This past week, Leon Suprenant of the Archdiocese of Kansas City shared a blog post earlier this week addressing the story of NBA player Jason Collins coming out publicly as homosexual. Most striking to me in Suprenant’s “top 10” list of reactions to the announcement and subsequent media coverage was this one:
(3) National Conversation? Many news outlets talk a good game about the “national conversation” that Jason Collins’ announcement has produced, as if now we can finally have a free exchange of ideas and viewpoints on this subject. So, in the midst of such a discussion on ESPN, pro basketball commentator Chris Broussard said, “I’m a Christian. I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is.”
A Catholic would do well to express his or her position so succinctly and articulately. Yet Broussard’s comments were unwanted (Google “Chris Broussard Jason Collins” for a sampling of the reaction). ESPN offered its regrets that his personal viewpoint was a “distraction,” and reiterated that “ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’ announcement.”
In other words, ESPN is fully on board with the gay agenda, and does not welcome other points of view. Beyond the chilling effect of ESPN’s reaction to one of its own, we see the network’s duplicity in purporting to be open to an exchange of ideas on the subject.
On the same day, I happened to be in my car as the governor signed Minnesota’s same-sex marriage bill into law. I tuned in to Minnesota Public Radio to hear how it was covering the outdoor signing ceremony. In a word: live. I heard the govenor’s complete remarks, the roar of the crowd, and play-by-play narration from the reporter on the scene.
Since it was also membership week, following the signing the breathless on-air hosts resumed soliciting pledges, in any amount, to support … and they seemed to struggle to articulate what they wished to say with any semblance of journalistic neutrality. Live coverage of historic events like we’re witnessing today was generally where they settled, but although historic events come in many flavors, it was clear that this one was perceived as particularly sweet.
The city of St. Paul hosted a outdoor concert after the signing. Not to be outdone, the city of Minneapolis lit the I-35W bridge in rainbow colors to celebrate. No fewer people oppose same-sex marriage than last November, but an issue that has deeply divided Minnesota for the past many months has apparently been dissolved by three little words: Love Is Law.
Supernant’s blog hits the nail on the head. There is no national dialogue on this issue — only a monologue that echoes in sympathetic ears and drowns out other voices. It’s not surprising. Nothing but newsprint is black and white these days, and it’s used to move an agenda. Besides, once we abandon the notion of a moral order, what’s left to discuss?