Here’s a Mad Lib that should save sports journalists a lot of time in the years ahead.

Today (Sam, Jim, Jordan, Jason, Alexei, Miguel, Pat) became the first athlete to announce that he is gay in the world of professional (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, curling, badminton).

While the response of the other players in the league remains to be seen, what is not in doubt is the tremendous (courage, bravery, fortitude, sense of self) it took to make this stunning admission. According to (experts, ESPN the Magazine, award-winning columnists, the scientific community), most of the league is expected to take the news in stride.

Of course, if (Jackie Robinson, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Rocky Balboa) has taught us anything, it is that (hate, prejudice, bigotry, religious extremism) does not go quietly into the night. Sad as it may seem, we can expect that some from (red states, rural areas, the Deep South, Utah, Awana Clubs) will darken this bright day with their (homophobia, rigid views, antiquated traditionalism, fear of the Other, Carman CDs).

As we ask ourselves the question “Why should this even be newsworthy in today’s world?” we pledge to you (around the clock coverage of this epoch-making event, cover stories in all the major weeklies, a special documentary this Friday on “Coloring Outside the Lines,” a shocking expose on Tim Tebow’s former Bible study leader).

Now is the time to see how far we have really come as (a nation of liberty, a special civilization, a welcoming society, a people worthy of our permanent seat on the UN Security Council). I for one believe (the future is now, the past is in the past, there is no gift like the present). If you cannot celebrate (marriage equality, the power of love, being true to yourself), then don’t be surprised one day if you wake to find yourself (on the wrong side of history, alone in a prison of hate, shunned by all polite society, wishing you were never born). But on this day, we stand with our brother in letting it be known in every locker room in every gym in every county in this great country: (all you need is love, we can work it out, come together, let it be).

You get the gist.

This post is not really about homosexuality. Of course, that’s the subtext: Michael Sam, a football standout at Mizzou and future NFL draft pick, came out of the closet over the weekend. I’m glad he was treated well by his coach and teammates. I hope he is treated with respect by future players, fans, and general managers. I’m not writing to bash a recent college student, as much as I disagree with his sexual choices (assuming he is a practicing gay man). I disagree with the sexual choices most professional athletes make.

The problem is that our ascendant moral logic amounts to an imposition: affirm me or else. It used to be that tolerance meant granting to your intellectual, political, or religious opponents the right to be wrong (as you see the wrong). Now tolerance means the freedom, if not the obligation, to utterly shame those you deem intolerant. Ours is a supremely moralistic age. I would call it puritanical, except I don’t want to insult the Puritans.

I heard Colin Cowherd (whom I often enjoy) say he was going to try not to be sarcastic in talking about those who don’t support gay rights, but it would be really hard. I heard him talk about how Sam would be accepted in the NFL because unlike in baseball, the players had been to college and have been educated to overcome such prejudices. Besides there aren’t as many Hispanics, who can be very religious. Sure, some players from the rural South would still hate on Sam, he opined, but the vast majority would not. Whenever the “first gay athlete” story breaks it becomes an excuse to strengthen a dozen prejudices in the interest of purportedly breaking through another. The narrative is nice and tidy because it’s already been written. Rinse, blather, repeat. All that’s left is for 72 hours of self-congratulatory punditry and the presumption that no thinking person can reach any other conclusion than that the celebration of sexual expression in virtually any permutation is the crowning achievement of all enlightened peoples.

There is no conversation any longer, just condescension. No acceptance of diverse viewpoints, just personal obliteration for anyone who dares to question Oceania’s Ministry of Truth. The talking heads and the purveyor’s of cultural correctness don’t feel the need to make arguments anymore. They don’t feel the need to listen either. After all, who can refute a sneer?

No need to prove your dogma when stigma will do.

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Comments:


63 thoughts on “The Story That Writes Itself”

  1. Tim Bushong says:

    Excellent article, Kevin, and I think your allusion to “Oceania’s Ministry of Truth” is just spot-on.

  2. Chris Mcgrath says:

    The comments here show that while there have been great improvements regarding society’s view of GLBT people, there is still so much more work that needs to be done.

    So far we have one person saying it’s a choice despite the gross failure of conversion therapy to do what its name implies. Conversion therapy is good for making gay people feel horrible about themselves and their inability to control who they’re attracted to, pushing kids into killing themselves because you’re basically telling them that this inate wiring of the brain is their choice and that it’s apparently their choice that they’ll be otherized and negated from passionate relationships from here until eternity, and pushing gay people into fraudulent relationships while they lie to everyone around them. There’s a reason time and time again the leaders of these programs end up leaving due to being caught in either elicit gay affairs or because they’re done lying to themselves. If being gay is a choice, then it begs the question regarding when any of you chose to be straight. Subjecting young people to gay conversion therapy is full blown child abuse and needs to be treated as such.

    You’ve got a person saying if someone is allowed to be gay, then obviously breaking marital oaths and mass murder must be okay as well. Because apparently “don’t hound people into suicide as we’ve been witnessing with the christian right’s attack on gay people” is such a difficult idea to understand. How will I know if I shouldn’t cheat on my wife and murder my neighbor unless gay people are second class citizens undeserving of basic religious freedoms and right to form familial bonds? Seriously dude?

    You’ve got the blatant fear mongers saying the gay agenda is going to institute a totalitarian regime against christians. These are the exact same people that said we couldn’t stop slavery because the negros would rape our women, that we couldn’t end jim crow legislation because of the incoming race wars, and now they’re back telling us we’re all going to perish under the pink boot of gay fascists. Never mind that the gay agenda is literally “be considered people.”

