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A Message From Garland Grey, Real American

Ah, election season. The whisper campaigns, the endless press conferences, the surreal sight of rich people trying to pretend they care about anything but themselves, their fussy children, and their stable of miniature ponies. And no matter how much conservative politicians have tried to stay on message with their plan for the economy (spoiler: TAX CUTS! FOR RICH PEOPLE!) they just can’t help rattling their sabres about the threat of the queermosexuals. Senator Jim DeMint (who, I am informed, has not taken advantage of his name and done drag under the name DeMint Julep, which is just such a waste) recently spoke at a conservative confab, firing up his base over the Lavender Menace in Education:

DeMint said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend — she shouldn’t be in the classroom.

“(When I said those things,) no one came to my defense,” he said. “But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn’t back down. They don’t want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion.”

Of course! Homosexuals and Ladies shacking up with their boyfriends couldn’t possibly be entitled to their own religious beliefs. Like my firmly held belief that, like breathing and eating, having sex is a biological necessity. I’m not too partial to other people trying to shame me about my biological necessities, or using this biological necessity to coerce other people into religious sacraments. Obviously DeMint isn’t obliged to respect my philosophical beliefs. In the conservative mindset, having to respect someone else’s religion means their own religion is under attack, a handy belief that allows them to simultaneously play the oppressor and the aggrieved victim. They want to enjoy all of the religious protections of the constitution, while denying them to everyone else. Those of us who don’t believe as they do are shamed and bullied into silence, not wanting to be accused of religious intolerance.

But mark my words, there is a secular reckoning coming in this country. Real Americans, believers in true religious tolerance, will rise up against the menace of theocratic rule and take back this country for Justice and Liberty. Then comes the free government limousines and the socialism.


  1. AMC wrote:

    “Has not gone drag under the name DeMint Julep, which is such a waste…”

    Oh God. This is so perfect, it’s the only part that helped me cool my rage. And this bit of brilliance:
    “In the conservative religious mindset, respecting other’s religion’s means their own are under attack”
    Can I post this everywhere on my Facebook and say it to everyone if I credit you? Cause it’s just too brilliant.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink
  2. Garland Grey wrote:

    Ohhh, tough choice, will I allow you to give TBD free publicity? Yes, of course! Quote away!

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  3. LLR wrote:

    “Like my firmly held belief that, like breathing and eating, having sex is a biological necessity.”

    I’m not happy about this line. Asexual people exist. Many of them get on without sex just fine.

    Otherwise good post.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink
  4. tree wrote:

    @ LLR exactly what i came here to say. thanks for getting there first.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  5. TD wrote:

    Heck, even a-asexual people (I’d say ‘sexual people,’ but that doesn’t sound right) can get by without having sex. I mean, you might sex really really badly but you’re not going to be injured by that desire, right?

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  6. TD wrote:

    Or rather, “you might _want_ sex really really badly.”

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
  7. Marley wrote:

    Perhaps expressing one’s sexuality or lack thereof is a biological necessity? I don’t know; I’m asexual, but I think that, for sexual people, sex does seem to be a biological necessity. Sure, a sexual person can get by without it, but not in a healthy way. I think?

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink
  8. Meg wrote:

    I’ve started delivering lectures to people on the immorality of heterosexual monogamy any time they try to say crap like that. I point out that it is against my religion, refuse to recognize their marriage, talk about their poor children, ask them what non-straight role models their kids have exposure to, ask if they’ve ever tried polyamoury; how do they know it’s not for them? Don’t they know how damaging it is for the parentage of a child to be certain? How sad and isolated those kids must feel, not that I’d want to punish them for their parent’s sexual preferences.

    My goal is to offer a brief glimpse, before they slam a door in my face, of the incredible invasion of privacy that their weird fetish for hetersexuality inflicts on everyone else.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  9. I’d say, perhaps, that sex is a normal biological function (or some variation thereof; ‘biological function’ makes it sound suspiciously like farting or something else we generally want to avoid talking about in certain company). It’s something inherently human, and no more wrong or unnatural than breastfeeding or an omnivorous diet. It isn’t necessary, but it is ours to claim, to perform, to enjoy.

    As for the rest – can I trade my free gov’t limousine for a working public transportation system? I’d like to be able to get to places other than school sometime. Ooh, and healthcare. I’m privileged enough to have insurance through work/school, but I’d give my right arm (my targeting arm!) to know that everyone I love (and people I’ve never met) could be covered too.

    Also, I am totally adopting “queermosexual” into my lexicon. And maybe getting it tattooed on my forehead or something.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink
  10. Ooh, Marley, I like this! “Perhaps expressing one’s sexuality or lack thereof is a biological necessity?”

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  11. Oh, right. At the risk of monopolizing the thread, I meant to add this to my first post:

    That lecture reminds me of the oaths that we were required to sign to go to my scary fundie christian junior high. My family isn’t fundamentalist in any way, and my parents just dealt with the oaths as a formality that they needed to sign to get their kids into school, but (once I read them; I didn’t even know they were asked for until I tried applying for a job there) they were super awful.

