A National Monologue

RainbowConnectionThis 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?

One comment

  1. Didymus says:

    Monologue is a good word for the internal conversation among the believers. Directed toward the rest of us, however, it’s a lecture. The grown-ups are telling all of the recalcitrant children that we are too childlike to understand grown-up affairs. Maybe one day when you’re older you’ll understand – in the meantime if you talk back you will get a severe tongue-lashing or worse. Fortunately, we know that “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3)

    It’s interesting to juxtapose that against Pope Francis’ warnings for the Church not to close in on herself – meant in a different way of course, but still relevant to any group of believers. I always think of Abraham Lincoln at times like these. Faced with the most challenging difference of opinion in the history of our country, he pursued his objective fixedly while only speaking of the other side with dignity and hope of reconciliation. Today’s liberal ”winners” crow about their victories and tap dance on the graves of their opponents (see examples above). This is inevitable when your strategy in any argument is to dehumanize your opposition and attempt to strip them of dignity.

Leave a Reply to Didymus Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.