Answering Christians’ Questions About Openly Gay Football Player Michael Sam

When football superstar Michael Sam came out as gay in the New York Times last weekend, much of the country was ready for it.

We started figuring this out when NBA player Jason Collins came out last year, making him the first openly gay male pro athlete ever. Athletes from lower-level leagues come out every day, and especially as we turn our attention to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, we’re more and more attuned to the destructive consequences of systemic homophobia and its effects on the sporting world.

On its cover this week, Sports Illustrated juxtaposed two telling headlines: “America is ready for Michael Sam” in bold font, next to a smaller “Is the NFL ready for Michael Sam?” Different people have different answers, but a few outspoken advocates who know their football are pretty sure that welcoming a gay player shouldn’t have any effect on the game.

For example, former NFL player Donté Stallworth has tweeted his support for Sam and said that any team afraid to “handle the media coverage” he’ll spark is “already a loser.” Dallas sports anchor Dale Hansen made an even bigger statement criticizing the NFL for welcoming accused rapists and criminals, yet potentially shunning a gay player.

The Christian website Charisma News asked some of these questions, too — but they’ve gotten their answers all wrong. Writer Michael Brown is clearly uncomfortable with LGBT people in general, let alone gay athletes, so he doesn’t even know where to start with Michael Sam. He’s got all kinds of questions about how a pro football team could possibly function with a gay player on the field and in practice and (gasp!) in the locker room.

His answers to those questions were pretty terrible, so I thought I’d step in and help him out. (His questions in bold.)

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Who Gets To Own Words Like Homophobia, Islamophobia, and Misogyny?

Quick followup to my earlier post about Rory O’Neill, the Irish drag queen who got herself in a world of legal hurt after she called specific individuals homophobes.

After I wrote it, I pondered the apparent similarity of “homophobia” to words like “Islamophobia,” “anti-Semitism,” and “misogyny.”



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A Facebook Look Back… at Jesus

Finally, a Look Back video that’s actually enjoyable:



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Are Atheists Capable of Love?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Are atheists capable of love?:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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Atheist Student Group at Law School Prepares to Help Financially Strapped Locals with Their Income Taxes

We’ve heard of atheist student groups that volunteer or donate to charity by hosting events like blood drives, bake sales, and walkathons. All are fantastic, but what the Secular Legal Society at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Boyd School of Law is doing to help others took me by surprise because of how novel and welcome it is:



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