Friday, May 16, 2014

The Sam/Tebow Comparison (Persecution Complex on Display)

Since NFL draft pick Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend on national television, certain conservatives have attempted to downplay the significance and symbolism of the moment. Since I love making psychological speculations I am nowhere near qualified enough to make, I will guess it is a natural reaction to the shame of realizing they've been wrong about something for such a length of time that it makes them appear backwards and hateful.

One writer claims that there exists a double standard in the media, because Michael Sam was praised for his bravery (of being openly gay and *gasp* kissing his boyfriend, thus SHOVING IT DOWN OUR INNOCENT, TENDER THROATS) but Tim Tebow was mocked for openly displaying his faith.

Right from the first snap, let's get one thing clear: Tim Tebow was not mocked for being a Christian. He was, however, mocked for being one-dimensional, both on the field and off. I'm not saying he was a bad guy and that he was entirely deserving of derision, but if anything his zealotry probably kept him in the game longer than his playing abilities would have otherwise dictated. In this country, Christians are the majority. Even if they weren't, there is still a vocal enough minority of Bible-thumping born-agains and Baptists who are willing to cough up the cash for the replica jerseys of anyone who represents them on the national stage.

But this isn't so much about Tebow as it is about the author's persecution complex and discomfort with homosexuality. She writes, "Tebow also didn’t whine like a baby when someone made fun of his beliefs, and that goes for most followers of Christ. Christians know who they are and they’re used to society hating them for it."

Really? Society hates Christians? How many presidents have been Christian? How many members of congress? She may claim the not-a-true-scotsman fallacy for most of these individuals, so for argument's sake, let's pretend that wouldn't be fallacious; who exactly are these "fake" Christians trying to appeal to?

"Why did ESPN find it necessary to show Sam kissing his boyfriend? If the gay community wants to be treated the same, they should stop expecting special treatment."

"Don’t get me wrong. I have no ill will towards gay people, but if you find all your identity in your sexual orientation and have to flaunt it absolutely all the time, there must be another underlying issue."

Hannah (I'll just address you now directly), there is nothing weird or exceptional about kissing your loved one when you achieve something great. Please admit that you are bothered by the normalization of this act, and not the exceptionality of it. The kiss is brave because so many people like you hate seeing it. If you see a celebratory kiss as "flaunting" someone's sexual orientation, I believe you yourself have some underlying issue.

Also, if there exists such an egregious double standard, why hasn't Mike Singletary seen the media pull him down by his giant fucking cross necklace?

I've said this before and I'll say it again; I played football. I saw great players give up the game because they were gay and their teammates expressed homophobic sentiments. Michael Sam gives kids like them hope. It shows them that they too can be included in something big and cool and fun. It is incredibly sad to me that you feel so threatened by that.

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