ESPN’s big gay ghosts

ESPN has been pretty good at getting religion in the past few years. On average, they seem to do much better than non-Godbeat reporters at most daily newspapers and even better than some of the religion reporters at major metros.

A few examples come to mind: the magazine’s profile of Jon Kitna; the website’s tribute to John Wooden and a profile of Tony Dungy as football’s “messenger of God”; this story asking how to mourn a sinner after Steve McNair was killed by his mistress. A few have also wiffed, but as I mentioned in a post about a great feature on the Detroit Tigers’ voice of God, there is a lot that other media outlets could learn from ESPN about teasing out the religion subtleties in non-obviously religious stories.

ESPN.com’s massive feature story about Will Sheridan is good, but is certainly haunted by some religion ghosts. The focus of the story is on Sheridan, a former basketball player at Villanova — the Big East powerhouse of Roman Catholic affiliation — and the challenges he faced when he came out as a gay athlete.

In part, the story using Sheridan to talk about how taboo homosexuality remains for male athletes. (And for sports some executives. See Peter Vidmar resigning as chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee after reports revealed he supported initiatives opposing same-sex marriage; and the Phoenix Suns president revealing he is gay). Overall, the Sheridan story is compelling and long. Though I wouldn’t say it is thoroughly reported.

It spends a lot of time talking about how the biggest opposition Sheridan experienced came from his family. And that’s where, assuming that Catholic universities just don’t hold their athletes to the same standards of, say, BYU, the real religion ghosts pop up.

ESPN’s Dana O’Neil describes Sheridan’s father, Will Sr., as a “religious man” who struggled deeply with his son’s sexuality but was “turned around” by the “power of prayer.” She then writes:

Will Sr. admits he is worried what people will think, what his fellow churchgoers will say, when they read this article. He himself still struggles, straddling the line between enlightenment and ignorance.

Yes, you read that last line correctly. Those who accept homosexuality are enlightened and those who think it is against God’s will are ignorant. Funny thing is ESPN’s O’Neil doesn’t mention what kind of church Will Sr. goes to, which would be influenced by the great variance among Christians regarding treatment of homosexuality.

This section of the profile, which ends with O’Neil suggesting that Will Sr. still lapses into ignorance, deeply cuts against whatever balance existed in an otherwise compelling story about what it was like for Sheridan to come out as gay to his teammates and his efforts to promote understanding in sports.

The point of this GetReligion post is not to discuss whether Sheridan is doing a good thing or whether ESPN had a good newshook for this story; it is to consider how a story that was clearly so extensively reported could be done with such limited diligence.

If Sheridan’s family was a big part of this profile and, as reported, Sheridan’s father struggled with his son’s sexuality in large part because of his Christian beliefs, how is it that Will Sr.’s beliefs are reduced to “religious” and his Christian community is glancingly referred to as ignorant churchgoers?

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  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    JERRYZ:

    Please provide some evidence for Brad’s or GetReligion’s opposition to balance on any hypothetical stories about ex-gay athletes. Good luck on that.

    Essentially you are saying that the story is unbalanced and that you are OK with that, since it matches your beliefs. That is a hard journalism stance to defend.

    Also, to all commenters — as Brad stressed, this is not the place to debate homosexuality and sports. This is to place to discuss how reporters should accurate cover debates about these issues.

    Also note that Brad never said religion should be the MAIN focus of this story. He merely said that if the issue is raised, it should be given minimal detail.

  • Ted

    Brad, do you think the story would be better if the reporter included a quote from a pastor saying that the father should have disowned his son? Is this the kind of balance you think is needed here?

  • Kate

    Um, I would think balance would require, since the father’s church is mentioned, citing the church’s actual theological stance on homosexuality. In fact, since we’ve gone and cited Will Srs religiousity, it would be reasonable to trace the change in his theological beliefs about homosexuality, how he reconciles whatever he once held with what he holds now.

    ‘Ignorance’ just doesn’t cut it. What is ignorant is choosing to dismiss what are oftentimes very nuanced theological understandings as ‘ignorance’ or assuming that bringing balance to this article would require someone saying Will Sr “shouldn’t love his son” (a position no mainstream church holds on homosexuality, making that an extremely ignorant comment).

