queen of hearts
( ) (what
do these signs mean?)
a deck of cards focused on politics, Laura Schlessinger
may seem to be an odd choice for Queen of the faux moralists.
Her public reputation is based on her views on religion
and morality rather than politics. But the Radical Right
has politicized morality and religion to a degree we
have not seen since before the American Revolution.
In doing so, they have bitterly attacked all Americans
who live their lives differently. They call their attack
on other ways of life a "culture war," although
it is a pretty one sided one. Dr. Laura has been a field
marshal for the Right in its attack on those who live
differently. And they support her enthusiastically.
is one with Robertson,
and Reed, among
others, in arguing that only the most traditional moral
behavior (as they define it) counts as truly moral.
Everything else is error or worse. Like the Fundamentalist
Christians that she may soon be joining, now that she
has abandoned Judaism, (see below), for Dr. Laura "literally"
interpreted Scripture is the absolute word of authority,
and not to be questioned.
argument is most convincing when you haven't read much
Scripture. Someone, possibly Jack Ballinger, wrote an
open letter to Dr. Laura that was reproduced extensively
on the web. It cleverly exposes the problems facing
any literalist using of Scripture as a moral guide.
We cannot do better than this letter, and so reproduce
Thank you so much for doing so much to educate people
regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from
your show and I try to share that knowledge with as
many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind
him that Leviticus 18: 22 clearly states it to be
an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice
from you, however, regarding some of the specific
laws and how to best follow them.
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I
know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus
1: 9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the
odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as
sanctioned in Exodus 21: 7. In this day & age,
what would be a fair market price for her?
I know I am allowed no contact with a woman while
she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev
15: 19-24). The problem is how do I tell? I have tried
asking, but most women take offense.
Leviticus 25: 44 states that I may own slaves, both
male & female, provided they are purchased from
neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims this
applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
Why can't I own Canadians?
I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.
Exodus 35: 2 clearly states he should be put to death.
Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish
is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination
than homosexuality. I don't agree, can you settle
Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the
altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have
to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision
have to be 20/20 or is there some wiggle room here?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including
the hair around their temples, even though this is
expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should
I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin
of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play
football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by
planting two crops in the same field, as does his
wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds
of thread (cotton & polyester blend). He tends
to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary
that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole
town together to stone them? (Lev. 24: 10-16). Couldn't
we just burn them to death at a private family affair
like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws
(Lev. 20: 14)?
know you have studied these things extensively, so
I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding
us that God's word is eternal and unchanging."
decent person would agree that, whatever Exodus or Leviticus
may say, selling our daughters into slavery is beneath
contempt, killing people who do not observe the Sabbath
is murder, and a God who does not want His altar to
be visited by people with poor sight is not worthy of
worship. How do they know this? Because they know that
morality is rooted in respect, compassion, and concern
for others, and because any God worth worshipping has
to act at a higher ethical level than humans. Anyone
who grasps these simple truths will be careful about
denouncing others who live differently, but are not
predatory on others.
Laura's famous intolerance and vitriolic denunciation
of others who live differently from her is famous. She
frequently calls her call-ins "selfish," "sluts,"
"stupid," "termites" or "pigs."
This list is not complete. She uses these terms on people
she has not met, and who have only a brief moment to
describe their problems. Here are some examples:
we have the word homosexual, we are clarifying the
dysfunction, the deviancy, the reality. We change
it to the word gay, it makes it more difficult to
pinpoint the truth. So one of the things that the
homosexual agenda did was to change the name. Just
like somebody complained to me yesterday about ethnic
cleansing, that it sounds like washing machine as
opposed to murder. They were right. Ethnic cleansing
sounds nice. Murder is the truth, homosexuality is
the truth. Gay isn't." (Dr. Laura's radio
show, August 13, 1999)
sorry, hear it one more time perfectly clearly: If
you're gay or a lesbian, it's a biological error that
inhibits you from relating normally to the opposite
Laura Schlessinger on her Web site, http://www.drlaura.com,
Dec. 8, 1999
comparison is interesting in a sick sort of way: murder
is to ethnic cleansing as homosexuality is to gay. But
there is a deeper problem here. If homosexuality is
a "biological error" albeit one apparently
found in other species worldwide, who is the author
of that error? And why should those victimized by that
error be attacked by those who claiming to follow the
teaching of its "Author?"
for a different example:
she was my daughter, I'd probably put her up for adoption.
