March 17th, 2008
04:34 PM ET

What's a bigger threat than Terrorism?


State Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City has received death threats since telling a political group that "the homosexual agenda is just destroying this nation" and poses a bigger threat to the U.S. than terrorism or Islam.

As we approach the five year anniversary of the Iraq War, what do YOU think is the single greatest threat to the United States? Al Qaeda? Terrorism? Or homosexuals?

Well, a state representative from Oklahoma told her fellow Republicans, "The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation." Rep. Sally Kern went on to say, "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."

A recording of Kern stating her views on YouTube has received nearly one million hits in ten days.

Curious about her history?

The former school teacher has tried to pass bills to remove books with gay and lesbian themes from children’s sections of libraries.

She says "We're not teaching facts and knowledge anymore, folks. We're teaching indoctrination, OK, and they are going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them a homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle."

"It spreads, OK, and this stuff is deadly and it's spreading and it will destroy our young people," she said. "It will destroy this nation."

TV host Ellen Degeneres, who is gay, called Kern during the taping of her show, saying she wanted to discuss some “misinformation”.  Kern said she has no interest in talking to Ellen, “That would be like throwing myself into the lion’s den and I’m not going to do that.”

Kern's office received more than 23,000 e-mails in less than a week, mostly condemning her views.  State police said they are investigating death threats against Kern.

But she's also receiving support. Her Oklahoma Republican colleagues gave her a big group hug and a standing ovation.

– Randi Kaye, 360° Correspondent

Filed under: Gay & Lesbian Issues • Randi Kaye
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    State Rep. Sally Kern makes a valid point. It was said by a certain president that America cannot be destroyed from without, but from within.
    If anyone ever cares to look at the communist agenda for America from many years ago, you will find that this was part of that agenda. Destroying the family.
    And while the left wing blames America's problems on conservatives, they are failing to see the true reasons for America's losing her former greatness.
    While homosexuals have the absolute right to choose and practice their preferred sexual orientation, to live safely and free from harm here, our government is under no obligation whatsoever to honor these relationships as a marrige or legal union similar to marriage. (I don't even care if homosexuals choose to live next door to me, it's ok with me)
    But as far as marriage, civil unions, adopting children? Absolutely not. The homosexual issue is not what contributed to making this country great.
    This is one of the reasons people from many countries do not like America.
    I have some friends from India and Pakistan. They became legal U.S. citizens. They feel that this wonderful country is going down due to it's selfishness and excesses, and lack of common sense. They feel morality is on the decline in the greatest nation on earth. And morality includes many things, ie: elective abortion, homosexuality, avarice, dishonesty, etc.
    These immigrant friends of mine are extremely well educated and have very successful careers. They know more about American politics than do most natural born American citizens. They are Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim. (imagine that! conservatives are not just those cute little evangelicals that the media wishes would fade away!) And would you believe that there are actually agnostics that have conservative and decent values? Yes! They exist!
    And you know what folks? We are not going to fade away. We are gaining in numbers and strength by the day and we will get this country back on track. It will take time but we WILL do it.

    March 18, 2008 at 11:17 am |
  2. Cam007

    Madam Kern, I support you 1000% for your bravely stand up to fight that disgusting matter. We are human, not animal and should not promote this subject or inherite it to our children. It's a wrong wrong move.
    One thing that disburbing me is when you compare this subject to Islam. I'd like you to retract that comment so that people (Islam) around the worl won't get disappointed with you.
    By the way, i'm not Islam or Christian, but just don't want good person who dare to come forward confronting this matter, being hated by other regligous groups.

    March 18, 2008 at 9:16 am |
  3. Greg S. in Chicago

    Hey Ryan, Kim is right. There isn't anything in the Bible that's mythology. Why, just the other day, I saw a person turned into a pillar of salt for burning his oxen on a Sunday. Just wait to see what happens to all those archeologists who keep fabricating dinosaur bones, trying to disprove that man wasn't created on the seventh day. I hope their turn is during an ice storm so we can save some taxpayer dollars on the de-icing of our city streets.

