Jason Collins, Chris Broussard, and Tim Tebow

A few days ago, Jason Collins became the first active male American professional athlete to come out as gay. Chris Broussard, ESPN analyst, had this to say:

Analyzing Broussard’s Comments

Broussard’s words are actually generally fine with me. My goal here is not primarily to change straight people’s minds about the sinfulness of homosexuality. I’ve discussed that elsewhere. I don’t even necessarily mind his word choice, trying to emphasize that this was his opinion.

Yeah, he does generalize and make it sound like all Christians think that way which is far from the case.  He also tries hard to emphasize that he doesn’t see it as any worse than other sexual sins (sexual sins do still seem to get special placement over other sins, even though the Bible doesn’t have that same hierarchy).

Yeah, a sports show is probably not the place to go on a rant. That isn’t Broussard’s job. We listen to him for basketball analysis, not for his sexual ethics. And yes, he does have a tone of anger of judgement to his voice, although I’ve heard him speak about basketball and I think he often sounds that way in general so that is probably a different issue.

For the most part, though, if those statements were said to me by a friend, I would respectfully disagree and it would be no problem.

Where I do think he went too far is in making it personal, claiming that Collins is clearly not really a Christian as he claims. He did apologize for this and ESPN made it clear that he didn’t speak for them. Collins responded gracefully even before apology, saying that obviously he and Broussard disagreed about the supposed incompatibility of being gay and being a Christian. Regular blog readers know that I agree with Collins, not Broussard, in his stance on the sinfulness of homosexuality, but that isn’t my point here. My point is that Broussard stepped over that line and turned a person into a political issue (something both sides do, let me be clear).

Playing the Victim

Then there’s this Christian meme to the right. This one drives me nuts and it has shown up on my Twitter feed multiple times. Let’s try to clear up a couple of stupid misconceptions. In the specific case, Tebow is not bashed at all. He pretty much only got a starting job in the NFL in the first place because he is a Christian. Sure, he is a functional-enough QB to win a few games and he definitely had an impressive run, but Christians seem to think that he should automatically be the MVP because he is a Christian and Christians are inherently better at football I guess.

On the other hand, Collins is not praised. Thousands of Christians like Broussard have in the name of the love of God come out to make sure it is known that he will burn in Hell for eternity.  In most states, Collins will never get the same rights that I and hetero Christian Americans have. Clearly that’s what God meant when he told us to love everybody, right? Condemnation, anger, judgement, usually without even trying to understand where they were coming from? Use our majority voice to tell other people what they can and cannot do? Seems like the exact opposite of how Jesus handled things.

Christians in American are not persecuted. You are the majority. You are the strongest force in your politics, even if you pretend that your President isn’t a Christian because he doesn’t agree with you on every single issue. No, you don’t always get what you want, but you definitely get more than average. If you really think you’re persecuted and gay people are not, you simply do not have a good grip on reality. Stop playing the victim when a lot of the time you’re being the oppressors.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.

  • Justin Carver

    Awesome Post. And I’m really starting to hate meme’s. Like all of them.