The purpose of this queshon —anotherrnpopular homosexuahst argument—isrnto make any appeal to principle lookrncold, abstract, inhuman, and heartless.rnhi the average American mind, “love”rnjustifies almost anything because it is uncontrollablernand requires us to do thingsrnno one else can judge.rnFinally, there is the straightforwardrninsult. In another Issues, Katie Sherrod,rna longtime writer for the EpiscopalrnWomen’s Caucus (a group that is exacd}’rnwhat you would expect it to be), claimedrnthat “Conservative writers repeatedlyrnhave accused the lesgays at the conventionrnof being willing to do anything tornachieve their legislative goals.”rnAs insults go, this seems a fairly mildrnone, until you think about it. It describesrnconservative writers as people who makernwild, hysterical, and unfair accusations,rnand thus it slanders not only their judgmentrnbut their character. These people,rnou are meant to think, are meaner thanrnjunkyard dogs.rnI read nearly everything written byrnconservative writers at the Convention,rnand not one ever wrote (or said, for thatrnmatter) that the “lesgays” would do “anything”rnto get what tiiey want, even grantingrnthat “anything” is an exaggeration.rnI thought it interesting, and perhaps re-rnealing, that Sherrod did not use thernnow-standard term “lesbigay.” “Lesgay”rnwas the homosexualists’ preferred term ofrnfie or more years ago. It seems to ha’crnbeen expanded to include bisexuals. (Thernquestion is whether “lesbi” is short for “lesbian”rnor for “lesbian and bisexual”)rnIt is hard to find out from those whornuse the phrase which they mean, perhapsrnbecause including bisexuals would destroyrntheir claim to favor monogamousrnrelationships, v’hich is one of the foundationsrnof their current apologetic. Thernambiguity of the word seems to be arnrhetorical disguise, signaling the truth torninsiders but hiding it from those outsidersrnwhose good will the}’ want to keep. (Thernaverage “centrist” Episcopalian approvesrnof sodomy as long as those involved otherwisernkeep the form of respectable marriagern—which is to say, have one committedrnpartner at a time.)rnToday, homosexualists sometimes usernthe word “lesbigaytrans.” This includesrnnot only bisexuals but transsexuals andrnthe “transgendered,” meaning peoplernwho want to live as the other sex withoutrngoing through the surgery.rnI don’t mind liberal slander. You getrnused to it. And, in part, such slanders arerndue punishment for one’s sins of uncharity.rnWe (coirservative writers) do throwpunches,rnand —being sinners —sometimesrnwe will hit below the belt, especiallyrnin the heat of a fight.rnBut generall), we fight b)’ the rules.rnNot being relativists, we know we are requiredrnto speak as fairly and honestiy andrncharitably as possible, even when wernhave to knock our opponent to the matrnbecause he is attacking something wernmust defend, and knock him down againrnwhen he gets up. We know that God isrnwatching, and He has standards.rnThis makes the conservative’s polemicrnboth ruder and kinder at the same time.rnRuder, because we will use such unfashionablyrndivisive words as “heretics” whenrnwe are speaking of people who teachrnheresy. Kinder, because we say what wernmean and use words that have a specificrnmeaning and which can easily be testedrnfor accurac}’.rnAnd our comments are, indeed, oftenrnrather impersonal. To sav that Smith is arnheretic is not (necessarily) to say an^’thingrnnegative about his character; it is only tornsay that [he view he presents as a Christianrnone is not a Christian one. If herncomplains that we have slandered him,rnwe can appeal to objective criteria — orthodoxrnChristianit)’ on one side, and hisrnwords on the other—and if we find thatrnwe arc wrong, we will apologize and retractrnour vords.rnIn contrast, the liberal’s polemic isrnmuch more personal. He does not meetrnhis opponent on the objective, impersonalrngrounds of conflicting views of truth.rnHaving avoided that, he has to speak ofrnhis opponent as if conservatives werernemotionally disturbed or blind or wickedrnbecause they do not see the truth thatrnmust be so obvious. (It’s obvious to him,rnafter all.) Ironically, the liberal’s relativismrnleads him to say not only that thernconservative is wrong, but that he is bad.rnI wish more liberals would climb intornthe ring and come out of their cornersrnwhen the bell rings, not throw an elbowrnas you walk by. I’d like them to be morerndirect, like Sherrod, but I’d like them torntell the truth as well.rnBut even Sherrod’s wildlv thrownrnpunches and hitting below the belt pointrnout the limits of all the inclusionistrnrhetoric of mainstream Epi.scopalianism.rnShe understands that the questions beforernthe Episcopal Church aird the otherrnmainline churches are serious matters,rnthat the truth can be known now, andrnthat we need not await the result of “conversations”rnand dialogues and studiesrnwhich could go on and on into the future.rnAnd she knows that the truth matters,rnand that it changes people’s lives.rnShe is quite wrong about what thatrntruth is (present polemical mannersrnwould require that I begin the sentencernwith “I think,” but in this case, I know);rnbut that she fights for truth, and fights inrna now somewhat unfashionably aggressivernway and with an unfashionable degreernof passion, I must applaud.rnDavid Mills, a senior editor ofTouchstone:rnA Journal of Mere Christianity, is thernauthor of Knowing the Real Jesus, forthcomingrnfrom Servant.rnMUSICrnHillbilly Deluxernby Clark Stooksburyrnii H; illbilly.” The earliest recordedrn. use of the word is from the NewrnYork journal of April 23, 1900. As yournmight guess from that publication’s cit)-rnof origin, the term was not intended as arncompliment. The journal defined a hillbilh’rnas “a free and untrammeled white citizenrnof-Alabama, who lives in the hills, hasrnno means to speak of, dresses as he can,rntalks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when herngets it, and fires off his revolver as the fanex-rntakes him.” Although this is not a completelyrnaccurate description of countrvrnsinger-songwriter Marh Stuart, that hasrnnot stopped the Philadelphia, Mississippi,rnriativc from adopting the term with arnvengeance. His 1989 MCA debut wasrncalled Hillbilly Rock. The title track fromrnthat recording, written by Stuart’s occasionalrnsongwriting partner, Paul Kenned-,rnreveals the origins both of Stuart’s soundrnand of his attitude: “It comes from Mississippi,rnand down in .-Xlabam’ / creepin’ likerna fever all across the land / from deep inrnthe Delta on the Louisiana shore . . . “rnNot surprisingly for an artist who willinglyrnadopted the “hillbilly” title at thernclose of the most homogenizing and centralizingrnof centuries, Stviart has great respectrnfor musical tradition. He spentrnmuch of his youth learning from the masters.rnHe joined Lester Flatt’s band inrn1972, at the age of 13, and plaved withrnhim until Flatt retired in 1978. Stuart wasrnMARCH 2001/47rnrnrn