I wrote here the other day about how Religious bigots are claiming the St. Louis Rams violated their religious freedoms by drafting openly gay Mizzou defensive lineman Michael Sam, who, by the way, was one of the top college football players in the nation. They have threatened to boycott the Rams, with Jack Burkman, head of the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm J.M. Burkman & Assoc., who wants to actually ban gay players from football, saying:
The NFL, like most of the rest of American business, is about to learn that when you trample the Christian community and Christian values there will be a terrible financial price to pay.
These bigots were horribly upset by the moment when Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend. Because, you know, he should be kissing a girl. Everyone has a right to kiss girls, even if the girl doesn’t want to be kissed. That’s the Republican way. They don’t want to see boys kissing boys.
The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios said on her radio show that “the Holy Spirit within me is revulsed.” Peter LaBarbera, of Americans for
Truth Lies About Homosexuality, showed up on Crosstalk Monday, whining about being forced to watch that kiss.
Listen courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
LaBarbera, one of the most formidable liars on the Religious Right, condemned the media because they “reported the kiss without giving the other side of people who would voice disapproval of people being forced and subjected through the media these homosexual acts, the homosexual perversion.”
Of course, you can’t have right wing bigotry without going big, so Jim Schneider, the show’s cohost, speculated about whether the NFL is “going to be requiring some kind of homosexual quota in the future.”
Right. Like any corporation, the NFL exists to make money for its member owners. They make this money by putting a good product on the field, bringing about a results-driven sport. Drafting people simply because they’re gay is the sort of thing only people like Schneider would fantasize about, if you get my drift.
As for other players and their reactions, for the most part, they are accepting, with Chris Long, another defensive end and Sam’s teammate saying that all that matters is if he is a good teammate in the locker room and if he performs on the field. He also pointed out that Sam is hardly the first gay player and won’t be the last. He’s just the first one with the courage to admit it. And Long, son of Raider great and Hall of Famer Howie Long, says he admires Sam for that.
Meanwhile, despite Sandy Rios’ claim that Americans “do not like this,” the fans seem to like this, with Sam jerseys, for a time, outselling, as NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread reporting, “the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, not to mention three first-round quarterbacks.” As Goodbread puts it, “if jersey sales are any indication, he has plenty of people rooting for him to succeed.”
LaBarbera, we can safety assume, won’t be ordering a Sam jersey. Rather, his frantic ejaculations remind me of something George Carlin said a quarter century ago about Donald Wildmon, who also had a problem being forced to watch things he didn’t want to see, rather than simply changing the channel:
George Carlin: The FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, decided all by itself that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the free speech provisions of the first amendment to the Constitution. I’d like to repeat that, because it sounds… *vaguely* important!
George Carlin: The FCC, an appointed body, not elected, answerable only to the president, decided on its own that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the first amendment to the Constitution. Why did they decide that? Because they got a letter from a minister in Mississippi!
George Carlin: A Reverend Donald Wildman in Mississippi heard something on the radio that he didn’t like. Well, Reverend, did anyone ever tell you there are two KNOBS on the radio?
George Carlin: Two. Knobs. On the radio. Of course, I’m sure the reverend isn’t that comfortable with anything that has two knobs on it.
George Carlin: But hey, reverend, there are two knobs on the radio! One of them turns the radio OFF, and the other one
[slaps his head]
George Carlin: CHANGES THE STATION! Imagine that, reverend, you can actually change the station! It’s called freedom of choice, and it’s one of the principles this country was founded upon. Look it up in the library, reverend, if you have any of them left when you’ve finished burning all the books.
[laughter and applause]
Rather than simply change channels, LaBarbera whined that “America is leaving God behind and we’ve become one of the most radical nations on Earth now.”
For want of a knob, LaBarbera’s soul was lost. How sad. The First Amendment sitting right there for him to use, and he’d rather not use it for himself and strip it from everyone else.
Source: George Carlin: What am I doing in New Jersey? (1988 TV Movie) Quotes from IMDb
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.