Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sam vs. Tebow - Is there a double standard?

At Charisma News, Jennifer LeClaire writes “Michael Sam vs. Tim Tebow: Is It a Double Standard or Just Pure Christian Intolerance?” LeClaire went on to quote Donald Trump who chimed in on the double-standard meme.

Of course Ms. LeClaire presents a false choice if there is neither a double standard nor Christian intolerance. LeClaire goes on to suggest:
Tim Tebow bowed a knee to Jesus Christ in prayer before every football game and took plenty of flack for his so-called "Tebowing." Indeed, NFL players mocked his ritual—but not one of them that I know of was sent to Christian sensitivity training to learn how not to offend the faith-filled footballer and his many fans.

Obviously, Tebow is part of the white-heterosexual-Christian-male majority while Sam (who is also a Christian) is Black and gay. Criticism of Tebow was largely over what he does while criticism of Sam is over who he is as a member of a minority. Moreover, criticism of Tebow was criticism of Tebow, not Christianity. On the other hand, criticism of Sam has been criticism of the minority group that he belongs to. These are enormous differences.

Furthermore, Tebow was the recipient of ridicule for his antics in the locker room and on the field. Before a game, other players don't want to hear that they are going to hell for not accepting Jesus Christ as their savior. Indeed, I found Tebow religiously offensive. In effect his outward demonstrations of prayer and devotion were a suggestion that he thinks that God chooses sides in athletic competition.

In addition to his performance on the field, we will have to see how Mr. Sam comports himself as a sports professional. He deserves to be judged accordingly.

One final note about that kiss. This observer sees nothing wrong with public displays of affection towards one's life partner (perhaps future husband?). People need to come to terms with why that offends them. If it is a matter of sin then they can choose not to engage in what they believe is proscribed conduct. I do not hear Mormons complaining every time a winning sports team douses itself in champagne as players swallow large quantities of the forbidden beverage. Isn't that a double standard?
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