    March 18, 2008 at 7:44 am |
  4. dealraitheachgrian

    People should be allowed to believe what they believe, however, thinking that homosexuality is more of a threat than terrorism? I see, she must be one of those who subscribes to the point of view that all homosexuals are child molesters. Wow. I thought we lived in the year 2008. Or was that just a dream I was having?

    March 18, 2008 at 4:30 am |
  5. Elliott A

    According to the bible, the answer is : ALL OF THE ABOVE!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:12 am |
  6. Dennis

    I don't like people whose first name is Sally. I think people with that kind of first name, is making America go to hell. Good bye.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  7. Sara, Oklahoma

    After hearing what Sally Kern said about homosexuals, it made me sort of sick knowing that she is representing my state. I think our country needs to be more open to differences. Being against gays is the same as being racist. I think we need to teach tolerance, not hate.

    March 18, 2008 at 12:55 am |
  8. Kurt

    She is an idiot. Unbelievable.

    March 17, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  9. samina WI

    ok.. this is what bothers me...bigger threat than terrorism or ISLAM???"...Excuse me lady!!..Islam is a great religion with a billion followers..you could have atleast said 'Radical islam' or 'extremists'. Seriously, Americans atleast need to make an effort to be correct!!!!!!

    March 17, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  10. xtina

    I see alot of comments calling for Kerns to not be allowed to be a lawmaker, or even to exist ( someone wants her to be "wiped off the face of the earth"). So, if we make it against the law to be "offensive", the important question is then what is offensive, and who gets to say what's offensive. Could Kerns possibly find the pro-homosexual life as offensive as some people find the pro-heterosexual life?

    Rev. Wright says "GD America", so should those who find him offensive wipe him off the face of the earth?

    Every day there's someone out there who will "offend " someone else; Rev. Sharpton, Rosie, Donald Trump, Mel Gibson, Michael Moore, Ann Coulter, Cindy Sheehan, Don Imus, Rev. Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Bill O'Reilly, Al Franken, Eliz. Hasselback, Barbra Streisand, Rush Limbaugh, et al.

    Should we give Washington the power to make laws against "controversial" people? Bottom line is , what offends you doesn't offend that guy and what offends that guy may not offend you. So, no, the government should never be given power to quell even the most offensive among us. In fact, Washington shouldn't be getting more power, they should be getting less. Shouldn't we be moving toward a 'Liberty for all' way of life instead of 'sanctions on speech' way of life?

    March 17, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  11. Charlie

    The single greatest threat to our nation today is our leadership . They lack wisdom,knowledge ,morals,ethics,and the understanding that they work for the american tax payer and not for themselves..i think thats why they hold gov positions . What corporation/company would hire people who lacked the above values and attributes to make there major decisions .Time to clean house / maybe the next batch will take there leadership role to heart and work for the good of our country..

    March 17, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  12. roycroft

    JoAnn above says "kearn is our greatest threat"?


    Because she speaks her mind>? Because you don't agree with her? Only people who agree with you can stay? Of course, most of us don't hold Sen. Kerns' views, but you can't have government controls or there'd be none of us left.

    March 17, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  13. Poole, Wilson, NC

    Our focus now in America is Iraq, i believe this is not the focus of America right now i believe the economy should be the main focus. Even though the elections are coming up and the focus of the news is on the primaries we should be coming up with new ideas on trying to build this economy back up. The United States should stay in Iraq but our main focus should be toward our economy.

    March 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  14. sonny

    So... I do agree that sure, most homosexual tendencies are not appropriate due to the fact that they just try too hard to make others understand that it's OK. I mean, if this weren't really an issue we wouldn't be talking about it. But in all due psychological theories, when was the first time you were curious about YOUR roll in life? If not ever then I believe its time to open the idea bowl and draw up a simple subject you disagree completely and try to comprehend just how much tyrrany homosexuals face as do heterosexuals. When a person starts to "feel funny" wouldm't that be a sign of maturity? A slow, degrating way, but hey... we are all human, I would hope.
    As for the internet... the best porn shop your eyes could percieve, and the kids DO know.
    As for homosexuals needing this at the moment, I say that if it took up until 2004 for Texas to legalize sex for them then it might take even later until the pride of the people who oppose it will drop that sense of agitation and try to listen to what they truly have to say. Find out the reason why they are WHO THEY ARE, I bet if youlook into a mirror you can fin out yourself a bit more too; whether it be from knowing you like men or women to knowing you can write, there is a purpose.

