As I said weeks ago, I fully support gay rights.
To me, there is no sensible reason to deny someone happiness, regardless of sexual preference. However, that is my personal opinion. I am entitled to it, but it isn’t more or less valuable than the opinion of anyone else. I accept that people may have social views that differ from my own, and I appreciate their right to have these views.
In this country, the Constitution affords us the freedom of religion. It allows people to exercise whatever religion they see fit. The Constitution grants someone of religious conviction to have views on homosexuality that oppose my own. It’s important to respect these views and tolerate differing opinions.
ESPN personality Chris Broussard recently gave his reasoning on opposing homosexuality, which was based on religious views. Predictably, he was grilled for these comments and he later tried to clarify those same remarks. While he’s entitled to his opinion, a public figure in a public forum certainly can expect repercussions from his employer for stating any controversial opinions.
The backlash made me wonder: exactly when did the same concept of public accountability suddenly apply to Joe SixPacks everywhere? When did simply having an opinion on homosexuality, based on guaranteed religious beliefs, become bigotry?
Bigotry comes down to a simple case of having an opinion vs. acting on that opinion. While these two may often go hand-in-hand, they aren’t mutually inclusive.
If the Constitution says we can freely practice religion and some of the teachings maintain an anti-homosexual view, then we can’t attempt to suppress those opinions simply because we disagree with them. Calling someone a bigot is attempting to suppress an opinion through negative connotations. Nobody wants to be called a bigot.
It’s the right of members of that church to have viewpoints that oppose homosexuality, as is having an opinion based on their religious beliefs. Until the church or a member acts upon that opinion, it is simply just that: an opinion.
A recent development is for many liberals to try to equate race rights to gay rights. That is a mistake. A quick peek at the Constitution will reveal that only one of these groups has specific protected rights. Some may say that the easiest thing to do is add an amendment. But with having public opinion at a roughly 50-50 split on just gay marriage, that is a tall task.
How have we gotten to the point where 50% of the American public can be labeled as bigots for simply having a differing opinion that lacks action? How has tolerance become a one-way street?
The media has been pushing gay rights for 18 months. Obama himself was forced to "evolve" before he was ready, thanks to comments from Joe Biden. "Evolving" is all the rage among liberals. Magically "evolving" allows anyone to distance themselves from previous opinions or actions. How convenient.
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had to "evolve" to stay relevant in the liberal television empire. Most political pundits did this out of personal political necessity, not in the interests of fair treatment for all. I find it interesting that the leaders located in minority churches, that oppose gay rights, aren’t called bigots by their white liberal political allies. The most ironic part is someone that has "evolved" calling their political rivals a bigot for merely having the same opinion they did just five years ago.
I can’t really blame the media for getting in a tizzy over a non- story. After getting obliterated by the Tea Party in the gun debate, they’ll take any easy win they can get right now. Even if this means celebrating a "hero" no one could identify outside of NBA circles until Monday morning. This whole thing isn’t about personal freedom, but rather about scoring political points among the electorate. In truth, if Collins just wanted to be treated like everyone else, he would’ve released a one paragraph press release.
Personally, I don’t understand the attraction to media sensationalism. I could care less what Jason Collins does in his own bedroom. If he can’t score, defend or rebound, he’s out of a job in the NBA. We need quit elevating athletes and stop looking to professional sports as some sort of moral compass in our lives.
One of the true downfalls of our society is putting professional athletes on pedestals and then declaring them heroes. We don’t elevate strangers in our own everyday lives. Yet, when it comes to athletes, we do this consistently. We don’t know these people!
Finally, if gay rights were a conservative issue, would anyone in the media be discussing Jason Collins this week?
I think I know the answer to that question.
I don't recall Martina Navratilova getting a lot of flak for coming out. in the 1980's she was a competitor who was fun to watch. Who is this basketball player and what did he really do that was so heroic. Is this just because he is not only gay but black as well? Congrads, you came out now go play ball.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by John Mumper
Published Jan. 15, 2014
2013 was the year of the bigot. There were many examples of alleged media fueled bigotry. The most famous were from celebrities such as Paula Deen, Alec Baldwin and Phil Robertson. However, there were millions and millions of less publicized examples throughout the country last year.
Published Nov. 15, 2013
I'd like to first start by thanking you for your investment in Milwaukee baseball. I'm old enough to remember the glory days, as well as the dry spell that came afterwards. As a diehard baseball fan, I appreciate all you have done to return Brewers baseball to respectability. It's with the goal of keeping the Brewers relevant in the long term that I write this letter.
Published Nov. 3, 2013
I was intrigued for several reasons by the recent comments from Democratic candidate for governor, Mary Burke. Most surprising was her courage in finally taking a stance on any topic related to Wisconsin politics. However, it was her comments about education, and her trust in mother government, that got my attention.
Published Oct. 18, 2013
I must make a confession. At the risk of being labeled a RINO, I need to express my support for universal health care. Before being trashed by my fellow fiscal conservatives and being hailed by hapless progressives, let me explain.
Published Oct. 9, 2013
The Boston bombing incident highlighted a new and disturbing trend in America. As the Boston police searched for the remaining suspect, they proceeded to enter homes in a forceful and right-seizing manner. While many residents willingly allowed heavily armed police to enter their home in the frantic search, others weren't allowed their constitutional rights.
Published Aug. 6, 2013
The media has spent the last few years doing a great job of redrawing the lines of bigotry. It used to be that action predicated bigotry. Today, simply having a religious belief that opposes gay marriage will brand you as a bigot. This subtle change is no mistake and has been effective in turning the conversation of bigotry from actions to beliefs.
Published July 12, 2013
A recent Journal Sentinel watchdog article highlighted one of the many problems with how residents qualify for financial assistance. This article revealed how landlords and the self employed can receive state aid based on the honor system. In essence, we're talking about receiving thousands of tax payer dollars without being verified that economic assistance is even needed.
Published June 26, 2013
Recently, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin presented an idea that caught my attention. In a nutshell, he wants to require city contractors to disclose money contributed to political groups. The result would be that the mayor could then cherry pick which groups the city works with based upon political ideologies and not who is the best company for the job.
Published June 13, 2013
The Edward Snowden case is a fascinating look at the changing political climate in America. People who base their political outlooks on the Constitution are up in arms. The outrageous invasion of privacy is nothing new but is, all the same, alarming. I cannot support any policy that allows the government to freely spy on Americans not suspected of a crime.
Published June 6, 2013
Tuesday marked my one-year anniversary as a vegetarian. I successfully went an entire year cutting out meat and fish from my diet. Since I'm not crazy, I allowed myself the luxury of dairy products. In all honesty, it was a difficult transition.