By Jeff Walsh
So, I attended a press screening of Milk tonight, the new Gus Van Sant movie about the first openly gay elected official who was assassinated in 1978 (sorry, can't say much more about that, my review is embargoed until the movie's release late next month).
But one thing in the movie completely yanked me out of the moment.
In the movie, Harvey Milk is meeting with some gay leaders about a mailer they want to send to every California resident. The mailer is about 1978's Proposition 6, also known as the Briggs Initiative, which would have made firing gay teachers (and any public school employees who supported gay rights) mandatory.
In the movie, Milk (played by Sean Penn) looks at the flier and is outraged that the mailer avoids using the word gay. It talks about rights and other high-minded things, but completely avoids the issue. The other people in the room say it is the right approach if they want to win.
by Jeff Walsh
In "The Conservative Soul," blogger Andrew Sullivan (profiled in Oasis back in 1999) makes a heartfelt case for being a conservative. Now, before you start getting defensive, Sullivan says the term conservative has been hijacked and attributed to a set of political beliefs and ideologies that don't even resemble its origin, which he says is rooted in loss and doubt.
"The regret you feel in life at the kindness not done, the person unthanked, the opportunity missed, the custom unobserved, is a form of conservatism," he writes. "The same goes for the lost love or the missed opportunity: these experiences teach us the fragility of the moment, and that fragility is what, in part, defines us."
Sullivan spends a lot of time in The Conservative Soul exploring fundamentalism, and outlining one of the most simple reasons to which I have always attributed its popularity, which is the inherent comfort there is not having to question the truth. By living within strict rules, there is a surrender that is liberating. I think one of the biggest fallacies of fundamentalism has always been that it is simplistic when to its adherents it is the answer to eternal questions.
By Jeff Walsh
For many gay liberals, the mere words "Andrew Sullivan" make them tense up. He is roundly criticized for his conservative, Christian views, and seems to be a lightning rod for controversy. Sullivan can be seen everywhere when a national gay story breaks, from Politically Incorrect to Nightline, and whether you agree with him or not, his views are always well thought-out and thought-provoking.