    March 17, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  15. Eddie

    The worst thing facing U.S.A. is politicians and taxes

    March 17, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  16. Marc

    What an embarassment. The rest of the world just looks on and shakes their heads. The U.S. is broke, is TRILLIONS of dollars in debt (to Saudi Arabia and China) and the homosexual agenda is your biggest threat?

    March 17, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  17. LL Barra/ Woodstock,NY

    Let's all have a moment of silence for Madame Kern. Bless her little heart. All the heterosexual mothers and fathers of gay children will sleep better tonight knowing that their children will never have to be judged by this wonderful christian bigot. Someday she may find the true meaning of Christ's love and I for one hope she chokes on it.

    March 17, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  18. xtina

    This reminds me of the Don Imus case.

    I wish more Americans would say, "I don't agree with that person (in this case, Ms. Kern) but I defend her Freedom of Speech to speak her mind."

    March 17, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  19. john

    What a breath of fresh air to hear someone who will stand up for the truth. I wish she were my representative.

    God bless.

    March 17, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  20. Dianat

    Bob from Rome New York, youre even scarier than Sally!!!

    March 17, 2008 at 9:45 pm |
  21. Jo Ann

    I think people like Rep. Sally Kern are one of the greatest threats to the United States and to society in general!

    She would be a great candidate for 360’s "What Were They Thinking" segment, but apparently she has made a career out of these dangerous and hateful statements.

    I personally think she should be removed from her position as state representative and immediately seek some psychiatric help.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    March 17, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  22. mike

    she is absolutely correct! mentally,morally and everything with gay will not only destroy the U.S. but the world as well. you see we are living and conforming with what the holy scriptures says.whether its Christianity or Islam,and gays had been burned alive in sodoma and gomorrah many years ago. they are humans also.yes.. but there is no confirmed study that its genetic or natural other what the holy scriptures says it is: Immoral.

    March 17, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  23. Andrew Feldman (Shrewsbury, Massachusets)

    This lady's intersting. I think terrorism is a little more serious.

    March 17, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  24. thechristianna

    With all this talk about the "gay agenda" and now this nonsense about homosexuality being a bigger threat than psuedoreligious terrorism, I really wish someone would ask what EXACTLY is so incredibly wrong with homosexuality.
    Yes, according to some, the Bible probably doesn't like it too much. (It should be noted most of the Bible could be interpreted in mulitple ways since it was written in what is now a dead language.)
    Yes, it probably would mess up the religious "sanctity of marriage," but as we've all seen in recent events, no one seems to take that seriously anymore (Eliot Spitzer anyone?)
    But honestly, what gives ANYONE the right to kill 15-year-old Larry King, or to ban a couple from getting married, or call a couple "a bigger threat to our nation than terrorism"?
    Two men holding hands or two women going out on a romantic date does not affect anyone except those two people. No one thinks twice when a man and a woman kiss each other goodbye, but people actually stop and point if a gay man sees his partner off to work or if a woman and her girlfriend pick up her child from school.
    I've never understood the threat people see from LGBT, because their relationships have as much to do with me as any other heterosexual couple–nothing. It's not up to the government to decide anyone's feelings about love, sex, and marriage, and Ms. Kern needs a reality check if she thinks homosexuality will just "go away."

    –Christianna, NYC

    March 17, 2008 at 9:21 pm |
  25. Greg S. in Chicago

    The death threats, I'm sure, are just angry expression of outrage. A real action people can take, however, is to ban all things Oklahoma. When the Republican leaders in the state feel the repercussions in their wallets, they may not be so eager to embrace their collective, hateful bigotry.

