Michael Sam was just drafted by the St. Louis Rams.  So were a bunch of other guys, so why is Sam in the news?  What makes Sam unique is that he is the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL.  Given the nature of the NFL, I can see why this is news, but from a Christian perspective, I don’t consider this to be a big deal at all.  Neither do most Christians.  Unlike some on the Left, Christians do not think that those who disagree with us do not deserve to be employed.  If Sam’s athletic abilities qualify him to play in the NFL, then he should be allowed to play in the NFL.  His sexual orientation/behavior is irrelevant.

What I do consider to be a big deal is the fact that Miami Dolphins’ safety, Don Jones, was fined, suspended, and forced to undergo sensitivity training for expressing his personal disgust at Sam and his partner’s televised celebratory kiss.  Jones tweeted the words “OMG” and “horrible” to describe this public display of affection.  The very next day the Miami Dolphins’ head coach, Joe Philbin, described Jones’ tweet as “inappropriate and unacceptable,” and that it required them to speak to Jones about “respect, discrimination and judgment” because such “statements will not be tolerated.”  Perhaps it escaped Coach Philbin that he himself was passing judgment on Jones and discriminating against him based on his comments.

Not surprisingly, Jones immediately issued a groveling apology, begging for forgiveness for expressing his opinion about the propriety of two men kissing:

I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media.  I take full responsibility for them, and I regret that these tweets took away from his draft moment.  I remember last year when I was drafted in the seventh round and all of the emotions and happiness I felt when I received the call that gave me an opportunity to play for an NFL team, and I wish him all the best in his NFL career. I sincerely apologize to Mr. [Stephen] Ross, my teammates, coaches, staff and fans for these tweets. I am committed to represent the values of the Miami Dolphins organization and appreciate the opportunity I have been given to do so going forward.

Apparently no one is able to express public disagreement with homosexuality anymore…at least not if they want to have a job.  I think all Americans – both those who support homosex and those who don’t – ought to agree that this is a bad direction for America.  If we are not free to publicly disagree with and express our sentiments regarding a morally suspect behavior (that Americans are evenly divided over), then how are we the land of the free?  What room is there for free speech?  Where is the right to express one’s personal views?

Is what Jones said deeply offensive to those who support homosex?  Yes.  But why does that give people the right to silence and punish Jones?  Lots of NFL players use the name of God in vain, which Christians find deeply offensive, but do you ever hear of a Christian demanding that such players be fined, silenced, suspended, and forced to undergo sensitivity training?  No.  Why?  Because by and large, Christians are an extremely tolerant group of people.  We don’t seek to silence or punish those who disagree with us or disrespect us.  It’s the liberals in this country, by and large, who want to silence and punish those who do not agree with them.  While they extol the virtues of tolerance and decry the intolerance of conservatives, they are the ones guilty of intolerance.  They are only willing to tolerate those who agree with them, which is not tolerance at all.

This isn’t the America I once knew, and not what made America so great.  If you are pro-homosexual, and if you consider yourself tolerant, why don’t you express your disgust at the actions of the NFL?  Why don’t you help establish a culture in which it is safe to disagree with others without fear of censure and punishment?  Why don’t you stand up to the bullies?  Standing on the sidelines and allowing this sort of behavior to go on without protest will only encourage more of this behavior in the future.  It’s time for everyone to support freedom of expression over political correctness.  If we don’t do that now, it’s only a matter of time before all of us are silenced and punished for one or another of our views.

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