Every Halloween, New York City residents are greeted by homosexual parade marchers dressed to impress bystanders with a message that "gay is good." Some folks take the parade in stride, some are offended by more than a few outrageous displays, and others simply could not care less.
That parade is a microcosm of how Americans, in general, feel about the gay movement. And those who oppose the in-your-face tactics of some homosexuals do have a legitimate gripe. They simply want to be left alone. They don't want to see explicit displays in public that offend their moral or religious point of view.
Enter Ellen DeGeneres and JCPenney. The Texas-based department store has hired DeGeneres as a spokesperson, and that is royally teeing off a conservative group called "One Million Moms." On their website, they are calling for JCPenney to "replace Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson immediately and remain neutral in the culture war."
The Moms go on to say DeGeneres is not a "true representative" of the type of families that shop at JCPenney.
While I sympathize with folks not wanting to deal with homosexuality, I think the Moms are wrong. DeGeneres is an American citizen. She has committed no crime. If she wants to promote equality for gays or gay marriage, that is her constitutional right. She should not be dismissed from anything.
But the Moms have rights, too. They don't have to shop at JCPenney if they believe the company does not hold their values, and they are doing nothing wrong by making their disenchantment known. As long as they don't try to hurt DeGeneres or any other individual, I have no problem with the Moms.
In the 1950s, Sen. Joseph McCarthy got a whole bunch of Americans fired from jobs because he said they were communists. There was even a blacklist in Hollywood that banished perceived leftwing job seekers from employment in the entertainment industry. That was awful and flat-out un-American. In this country, you have a right to be a communist, and nobody should punish anyone for their political beliefs.
In my opinion, Kim Kardashian is a far worse role model than Ellen, and the Million Moms might want to check that out. Kardashian is all over the media peddling an aggressively self-involved image that is anything but healthy for teenage girls. In fact, there are scores of media people who are celebrated for bad behavior. If the Moms want to be consistent in their outrage about dubious behavior, they are going to be very busy.
So let's leave Ellen alone and allow the marketplace to dictate exactly what Americans believe is worthy. That is the American way. Witch-hunting against certain people and groups is not.
Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show ''The O'Reilly Factor.'' Visit his website at www.billoreilly.com. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/billoreilly.