Poor Sara doesn't get it. When she makes her marriage
vows and her husband has sex with everybody else,
let's see if she thinks that this philosophy works.''
(Newsweek, March 20, 2000)
Sara' here was a 14-year old eighth grader who wrote
a prize-winning essay against censorship of the Internet.
In the essay, Miller wrote, "Nobody's values are
wrong, too strict or unfit. No one is perfect. People
should be able to live by the values they make for themselves."
If Dr. Laura had bothered to read the entire essay,
which seems reasonable if you are going to use it to
recommend kicking someone out of their family, she would
have seen that Miller's argument was that people are
able to judge for themselves whether the content they
view on the Internet is acceptable to themselves and
appropriate for their children.
of Dr. Laura's diatribe:
by Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's Attorney General,
to Dr. Laura: http://www.snet.net/features/network/articles/1999/11170106.shtml
course Dr. Laura's tactic is a time worn method of the
Radical Right: take a quotation completely out of context
and then use it to beat up on views they oppose. Views
so distorted that in truth almost no one can be found
who believes them. Needless to say, the Christian Right
admires her tremendously, because her methods and conception
of "morality" is so similar to theirs. Thus
the Traditional Values Coalition executive director
Andrea Sheldon Lafferty, said "Dr. Laura represents
the values and beliefs of millions of Americans."
This seems to us a libel on millions of Americans.
let's probe more deeply here.
angry irruptions of vicious tantrums by right wing "culture
warriors" are perfect examples of those with beams
in their own eyes attacking the motes in the eyes of
others. The very nastiness of these attacks suggests
a deeper bad faith on the part of the self-appointed
zealots and advocates of "morality. As this site
demonstrates beyond doubt for Bennett,
Reed and others, these people are hypocrites.
We suggest this is one reason why they point so loudly
towards the failings of others. To distract others,
and perhaps they themselves, from the lack of integrity
in their own lives.
Dr. Laura's own life has been anything but spotless
by the standards she applies so ruthlessly to others.
the past few years, thanks largely to Vanity Fair
and an unauthorized biography, damaging story after
damaging story has trickled out about Schlessinger.
She's a divorcee. She carried on an affair with a
married father and eventually broke up his marriage.
Then she lived with him for years before they married.
She got pregnant before they married. She posed for
nude photographs. She talks nonstop about the importance
of honoring parents and family, yet has not spoken
to her own mother or sister for 15 years.
responds with considerably more tolerance for her past
than for others' present. For one thing, her past only
emerges when others bring it up. She doesn't refer to
it to make points, until she is confronted by it. Then,
rather than taking responsibility for her past indiscretions,
she blames them on her former atheism or her dead mother's
desire to live in isolation from her daughter. This
story is particularly sad. When her mother was found
dead, police initially thought she had been murdered.
The reason was the elderly woman had been dead for three
months and apparently was a sloppy house keeper, so
they thought her place had been ransacked.
her great wealth, her claims about family values, and
her Jewish faith, Dr, Laura hadn't taken the time to
check on her elderly mother, or have someone else check.
When her death was first announced, this paragon of
family values said, sadly, that her mother had died
as she had lived, alone. Thus she lost a powerful opportunity
to develop that most fundamental foundation to any true
our other cards concerning Radical Right religious leaders
also show, these people have a strange view of how to
relate to God. On August 5, 2003, Dr. Laura opened her
program announcing she has ceased practicing Judaism.
"My identifying with this entity and my fulfilling
the rituals, etc., of the entity... has ended."
gave an interesting reason. In return for being a Jew,
"I don't get much back. Not much warmth coming
back [from her community]."
religion should pay not in closeness to G-d, nor in
personal transformation. It should pay in warm fuzzies.
We can be sure that Dr. Laura would have failed miserably,
had G-d made the same wager over her He reportedly made
Laura is apparently now contemplating turning to Christianity.
We may suspect it will be the "Christianity"
of Robertson and Falwell and similar types. There she
will find the "warmth" she must seek, surrounded
by her allies in the Religious Right. But her fog of
self-righteousness will keep her from finding God. For
many of us, religion offers a larger and more compassionate
context from which to view our lives and the lives of
others. But this transformative dimension seems lost
on Dr. Laura. This is why she is so popular with those
who worship politics, power, and the imaginings of their
own minds, and call it God.
on Dr. Laura: