Lenny Palumbo, a columnist for the Niagara Falls Reporter, created a stir last week when comments he wrote were deemed “homophobic” by websites, blogs, callers and e-mailers.
The Reporter received numerous threats from those who said that if we did not fire Mr. Palumbo, and issue an apology at once, they would see to it that our advertisers would stop advertising and make us notorious in the eyes of the world. Some said they already went ahead and contacted our advertisers before they contacted us.
Of course, we would not dream of avoiding notoriety or keeping advertisers by succumbing to intimidation. That’s for big business cowards and pandering politicians.
We have faith in ourselves and confidence in our ability to stand up as men, much more than faith in others’ ability to hurt us. We don’t need anti-bullying legislation to protect us from bullies. We will do it ourselves with our own brain and strong right hand.
The Reporter will give tit for tat to anyone who chooses to attempt to bully us with compound interest.
However, for those who think it is almost as dangerous in 2012 to criticize homosexuality as it was to promote it in 1950, because the people who fought for tolerance are now the quickest to deny it to others, I disagree.
I believe most of the world is made up of good people. I was gladdened by the fact that, aside from the attempts of cowardly bullies, I did receive sincere requests from genuine and serious people who disagreed with Mr. Palumbo and wanted me to clarify what I will or will not publish in the future, and why I allowed Mr. Palumbo’s opinions to be published in the first place.
For the sake of these people, I will share my views even though they may be of little interest to general readers.
First, the Reporter is not opposed to Mr. Palumbo saying that he has an objection to homosexuality or preaching his objection even in language that may be insulting.
However, I draw the line at publishing any call to make homosexuality illegal or to punish any consenting adults for practicing homosexuality.
I do not believe words are punishment. I do not accept the craven notion that other’s words have power over us.
I believe man must muster his own strength against bullies, whether in the schoolyard, the government, the streets, in business, in politics, from foreign powers, or from the politically correct who demand group think.
I believe within everyone is the strength to stand up to even the devil himself and subdue him in a twinkling.
We certainly will not submit to the prattle of babies who cannot take a word of criticism without lashing out as bullies themselves in order to demand their views be accepted without debate whether others agree or not.
The Reporter’s defense of gay rights or gay criticism stops at limiting free speech. Let babies howl and do what they will. I have no objection to anyone trying to persuade any adult that homosexuality is wrong or right.
I draw the line, however, at youth and believe it is the duty of parents to instruct their children about sexual orientation and not the government, school, media or professional sports. I think this country needs to show more respect for the rights of parents.
Coming to the world of adults, I support the rights of two or more people to have any relationship they please. I do not care at all what sex organs adults have when they come into physical contact with each other for fun, for mysticism, health, or profit. I am not offended by adults who practice homosexuality, polygamy, polyandry, polyamory, promiscuity or any other arrangement involving sex or love or marriage (with or without state approval) that consenting adults care to make with each other.
I respect that a large percentage of the world considers the union of one man and one woman a sacred thing and call it marriage. I have no objection if two people of the same sex wish to call their union marriage and contract to make it legally binding.
As for sex for procreation, God or nature decided long ago that male unites with female. Someday man may find a way to change that and maybe that, too, is natural and right.
In the end, man may conquer nature - inner and outer - and subdue her in a twinkling.
In the most general terms, talk of sexual orientations, I believe, is on a path of growth, but means little. I believe that courage is developed by that man who is not under the control of lust; that the power to say to the body that it shall be under the firm will of the mind is a tonic unto itself.
The topic, however, is freedom and growth. In finding strength, it may be true that the soul is seen. There will be no talk then of gender.
In real time, the Reporter will defend the right of homosexuals to criticize Lenny Palumbo and vice versa.
And to the extent that we believe it may be of interest to our readers, we will publish it.