Nice column by Michelangelo Signorile in the New York Press. Signorile picks up on an element of the John Walker story that briefly saw the light of day in a back-and-forth between columnists in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner but (as far as I’ve seen at least) hasn’t gotten much other play.
Walker’s parents’ divorce was closely tied (chronologically at least) with his conversion to Islam. And apparently the divorce itself was triggered by his father’s coming out as a homosexual or bisexual man.
The conventional take on Walker has been the ‘only in Marin’ line.
Yes there are a couple permutations. There’s the really shabby, slumming version of the story: lax values, permissive parenting, mom’s a Buddhist … of course, he joined the Taliban.
Sophisticates have a more nuanced rendition … same cake, really, just with a Straussian frosting. The center will not hold, relativism breeds ennui breeds fanaticism. You know the story.
In any case, this seems like a window into Walker’s soul that cuts a good deal more deeply than the cookie-cutter versions getting the play on Op-Ed pages. And as to why it’s garnered so little notice? I suspect that’s because for both parties to the controversy this is just an angle that’s a little too dicey, too uncomfortable to handle.