  • Martha

    Isn’t that rather judgemental language for a straightforward report, rather than a columnist’s opinion piece? Declaring that some form of behaviour is either enlightened or ignorant doesn’t strike me as ‘just the facts’ presented impartially. And before you ask, yes, I’m the kind of person who, if I were reading a report on a murder or rape, would just want the facts and not the screaming tabloid headlines about ‘evil beast’, ‘dreadful murder’, ‘horrible crime’, ‘string ‘em up!’ and the like.

  • http://www.ephesians4-15.blogspot.com/ Randy

    I would even go so far as to include other theological options. It appears there are only two here. One is to fix Sheridan’s gayness. The other is to assume Christianity is just ignorant and gayness is to be celebrated. There is also the common Christian position separating the reality of same-sex attraction from the choice of gay sex. That seems to be the distinction Christians from many denominations draw yet it is almost never made clear in the media.

    Christian sexual morality is not easy for heterosexuals either and the media often don’t take it seriously. There is an implicit assumption that celibacy is just impossible. But it is what it is. Would a straight Sheridan living his girlfriend be something his father’s church community would approve of? I doubt it. So how much of the disapproval is around homosexuality and how much around promiscuity?

  • Matt

    Since when did “balance” in journalism mean quoting sources from opposite ends of the spectrum on an issue? I think the kind of balance Brad is calling for is much more subtle and non-Fox newsy than that. It’s the kind of nuanced attention to detail that this website exists to encourage.

    Balance in this case would have been to not include an either or scenario stating that the father is either enlightened for fully accepting his son’s acting on his sexual orientation or ignorant for believing homosexual acts are sinful. Balance would have been to more clearly explain the father’s religious convictions and beliefs in the context of the story.

    Quoting pastors condemning or praising homosexuality would be completely out of context since the religious components of the story involve the relationship of a father and his son and a son to the historic beliefs of an institution that gave him a scholarship to play basketball.

  • Ted

    Randy asks: “Would a straight Sheridan living his girlfriend be something his father’s church community would approve of?”

    Uh, I am not sure what church Sheridan’s father went to. But inasmuch as the out-of-wedlock birthrate among African Americans is something like 74%, I rather doubt that African-American churches would condemn a straight athlete who lived with his girlfriend.

    The real question is whether Christians would approve of the way Sheridan’s father initially reacted: attempting to punish his son. That is what is described as ignorance in the story. I suspect that in fact many Christians would approve of punishing the son, or sending him to some “ex-gay” reparative therapy camp, which the American Psychological Association has condemned as dangerous and abusive.

    I suppose the reporter could have found a minister or “ex-gay” leader to quote in order to provide the balance that is said to be lacking. But if they did, I suspect that GR would then be complaining that such quotes are somehow not representative of all Christians.

  • Brad A. Greenberg

    Brad, do you think the story would be better if the reporter included a quote from a pastor saying that the father should have disowned his son? Is this the kind of balance you think is needed here?

    Not at all, Ted. The type of “balance” I’m referring to is the same that Kate and Matt articulate: “It’s the kind of nuanced attention to detail that this website exists to encourage.”

  • Bram

    What is it that Will Sr. is supposed to be “ignorant” of, what is it that he is supposed to “not know?” I assume the man understands perfectly well what gay sex entails and simply disapproves on moral grounds derived from his Christian faith. If anything, he likely has a more thoughtful and, in that sense, a more “enlightened” view of the matter than the writer here. One can agree or disagree with that view, but there aren’t any grounds for calling it an “ignorant” view. It’s just a different view, one that the writer should respect as a thoughtful, and, in that sense, a legitimate view, both on journalistic and professional grounds and for mere civility’s sake.

  • http://jochopra.blogspot.com/ Jo Chopra

    Here’s an interesting “open letter” to the governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker who “believes a new law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights violates the state constitution and has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it.”

    http://bit.ly/mRrTKO

    Jesse Kornbluth, a non-religious Jew, uses Scripture well in his letter to the Governor, yet there is a certain snideness in his marshaling of defenses he denies the truth of. Interesting!

  • Ted

    Brad, thanks for your response to my question. Unfortunately, it is very vague. I am not sure exactly what “nuanced attention to detail” means. There is lots of detail here. The father attempted to punish his son for being gay, rejecting him both emotionally and financially. He is said to have had his anti-gay attitudes turned around by prayer. What exactly more do you want?

    I suspect what you want is for the journalist to have said that the father’s initial treatment of his son was somehow enlightened, at least in the minds of many Christians, instead of ignorant.