    Not only did you have to agree not to have sex out of marriage (not a problem for my parents, but I can’t imagine that the 20something employees at the daycare found it so east), you had to agree not to drink, smoke, look at pornography, swear/take the Lord’s name in vain, and about a paragraph of other restrictions. I really wish I’d kept the application just to demonstrate.

    We weren’t even allowed to dance on campus. I don’t mean dance with each other, I mean dance at all, even in play. There was a ‘six-inch rule,’ where boys and girls weren’t allowed within six inches of each other, even when standing in line. The principal would actually get out a ruler if they felt like you were getting too close. If this guy had delivered his speech at that school, he would surely have gotten a standing ovation (at least from the parents and school leaders; given what I heard about the other kids, maybe not so much).

    We had one girl who was (openly) Jewish, and another who had transferred from public school, and those were hard enough for the school to accept. I can only imagine what an openly atheist or gay or trans* student would have gotten. (Actually, I know exactly what they would have gotten: expelled. Perhaps after a lot of intercessory prayer and abuse, but definitely expelled.

    The kid who questioned the history we were taught was pressured to leave – and did; there was no room for deviance. I was glad he was gone, though, as he sexually harassed me and nobody did anything about it. The one time I did anything about it and hit him with a giant book one time, I was scolded (gently, though, since the teacher was sympathetic and knew what was going on) for it; his disappearance the next year was a great relief.)

    … good gracious, typing that out was validating. I always wondered if I was just miserable there because I didn’t fit in; putting into words some of the awful things about that place was really nice.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
  12. Marley wrote:

    Hmm, I take back the “not in a healthy way,” because there are celibate people! BUT, if one is FORCED to deny one’s sexuality or lack thereof, or has no outlet for it, THAT isn’t healthy. I think.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  13. VA parent wrote:

    I sincerely hope a secular uprising will happen, but I’m not holding my breath. The crazies are louder and more authoritarian-minded – a leader can whip them up and tell them what to do, and they do it. I think progressives are less willing to be told how to think, and we’re less likely to think there’s ONE answer, so we speak with many voices rather than just one.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  14. AMC wrote:

    @Magniloquence Good, God that’s awful! Yeah, how Christian: let’s ignore the girl being sexually harassed.

    You vent all you want; we secularists need some rule for our socialist take back of Sanity!

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
  15. @AMC

    Well, to be fair, most of it happened out of sight of the teachers. He would follow me around “asserting his bigness” over me and the like. As much as I know it’s neither right nor useful, I keep wanting to excuse it as “oh, he just liked me and didn’t know how to express it.” I certainly didn’t appreciate it as sexual at the time – it was just an infuriating intrusion on my personal space, made all the worse for the fact that it wouldn’t make a difference if I told anyone.

    Heh. There were definitely more obvious abuses, complicated in context as they were. We had “water day” once, where we were all allowed to have a big water fight on the lawn. The big kids (8th graders) turned on the spigot at the far end of the field (still plainly in sight of everyone, but far enough away that most people – particularly teachers/counselors – wouldn’t want to walk over there) and took to grabbing younger kids (us 7th graders; none of the other grades were allowed to come) and throwing us in the resulting puddle. Some went willingly – it was all part of the fun – while others … not so much. I was picked up bodily by a large group of mostly guys (one for each limb, with others crowding around me) and hauled over to the puddle, dropped in, and had a boy thrown on top of me before they started kicking mud in my face. They tried to get my friend Ariel as well, but she kicked the biggest boy in the nads and ran off the field to the safety of the concrete (nobody was allowed to get anyone on the concrete wet).

    Again, I didn’t take it as sexual – they were just trying to freak me out. I was so low on the social totem pole that most people didn’t even remember my name, for all they saw me every day.

    (I think our class had maybe 60 people in it? … if that. I was on student council, worked in the Snack Shack, and stayed after school helping with grades, the cheerleaders, and anything else that needed doing. I was still invisible and liked it that way. My more-visible friends got a fuckload)of shit, and I wanted to be as far away from that as possible.)

    The popular girls had it much much worse. Or better, if you count it as a measure of their popularity. Certainly, most of the people involved did. One girl got thrown in so many times that she came out completely covered in mud, face, clothes, hair and all. She squealed and ran around and let herself be caught over and over again.

    (Ugh, that “let herself be caught” part seems way too blame-y, but at the same time, that’s how I remember it. Slowing down and giggling and going along with it all. It’s been so long, I may have just imagined that part. I do remember that she never left the field until the activity was over, and that the kids she was with were the older, popular counterparts to her position.)

    Wow, that’s a derail.

    Um, bringing it back ’round to the original post: I like it.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink
  16. Whoops! Too much posting, got stuck in moderation. Just rest assured that I did respond to you. 🙂

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Permalink
  17. Garland Grey wrote:

    I misspoke. Sex is a biological right. Part of that right is the right to abstain completely, and not have that abstinence pathologized or ignored. Thank you for reminding me of that.