    Then there’s all the subtle equating of gay behavior to rape, murder, theft, and the like as if two men loving each other is exactly like gunning down someone in the street. I’m sure if I went up to any one of you saying these things and said your choice in who you married puts you on the level of a pedophile or murderer, I’d expect a right quick punch to the face.

    You’ve got loons saying the reason today’s society is failing is because gay people aren’t getting stoned or chastised and not the existence of rampant poverty, homelessness, child hunger. Gay kids killing themselves due to ostracization isn’t the problem, not making gay kids understand that they’re sinful freaks that should shun all honest relationships from here to eternity is the problem. Way to pinpoint what’s ailing society.

    The day anti gay beliefs are relegated into the trash heap of history along side child brides, “responsible” slave owning, and “betrothing” of children is the day the world is a better place.

    And I’m sure this is going to ruffle the feathers of the people that stated these ideas (assuming they bother keeping up with the comments) because I had the gall to strip away the soft language and get to the meat of what’s being espoused.

    The fact that the comments aren’t in lock step shows the christian church and the member base is rightfully and rapidly changing with regards to this vicious careless point of view.

    As far as this christian is concerned, loving thy neighbor and not being a gross hypocrite requires me to accept gay people as they are. To demand a gay person renounce all passionate relationships and live a life of celibacy or otherwise lie to themselves and the world at large, when I along with every other anti gay belief holding individual has no inclination to ever do the same regarding celibacy, to be the height of hypocrisy.

  3. Chris Mcgrath says:

    All the points of view brought up in that post where taken from this this comment section.

  4. billwald says:

    On the other hand, some theologians say that St. Mary gave birth to Jesus when she was 13 years old. Should the age of consent be lowered to 12 years? Age discrimination OK?

  5. Chris Mcgrath says:

    What two consenting adults do (something that harms literally no one else) is exactly like raping children, abusing positions of authority, and disregarding the entire concept of giving consent. That’s smart.

  6. Chris Mcgrath says:

    In all honesty, there’s something seriously unnerving and disgusting regarding this attitude that laws against rape and pedophilism are to be considered just as arbitrary as laws against gay people. If I didn’t know any better, I’d assume you’re trying to hitch your personal sick fetishes onto a successful civil rights movement.

    I mean seriously, are you that unaware regarding issues of consent, authority, and biological development regarding children that might, just maybe, differentiate the necessity of laws pertaining to these concepts compared to what adults do? Really?

  7. Chris Mcgrath says:

    Same goes for the person implying it would be cool for them or someone else to cheat on their spouse if gay people aren’t treated as second class citizens who shouldn’t be allowed to form families and relationships. If I heard my spouse say that it must obviously be okay to cheat if gay people are allowed to be gay, I’d have some serious questions regarding that person’s fidelity and commitment. And yet these remarks flow like wine. What the hell.

  8. @ChrisMcGrath:
    Disagreeing with homosexuals makes them commit suicide?
    Are homosexuals “making” Christians commit suicide because of the mockery and bigotry they display toward us?

    Is Tebow hatred causing young Christian athletes to kill themselves?

  9. Obama to Pardon Child Molester Sandusky

    It was revealed today in leaked White House memos that President B H Obama is set to grant a full pardon to infamous Penn State pederast Jerry Sandusky.

    College Football was shaken by revelations that Coach Joe Paterno allowed Sandusky access to the campus after it had been revealed that Sandusky was exploiting young boys for homosexual rape.

    In a shocking development Obama Administration officials Chai Feldblum and Arne Duncan lobbied the President on behalf “the LGBT community” to pardon Sandusky and sought to characterize homosexuals who rape young boys as “Minor Attracted Persons” in keeping with the U.S. Department of Health (DOH) declaring children are “sexual beings”.

    The U.S DOH states that minors “.. may ‘experiment’ sexually with members of the same sex regardless of whether they are gay or straight.” So according to the DOH, Penn State was simply helping boys experiment sexually with members of the same sex, namely coach Sandusky.

    It is speculated that President Obama will seek to award the Medal of Freedom to Coach Sandusky for his “tireless efforts at recruiting for the ‘gay’ community” and repeal of DOMA as well as combating “hatred, intolerance and homophobia and racism.”- the addition of “racism” as evidently due to Sandusky’s preference for abusing boys “of color” who were in his care.

    Obama’s speech is said to make reference to Harvey Milk proudly marching alongside members of NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) in the 1970’s and commends Coach Sandusky as a “pioneer” in “civil rights for all Americans.”

    * Political Satire

    http://elvisnixon.com/2011/11/13/obama-to-pardon-sandusky.aspx

  10. Chris Mcgrath says:

    If you want to pretend that things like this:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/michele-bachmann-teen-suicide

    don’t happen when anti gay people get their way, then go ahead and keep your head stuck firmly in the mud.

  11. @Chris McGrath:If we do not promote (homosexuality,transgendered,bestiality,veganism,organic farming)then suicides of persons engaged in the(homosexuality,transgendered,bestiality,veganism,organic farming)”community” will kill themselves?

    One need not endorse any of these groups in any way shape or form to “prevent” their “members” from killing themselves.

    Your argument is specious.

    You are bullying Christians
    PS – using Mother Jones as a source is rather absurd and I suspect you must know that.

    PSS- Obama awarding Sandusky the Medal for his work on “educating” boys about LGBTQ issues must warm your “tolerant” heart.

    Otherwise you are just “sticking your head in the sand.”

    http://elvisnixon.com/2011/11/13/obama-to-pardon-sandusky.aspx

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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