2013

8 May 2013: It shouldn’t be a big deal to be gay

It shouldn’t be a big deal to be gay

NBA star Jason Collins has proclaimed to the world he is gay.  What’s the big deal?  Billions have publicly averred their personal truths since time immemorial.

People declare their religious preferences—Catholic, Muslim, Mormon, Southern Baptist—daily and oftentimes fight and kill to prove their love for their God.  No big deal, eh?

Two-thirds of registered voters have declared their political party preferences thus telling the rest of the world they are more likely liberal or conservative.  No big deal, eh?

Thousands of sports nuts wear their preferred team’s colors—Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets to name a few.  No big deal, eh?

The common strain through each of those is that they are preferences, choices made by individuals, almost always the result of tribal or peer pressure. Native Coloradan pro football fans are likely to wear orange and blue, and if one is born in Idaho, he/she is likely to register Republican.  Further, it’s tough to be reared a Catholic, Southern Baptist, Mormon, or Muslim and then choose atheism as one’s spiritual path.  Thanksgiving dinners would be even more interesting.

Jason is being compared to Jackie Robinson, whose life is being celebrated in the current blockbuster hit “42.”  One big difference is that Robinson’s challenge was obvious to anyone who could see: He was black.

But then, so is Jason, which makes him guilty of being gay while black, sort of like driving while black, or rather guilty of being black while gay.  With homophobia more pronounced in the black culture than in the white, that would seem a double-foul, using basketball jargon for metaphor, making him unacceptable to both racists and homophobics.

What’s a clean, upstanding, polite, intelligent professional man who happens to be a member of two minorities then to do?  After all, what Jason has done is far more risky than what Jackie did: He shattered a taboo.  In so doing he’s allowed himself to be vulnerable.  Jackie wasn’t any more personally vulnerable than he had been once he walked onto the baseball diamond since there was never a secret about his skin color.

Chris Broussard of ESPN wrote, “I am a Christian.  I don’t agree with homosexuality. [Jason] knows where I stand and I know where he stands.  I don’t criticize him, he doesn’t criticize me, and call me a bigot, call me ignorant, call me intolerant.”

While he is a declared Christian, Broussard doesn’t speak for Christendom.  I am sure millions of declared Christians say in very good conscience, “I am a Christian and the one with whom a person finds love, opposite or same-gender, and expresses it in an intimate, loving manner is true witness to the message of Christ.”

Jason’s skin color, height, eye color, and sexual orientation came with his genes and those who insist the last aspect is a matter of choice do so simply to avoid denying something proclaimed by men, very much like those who persecuted and prosecuted Galileo for discovering and revealing a scientific truth—the sun is the center of our solar system, not the earth—which is a fact of nature and, thus, God’s handiwork/ preference.

It turns out that the Roman Catholic Church and its Holy Inquisition were wrong scientifically with regard to Galileo, and in so being willfully, they denied God’s craftsmanship.  I believe that is called a mortal sin.

For if God made all things, as all Christians must believe in order to be considered one of the fold, He formulated the general and special law of relativity and the crazy quantum world in his cosmic physics lab, set the earth in orbit around the sun, and created men and women with same-sex orientation.

When one uses the cover of his/her religious beliefs, which are matters of choice, to demean and castigate another on the basis of his/her natural condition, that person is guilty of bigotry, ignorance, and intolerance, cardinal sins in a free and democratic society in which all “men are created equal.”

That’s what is irritating about religious zealots: They are condescending and hold that the rest of society ought to subscribe to their particular dogmatic beliefs, which is contrary to a free, democratic society.  That’s the way they do it in Iran.

So, assuming what Broussard claims is correct—that Jason does not consider him a bigot, ignorant, or intolerant—Broussard is at least this: He’s insufferable and needs to get over himself.

 

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