    I think the real ghost here is that many gay and lesbian children of religious folk are treated very badly by their parents; they are often disowned, kicked out, and otherwise mistreated. This story shows that this father through prayer came to accept his son and came to appreciate him as the way God wants him to be.

    But if I am wrong, please explain how you think the reporter should have provided the “balance” you think the story needs.

  • Earl

    Ted, why can’t you get this? It is so simple, and you seem bright enough. You cannot claim that someone’s moral view is ignorant. moral views are informed by personal beliefs and opinions. For a father to say that “my son ought not be gay” is a statement of opinion, as much as “God made him gay.” If the father was ignorant of some “fact,” the only facts being that he was gay and that God does not accept homosexuality, that would mean the father didn’t know his son was gay, or he didn’t know God could accept that his son was gay. And the latter fits the bill; the father was ignorant that God accepts gays, but now has been enlightened. So in essence, I see the author taking up a religious doctrine and dogmatically proclaiming that opponents are just ignorant, while proponents are enlightened. Is this how journalists ought to write?

  • Brad A. Greenberg

    Ted, you are correct in that there are tons of details in this story. As I noted, that is one of the characteristics that made it compelling. But the story only explores the actions that followed from Will Sr.’s religious beliefs without actually explaining the nuances of those beliefs or why they motivated his reactions.

  • Ted

    Earl: “You cannot claim that someone’s moral views are ignorant.”

    Uh, why not?

    Not all moral views are equal. The belief that homosexuals should be put to death, for example, is ignorant though apparently pretty widespread. Should that belief be accepted as equal to the belief that God accepts gays?

    A lot of the posts here criticize the mainstream media for whitewashing Muslim beliefs, but a lot of people here seem to want journalists to whitewash Christian beliefs.

    Brad now seems to be less concerned about the characterization of the father’s previous actions as “ignorant” than by the fact that the journalist did not explain the process by which the father reached the belief that his son was just the way God wants him to be.

    I agree that the story would be improved were there more detail about the father’s religious journey toward acceptance of his son’s homosexuality. But the original post seemed to be criticizing the story for not providing some kind of anti-gay “balance.” If I misread Brad’s original posting, I apologize.

  • Earl

    “You cannot claim that someone’s moral views are ignorant.”

    All secular morals are indeed equal. They are relative, and subjective. Only immutable objective sources can deliver an objective or hierarchical morality, if there is a form of revelation included with that source.

    So as another example, saying that “race X ought not be allowed to vote because they are biologically inferior.” Is not morally ignorant. It is scientifically ignorant. The moral position masquerades as scientific, but once the science is clarified, we see that the moral opinion was always rationally meritless in the first place. It was just an opinion. And no moral opinion ever rests upon a scientific foundation, as science has not found morality to exist in nature. Not ever. Nor will it. It only exists in our heads, as an opinion. Or in the mind of God, presumably outside/throughout/within of nature.

  • Earl

    Perhaps a requirement of journalism should be that one becomes a moral nihilst?!

  • Kyle

    A lot of the posts here criticize the mainstream media for whitewashing Muslim beliefs, but a lot of people here seem to want journalists to whitewash Christian beliefs.

    The Catholic belief (this involves a Catholic school) is that the homosexual orientation is not rightly ordered to the natural ends of human sexuality but is not itself sinful, that acting on this inclination is morally wrong, and that people with that inclination are to be welcomed with love and respect. That is the view of a great many non-Catholic Christians, as well.

    So yes, I would like the media to please stop whitewashing that Christian belief. Unfortunately, that’s not what Ted seems to have in mind.

  • Dale

    Ted wrote:

    Earl: “You cannot claim that someone’s moral views are ignorant.”

    Uh, why not?

    Uh, because moral pronouncements, or statements about “how things should be” are not factual pronouncements, or statements about “how things are”. They aren’t subject to empirical verification through independent observation. Moral pronouncements require a pre-existing matrix of values before a person can engage in moral reasoning. To have a different set of values is not “ignorant”, and to make such claims about another person’s value system is a cheap rhetorical device employed by demagogues to browbeat their opponents. For a journalist to describe someone’s moral standards as “ignorant” is no more proper than for a journalist to describe homosexual practices as “sinful”.

    Not all moral views are equal.

