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Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern, openly gay church pastor face off on television

by Nick Langewis

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Oklahoma House Rep. Sally Kern made an Easter Sunday appearance on KFOR-TV's "Flash Point" to face off with an openly gay pastor, elaborating on her recent leaked speech and defending her views.

A spirited theological and political debate ensued between Rep. Kern, host Kevin Ogle, panelists Burns Hargis and Mike Turpen, and Dr. Scott Jones of Oklahoma City's Cathedral of Hope.

"I was speaking to a group of Republicans; grassroots Republicans," Kern explained of the original speech, which gained worldwide attention after posted on the Internet by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, "and I was talking about the homosexual agenda, and how they are out there putting forth--funding very heavily--homosexual and pro-homosexual candidates to run against, and defeat, conservatives across the nation.

"I did talk about what I believe...scientific evidence, health evidence...proves that the homosexual lifestyle is a dangerous lifestyle. And, yes, I did compare it to being more dangerous than terrorism. And my point in doing that, gentlemen, was this: Everybody knows terrorism destroys and tears down, and that was the only analogy I was making is that the homosexual agenda, this lifestyle which is so destructive to individuals, is at the heart trying to tear down what is the bedrock foundation of our society, which is the family and traditional marriage."

"You don't really believe that Scott," asks panelist Michael Turpen of Pastor Jones, "is more dangerous than Osama bin Laden, do you?"

"I believe that the...homosexual agenda, and the lifestyle that it involves, is deadly to this nation. Now, I was not saying that Scott here is personally as dangerous as Osama bin Laden, but I was just making a comparison to prove my point."

"Well, I would denounce hate speech of any kind," rebuts Jones, "and have in my public remarks in response to yours. And you have to understand that when you say that gay people are like cancer...and cancer is something that we eradicate; that we kill; or that we are worse than terrorists, and terrorists are people that we go after to annihilate, to kill, you have to understand why those words would outrage people, because what are you saying? That we should go after gay people and eradicate them or annihilate them?"

"I wasn't saying that you guys were a cancer," the legislator says to Dr. Jones. "I was saying that the effect is the very same as a cancer. If God's people do not stand up and proclaim God's word, which teaches that homosexuality is a sin; and if we try to just ignore it and let it become mainstream and take on the mentality that you folks want, that it's a normal lifestyle, then that is going to spread through our culture, and we will no longer have the same kind of culture we've had for over 200 years. That's all I meant."

"You have to understand," appeals Jones, "that there are multiple churches, Christians, denominations, highly respected scholars who disagree with your interpretation and application of scripture."

"Sally," asks Turpen, "if you had a gay child--"

"--I would love them as much as anybody else," Rep. Kern answers. "I would love them more than any of my other children because they would have a greater need."

Kern also weighs in on her son, answering allegations that he was gay based on a 1989 arrest of a Jesse Jacob Kern on oral sodomy charges.

"In 1989, my Jesse Aaron Kern was 12 years old, and we lived in Boise, Idaho. He has never been arrested, and he has been interviewed, and he has said, 'I am not...I am straight!'"

"But if he were, I'd love him," she continues, "because God created us all in his image, OK? God has a wonderful plan for every single one of us. Sin is out to destroy God's plan for our lives."

"How could you love a gay son," asks Turpen, "that you have said is more dangerous to this country...than a terrorist?"

"I said the 'homosexual agenda,'" counters Kern. "I was not talking about--I have worked with other individuals who are homosexual. I don't hate them. I have never been rude to them."

Dr. Jones takes exceptional issue with Kern's lecturing on gays' involvement in the political process. Jones finds that it makes the lawmaker's comments "more outrageous" because he contends that she, as an elected official, is essentially labeling a certain group of people participating in the democratic process as worse than terrorists.

"The agenda is worse than terrorists," Kern counters.

"It is never dangerous for any of our citizens to engage in the democratic process," she adds. "I wish more of them would. What I'm saying is: their agenda, what they want to put upon the American people, which have for years been considered a 'Christian nation,' who had a moral basis, where people knew what right and wrong was; where people knew that this was considered sin and this was not considered sin--"

Jones interjects: "--So a group of people advocating for their equal civil and human rights is more dangerous to this country--"

"If a person is born black, they can't change that," Kern explains. "You see, that's the heart of this issue is the homosexuals believe they're born that way. No medical research--"

"--Even Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has agreed that all science is leading toward the idea that we are born that way."

"I disagree with that wholeheartedly," Kern says. "We're all born with a sinful nature. I'm just as sinful as anybody else in this world."

"The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association all disagree with you, ma'am," Jones responds, "and they're the people I would respect as having a mainstream view, and yours is in an extreme view."

"Mine is not an extreme view," counters Kern. "Mine is the view of the average American citizen, and I disagree with you."

"Why would somebody choose to be gay?" asks Turpen.

"Because of that sinful nature," Kern responds. "We can all choose to be whatever we want to be. You know, there are some people who have a propensity to have...a violent temper, and they have to learn to control that. They can't go out and say 'that's my propensity to be angry, so I'm going to engage in all the violence I want to.'"

The entire exchange, in two separate segments, appears below, courtesy of NGBlog. It was originally broadcast on KFOR-TV (where the entire episode is also available) on Sunday, March 23, 2008.


Originally published on Tuesday March 25, 2008.

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