    March 17, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  26. mary

    Helllllllllooooooooooo lady this is the 21st century.... wakeup. Comments like you just did are the worst threat for usa. Instead to unified you are the greater divider person of this country. By the way what would you do if one day one of your family or close tell you ' I am gay. Would you condamn him or her....Your are just a stupid idiot...

    March 17, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  27. Sarah

    What's the homosexual agenda?
    Being free to be yourself... being able to be with someone you love...
    Yes, that sounds dangerous.

    The indoctrination present is the idea that there's something wrong with respecting our fellow citizens' rights to live their own life. Teaching kids respect and acceptance is necessary when there are ignorant people like this running around loose.

    It's sad... gays are the "acceptable" people to discriminate against at this point in history. Historically, it was minorities, now the religious nuts have moved on gays. Everyone should stand up for gay rights. Equality is what this country is based on (at least theoretically). And it is the only way to prevent tragedies such the boy being shot a few weeks ago.

    March 17, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  28. Kate

    The biggest threat to our nation is close-minded and rude people such as this, who base their hate for other people in religion that preaches love and acceptance. Talk about hypocritical.

    March 17, 2008 at 7:48 pm |
  29. Kim

    The Bible isn't mythology. And quite frankly, our country is rotting from the inside out. But if you want to be part of this rotting scene, go for it. In the meantime, I'll keep my foundation, thank you.

    March 17, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  30. Bob from Rome NY

    Thanks Sally! Go get them girl!!

    March 17, 2008 at 7:24 pm |
  31. Judy Stage Brooklyn MI

    Me thinks she protests too loudly! Larry Craig's voting record protested loudly against gays and it appears he is gay.
    I condemn her views and have hopes that compassion and understanding, along with acceptance and tolerance fill the collective consciousness of humanity.
    IMO Sally Kern is unfit for elected office since she does not represent all the people of her district, only straight people, and she is scary because she is in a position of power. If I were in her district I would start the recall petition.

    March 17, 2008 at 7:17 pm |
  32. Wully Bully.

    Geepers Randi,
    And all this time I have been worried about the radical jihadist!
    Don't I feel silly?
    I thought homosexuals were just good caring, loving productive friends and neighbors.
    What a surprise!
    Rep. Kern's constituents must be proud. . . . NOT!

    March 17, 2008 at 7:16 pm |
  33. Tammy

    Christ said "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". As a lifelong ally, I'm choosing to take the high road and leave it at that.

    March 17, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  34. Mindy Chatsworth, Ca.

    With all that is going on in the world today, the real threats that face us as a people and as a nation, it is appalling to me that this woman would go on a crusade against homosexuality. What world is she living in? We have had homosexuality in ancient civilizations. If it hasn't been "wiped out", as she would wish, then what makes her think she is going to succeed thousands of years later? And, more to the point, why should she?

    Gay people have as much right as the rest of us to the basic civil rights and liberties provided for in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I think people like her need to be wiped off the face of the earth. This is the last bastion of prejudice and it needs to be addressed NOW. How long must innocent people die needlessly because of the same kind of ignorance that has blinded this woman? When will this all end and we can let gay people live in peace?

    I am outraged that this woman is in a position of some power and influence and can decide what we will or will not teach our children. What we should be teaching them is to respect the differences between us as people. To even insinuate that gays are as bad as terrorists is sheer insanity. They are not our enemy. There is an old saying about looking for the enemy and realizing the enemy is us. Well, this woman is a formidable enemy.

    God help us from people like this.

    March 17, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  35. Sarah

    THhs woman is an embarassment to the USA!( By the way, I am a heterosexual , conservative woman.)

    How dare she say that gay and lesbian people pose a bigger threat to the nation than terrorism? What hole in Oklahoma has she ben living in for the past 8 years?

