|credit: Jason Collins|
Height: 7' 0"
Salary: 1.352 million USD
Team: Washington Wizards (NBA)
Ever heard of him: No
He commands a relatively small salary in the NBA and his career averages in points, rebounds, and blocks convey that he will never be in the Hall of Fame, much less on an all-star team. Before today I'd never heard his name.
His teammates, former teammates and others he's played against hold him in high regard as far as respectability goes. We can agree that he's intelligent, having earned a degree from Stanford. In his free time he loves to travel, goes to museums, loves his family, and he loves his country.
By now you've probably heard his name a multitude of times. He may or may not become a household name (only time will tell). However, his life is changed. There's no denying that. Today Jason Collins of the NBA's Washington Wizards announced that he's gay, the first openly gay man in one of the top four sports in the United States. His life is changed because he can now openly express feelings that he's been suppressing for apparently a number of years. He will also be someone for others who have the same feelings to look up to.
I can't think of too many people in my circle (liberal, conservative, left, right, Democrat or Republican) who will read this and not have some sort of issue with my thoughts and words. So be it. I didn't write it for them.
I want to, in effect, defend a large group of people's innermost secrets that I know virtually nothing about. That sounds odd, I know. I want to defend it because so many other people who know nothing about it seem to know what the problem is and how to fix it and where to point their crooked fingers. I don't know what it's like to have feelings for a man. I'm married to a beautiful woman --that's who I'm attracted to. I can't tell you if it's a choice, or if people of any sexuality are "born this way". I can tell you that it doesn't make any single person a bad seed.
I don't believe that because I am a Christian I am without sin, or that others carry a heavier burden of sin than I do. James 2:10 "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it" I believe in the infallibility of the Bible. I do believe the Bible speaks clearly when it says in Leviticus 18:22, "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable". That means (to me at least) that homosexuality is a sin. As I mentioned, I have my own detestable sins. The bible says in Proverbs 29:11, "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control". Some may say that anger is in no comparison to homosexuality --I wholeheartedly disagree. As the verse above states, I am accused of all the sins of the Bible. Not just one concerning anger. My anger can cause very real pain to people with whom I come into contact, and I hate that there have been times when I couldn't keep it under control. Jason may not agree that homosexuality is a sin --that's for him to decide and take up with God. It is for me to decide to, as the Bible states in 1 Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins".