Oklahoma official defends comic linking gays to Satan
A county commissioner who is running for re-election in Oklahoma City is defending the virulently anti-gay comic he sent to local Republicans by insisting that the "homosexual agenda" is an issue in the campaign.
In the comic, which Commissioner Brent Rinehart created along with a friend, a devil threatens a small child with a pitchfork, saying "If I can get the kids to believe homosexuality is normal!" while an angel yells, "Not with Brent around you won't!"
CNN's John Roberts spoke to Rinehart, who told him,"One person's mud-slinging , I guess, is another man's issues. ... I believe the homosexual agenda is an issue in this campaign. ... I thought that it was a very good campaign piece."
"Are you homophobic?" Roberts asked.
"I'm not even sure as to what 'homophobic' means," Rinehart replied, "but let's just keep in mind that we are in a cultural war."
Rinehart refused to acknowledge that his comic could be considered gay-bashing. He insisted, "We have an attorney general here in the state of Oklahoma that has used his office for political means, filed campaign charges against me, and it's based on my opposition to the homosexual agenda. ... The attorney general, Mr. Drew Edmondson, sued the Boy Scouts of America because they would not allow homosexual boy scout leaders as leaders."
Attorney General Edmondson appears in Rinehart's comic holding a sign saying, "Gay rights now!" A caption explains that "Drew Edmondson put Oklahoma on record to force the Boy Scots to accept homosexuals as scout leaders, a pedifile's [sic] dream come true."
"A drowning man tends to thrash about,” was Edmondson's only comment on Rinehart's comic.
"This is one of the strangest things I've ever seen," noted political science professor Keith Gaddie. "I've never seen a comic book with the phrase 'anal sodomy' in it before. ... He's pretty much grinding every ax he's got from his days in the county commission."
County Assessor Leonard Sullivan stated, "I've really encouraged him on more than one occasion to get professional help. He really needs it."
Rinehart is facing a difficult re-election battle, in large part because of his questionable purchasing decisions and other actions. Attorney General Edmondson filed felony campaign finance charges against him last year, accusing him of perjury, conspiracy, and money laundering in connection with his 2004 campaign. It has also been suggested that Rinehart "is pushing a road and bridge improvement project ... to help Del City developer Ray Pelfrey who is building a new home next to the road and once held the mortgage on Rinehart’s home."
"Is this some desperate and weird attempt at payback against the attorney general?" Roberts asked.
"It's getting a message out," Rinehart insisted. "It's telling a story of how I got to where I'm at. ... It exposes Drew Edmondson for his true agenda. ... It exposes others here in county government for their true agenda. ... When I ran for county commissioner, my agenda was roads and bridges, limited government and less taxation, and family values. ... I've stuck to my guns. ... I'm not going to back down."
NewsOK.com has a full report on Rinehart's comic here.
The complete comic can be downloaded (as a PDF file) here.
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast July 21, 2008.