    Since when is it a journalist’s job to tell us which moral views are more equal than others? The last time I checked, that’s a job for philosophers and theologians, and there’s substantial disagreement among them. Moral judgments are properly left to opinion columns, not to straight reporting.

    The belief that homosexuals should be put to death, for example, is ignorant though apparently pretty widespread.

    “Widespread” among whom? “Ignorant” of what? If you’re talking about the laws of 6th cen. B.C. Judaism and the people who followed them, it’s ignorant to say that wasn’t the moral standard. If you’re going to judge other moral standards by your own preconceived values, say so, but don’t report such judgments as fact.

    Should that belief be accepted as equal to the belief that God accepts gays?

    That’s not a question within the competence of a journalist. A journalist can report what moral standards others hold; when a journalist passes judgment on others’ moral standards, he’s no longer reporting.

    A lot of the posts here criticize the mainstream media for whitewashing Muslim beliefs, but a lot of people here seem to want journalists to whitewash Christian beliefs.

    No, what you see is a lot of posts criticizing the MSM for failing to properly describe Muslim beliefs and diversity within those beliefs– for example, judging a certain type of Islam as “moderate” or “fundamentalist”, rather than describing the content of that Islamic tradition. The same applies to Christian traditions.

  • Earl

    Ted, who’s ethical education was delievered to better effect? Mine, or Dale’s? Be honest.

    LOL!

  • Ted

    Earl and Dale: you obviously want every story that mentions gay people to have a little balloon somewhere saying that your churches condemn homosexuality. Of course, a lot of churches don’t condemn homosexuality. You would rob Sheridan and his father’s story of their point of view by making certain that someone else’s point of view be mentioned.

    You also seem to be arguing that all “moral” viewpoints are equal and need to be mentioned. I suppose that the journalist could have said “some Christians think that homosexuals should be executed; others think they should be condemned to hell; still others think they should be imprisoned; others don’t think homosexuality is a sin; others affirm and accept homosexuals.”

    Moreover, it simply is not true that the journalist here refers to Will Sr.’s religious community as “ignorant churchgoers.” That kind of “truthiness” is worthy of Fox News.

    The journalist does refer to Will Sr.’s journey toward acceptance of his son through prayer as “enlightenment” and describes his backsliding questioning and worrying about what others think as a regression toward “ignorance,” when he rejected his son.

    I suppose in the interest of fairness, the journalist could have said, “Of course, some Christians think Will Sr. should have punished his son even more severely.

    That may have satisfied some of you who think that any depiction of homosexuals as ordinary people is cheerleading, but it would not tell the truth about the spiritual journal of Will Sheridan and his father.

    Even Brad seems to have dropped his original demand for “balance” and now thinks that the story only needs more details and nuance about the father’s spiritual journey. I agree.

  • Ben

    Ted,

    I don’t want to see a million little balloons describing everyone’s different religious take either in this story.

    And I think there’s a legitimate debate over Brad’s interpretation of what the writer was terming “ignorant.” Brad and others take it to be religious teachings that object to homosexuality, you say it’s Will Sr.’s hope that his son will become straight.

    But either way it’s hard to argue against the inappropriateness of the reporter inserting a piece of opinion in his own voice into a news feature. You could argue that it’s not opinion that repairative therapy camps don’t work, but I’m not sure those coercive camps are what Will Sr. or the writer really had in mind.

  • Percy

    Mr. Greenberg, I believe you are reading what you want to see into this article. At *no point* in the article are Will Sr.’s religious views mentioned EXCEPT in the context of bringing him into acceptance of his son. The entirety of the discussion about Will Sr. is non-religious in nature.

    “”I come from a background of all solid men,” Will Sr. said. “I’m a retired police officer. You have to understand, I didn’t grow up around people like that. I didn’t see them, didn’t know them. Even as a police officer, I didn’t have that much exposure. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it for almost a year.”

    In unvarnished print, those words sound harsh and unforgiving. In truth, they are merely evidence of a generational divide. Will Sr. is 56, born and raised in a small town and in a time when homosexuality was still in the closet. …

    Will Sr. was raised to believe his son’s sexual orientation was a choice, a choice he could unmake as easily as he had made it.

    So, Will Sr. set about punishing that choice out of Sheridan.”