    What I was pointing out, or attempting to point out, was that sex is not a gift bestowed by a deity to people enjoined in marriage. This also covers asexual people, who are often treated as if their sexuality was an imperative, and those who are treated as if their sexuality was a privilege to be carelessly revoked.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
  18. Ahab wrote:

    Ugh. DeMint is a right-wing piece of work, that’s for sure.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink
  19. AMC wrote:

    @Magniloquence Urg. I just remember that sort of thing would NEVER have been allowed at the Montessori school I went to, and I operate from the perspective that all children should have a place as safe as that to grow up. I went to public school for one year and it was awful-when a boy threw ice with a rock and bruised my eye the teacher said to my Mom “Well, did you hear what she said to HIM?” Plus, the principal said I was “academically and socially inept and would never amount to anything.” I was a first grader. And that was just public school, so I totally believe at a fundie school you would have it awful. I’m glad you got out and are able to vent it out here on the beatdown!

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Permalink
  20. ta wrote:

    I am puzzled by the fact that he thinks unmarried women having sex with their boyfriends shouldn’t be teachers, but doesn’t mention the boyfriends at all. Are they allowed to force their girlfriends into not-working-with-kids, because they as unmarried men having sex with their girlfriends can still be teachers?

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink
  21. AngryPunkPixie wrote:

    DeMint DeMint DeMint, are you that terrified of unmarried women?

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  22. innocentsmith wrote:

    Because schools don’t have enough trouble finding well-qualified teachers, we’re going to start handing out the chastity belts.

    No, but really. Assuming this guy is serious, what is the proposed method for ensuring only married straight people get to have sex? I mean, will there be roving PTA Morals Squads? Does the school board get to put cameras in teachers’ houses? Wouldn’t that require more money being spent on education? Or is it more of a Pleasantville kind of situation where everyone will just magically see your transgressions on your face?

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink
  23. AMC: I went to Montessori school as a kid too! Unfortunately, I graduated from there and had to go straight to the fundie christian school (talk about culture shock!), because that was one of the few places that would accept me.

    (I was young for my grade, but hadn’t tested out, so I would have been held back to fit the age requirements; also, they had an automatic-entry policy for siblings of current students, so it was easiest to just put me there for two years. My parents didn’t really have a lot of options when it came to me.)

    Montessori schools are awesome, and you’re absolutely right that every kid should have a place to be safe and grow. I gave that very same speech to a neighbor of mine a few weeks ago, and her kid is going to a nearby Montessori school as well for that very reason. They’re by no means the only places that promote healthy environments for their students, but certainly good places to look.

    Garland: A biological right! That’s the perfect formulation for it. I knew there was a succinct way to put that, but I couldn’t for the life of me think it up.

    It’s also a much better fit for your overall argument, since (for me, anyway) it evokes one of my high school history teacher’s favorite aphorisms: “your rights end at the end of my nose.” (I think I’m mangling it, but when she said it, you could just see a fist bouncing off an invisible bubble just in front of her face. It really got the point across, though.)

    TA, Innocentsmith: Exactly! The whole issue of who is sleeping with whom and who gets punished for it is just plain silly. How, exactly, is one going to ascertain what’s happening in someone else’s bed? What if the boyfriend is a teacher too? Does it count if the sex isn’t PIV? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Permalink
  24. ta wrote:

    @ magniloquence: I think I can answer your last question at least, for something tells me that guy probably objects ALL sexual behaviour out of marriage (for women). not sure about french kissing though. sigh! It’s puzzling…
    which gives me an idea. how about we all call him and ask all our friends to call him and ask him to explain ExPLICITLY what forms of sexual activity he considers right and which not for umarried female teachers. EXPLICITLY. I bet he’ll regret his speech after he’s had to do that ten times a day..

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 4:59 am | Permalink
  25. tba wrote:

    on another note, I could never be a good teacher because I misspelled my own blogger nickname and wanna be known as tba instead 🙂

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 5:00 am | Permalink
  26. Moneypenny wrote:

    What if you just give blowies? What if I give DeMint a blowie? I just want to teach the children y’all!

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 7:00 am | Permalink
  27. AMC wrote:

    @Magniloquence Yeah, aren’t they the best? My school added on a pretty trailer as the classroom for seventh and eighth graders, so I got to last out middle school in my safe space with just a few classmates, like ten at most. It’s great especially since middle school is the hardest time for most kids, so I was relatively okay in high school, except for the anorexia, but thats all too common sadly.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  28. @TBA: Yesss. The next time he gives an interview, he should be asked to explain, in detail, all of the sexual acts he disapproves of and by whom. Maybe a checklist, with running commentary on the side like during a segment of Colbert’s Word.

    Think of the children! How will we ever be able to make sure only proper teachers are found if we don’t know what we’re sniffing for in their panties?

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink
  29. Minty wrote:

    @ Magniloquence: “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.” I think I’ve heard that attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but I have no idea whether that’s true.

    And that’s a very good point, that he hasn’t mentioned what should happen to male teachers who have sex with their girlfriends. Not that he has any way of enforcing any of it.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  30. Kaviani wrote:

    What kills me about the “unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend” is that it implicitly states that an unmarried woman’s private life is open to public scrutiny. As in, her employer and her students’ parents have a right to know anything about her private life.

    Friday, October 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink