You know, I could have sworn that Rush Limbaugh and Charles Barkley were Republican buds back in the day, but now Sir Charles seems to be at odds with conservative values–or rather Christian conservative values since “conservative” has been taken over by religion at a time when many atheists are still classical conservatives (Libertarians).
In an odd article from NewsBusters: Exposing & Combating Liberal Media Bias, the author Tim Graham writes about how Barkley has come out in favor of gay rights and even gay marriage as well as the recent “gay spring” of sports. The focus of the article seems to be the “homosexualization of sports,” but from where I was reading it all sounded like good news to me.
The (?) editorial quotes an article in The Washington Post where Barkley says, “The first people who whine and complain is them Bible-thumpers, who are supposed to be non-judgmental, who rail against them. Hey, man, I don’t worry about what other people do.” Author Graham then simply says with a touch of sarcasm, “‘Amen’ to rejecting the Bible: that’s a liberal-media mantra.” Well, not really, I would say. What liberals usually reject is a literal interpretation of The Bible, but many liberals love The Bible just as much as conservatives do. That’s why you have famous liberals like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson–you may not agree with them, but certainly they don’t reject The Bible; they’re just a different brand of Christian with different interpretations.
Then author Graham dismisses Barkley as he compares homophobia to racism. Said Barkley, “They always try to make it like jocks discriminate against gay people. I’ve been a big proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a black person, I can’t be in for any form of discrimination at all.” Seems like a fair observation to me.
The article continues on in the same manner but author Tim Graham has no strong voice in it so it’s actually a pretty good read. I’m glad to see that sports are growing up and that well known players like Barkley realize many of their fellow teammates may have been gay. For those who think we need separate gay showers for the military there may be a lesson learned here: all gay men aren’t out to jump your bones just because they see you naked.
If you scroll down after the article, though, you’ll see stronger opinions by Christians who think that traditional Christianity is essentially being picked on. The usual defense is that Christians realize everyone is a sinner and therefore why should “Bible thumpers” be thumped? The reason is because the majority heterosexual Christian community likes to single out gays for targeting. It is the favorite pet sin.
I remember when I was a Christian I had a friend in youth group who strongly believed homosexuality was a sin, but he also believed that gay people were unfairly targeted compared to their heterosexual-sinner counterparts. He told a Christian girl he wanted to date his opinions on this matter and she never saw him again. The “gay sin” evokes so much emotion amongst conservatives that it is magnified above all sins except for abortion.
Of course as an atheist I think gay people should reject The Bible or at least parts of it. Who the hell wants to be stoned to death?