    March 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  36. Jen

    thank you so much for finally giving some coverage to this story. i have been part of the email campaign to do just that, and am very grateful for your story. as an oklahoman, i am furious that this woman is being paid to represent me and my friends.

    her hate speech is exactly the kind of ignorance that is spreading through our country and has to be stopped. in my opinion, this woman's behavior and comments are inexcusable not just on a personal level but because of the office she holds. though she has the right to say whatever she wants as a bigot, she is a paid state representative, and her hateful and hurtful remarks DO NOT REPRESENT ME! this behavior is much more offensive to me than new york's gov. seeing a hooker, and i hope in the coming days it recieves 1/100 of the coverage that story got.

    i hope she too is forced to resign. thanks again randi.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  37. Adina

    Wow....just wow. In this day and age the fact that this person was elected to office and spouts off that kind of hate is amazing. If she replaced homosexual or gay with black or Hispanic people would be protesting. Sure she has a right to say what she wants but that doesn't make it right.

    People can use the bible to justify anything...in fact the people in the south during the civil war used to justify slavery by using the bible. Seriously sick. I hope the people in her district vote her OUT of office.

    If she thinks gays are a bigger threat than terrorists she is the one with the moral, ethical and close-minded problem.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  38. Rosemarie

    It pains me that people run for office and are elected to further their one-issue political agendas. Thinking people need to vote for candidates with a broad spectrum of ideas that will further our goals as a people, not marginalize different factions.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  39. Maggie

    Pardon? Did someone say we had the freedom of speech? How about the freedom to worship as we choose? What about the old stand-by; "I don't agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

    How can you, in good conscience call someone stupid, biased, mythology followers when in fact they possibly feel the same about you? Worse, they may even be right.


    March 17, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  40. Fay, CA

    Sally Kern's views are despicable and idiotic and it's shameful that her Republican colleagues in Oklahoma gave her an ovation, but unfortunately not surprising. It's hateful and intolerant attitudes like Kern's that will most likely be the real culprit in 'destroying' America.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  41. Jane, Los Angeles

    I would love to hear her try to defend these statements on the air - please tell me you're booking her as a guest. I can't imagine what she can use to justify these opinions, and I think it would be very telling to watch her try.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  42. Nina

    I completely agree with mrs. Kern. I am sick of liberal view being shoveled down our throats through liberal media outlets and our children being led astray. I am disgusted by the ignorance of the previous posters.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  43. jacey

    I see a lot of irony in the platform that teaching children acceptance will destroy our nation. What nation is this? Wasn't this nation founded by oppressed people looking to build a country that values personal freedoms? Harboring intolerance goes against the very root of what our nation should stand for.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  44. Lilibeth

    Shame on Rep. Sally Kern. Her disdain for homosexuals is bigotry at its worst. I'll tell you what the greatest threat to the U.S. is. It's not terrorism. It’s self-righteousness, ignorance, and intolerance.

    Edmonds, Washington

    March 17, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  45. Michael, NC

    What kind of rude, closed minded, unthoughtful person would say these things. I can not believe the audacity this woman has. Homosexuality, a threat...unbelievable. Being a homosexual doesn't make you any less of a person, and I believe the acceptance of homosexuality should be taught to all ages. People like this are the reason that young boy was killed just weeks ago, and after the Spitzer case, her overenthusiastic approach makes you wonder what skeletons are in the closet with her.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  46. Kathy, Andover

    Ya think we need to overhaul what kind of intelligence requirements a person must have to be a state legislator - a political representative, period?! Talk about IGNORANCE! People such as Sally Kern are the REAL THREAT. They scare me! (btw I'm heterosexual, Sally, and I definitely find YOU scary)

    March 17, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  47. Breez911

    one word BLIND VANITY; It always has been.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  48. Ryan

    And all of her speech was based on the fact that "the bible says it's wrong".

    When we can stop living in a World based upon mythology and superstition, only then will we emanate tolerance and acceptance, and a genuine sense of equality. You can't legislate ethics, morality, or equality. They have to be genuinely felt by all of mankind.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  49. Cindy

    While I don't agree with what Kern said I do believe she has a right to say anything she chooses. I mean we do have a thing called freedom of speech. No one should be making death threats. That is a bit much!

    Some people with religious beliefs actually feel the same way as her. I am sure she isn't alone in thinking these things. But you can take things too far sometimes. And thinking that homosexuals are worse than terrorists is the most ridiculous statement I've heard in a while.

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:43 pm |