We often hear of people of faith being condemned for their belief on homosexuality, specifically, in regard to same sex marriage. When a restaurant owner says he does not support marriage outside of a man and woman, protests and anger arises, with the intolerant demand for tolerance from the intolerant (or the other way around) being less than tolerant about someone else's intolerance...well, you get the picture.
"Can't we all just...get along?"
This politically incorrect answer has consequences but this time, to the journalist who thought he had nailed the religious player.
Does it have to be this way? Cannot people of good will agree to disagree?
Here is an interesting set of statements readers may enjoy.
A reporter specifically asked an openly religious ballplayer what he thought of an openly homosexual former player coming to his team.
The question was intended to be explosive.
The reporter did what was expected: he took the religious ball player's statement directly to the homosexual former ball player.
It seems that the reporter, himself, may be disappointed by the tolerant response. Would that more on opposing sides of issues might speak in such gracious terms.
I. The Statement of Daniel Murphy
II. The Statement of Billy Bean
I. The Statement of Daniel Murphy:
"I have tremendous admiration and respect for Daniel Murphy as a family man. Just last year, he made the decision to miss Opening Day for the birth of his son, and was criticized by some members of the New York media for this choice. Murphy deserved to be commended for putting his family first and that decision -- which led to an invitation to speak at the White House -- showed he's not afraid to stand up for what he believes in.
"When I took this job at MLB, I knew it was going to take time for many to embrace my message of inclusion. Expecting everyone to be supportive right away is simply not realistic. If you asked anyone who has competed in high-level men's professional sports, I believe they would agree with me. This doesn't change the way I go about my business, or my belief in what I am doing, but it's reality.
"After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment.
"I respect him, and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start. The silver lining in his comments are that he would be open to investing in a relationship with a teammate, even if he "disagrees" with the lifestyle. It may not be perfect, but I do see him making an effort to reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle. It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others."
Billy Bean will likely meet with more relaxed attitudes from his audiences, as he speaks without seeking to condemn those who disagree with him.