Friday, May 10, 2013

What Do Jesus, Jason Collins, and Tim Tebow Have In Common?

When Jason Collins announced to the world that he was gay, there was an immediate attempt by the far-right conservative media to tear him down. The basis for their attack was the false equivalency that the people who supported Collins were the same people who despise Tim Tebow. This overly simplistic view that somehow people couldn't support Tim Tebow and Jason Collins is ridiculous. The odds are most of the people who “hate” Tebow also “hate” Collins. Tim Tebow developed a (dare I say) cult following based on his Collegiate career and his religious beliefs. He’s earned millions of dollars in endorsements based on the buying power of his Christian fan base. Like anyone in the public sphere his success has caused some to "hate on him”, but People have been envious of success since the beginning of time. Usually, we build our heroes up in order to tear them down; this is where the hatred for Jason Collins differs. He went from NBA obscurity to the focal point of right wing hate for admitting who he is, where as Tim Tebow climbed the mountain many young collegians face to become a cultural icon. I think this is where the philosophical debate begins. How can people point out the sins of character assassination while actively assassinating the character of another? What is it inside of us that allows for this kind of duplicity? The attempt to tie the plight of these young men together completely ignores the reality that the same mind-set is necessary to vilify both of them. We preach tolerance and acceptance, yet we often practice the antithesis of these attributes. The week before Jesus died on the cross people were cheering and shouting Hosanna Hosanna in the streets. How did that work a week later? Keeping the theme of Christianity in mind, my next question is why should either of these young men be treated differently than Jesus? The reality is that people will always be hated for who they are or who they are perceived to be.