    The belief that he can change his son’s sexual orientation is what is being referred to as ignorance, at least as I read the article. You can see it is clearly set up as the main problem that Will Sr. had with his son, and your quote is immediately followed by a direct example of Will Sr going back and forth on the issue:

    “He himself still struggles, straddling the line between enlightenment and ignorance.

    At one point in a 30-minute phone conversation, Will Sr. said, “I don’t use the word ‘tolerate.’ I ‘appreciate.’ I appreciate that this is who he is, and I believe this is who God wants him to be.”

    And then, only minutes later, he adds, “I treat him like he ain’t. I believe one day he’s going to change. He says he’s not, but I believe he will. A man has to have some kind of belief and hope.”"

    Dana O’Neil appears clearly to be referencing these two sentences in the “enlightenment and ignorance” quote. It is not intended to be a reference to churchgoers at all. The churchgoers reference is purely about the very real worry, presumably that he himself expressed, that Will Sr. has about people in his church reading about it – that is hardly a great indictment of religion.

    Again, I would like to stress, other than your churchgoers comment, the SINGLE reference to Will Sr.’s religion is as follows:

    “Will Sr., a religious man, said the power of prayer is what ultimately turned him around.”

    In short, I really fail to see what “balance” is needed here. I strongly disagree with your characterization that Dana O’Neil called churchgoers “ignorant” – your quote is very much taken out of context. Ignorance is clearly intended to refer to the main theme of the family part of the article – his father’s refusal to accept the immutability of Will’s homosexuality. Even if you take issue with the idea that it is a fact that homosexuality is immutable, at no point does the story suggest religion is behind Will Sr.’s belief. The only two times the story mentions religion is to say that Will Sr’s religious views brought him into acceptance of his son, and to mention that he is worried about what people will think, including members of his church. The quote on its face does not even refer just to churchgoers but to everyone. To claim there is some great disparagement of religion there is just wildly overreaching.

  • Percy

    “But the story only explores the actions that followed from Will Sr.’s religious beliefs without actually explaining the nuances of those beliefs or why they motivated his reactions.”

    Just to reiterate my point, I think this is just an obvious misstatement of the story, Mr. Greenberg, unless by “actions that followed from Will Sr.’s religious beliefs”, you refer only to acceptance of his son. The story makes *explicitly clear* that his non-acceptance was driven by entirely non-religious motives.

  • Ted

    Percy: Exactly. You cut to the chase and say concisely what I have been trying to say in several posts. Thank you.

    I think Brad’s post illustrates GR’s hunt to find religious slights even when they are not there and their belief that any article that mentions homosexuals needs to remind readers of how (many) religions condemn homosexuality. Reminds me of Mollie’s now notorious complaint about a NY Times style section about Rosie O’Donnell’s cruise for gay families. She described it as cheerleading because the article did not include some “expert” (Maggie Gallagher, perhaps) or religious figure denouncing same-sex marriage.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Ted,

    Here’s a link to my post analyzing the New York Times’ cheerleading.

    It holds up exceedingly well. You’re mischaracterizing what I wrote. It’s not terribly hard to understand what I wrote so go ahead and give it another try.

  • Ted

    Mollie, I don’t think the blog about the Rosie O’Donnell story holds up well. It was never a good post, just a lob in the culture war, revealing more of your homophobia than any journalistic flaw in the NY Times.

    The belief that any depiction of gay people and their families in the mainstream media must be accompanied by the notation that some religious people hate/disapprove/condemn/whatever them is not a valid journalistic principle.

  • Bram

    Ted’s dropping of not one but *two* h-bombs — “homophobia” and “hate” — only goes to show, as if we all didn’t already know, that he has lost this debate comprehensively.

  • Percy

    Mollie, your article does not distinguish between the type of article Mr. Okrent was talking about, namely, articles in the “news pages”, and articles in the other sections of the newspaper.

    The piece is not a news piece about the “social and cultural aspects of gay marriage” – it is a puff piece about a gay cruise company in the arts section. You can find similarly positive articles all over the arts section. Discussion of gay marriage or families is not even relevant to the article, which is about the shows the cruise is putting on. Mr. Okrent’s concern is with the balance of news coverage of gay marriage itself, not the balance of arts coverage of a company that happens to cater to the gay demographic.

    Your comparison to the purity ball article, which actually IS in the news section, by the way, falls pretty flat. You literally highlight the only vaguely negative line in the article – and say you’re not going to dispute it.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Ted,

    You probably picked the wrong day to violate our commenting policy and call me a homophobe. I’m just not in the mood for such silliness.

