Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

Jon Stewart Teaches Compassion and Empathy.

Jon Stewart was on the Larry King show on Wednesday. Here's an excerpt from the interview, regarding the controversy over gay marriage:

STEWART: I think Cheney is the most interesting case in all this. His daughter is gay, and I believe Kerry brought that up. And he has the most enlightened view of all the Republicans on the issue, it brings up an interesting point that all gay people are someone's son or daughter. So, why can't you have that empathy and compassion for all gay people? Why does it always have to be when it's someone -- you know, Nancy Reagan is for stem cell research now, yes, because her husband was sick.

Why does it have to wait until it happens someone in your family before you can be open enough to...You know, I think, I'm talking about...empathy, being able to understand that just because I don't know gay people or people who go to church doesn't mean that that's a freaky thing to do. I don't have to just have somebody in my family to do it before I begin to understand that there's humanity behind that. That's what it seems like is the...

KING: But a large part of the public is taught that gay is a sin.

STEWART: Oh, no, listen, I went to the anti-gay classes you're talking about.

KING: In Hebrew school?

STEWART: Yes, it was done right afterwards. You know, they're not taught that. It's just -- it's freaky. And I mean, where I grew up in New Jersey, I didn't know gay people. And then when you come to New York, you go, oh, you're just a person. But you are -- it's just the unknown.

(That's my emphasis in the first paragraph, by the way.)

Thank you, Jon Stewart*. You pretty much said what I've been saying all along, but I think sometimes I can come across as prissy or pissy or preachy or just stridently annoying.

So now I pose the question to all of you: why do we have to wait until it happens (or in the case of homosexuality, we are made aware of it) in our families? Because that's how it was for me; up until my older brother came out my attitude was one of self-imposed ignorance and apathy: "I don't know; I don't want to know; I don't even want to think about it; I don't care." And thus I was forced to form an opinion, and because I love my brothers I was forced to care.

And maybe I would have come around to my current way of thinking if none of that had ever happened. It's not something I could have ignored forever; besides the fact that it's currently a hot topic, I'm an English major, I was a theatre minor, and I was in the teacher ed. program. I would have had to deal with it eventually. But perhaps less personally.

*(like he's reading this)
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