I have been listening for the past couple of days to the story of Jason Collins on sports radio. For those who don’t know, Jason Collins was featured in Sports Illustrated as the first openly gay pro-basketball player. You can read the article here. The ironic timing has coincided with the release of Tim Tebow from the Jets, who is much maligned for being liked by people who are Christians. Sure, there are issues of football and Tim’s perceived inability to play quarterback in the NFL as well as the stories about His personal faith in Jesus Christ that are all a part of the story; but most of the vitriol against Tebow is that the experts in sports media say he can’t play and are appalled that the masses (fans) would not just take their word for it.
Enough about Tebow, because I have been pondering on the “coming out” of Jason Collins.
This has become a huge story. My 15-yr-old asked me about it, and I hear him talking about it with his cousins while they are playing the same sport in the driveway that Collins plays on the hardwood. Colin Cowherd has had guests on to discuss being openly gay in the pros and other sports hosts have aired their support for Collins and his courage in sharing his story. I get it. However, there are a couple of things that have gone over and over in my mind that I want to address.
It seems the sports radio/tv hosts are focusing on the issue of “locker room.” The question is asked, “Will other players in the locker room support a gay teammate?” The answer from the players has been overwhelmingly, “Yes.” In the end, they say, it is all about results in the field / on the court and nothing else should matter. Again, I get it. I agree with that point. Who someone is privately should not affect how they can shoot a free throw. I am not sure that it matters who or what that person is.
However, I think there is one point that is not being asked, even though it still pertains to the locker room. How does that work, having a man or woman in a locker room who is attracted to the ones who are sharing that locker room? It’s an honest question. The point could be spoken that just because a man is attracted to men does not mean he will be attracted to the men who are in the room with him. The point could also be spoken that just as in heterosexual attractions there is more than just the physical going on.
But I still have a problem. Say you have a completely committed, heterosexual, married man who loves his wife with everything in him and would never, ever cheat on her. Say this same man has a job that he shares with women, and the women are not people he is attracted to because he is so in love with his wife. Some of the women are physically attractive, and others are not by physical/phantom/photoshop standards. He works with them every day and they rely on each other to get their job done, and remember, he is committed to his wife and will not cheat with any of his co-workers. Now, say this job requires them to share a locker room, meaning open showers, dressing areas, etc.
Pause a moment before you read my question and think honestly about the answer.
How comfortable would the women be in that locker room?
The “locker room” question wouldn’t be so much about being teammates but about being modest. My thought is that the women would probably have the right to feel uncomfortable showering next to someone who finds their sex attractive, even if he doesn’t find them attractive. I think this is an issue with Collins. Am I wrong?
I still have a another problem. Where the pundits are going with this is not that we should accept that there can be a gay athlete, but that we should be OK with homosexuality. This is where a troubling issue comes for me. The media is spending their time under the pretense of getting society in general (or their listeners in specific) to be comfortable with homosexuality. I think they are wasting their time. Society, in a very general sense, has decided that they are more and more comfortable with homosexuality and are beginning to accept it as a normal. I say it is a pretense because in reality they are really attempting to get those who believe their is a sin problem with homosexuality to change their mind on the topic. Terms such as “inclusion” and “inviting more to the party” are used. ”It’s 2013,” Colin Cowherd said yesterday.
I don’t think that people should be hated for a lifestyle they follow. But the issue is not whether society thinks homosexuality is or is not OK. Homosexuality is a sin that God sent His Son to die for so that we could be set free from.
Going down the same “locker room” and “teammate” road that the media has made the discussion, what if there is a teammate that is a man who is attracted to women. However, his deal is that he has no scruples. His moral compass is such that if he finds a woman attractive he will pursue her and lure her, even away from her husband if possible, no matter the relationship he has with that man. He can hit the free throw, but would you let him pick your wife up from airport if you needed a favor.
Would it matter to you that he was a leech? Not on the court or field, perhaps. Not with the team chemistry, perhaps. But would you be “OK” with the fact that he was a leech? Would you be wrong to say that it is wrong for Him to try to steal your wife?
Name another sin, either one that society has chosen to be an actual crime or just one that God says is what keeps you from Him. Do we have to hate the person who has this sin in their life? No. Do we have to keep them from being a teammate? No. But do we have to be OK with the sin? Also, no.
The news media is now crying “bigot”, not if you hate or discriminate against a person, but if you don’t think what they do is OK. You are close minded and living in another century if will not sign off on every action of another as acceptable. Listen to the discussion. That is what is being said.
They are making an issue out of this, not because a pro athlete “came out,” but because some might raise an eyebrow. In fact, they are not even waiting for there to be any backlash, but are vilifying a phantom detractor before they even step forward. It HAS been a huge story, but only because there is fight against all who would hold a standard against sin and so the story has been about those who could potentially be against Collins.
Its a great way to win an argument when you make up an antagonist to argue against.
Love God. Love people. Hate sin.
Don’t forget any of these three.