    Please keep your comments focused on journalism and avoid personal attacks and emotional outbursts.

    Best,

    Mollie

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Percy,

    I see your point but the ombudsman was clearly talking about “news” pages as opposed to editorial pages not as opposed to feature pages. And I didn’t write the piece about the purity ball.

  • Julia

    Seems that the word “ignorant” now has several different meanings.

    1) Unaware of some fact that is not in dispute.

    OR

    2) Stupid or despicable.

    Another very useful word has been hi-jacked.

  • Bram

    Maybe we should now define “ignorant” the way Alvin Plantinga (jokingly) defines “fundamentalist” — as meaning “fascist sumb*itch to the right of me.”

  • David

    “Those who accept homosexuality are enlightened and those who think it is against God’s will are ignorant.”

    That is a factual statement. The premise that homosexuality is sin has two main components:
    interpretation of a handful of Bible passages
    demonstrably false assumptions about human sexuality, homosexuality, and the lives of GLBTQ people

    In both cases, a deep lack of information is absolutely required to support or accept anti-gay theology as accurate. Anti-gay theology requires the false notions that homosexuality is chosen, and that it is merely a set of activities one engages in. This is willful and sinful ignorance, because it is a case of people with no experience of being homosexuals contradicting the personal, first-hand experience of real homosexuals, for no rational reason other than bias.

    Compounding this, the theological component demonstrates a willful ignorance about the nature of God, since anti-gay theology promotes and requires injustice. But justice is essential to the nature of God, according to Christian theology, and the perfection of God’s justice must be recognizable in order to distinguish the one true God from false gods.

    Additionally, though Christ gave an explicit test for true teaching in Matthew 7:15-23,(good trees bear good fruit, evil trees bear evil fruit,) a test that again in predicated entirely on the intrinsic nature of God, anti-gay theology entirely fails that test.

    Anti-gay theology only bears evil fruit. It drives GLBTQ Christians to suicide, drives their parents to reject and abuse them, it inspires hate crimes against GLBTQ people and people perceived as being other than hetero-normative, it is the driving reason for the death penalty for homosexuals legislation still pending in Uganda. Anti-gay theology is used by non-believers as evidence against Christianity, and anti-gay theology has driven many people, gay and straight, out of Christianity and away from God.

    And none of the above is a secret. The direct link between anti-gay theology and the persecution, abuse, discrimination against and murder of GLBTQ people is extremely well-documented. No one with a computer has any excuse for not knowing that “homosexuality is sin” bears evil fruit. Only willful ignorance explains the pretense people still live under, that their malicious assertions about homosexuals are innocent.

    While Dale argues that “belief that homosexuals should be put to death” is not widespread, the fact of the matter is that the Levitical death penalty is routinely invoked as a foundation of anti-gay theology, and even within the U.S., there is a strong drive to criminalize homosexuality and execute homosexuals.

    Additionally, the systemic discrimination still in place in the U.S. violates Luther’s position on “thou shalt not kill”. Luther articulated first that causing any harm to another person violated this commandment, and further, that failing to act to prevent harm to another when you could act, also violated the commandment. One is not innocent of sin if one persecutes and harasses a people just short of murdering them, nor is one innocent if one’s theology inspires someone else to murder GLBTQ people.

    The interpretations of the handful of texts themselves rely on and exploit ignorance, the lack of knowledge, from misrepresenting the meaning of words like “yada” and “arsenokoite”, to fabricating completely irrational accounts of the events in Sodom that require ignorance of Ezekiel’s comments to escape ridicule.

    Ignorance is the appropriate term with which to describe anti-gay theology. So too are the words “homophobia” and “hate”, and when someone tries to make those words off-limits, it is simply an attempt to conceal the real life, destructive and brutal, consequences of anti-gay theology.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    David,

    I think your confusion is that this is a blog that analyzes journalism. We’re not a gay marriage advocacy blog or a non-gay marriage advocacy blog. We’re interested in how reporters should cover stories. That’s what journalists do — craft stories. If you think that crafting stories or talking about the effect of that is dehumanizing, this is probably not the blog for you.

  • David

    How predictable. Heterosexual priviledge exerts itself once again.

    No wonder minorities, particularly GLBTQ people, tend not to trust the mainstream press.