Greg Louganis is an American hero, a four-time Olympic gold medalist. And because he is gay, Pastor Michael Wilson wants to put him in prison for 10 years of hard labor.
I watched Olympic champion Greg Louganis on Food Network’s Chopped Tournament of Stars: Sports Stars! on March 9 of this year and then again in repeats on August 24.
If you haven’t seen Chopped, the contestants must take baskets of mystery ingredients and must use these to prepare an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert in three short rounds. Their dishes are then judged on creativity, taste, and presentation, all the while making these mystery ingredients the star of their dish.
Louganis is clearly a man of passion, who cares deeply about people. He spoke passionately about overcoming HIV, about his marriage, and about helping children. Like the other stars appearing on the Chopped Tournament of Stars, he was playing not for his own gain, but for charity.
As Food Network explains,
Four athletes, Brandi Chastain, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Greg Louganis and Charles Oakley, bring their fierceness and passion to the Chopped Kitchen for the premiere competition of a five part $50,000 Tournament of Stars.
Louganis, who 4 Olympic Gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympics, was playing for Mending Kids International (MKI), which “provides life-changing surgeries to children worldwide.”
By their own reckoning, MKI has, “in just under six years…provided significant, complex and life-saving surgeries to 718 children from 41 countries.” They say that “Most of the surgeries we perform are to correct congenital heart defects, orthopedic abnormalities, severe scoliosis, and significant cranial facial deformities.” The $50,000 Louganis stood to win would have funded an entire medical mission.
Watch Greg Louganis on Chopped courtesy of Food Network:
Enter Michael Wilson:
Pastor Michael V. Wilson claims that Christians have become “increasingly tolerant” of gays and that this has been a mistake, that rather than displaying tolerance, Christians ought to be throwing gays into prison for 10 years of hard labor.
Check out his video:
Whereas homosexuality used to be a felony in every state — referred to as sodomy — it has now been decriminalized, and homosexuality is allowed to be openly expressed in public. While Christians are becoming increasingly tolerant of homosexuals, homosexuals are becoming increasingly intolerant of us.
It’s time for Christians to resume obeying God and his word, and to re-criminalize homosexuality, outlaw it again. The only way to do this and keep it beyond the reach of activist judges and unaccountable bureaucrats is to create a constitutional amendment.
Wilson isn’t urging people watching his video to give to charity, or to help children who might otherwise die, have life-saving surgery. He isn’t recommending they help anyone. He wants them to hurt people. He wants them to call lawmakers, to lobby for his hateful amendment, to help him deprive people of their livelihood out of bigotry disguised as religion.
“Make such a pest of yourself that they’re willing to do anything just to shut you up,” he tells his audience. “And remember, only vote for those who promise to adopt this amendment.”
“We’re in a fight for survival and only one side can win,” he tells them. “Let’s make sure it’s our side.”
Wilson is fighting the wrong fight. Far from being imprisoned, Greg Louganis, like the NFL’s first openly gay player, Michael Sam, deserves – and wants to be – treated like a man. Not a gay man. Just a man like any other man, to be judged, like anyone else, on his own merits.
Louganis is not an animal but a human being. And a human being, it would seem, who cares far more for other human beings than Michael Wilson.
The right fight here is not imprisoning people; it is helping people, helping children, saving lives and making the lives of others better. Wilson isn’t interested in doing this. He is interested instead in throwing caring human beings into prison for 10 years of hard labor because their existence violates his sense of right and wrong.
Thinking like Wilson’s isn’t what America is about, or has ever been about. America is supposed to be a land of freedom, where everyone is equal, not a land where the privileged, bigoted few treat everyone else – be it on account of ethnicity, sex, sexual preference, or religion – like criminals and chattel.
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.