No, Being Openly Religious is Not Comparable to Jason Collins

jason collins tebowing

“How is it that the media crucifies Tim Tebow for proclaiming his faith in public, but can call Jason Collins a hero because he admitted he likes dudes?”- derp_mcdumbass69 from the internet

 

Ok, Derp. Just sit back, relax and focus on what I’m saying to you. I’m going to explain all the ways your position is illogical, stupid and just plain wrong. Sit tight, this will take a few minutes.

I’ll start with your insinuation that being loud about one’s Catholic faith is a more courageous, difficult and risky decision than someone (a professional basketball player, no less!) coming out of the closet. In short, that is ridiculous. We live in a culture that puts the (Christian) religion on a pedestal. We put emphatic preachers on TV and 7 million people tune in to watch each week. We still pledge allegiance as “one nation, under God.” We give Tim Tebow a massive and devout fanbase despite the fact that his passing statistics are JaMarcus Russell-esque. Jesus stuff sells. Hell, even Taylor Swift has made it a point to throw religion in her lyrics, and Taylor Swift is actually an android designed for the specific purpose of garnering publicity and selling records.

 Taylor Swift @ 43rd Annual CMA Awards2

You don’t wear T-shirts…

 

Is that the kind of persecution you face? Sure, Tebow has gotten some slack for his faith, but he also has legions of fans and supporters, far more than any backup quarterback with a career 47.9% completion percentage in history. It’s hard to imagine how one could think Tebow has suffered due to his outgoing religious nature, as he sure appears to have benefited far more than he has held back by his religion. Without his cult-of-personality (largely built up due to his faith), Tebow would’ve been a late round pick who would’ve struggled to make an NFL roster. That’s assuming that anyone would actually let someone with his throwing motion play a snap at Quarterback.

 joe-webb

Ok, shut up Joe Webb. You stay out of this.

If Tebow had been a legitimately good pro, he would have become a folk hero. He would be reveled for his faith, just as he was in college, just as he was during his fluky but entertaining run with the Broncos and just like notorious Christian preacher-types Ray Lewis and Reggie White were. Hell, praying on the cover of Sports Illustrated (twice!) was enough to get people to forgive and forget about Ray Lewis’ involvement in a double-murder. That sure is some persecution!

Ironically enough, it’s a testament to the amount of sway religion has over people that gay rights are still even a debated subject. Is there any remotely logical argument against gay rights? The only predominant argument I’ve heard against gay rights boils down to “The Bible is against it so therefore it is morally wrong.” Let me be the one to inform that trying to keep gay rights suppressed because of your personal religious beliefs is the equivalent of taking a dump all over the separation of church and state (a concept introduced in the first amendment of the constitution that you likely proclaim to love and defend). Letting one religion dramatically influence legislation means wrongfully subjecting people against their will to a specific set of beliefs. That is the opposite of religious freedom, one of the very pillars that this country was founded on. In fact, its downright oppressive. Yet, when someone merely challenges the fact that your religion has such an inappropriate amount of influence and power, you throw your hands up and claim that you are “persecuted.”

Perhaps you wouldn’t be “persecuted” if your church was the single largest force opposing civil rights for a specific group of people. Hell, perhaps you wouldn’t feel so “persecuted” if you didn’t view any legitimate criticism of your church as “persecution.”

Not to mention that being religious is a choice. Being gay isn’t, no matter how badly you may want it to be. And, by the way, homosexuality is far too prevalent, both in our culture and amongst people in general, to write off as some weird statistical anomaly or defect. If being gay is some kind of flaw, then our omnipotent creator sure fucked up a lot.

 ku-xlarge

Like when he created the guy on the left, for instance

Now, saying that all Jason Collins did was “admit he likes dudes” is just willful ignorance. Being comfortable and open about being gay is still a struggle for millions of people. For a modern professional athlete to come out publicly is a monumental event, especially considering that Jason Collins has spent his entire adult life submerged in the hyper-masculine and heterosexual culture of professional sports. It doesn’t matter that Collins is a journeyman with minimal stats over his unremarkable career. It doesn’t matter that what Collins is doing isn’t close to what Jackie Robinson did (Collins will see some backlash, but it wont even be 1/10th of what Robinson went through). The facts are that there have been thousands and thousands of “Big 4” professional athletes over the years and Collins is the only one to ever come out while still an active player. No matter how you slice it, its still a tremendously significant step forward for the gay community as they continue to strive for equal rights and status in our society. Like it or not, Collins did become a hero for millions of people this week.

And no, Derp, you don’t need to “make a public announcement that you are straight”. When straight and gay people have equal rights, then you can complain that gay activism receives to much attention. As it currently stands, you poor persecuted straight Christians are afforded the basic human right to marry in our country. Being straight doesn’t carry some kind of unfounded stigma of inferiority. Straight kids aren’t bullied to the point of suicide strictly because they are straight.

It doesn’t really matter that you don’t like Jason Collins coming out, Derp. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like the media (or the majority of the public’s) reaction to it. It doesn’t matter whether you think this is a big deal or not. This was a momentous event for a ton of people in this country; a big crack in the slowly crumbling wall of sexual intolerance. You can choose to acknowledge this or not, but your indifference will not change how millions of other people feel about it. Finally, whether you like it or not, I’d advise you to stop complaining, creating illogical false equivalencies and just generally protesting that a group of people are getting closer towards acquiring the basic equality and rights they deserve. It might make you sound like less of an intolerant bigot.

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