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Sex, Politics and Religion


“Don’t discuss politics, sex or religion,” folks once said, “and you’ll have a fine time.”

Well, I visited a sister last week and talked to her Righty hubby about politics, sex and religion.

But that wasn’t my intent. I wanted a comfy chat. I wanted to show that I’ve got range, that I’m not a caricature of the Left.


So much as a lug delicately dons his daisy-fresh, tidy-whities before playing some smash-mouth, in-the-mud rugby, I showed my unexpected Right side.

I admitted, “I actually admire some traditional Republican values. I’m all for fiscal responsibility. I’d like to see the government spend only what it takes in. The current administration, in borrowing every third dollar, is pre-taxing the babies. And I’m a fan of states’ rights. I wish that every tax-paying gay American citizen could pursue life, liberty and happiness and marry everywhere, so I hope that the feds honor the states’ freedom of choice and don’t amend the constitution to restrict civil rights for gay folks.”

But then right away, the Righty het hubby swerved our chat into sex.

“The problem I have with gays is that they wanna put their gayness in my face!”

“Whaddya mean?”

“Oh, you’ve seen those gay pride parades, with the leather and the bare buttocks. And have you seen Will and Grace? It’s nothing but gay, gay, gay.”

“So you think people should keep their sexuality to themselves?”


“So you’re anti-Pamela Anderson?” (Being a courteous guest, I didn’t tell him that I consider Pamela Anderson to be a drag queen, a person who has drug out gender to a hilarious extreme, a person so femme that she makes the Marilyns, both Monroe and Manson, seem butch.)

“Well, yeah.”

“That’s not true!” my sister yelled from the other room. “He goes bug-eyed whenever she’s on tv!”

“And when straight people get married,” I said, “and drive around town honking their car horns and towing cans and streaming crepe paper, you’re against that flaming heterosexuality too?”

“That’s not flaming heterosexuality. They’re celebrating a sacred union. And they’re quite discrete. Not like those gays.”

“Ahh, I see,” I said, thinking about all the times I’d seen brides hoist their skirts and tuxed fellas ratchet garters up their thighs, while het guests whooped as if it were a good old-fashioned ho’ down.

Since we were already talking about sex, I tiptoed into politics.


“Oh, yeah.”

“But why Iraq? It’s costing hundreds of billions, which will be borne by the babies.”

“Well, remember how we entered late into the world wars?”

“Oh, yeah, we let France be pummeled twice—and America wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for France. And we watched while London burned—and they’re our best buddies.”

“And that was wrong, right?”

“Right,” I agreed.

“Well, by attacking Iraq, we’re not waiting.”

“But Iraq didn’t attack us.”

“But they eventually would have attacked us,” he explained.

“When? Why?”

“I can’t say for sure. It might have taken fifty years.”

“So we’re pre…retaliating?” I said.

“Yep. That’s it exactly.”

Applying that logic, 9-11 was Islamic pre-retaliation for Iraq, Part II, also known as Vietnam, Part Deux.

The concept of pre-retaliation muddled me, so I leapt into the last taboo topic: religion.

“But didn’t Christ say that we should turn the other cheek?”

“Christ didn’t say that we couldn’t attack those countries that are going to attack us. Did he?”

Ahh, I couldn’t escape pre-retaliation.

“No, Christ didn’t talk about pre-retaliation,” I said. “He talked about loving others. We can then infer that we shouldn’t attack countries that didn’t attack us.”

“So you’re inferring Christ’s intent?”

I was afraid to answer, lest I be compared to one of those evangelists that have tête-à-têtes with God and emerge the next day saying, God says you gotta give me another guhzillion or he’s gonna hoist me up to Heaven!

“Well,” I said, hoping to slip away under the cover of vagueness, “I think it’s kind of obvious.”

But the only thing that was obvious was that my muddlement was becoming monstrous.

I rued that I ever that I ignored the axiom, “Don’t discuss politics, sex or religion.”

But then my brother-in-law surprised me.

“So what do you think of Wal-Mart?” he asked.

“I…don’t…like…it,” I admitted, fearing that any response would return us to pre-retaliation.

“I agree,” he said. “It’s bad for America. Bad for small towns. Bad for American manufacturing.”

“Really?” I said.

“Oh, yeah. Ever seen a small town downtown a few years after Wal-Mart arrived?”

“I’ve seen plenty and they aren’t pretty. So you don’t shop there?”

“Nah,” he said. “I don’t mind paying more to protect American communities and manufacturing jobs.”

“Wow,” I said. “We agree.”

And that wasn’t the only place we agreed. We also agreed about people driving SUVs while talking on cell phones.

“I avoid them like I’d avoid drunk drivers,” I said. “They’re 5 times more likely to crash and ‘cause of the size of their vehicles, they’re 6 times more likely to kill me in a collision than they are to be killed.”

“And that’s not good citizenship,” he said.

My green tea clinked on his scotch on the rocks.

But I didn’t sleep well that night. Perhaps it was the caffeine. Perhaps it was the jolt that a lad on the Right can surprise a lass on the Left, that there’s more to some Righties than the jingoism, bombast and dogma of their leaders.

Perhaps it was because I still tried to untangle the sticky faux logic threads of pre-retaliation.

But I suspect is was fear, fear of knowing that Right-minded drivers were as likely to swerve from chat-distracted drivers in monstrous SUVs as me—and with so much swerving on the road, life is less safe than ever.

Katie McKy is the author of It All Began With a Bean, which answers a child's true query: "What would happen if everyone in the world passed gas at once?" Her work can be found regularly on Raw Story weekends.


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