “dangerous” people. We used this tactic for indigenous Americans and called it “Reservations”. We tried it with Japanese Americans and called it “War Relocation Centers”. I wonder what term Huckabee favors for the interment and concentration of persons with HIV?

  14. Sorry for the double-post, but I thought readers may be interested in what Huckabee also said in 1992 (when the quote above about homosexuality was originally taken).

    He suggested a quarantine of people with HIV:

    “Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.

    “If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague,” Huckabee wrote.

    “It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.”

    I am hoping that his suggestion of quarantine is based in ignorance…but either way, it was something that really felt bad even in the reading.

    Perhaps others have a better perspective on this?

  15. Timothy’s powers of observation far exceed mine. I can’t tell by looking at a person how they feel about or act in all of those situations.

    Eddy, has it occurred to you that vacuous comments like that might be part of the reason you had to go incognito to talk to people here without argument?

    @ Daniel

    The discussion would be easier if you were a bit less esoteric in your comments. However, as Timothy remarked, the “hate the sin, love the sinner” sentiment is so often used as a cover for more nepharious positions that what you ask is irrelevant to the discussion.

    Could one in some situation legitimately love someone while hating what they do – well of course. But used in this arena it has gained a reputation which is akin to “some of my best friends are black” or “I have nothing personally against black people.”

  16. Great post Timothy!

    I have to remark on one thing…Huckabee’s statements. I know that many of the likely evangelical voting block will be throwing their support his way, but I’m wondering how you can justify such sweeping generalizations as a scientist, critical thinker, etc., when he stated:

    “Mike Huckabee, about homosexuality being “an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle.”

    It is simply irrational to classify all homosexuality under one umbrella. Unnatural we know it is not (we see it in nature all the time), sinful is up to debate depending on your interpretation of scripture (and even then, what the person is actually doing, and what of the notion of “religious freedom?”)

    You just can’t make generalizations. It’s like saying that “heterosexuality is an unnatural and sinful lifestyle”…for some, it may well be, and I have little interest in the particular acts, behaviors, etc…of others private affairs. I always wonder why individuals are so darn interested in mine. As I sit here in my sweats grading papers, I know it must be utterly enthralling.

    Keep your eyes on the ball folks, as sure as there’s a sky, discriminatory policies just aren’t going to last. In logical moments, people are continuing to realize that their gay neighbor is just as ordinary as they are…even, gasp, human. The rights will come in time, even if it is just for the sake of economics. At the place that I teach, they offer partner benefits…I’m not sure if it is because they particularly want to…but because to remain competitive they want to attract the best and brightest in their field no matter who they love. How radical. My wife has “spousal benefits,” and if we had children, they would be covered too.

  17. Amen and Hallelujah TK!!!!!!!! I’d love to slap that on a bumper sticker but its likely no one would be able to read it and I’m not “into” bumper stickers anyway 🙂

  18. Timothy’s powers of observation far exceed mine. I can’t tell by looking at a person how they feel about or act in all of those situations.

  19. Tim,

    Thanks for the response. I understand the importance of many of the issues you’ve presented here. But notice these have no logical impact on the substance of my question.

    Would you deny the formal consistency of what’s been proposed here?

    Believe me when I say that the conclusions are not necessarily what trouble me, but the reasoning employed to get there. If one were to deny Wayne’s listeners the ability to separate a person’s condition from the conduct which that condition may give rise to, I would be interested to know what alternative model he would propose to handle the cases I’ve raised above.

    In sum, it is not at all obvious to me that the “love the sinner, hate the sin” dictum is internally inconsistent. I’m basically asking where the inconsistency lies formally, irrespective of whether people actually live up to that ideal.

  20. Daniel,

    I have observed that nearly all of those who “love the sinner, hate the sin” want to keep the sinner from employment and housing protections, stop the sinner from having child custody, disallow the sinner any measure of civil protections for their relationship, keep the sinner from serving to protect his country, disallow the sinner from receiving the same health and other employment benefits as other employees, keep the sinner from being elected to any positions of authority, lie about the sinner’s “lifestyle”, mortality, health practices, and “agenda”, keep the sinner from having any representation in educational materials, and in general make the sinner as miserable as possible as often as possible. And if the sinner isn’t “suffering from their condition”, they’ll make sure he does.

    Oh yeah, and they hate the sin too.

  21. I have to ask this question, and if Wayne may happen to be reading, I wouldn’t mind a response…

    Is it not possible to recognize that a genetic predisposition toward certain behaviors does not necessarily mean that society cannot distinguish between a person’s state (for which he obviously has had no control over) and any conduct to which that state may give rise to?

    Suppose someone were born with predisposed to alcoholic tendencies, tendencies of rage, or perhaps with an abnormally aggressive sexual drive. Is it mere rhetoric to say that we might “hate” the conduct which may emerge from that predisposition while nonetheless having some measure of compassion for the person suffering from that condition?

    My concern here is where the emptiness in rhetoric really lies. If we remove the possibility of this distinction colloquially expressed in the “hate the sin, not the sinner” proverb, the effect may force on people a false choice of either being entirely approving of any behavior that emerges from a person’s state, or holding the person as a whole in utter contempt.

    I can see how this dichotomy may be useful to one particular side of the debate, but it may be destructive to understanding between all sides concerned overall.

Comments are closed.