the reasons for regarding it as relevant tornpublic office-holding are really not difficult.rnAny society must regulate and disciplinernsexual impulses and must do sornin terms of what is morally permissible asrnwell as what is socially tolerable. In thernabsence of social and moral norms governingrnsuch sexual relationships as thosernof husband and wife, parent and child,rnelder and youth, and male and femalerngenerally, the human condition wouldrnindeed come to resemble Hobbes’ anarchicrnstate of nature, since there would bernno ready means to prevent the spontaneousrnsexual exploitation of the weak byrnthe strong, and each act of exploitationrnwould at once lead to the violence ofrnjealousy and the extraction of revenge forrntransgression of sexual rights and relationships.rnIndeed, American sexual lifernalready resembles just such a jungle, asrnthe brutalization of women and childrenrnand the violence of homosexuals explodes,rnin large part because the abandonmentrnof norms governing sexualrnconduct encourages opportunities forrnexploitation, revenge, and jealousy. Onernsuch norm has always been that thosernwhose own lives are not governed byrnnorms should not govern others.rnUnlike the neurotically repressive sexualrncodes of Victorian times, healthy individualsrnand societies recognize thernpower of sexuality and allow for its satisfaction,rnbut movements like that of thernqueer militants today demand far morernthan that. What they demand—andrnMiss Achtenberg has been in the forefrontrnof this—is that men and women berndefined through their sexuality, that sexualityrnbecome the most important measurernof ourselves. The power of sexualrnimpulses in most human beings is suchrnthat when the norms that govern themrnare weakened, sexuality escalates intornsuch a consuming preoccupation that itrnbecomes the defining dimension of thernpersonality, with other dimensions beingrnsuppressed or ignored. It would not occurrnto a sexually normal male heterosexualrnnominated to Miss Aehtenberg’srnposition to bring along his girl friend orrnhis mistress to his confirmation hearingrnand introduce her to the senators—indeed,rnwere Ted Kennedy on the committee,rnit might even be dangerous tornthe young lady to do so—because nornnormal heterosexual man defines himselfrnas mainly or exclusively a sexual being,rnand all such men leave their sex livesrnin compartments separate from that ofrntheir business. The only people who dornso define themselves, who do demandrnthat their private sexual lives be strippedrnof all regulating norms and decorum andrnsplashed about in public for all to gogglernat, are those who have become so preoccupiedrnby sex that they can think ofrnthemselves in no other dimension—in arnword, those who are perverts. The properrnplace of sexuality (and other mattersrnas well) in the normative codes of Americanrnsociety ought not to be too toughrnfor all grown men and women to grasp,rnbut it seems to be well over the heads ofrnthe Republican Party today.rnIt is not for nothing that John StuartrnMill called the conservatives of the 19thrncentury “the Stupid Party.” In one sense,rnthis was a compliment, since a certainrnstupidity is at all times necessary for therncontinuation of civilized life. Humanrnbeings cannot reinvent the wheel everyrnweek, so they have to keep makingrnwheels the way they were raised to makernthem, and the repetition of inheritedrnways of doing and thinking often resemblesrnthe behavior of stupid men. Conservativesrnare those who insist at all timesrnon continuing the stupid but essentialrnroutines of civilized life, and usuallv thatrnis sufficient to keep the wheels of civilizationrnturning.rnBut sometimes it is not enough, andrnthe failure of Republicans today to perceivernthat the major issue of Americanrnpolitics is whether we should try to makernthe machinery of human society turn byrninventing new kinds of wheels for itrnshows that this is one of those times.rnThe ideal response to Miss Achtenbergrnwould have been to hoot her and herrnsupporters out of public life entirely andrnto leave her, Mrs. Moseley-Braun, Mr.rnRiegle, and the whole repulsive pack ofrnthem in a public pillory for a few daysrnwhere the mobs could work their will onrnthem with rotten eggs, dead cats, and decayingrnfruit. If the Republican Partyrnwere doing its job, if it even knew whatrnits job is, at least the political and rhetoricalrnequivalent of such public mockery ofrnperverts and their minions could takernplace, and the norms of public and privaternlife would be protected. As it is, thernRepublicans are the ones who are pilloriedrnfor even daring to suggest that therernare any good reasons why a sapphic sisterrnshouldn’t hold public office, and sornweak, vapid, cowardly, and trivial has thernresistance of the Stupid Party been tornthe cultural revolution that there is norngood reason to say that the pillory is notrnwhere most of its members belong, crnLIBERAL ARTSrnIT’LL TAKE MORErnTHAN KRAZY GLUErnThe leader of the breakawayrnAfrican-American Catholic Congregationrncelebrated Good Friday thisrnyear by organizing a burning and arnmock burial of images portraying JesusrnChrist as white. “Set yourselfrnfree,” Bishop George Stallings of thernImani Temple told a predominantlyrnblack group of several hundred peoplernat Freedom Plaza in Washington,rnD.C. “We have come to bury thernwhite Christ. If you want to see whatrnJesus looked like go to a mirror.”rnStallings burned a portrait of Jesusrnwith long blond hair and lightrnskin. Similar icons, including representationsrnof Christ on the cross, werernplaced in a draped coffin. These arernimages that “oppressors” have pushedrnon blacks, Stallings lectured, addingrnthat his followers should seal the coffinrnwith Krazy Glue so that no onerncan “pry it open.”rnOn Easter Sunday, Stallings presidedrnover the unveiling at the ImanirnTemple of a portrait showing Jesus asrna black man. His purpose in all this?rnTo correct the “misinformation” thatrnChrist had Aryan features and a Europeanrnbackground. “People sayrnthat’s being racist,” he said. “But theyrnwant to control you. . . . Reclaimingrnthe true Jesus is searching for therntruth.”rnAUGUST 1993/11rnrnrn