Of Love Between Brothers and Sisters

Of course brothers and sisters have differences of opinion, argue and fight with each other.

Nothing new there. The prolific English hymn writer and poet Isaac Watts, while saying that "tis a shameful sight," wrote 300 years ago in Love Between Brothers And Sisters, "children of one family fall out, and chide, and fight."

Sometimes such sibling feuds grow so ugly and desperate that one takes the life of the other. In a New York Times opinion piece today, titled "Twisted Sister, and Brothers," Maureen Dowd quotes a Wall Street Journal article pointing out that such "sibling discord has been around since the Bible," when Cain killed Abel.

Watts, in the same poem, acknowledges such tragedy:

Hard names at first, and threatening words,
That are but noisy breath,
May grow to clubs and naked swords,
To murder and to death.

The devil tempts one mother's son
To rage against another:
So wicked Cain was hurried on,
Till he had kill'd his brother.

So, one might say, referring to the current Cheney sibling "feud," no big deal, just another disagreement between two sisters.

Having had my share of arguments and disagreements with my two sisters, one would expect me to agree, at least understand.

I once wrote about one such regrettable argument.

The argument was about politics -- the Vietnam War. It took place Christmas morning 1968.

In those days, I was in the military and a gung-ho Republican who vigorously supported the war. My two sisters were Democrats and passionately opposed the war.

The discussion about the war got very heated, to the point that I hurled vile insults at my sisters. To the point that I made them cry.

Yes, we have had our fights and arguments -- many I still painfully remember, and regret.

They were about little things and big things, about religion, about policy and politics, but never about who my sisters are.

My sisters are not lesbian. But if they were, I would never throw them under the bus for political convenience, even if it meant winning or losing a Senate seat. In my opinion, the Cheney sisters feud -- now a full-fledged Cheney Family Feud -- is not about politics or religion. It is not even about same-sex marriage. It is about who people -- millions of them -- are.

I know that I would never do a Liz Cheney betrayal, not for 30 pieces of silver, not for a lousy Senate seat, not for anything.

How do I know this with such certitude? Because I have a son whom God created gay.

What ever brawls are in the street
There should be peace at home;
Where sisters dwell and brothers meet
Quarrels shou'd never come.

Isaac Watts