An Oklahoma lawmaker has received an avalanche of criticism, reportedly including a few death threats, for calling homosexuality a greater threat to America than terrorism. Republican state legislator Sally Kern has apparently made the comment in more than one venue, and even now defends her statement while the condemnation rolls in from around the country. Kern has only mellowed it to insist that she meant no gay-bashing:

A YouTube audio clip of a state lawmaker’s screed against homosexuality, which she called a bigger threat than terrorism, has outraged gay activists and brought death threats rolling in.

“The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation, OK, it’s just a fact,” Rep. Sally Kern said recently to a gathering of fellow Republicans outside the Capitol.

“Studies show no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted, you know, more than a few decades. So it’s the death knell in this country.

“I honestly think it’s the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat,” she said. …

Kern said she has no regrets for her statements and denies she was gay-bashing. Her Christian faith teachers [sic] her to be loving to individuals, but not their lifestyle, she said.

Gays are a bigger threat than Islamist terrorists? Only if one feels less than confident about their own sexuality. In the real world, gays don’t threaten anyone with their choices. Kern, however, has paranoid notions of gay infiltration of city councils in an effort to drive America to ruin. Oh, the humanity!

But don’t let anyone say that Kern engages in gay-bashing! No, no, no, she hates the sin and loves the sinners. She just doesn’t love it when they conspire to undermine city councils and conduct indoctrination of children into their networks. She doesn’t love gays who sneak gay-themed books into childrens’ libraries, which prompted legislation sponsored by Kern, and which failed to pass in the Oklahoma legislature. But don’t say she bashes gays, for Pete’s sake!

Unfortunately, many take this far too seriously. Republicans at some point have to distance themselves from those whose paranoid impulses lead them to these extremes. In practical terms, they are no better than those who blame Halliburton for conspiring to push the nation to war, or those who believe that the CIA secretly masterminded the 9/11 attacks in order to bolster their budgets.

Worst of all, it takes our eyes off of those who really do want to destroy America — like Osama bin Laden, the Iranian Guardian Council, and other real enemies of our nation.