Sheesh. Next time I decide to click on a link to AMERICAblog, can someone kindly break my wrist for me? Thanks. Especially if I decide to scroll down from the post that someone linked and sample some of the other goodies available.
I’m not going to get involved in opining about Cindy Sheehan and what kind of person she is. I will, however, ask my fellow gay guys this: Is it really a good idea to be fawning over a mother whose authority in argument is implicitly predicated on the belief that she gets to own her son’s memory and legacy now that he’s dead? No matter what allegiances he publicly and consistently took while alive, as an independent adult? Even if what she supports is diametrically opposed to the way he lived? Do gay men really want to do that? Really seriously really? I’m thinking maybe it’s not such a hot idea.
Added on 20 August: Henry Lewis gives the obvious response:
So, yes, she gets to ‘own’ her son’s memory and legacy – because he was her son, and she loved him. The allusion here (I think, since the question is about whether gay guys should fawn over Cindy), is if you’re gay and your parents don’t agree, should they be able to use your memory (assuming you’ve died) to promote their anti-gay agenda? The comparison, though, is a false one. An anti-gay parent who uses the memory of a dead gay-child to promote their anti-gay agenda is (arguably) actively working to tear down their son’s memory. Sheehan isn’t doing that.
She hasn’t had anything bad to say about the military and, to my knowledge, hasn’t said she opposed Casey’s choice to be in the military. What she has said, is that she doesn’t understand what her son’s sacrifice was for. I suppose you might argue that if Casey was staunchly pro-war-in Iraq (as opposed to pro-doing his duty as a member of the military), you might argue that his mother’s anti-war activities somehow go against his wishes, but even then, it’s not the same thing. Cindy is proud of her son, she misses him, and there’s no indication she wanted him any different than he was – that she didn’t support him.
I find it hard to criticize a guy who may actually use more parentheticals than I do–which is saying something–but this is hair-splitting with a vengeance. The man reenlisted after the start of the Iraq conflict (as his own unit was getting ready for deployment, from what I’ve read). It’s hard to imagine him, from the available information, as being anything but in favor of the Iraq invasion. Even so, how Ms. Sheehan’s thinking actually relates to her son’s thinking was not the point I was addressing.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s all over after that first sentence: “So, yes, she gets to ‘own’ her son’s memory and legacy – because he was her son, and she loved him.” Whatever you say, honey. I’m less concerned with what Sheehan thinks herself than with the uncritical acceptance of the idea that her being a bereaved mother gives moral weight to the way she invokes her son’s memory to support her political opinions. It simply doesn’t. My mother loves me, sure–but if I died and she started going around and implying, however sincerely, that I’d only chosen an out life because I’d been suckered by the gay establishment…well, I hope it would be duly noted that she was calling into question my considered judgment as an adult.