I’m going to make this quick. I defend religion and religious people quite a lot on these pages. I get almost as annoyed with dogmatic atheists as I do religious fundamentalists given their lack of tolerance for anyone with views that differ from their own. I don’t think religion is the source of all evil, and I think there are many positives to a faith based lifestyle (although it’s not for me).
But when it comes to certain issues, like the theory evolution, or homosexuality, I feel obliged to speak out and point out the absurdities in religious fundamentalism. Take ESPN analyst Chris Broussard, who took it upon himself to declare that NBA player Jason Collins coming out as gay is an “Open rebellion to God”:
Broussard made reference to the Bibles’ definition of sin, stating that he is also opposed to all types of sexual immorality (sex before marriage etc), and doesn’t want to be portrayed as a bigot because he disagrees with someone else’s lifestyle.
You are entitled to your own beliefs, but when you state them publicly, you also open them up to criticism. And when your beliefs are based on bronze aged mythologies, expect them to be ridiculed for what they are.
Broussard’s stance on homosexuality is taken from Leviticus, specifically the law that states, ‘Man shall not lie with another man as he does with a woman‘. The problem is, Leviticus also states that: ‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it,’ and ‘If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die.’ And those are two of the least ridiculous laws God supposedly passed down to man.
It is almost certain Broussard ignores 90% of the gibberish in Leviticus, and for good reason. It has absolutely nothing to do with the way we live our lives now. We eat juicy steaks. People who cheat on their spouses aren’t condemned to die. As a society, most of us have progressed as we learn more about ourselves and our natural world. We now know that homosexuality is not unnatural – it has existed in every human society on the planet throughout history, and within other species. It does not harm anyone and we know it doesn’t encourage others ‘to become gay’. So we move on. Unless that is, you harbor your own prejudices that lead you to pick and choose biblical laws according to your particular tastes.
And that is exactly what Broussard is doing. Although he may not understand it, he is a homophobe and a bigot. Why? Because he has been highly selective in his Biblical beliefs. Should he take to the airwaves and denounce ribeye steaks, he’d have a leg to stand on. But he hasn’t, and we can only conclude he opposes Jason Collin’s lifestyle because deep down, it is something his own masculinity is incapable of coming to terms with.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.