While I’m excited and thankful to be returning to Dancing With The Stars, not everyone is thrilled I’m coming back. When the new contestants participated in a panel discussion for the Television Critics Association’s summer tour, the critics’ disdain for me was obvious. While they asked many questions (or, really, just a few questions over and over), only one stands out in my mind: Would I mind dancing with a gay dance partner?
Frankly, I found the question silly. Of course, I’d most like to dance with Mark again, but that’s up to the producers! If I can’t dance with Mark, I’d love to dance with a gay partner, a straight partner, or anything in between. I’m not looking for romance at Dancing With The Stars, but I do want to do as well as I can, make as many friends as I can, and maybe – just maybe – walk away with the mirror ball trophy.
But the media can’t seem to figure this out. In their simplistic minds, the fact that I’m a Christian, that I believe in God’s plan for marriage, means that I must hate gays and must hate to even be in their presence. Well, they were right about one thing: there was hate in that media room, but the hate was theirs, not mine.
Let me explain through a real-life example. A friend of mine interviewed several years ago for a faculty position at an Ivy League law school. When the interviewer saw that he was a conservative Christian, she asked him: “Do you think you can teach gay students?” (See the similarity to my question?)
Here was his response: “I believe every human being is created in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and respect, so I’ll treat all my students fairly. But I can’t promise they’ll treat me with the same respect when they find out I’m a Christian.”
That’s exactly right. What do a person’s sexual preferences and practices have to do with dancing ability? In fact, in most jobs a person’s private life has little or no bearing on their ability to do their job unless they lose sight of boundaries and ethics. Does the fact that a guy sleeps with his girlfriend mean that he can’t sell coffee? Should we fire a car salesman who’s divorcing his wife?
Look, my responsibility is pretty darn clear: to treat people as I would like to be treated, to be gracious, and – yes – to uphold and advance my Christian principles in all that I do. Would I want a gay dancer to refuse to dance with me because of my beliefs? Why would I refuse to dance with a gay man because of his?
To the Left, “tolerance” means agreeing with them on, well, everything. To me, tolerance means learning to live and work with each other when we don’t agree – and won’t ever agree. So if I have a gay dance partner, we may have some interesting discussions about morality, marriage, and whether the government made him a great dancer because it built the roads that he drove on to dance practice. But I can promise you that I’ll give it my best effort, I’ll learn all I can learn, and I’ll be proud to hoist that elusive mirror ball trophy right by his side.
Do you want to be a part of my DWTS journey? Then, e-mail me so I can add you to my mailing list. (My address is BristolsBlog @ gmail.com, without the space! Make sure to use the subject line: DWTS.) I’d love to give you the latest up-to-the-minute reports about the show!
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