Thursday, March 28, 2013

Suburban legislator’s gay marriage comments as “disordered” as her views

I’ll be the first to admit that Stephen Bona handled his situation badly.

IVES: Wrong type of attention
He’s the local resident whom prosecutors say made a harassing telephone call to a state legislator from suburban Wheaton, only to have her call the cops and have him arrested.

AFTER HIS ARREST and the filing of a misdemeanor charge, he persisted in placing another call to state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, letting her know how angry he was about his arrest.

That caused prosecutors in the land of DuPage to upgrade the charge to a felony. What likely would have been a fine now creates the possibility of a prison sentence. And I’m sure the ideologues of our world will see anything less than the maximum prison term of five years to be a great offense against our society.

Even though the part of this whole situation that really ought to be offensive are the comments made by Ives that triggered this whole situation – the ones that are tacky and offensive in their own right.

Yes, our society gives Ives the right to express her thoughts – no matter now nitwitted they are. But it also gives others the right to think she’s completely full of it.

SO EXCUSE ME for thinking that Bona, a Chicago resident, isn’t quite the demon or the bully that I’m sure the ideologues of our society will try to make him out to be.

For the record, this whole thing was provoked by a radio interview Ives gave earlier this year to a program sponsored by the Catholic Conference of Illinois. Which means she had an audience that likely was motivated to want to be all worked up at the thought that legitimate marriage for gay couples was even being considered by political people.

Ives wanted to make sure those people knew she sided with them, calling the concept of gay marriage “disordered,” while also adding that she sees gay couples as trying to use the issue to, “weasel their way into acceptability.”

As though our society wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t someone in it for people like Ives to be able to look down upon. Which is why I always viewed the opposition to this issue as being more about people trying to cover up their own insecurities rather than any legitimate gripe.

THAT, AND THE fact that I always viewed such relationships as being solely the business of those involved in them, and not really any of ours.

Yes, Bona was tacky in feeling the need to make a harassing telephone call – particularly when he brought up that one-time campaign ad used by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that had crosshairs over states with public officials whom she wanted defeated.

Then again, I recall that the ideologues were all defensive of Palin when people criticized her for use of the crosshairs. So is this really a selective sense of taking offense?

One could try arguing that Bona was expressing his view on the issue to a person who doesn’t seem to care if their view offends someone else. Could it be only her sensibilities are untouchable in her mind?

PROSECUTORS MAY WELL push for prison time if they get a conviction in this case. But I’d argue a sense of proportion ought to be kept in mind.

Remember the Ashford House – a restaurant in southwest suburban Tinley Park where a dozen people wearing masks and wielding clubs charged in last year and attacked a dining party they believed were an organized white supremacist group conducting a meeting?

Five people wound up in custody and faced serious criminal charges – which can be justified by the level of violence they inflicted. Even if you think the individuals who were attacked somehow deserved it, it doesn’t justify such a reaction.

Nothing about this latest incident even comes close.


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