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?
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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