After SnowJam ’82, a lot of us were not expecting the wintry mix that I am observing now as I look out my window. Nor were many of us expecting Michael Sam to come out as a gay football player planning to enter this year’s NFL draft.
It is important to note that both these events were beyond our control. Try as we might, we cannot as yet control the weather. Nor could Michael Sam control his sexual orientation.
Let me share a personal story. Around the age of 12 or 13 I was playing first base in a softball game at Piedmont Park. A sharply hit, high line drive was hit over my head. I jumped up and luckily caught it. At that moment I heard shouts of “what a catch” coming from the bleachers on the sideline. They were coming from a young, stringy haired blonde girl. When I saw her, something began to feel really good inside me, as my heterosexual identity kicked in big time. The point here is I had no choice, it is simply who and what I am, just as Michael is who and what he is.
The day before our latest storm hit, one of our local weather persons changed his description of the storm from ‘catastrophic’ to a storm of ‘biblical’ proportions. I am certain that his forecast put the fear of God into many, which is exactly what he probably intended to do.
For me the Bible does carry a lot of weight. But I do not believe it is an infallible document. It is an incredible rendering of God reaching out to humanity and we reaching out to God. But, because we humans are involved in the creation of the Bible, it loses its infallibility. Its teachings regarding homosexuality are both harmful and ignorant in light of what we know today about human sexuality.
For coming out, Michael Sam is a hero of biblical proportion…May we, and the NFL treat him the way we would treat any NFL player.